Back Button potentially malfunction, due to water sip in

Hi guys,

So i got my flipper 3 days ago, and yesterday i put in my bag and my water bottle leaking.
I suspect water sip into some openings of my flipper.

Now im facing the issue where the back button is not functional at all.
i can reboot my flipper by long pressing the left button itself, if i shut down my flipper it will auto turn on back (i think these all could be an indication of back button malfunction?)

Any way i can solve this with the team? just a few days with the fliiper and i dont want it to be thrown into nowhere because of this T.T
Plus the amount of money paid for buying this too

Sorry for your flipper, but what do you mean “solve this with the team”? Water damage is not covered by warranty for most electronic devices, so I think you are alone in this. Official parts store isn’t launched still, too. But if you have disassembling skills & are sure the issue is a back button - check out ifixit guide Flipper Zero Teardown - iFixit

The FZ is fairly simple in design so repairing it should not be that difficult, if there is water in the small button inside, a couple of nights face down on a dry not to cold place could resolve it, if you have to open it anyways and take apart, tape off any plastic on the board and just throw it under the heatgun for a couple of seconds and it could be all that is needed. Worst case you need a new button and replace it with a soldering iron. It could be as simple as wiping the board with a cloth to remove anything that is creating a short circuit.

You just need a phillips screwdriver to disassemble it, some patience and be very gentle on the flatcables, use youtube videos if you never disconnected one instead of tearing the cable of the board. And also reconnecting stuff, be gentle, and just take your time and it should not be that hard.

maybe not supported by warranty but that does not mean we cannot try to troubleshoot or fix it? especially if someone else says it’s a lost case that makes the challenge even better to fix it anyways?

If they want to sell it, will surely put a offer on a broken one, but not just for fixing it myself and gaining a flipper friend, I would be happy to take it, but I would also enjoy the owner being happy again and being able to fix it themselves. Stuff gets better if you break it first and then manage to repair it, cuz it gets personal experience with it. It is not just the destination or how do some philosophical people say?

Yeah, I was trying to say “if you allowed water into your electronics - you have to fix it on your own”. Speaking of which, buttons don’t seem to be somewhat complex to replace/fix. I saw many similar buttons on other electronics, don’t think you need some specific ones. Still, you have to be ready to disassemble and probably solder things (which doesn’t seem to be the case for op).

Philosophically, I agree. Practically - I think people just want things to work, without additional hassle.

yes sir, when i mean fix it with the team, it means getting spare parts or any to fix it
i am well aware of what is covered in warranty or not

additional input is i have disassembled it and clean the entire board with Electrical Contact Cleaner, and the issue still persist

There is a comment on reddit that i should try reload firmware, not sure what is the meaning, is it because water damage could have haywire the software? since the device was ON during this whole ordeal

worst case, yep i plan to change the tactile button electronic component (though my soldering skill sucks))

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thank you for the advise and sharing nice words here.
so as i replied to Mr MXCdoam, i tried below:

  1. disassembled, cleaned the board etc but issue persist
  2. reddit recommendation to reload the firmware (im not sure how this helps, so im gonna try this soon)

before cleaning:

after cleaning:

last option is to change a new electronic component for the button (although my soldering skill sucks abit ahha)

as of now i can use this device by connecting with my phone and use the remote control function from flipper app

Glad you decided to fix it!:grin:
So, after doing what you did (drying and cleaning) I would desolder suspected button to see if an issue persist. If so - change the button or open it to see if it can be cleaned (there are contact pads under metallic disc membrane inside the button. Water or corroded metal might be shorting them.).

As I said, spare parts store still isn’t available afaik, if you want to ask team about it directly - better use discord, most discussions are happening there.

ya man, actually before posting here i done all necessary fixing and checking, thanks to my previous job experience handling electronics

but ya when comes to unsolder and soldering i may need to seek some professional or experience guy’s help, this flipper board is too small for my skills haha

Is there any chance you have a heatgun? Those buttons can be a pain in the lower back , but if you tape it off with some alu tape and quickly head the pads for a few secconds without burning them down, that could revive them.

If you are able to get a semi connected booted try to short the pads from the button with a screwdriver/paperclip or anything you have at hand if yo do not have a pile of breadboard wires laying around , if that works its prolly just water still stuck in there. you do not need a new SMD gun while it is preferred cause you can control the heat but even with a hairdryer that usually has far to little power to burn it down, It could help getting rid of some water potentially stuck in there.

But I’m the guy that bakes a videocard in the same oven he just heated a pizza in , so my advise usually comes with “do not try this at home” warning. :smiley:

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I use a quote of Randall Munroe in such cases.
Rough reproduction:

If you are stuck with me in a burning house and I start producing ideas on how to escape, you are better off ignoring me.

Yeah mostly I am that one, but honestly, maybe it is just stupid luck but doing hobo trials before investing in new hardware/tools did get me some unexpected positive results. If it looks stupid but it works … :smiley:

The main-boards and gpu’s that survived my orc style trials, and also doing smd/board soldering like and ogre , I expected to break a lot more stuff on the road, but just being a bit motivated and not accepting no as an answer seems to have some positive results… (sometimes :smiley: ) the other way around I have to admit it can be an expensive hobby if your ego is bigger then your logic about when to give in and throw the towel into the ring :smiley: But if I see someone else on YT doing it like it’s nothing, then fck it, I am going there, even if i will cry because it was a stupid idea and replacing it was 10 times cheaper in the first place. Once I commit, there is no going back :smiley: When you see some guys in India reball a BGA like its childs-play in their backyard while having lunch… then after refilling the plate 10 times and trying it again, you wonder where your life took this path of nolifing, but once you managed to reballl a BGA with 50 bucks on hardware, where a decent shop uses a 30k machine for it, it does feel better then most illicit substances available.

Even if it is effectively totally irrelevant and useless in this reality, just being able to say, yeah I did that, makes it worth the effort.

It’s not about the journey, its not about the destination. It’s about being a prick about it :smiley: