Repair stuck iPod Nano buttons

A system is only as strong as its weakest link and [Roberto Barrios] found that on the sixth generation iPod nano the buttons are the problem. It makes sense that the buttons would be exposed to wear since they’re movable parts. The issue isn’t one of contacts or springs wearing out, but how the buttons are assembled. Each consist of a couple of parts; the tactile piece that you see and press, the electrical switch which converts that force into an electrical signal, and a shim that bridges the gap between the two.

After two months of use the iPod [Roberto] was fixing had stopped responding to presses of the Power button. It turns out that the shims are attached with double-sided tape. Inspection of the internals revealed that the shim had slid to one side and no longer made contact with the electrical system. His solution was to remove the tape and clean off the goo, then reattach the shims using “two-part metal cement”.

With the shim back in place all is well but he made sure to execute this fix on all of the buttons before reassembly.

Comments

  1. Hirudinea says:

    With what they charge for anything with iPod on it you’ed think they would use somthing better than double sided tape. Just goes to show, you get screwed with what pay for.

  2. jim says:

    Apple are either terrible engineers or gifted salesmen, if you know what I mean…

  3. Grod says:

    Stopped working properly after two months of use? I’d be returning it for a new one rather than fixing it.

    • Paco says:

      Yeah,me too, but guess what… The hypersensible “liquid contact indicator” that apple uses on its devices is activated on my nano, an because of that the button is stucked and the warranty overrided, a big lie, but that is what apple is telling me about this common problem with this device…

  4. Oren Beck says:

    Designed to Fail=Fail.

  5. Volfram says:

    To be fair, the grossly inflated Apple price tag usually does come with nigh-indestructible products. Usually.(look up a Macbook Air teardown some time. I think the listed number was 70 screws holding the keyboard in place. SEVENTY! My keyboard is held in place by ONE!)

    If it gets back to their upper management that someone used flimsy double-sided tape instead of what they’re supposed to be using, then someone’s gonna get fired.

    I’m still not a fan, though.

  6. andar_b says:

    A few months after I got my ipod touch 2g, I managed to drop it. Landing on its edge, all that happened was it dented the metal case and wedged the volume button permanently up.

    GOOD design here: though the OS gets confused for a little bit now and then, overall it works fine. I can just use the volume slider onscreen.

  7. Max says:

    Don’t knock “double-sided tape” as an assembly element – there a lot of legit industrial-purpose adhesive tapes that are specifically manufactured for just such a role. Applied properly, they hold incredibly strongly. Often, however, the “activating agent” of the adhesive on the tape is pressure – and I mean a specified amount of proper Pressure with a capital P, not the “just stick it there and press” kind. So my guess is the problem in this case might actually lie in the manufacturing process, not necessarily in the design…

  8. error404 says:

    @andar_b: Just be glad it wasn’t your home button that stopped working…

  9. Helen says:

    Please please please do not try to repair yourself until youve taken the ipod back to the Apple store

    Currently they are claiming ignorance as it is not a known fault – however, if everyone takes theirs in and points it out – they will have to do something.

  10. Marie says:

    My power button is complete stuck. it is pushed down and i can’t pull it back up. i don’t know how to fix it

  11. Marko says:

    I’ve managed to fix it by miself. Saw on YT how to tear it apart and it wasn’t difficult at all!

  12. Sally says:

    My Nano-6th gen. POWER button failed at 13 months, just out of warranty. It really ticks me off that they install these with double-sided tape. Apple, #1 company in the world in sales (and now we know why), makes products to last hardly more than 1 year. But my parents’ 1950s refrigerator and their phone–altho. only rotary dial type and not tone-dial–both worked for 5 decades. Where did that America go?

  13. sextape says:

    I will immediately snatch your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me recognize so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  14. dom says:

    what ever you do, dont do as i did and atempt to dismantle, and repair your nano,disarster!no where near as easy to do as it seems on you tube.im now left with an ipod in pieces , not able to repair the stuck power button ,and now not able to complain to apple.what a dick! just take it back nothing to loose!!

  15. Dane says:

    My power button lock up 13 months of light use on my nano. I took it back to the Apple store and they said it would cost 99.00 to repair. What a piece of crap. Don’t bother with going back to the store if you are out of warrenty they will not help you even though it is a KNOWN defective problem.

  16. Hailey says:

    Just take some Peroxicide on a q-tip (very lighty) and dab it around the edges of the button. It should pop right up

  17. Jamesedward says:

    This happened to mine as well. I put three drops of WD40 on and around the switch. I left it for 20 minutes and it started working again.

  18. Greg says:

    The metal shim is typically not the failure mode for the power button. Under the metal shim there is a small plastic ‘nub’ that sits on top of the actuator. This wears down or goes missing. I use a very small dab of expoxy where the nub used to be

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