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Homeschooling Moms Homeschooling Moms

We love Real Life Learning! Today my kids learned how to disassemble & reassemble a laptop!

My poor DH has no idea what we do for school. We have several laptops and an old desk top computer. Today's lesson? Re flowing a motherboard. The kids main laptop, the one they mostly use for school, had the motherboard die on us a week ago. Today I taught them how to completely dis-assemble the laptop, what each part of the mother board was for, etc. With many HP laptops they get really hot under the bottom. This can cause the soldering to get a microscopic honeycomb shape to it, essentially introducing microscopic air bubbles. This prevents the computer from booting up. Since it's over 5 years old we can't find a new/replacement motherboard anywhere, even eBay. So the last resort is 'reflowing' - essentially you bake the motherboard at 385 degrees for between 7-10 minutes. This re melts the solder. The concept is to melt then re-harden the solder without the air bubbles. 

Poor DH got home from work to find our futon, which we use a a second couch, pulled out covered in all the pieces of the computer. He was slightly horrified to learn how I was fixing the computer...lol

by on Mar. 28, 2014 at 5:04 PM
Replies (11-20):
coala
by Silver Member on Mar. 28, 2014 at 9:19 PM

It must be amazing for your boys to have such a mechanically and tech savy mom.  My mom was in electronics for years.....she wouldn't have hesitated to resolder a board...it wouldn't have taken her long at all. 

As for me, I run to my SO when I have done all I can do to get my mouse to work (its a plug in re-chargeable).  I unplugged, replugged 3 times to the mouse, unplugged and replugged to the computer.....alas non working mouse.  I go get him....what does he do, but turn the on/off button to off then back to on.  Viola!!  The mouse now works.  I don't get it, but I'm glad I have him around to do what you just did with your boys today.

kirbymom
by Sonja on Mar. 29, 2014 at 11:11 AM
That is so awesome . We do the same thing here. Except here, its being done nearly daily. My boys live to putz around with the components of pc boards from just about anything that has a motherboard or pc board that is either solderless or where you solder your own components to it. They have both. I can't tell you how many motherboards from computers they have taken apart, re-arranged or totally changed altogether and made a better running computer. It truly is amazing to watch them in action. :~)
Codysmom2106
by Bronze Member on Mar. 29, 2014 at 11:49 AM

That is awesome!!

TidewaterClan
by on Mar. 29, 2014 at 9:37 PM

Awesome Shannon!  Did you guys have a chance to put it back together yet to see how it worked?  

Class sounds awesome!  I'm not surprised you had so many students sign up.

KrissyKC
by Silver Member on Mar. 29, 2014 at 10:30 PM
So did it work? My dh wants to know. He is a computer guy but has not put one in the oven yet.
jen2150
by Silver Member on Mar. 30, 2014 at 9:50 AM
Sometimes I wish I was mechanically and electronically inclined. My son is better than I am. When we go to the children's museum he always helps me put the circuits together. Sadly I was the one who taught him how a circuit works. Go figure. This summer my husband is going to be making a fuelless generator. It works by using magnets to generate electricity. I had to talk my husband in to having our sons help him build it. Thankfully my husband is good in that area. The Wright brothers would have been in trouble if I was their mother. LOL Reading is more where my talent lies. I am also very creative.

I always love hearing what projects you guys are doing. They always sound so amazing.

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 30, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Yes! It worked!! I don't now how long the fix will last though....it took a couple of tries, going for different lengths of time. We emded up baking for 12 minutes, then turn the oven off with the door open until the motherboard is 100% cooled! at least 1/2 hour. So the solde can re-solidify. This same trick can be used to clean old motherboards (like those in old gaming systems like Atari) as well as on broken video cards. 

Quoting KrissyKC: So did it work? My dh wants to know. He is a computer guy but has not put one in the oven yet.


KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 30, 2014 at 12:18 PM


Quoting TidewaterClan:

Awesome Shannon!  Did you guys have a chance to put it back together yet to see how it worked?  

Class sounds awesome!  I'm not surprised you had so many students sign up.

Yes it worked! Now it remains to be seen how long the 'fix' will last.

KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 30, 2014 at 12:21 PM
1 mom liked this

That's awesome! I think having at least a basic understanding of how electronics work will greatly assist the kids in finding jobs later. So many jobs are based in technology, I don't see that changing. 

Quoting kirbymom: That is so awesome . We do the same thing here. Except here, its being done nearly daily. My boys live to putz around with the components of pc boards from just about anything that has a motherboard or pc board that is either solderless or where you solder your own components to it. They have both. I can't tell you how many motherboards from computers they have taken apart, re-arranged or totally changed altogether and made a better running computer. It truly is amazing to watch them in action. :~)


KickButtMama
by Shannon on Mar. 30, 2014 at 12:23 PM
1 mom liked this

Sometimes our greatest strength is in learning when we have to take a step back as their 'teacher' and find someone more qualified. I'm no good when it comes to art, so my kids are taking a painting class, based in the master artisans, at our local co-op. My hubby is an HVAC guy, so he's constantly showing the kids how to build/rebuild furnaces and such. When we started our homeschool adventure I had no idea my kids would get such a varied education! Lol

Quoting jen2150: Sometimes I wish I was mechanically and electronically inclined. My son is better than I am. When we go to the children's museum he always helps me put the circuits together. Sadly I was the one who taught him how a circuit works. Go figure. This summer my husband is going to be making a fuelless generator. It works by using magnets to generate electricity. I had to talk my husband in to having our sons help him build it. Thankfully my husband is good in that area. The Wright brothers would have been in trouble if I was their mother. LOL Reading is more where my talent lies. I am also very creative. I always love hearing what projects you guys are doing. They always sound so amazing.


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