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Pro1X - problems with bottom=right loudspeaker - repair guide.


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Hello.

As I mentioned in some other topic, I received my Pro1X 2 days ago. It looks great, keyboard is even better than in original Pro1 - layout much closer to normal, much more tactile.

As with every qwerty phone I started from rooting, and tweaking keyboard to Polish language (by the way, if there are any Poles here, I'd like to share my keyboard tweak as a Magisk module - it really makes a difference!).

Unfortunately I encountered a problem with bottom (right) loudspeaker. Sound is intermittent, sometimes popping, sometimes sounds like reversed phase. It helped for a while when I tapped, or pushed cover near the speaker or moved USB plug a bit to sides. Looked like a hardware problem - I suspected poor speaker connection.

I asked fxtec support, considered sending my phone back, but finally decided to take matters in my own hands and take a closer look myself.

Pro1 disassembly is not very hard - I had some experience, because I replaced screen in my Pro1. So dismounting of screen part was not a problem. Also there is a movie on vimeo showing how to do it, BUT BEWARE! It's misleading!

The movie says something about unscrewing of 3 long screws that connect screen backplate to hinges. This stem is completely unnecessary to have access to mainboard, battery, and speakers. Unfortunately I tried to unscrew them. These screws are of mediocre quality, and stuck firmly. I managed to unscrew one, but I damaged two others. I was lucky I finally removed them, but it took me an hour, or so. Also I had to put damaged screws back again - maybe I'll replace them later if I find something alike on aliexpress or who knows where.

So DON'T TRY TO REMOVE SCREWS HOLDING HINGES!

Then I took off bottom blue cover, and located the faulty speaker. It has two golden places which are pressed to two spring-connector on mainboard - that is the place I was looking for. I bent these springs a bit up, put the speaker on place, mounted phone back, and the sound is normal. If I have problems with it again, I think I'll solder short wires to the loudspeaker.

I'm not happy because of damaged screws, but at least I have a working phone now, not after several months required to send in back to fxtec. Also I took a look at fingerpring reader, took photo, because in my Pro1 it doesn't work at all from the very beginning. I'll find an propriate one on aliexpress, and will repair my Pro1.

So that's today's story. ūüôā

Krzysiek

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On the speakers issues several has mention I frankly still doubts it is hardware connections that is the issue. It could not explain the popping sounds, and it certainly should not just go away increasing the volume. Though you specimen could of course have another speaker issue related to the contacts.

If/when you have the bug again, try increasing and decreasing the volume(!). At mine (though not a retail unit) the sound vanished completely below about 50%, and was not affected at 100% In between it was partially chopped and with popping sounds. Later it worked normally also at low volumes. As mentioned in another thread.

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In my case it was definitely bad connection issue.

If it was software, why would popping come only from one speaker, and why would it change on movement of USB cable plugged just by the speaker? But I'll definitely let you know if anything changes.

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@spam71 Thanks for the report!

Reasons why some of us thought it would have to be software are discussed here.

Seems the Pro¬Ļ X screws are fastened tighter than the ones on the Pro¬Ļ. Had no problem with that part of disassembling my Pro¬Ļ today‚ÄĒbut then again, for me, neither the removal of the keyboard (exactly following the instructions regarding the heat gun),¬†nor the prying apart of the two lower shell parts went without inflicting ugly cosmetic damage to the shell. Especially the latter step¬†was only possible using¬†violence and metal tweezers, no other tool could find purchase between the parts. No way I'll try opening my shiny brand new Pro¬Ļ X after that experience...

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On 8/14/2022 at 4:32 AM, spam71 said:

Pro1 disassembly is not very hard - I had some experience, because I replaced screen in my Pro1. So dismounting of screen part was not a problem. Also there is a movie on vimeo showing how to do it, BUT BEWARE! It's misleading!

@spam71, would you kindly link to said video?  A cursory search was unsuccessful.

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On 8/14/2022 at 1:32 PM, spam71 said:

Unfortunately I encountered a problem with bottom (right) loudspeaker. Sound is intermittent, sometimes popping, sometimes sounds like reversed phase. It helped for a while when I tapped, or pushed cover near the speaker or moved USB plug a bit to sides. Looked like a hardware problem - I suspected poor speaker connection.

Have the Same problem only to me it seems to be temperature related or something even more uncontrollable...
First tried the speaker while charging and didn't get any sound from the right/bottom speaker than some popping.
Moving the cable or pressing on the case didn't help. Some hours later the speaker worked fine, the next day while getting warm outside it stopped working again.

Also have a problem on the keyboard backlight (already opened a thread on that). Maybe you could help as you opened your Pro1 X.
Can you remember how the keyboard is connected? Is it only a single connector or maybe more?

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I'm currently having issues with my speakers.   Playing a video or songs through my Spotify,  the volume suddenly decreases even almost set to 70% volume and then go back to normal.   Is it a hardware problem or is it a firmware that supposedly they are working on for a future update? Just barely notice it is also doing the popping/crackerl noise also on the bottom speaker

Edited by Mysti-Que2020
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Hi! I also had this exact issue, and contacted support. According to F(x)tec, this is a known firmware problem, and the update is on it's way. No need to take apart your phone.

In fact, a few days ago, for me this went from being a reliably reproducible and persistent issue, to suddenly vanishing. My phone's sound now works perfectly at all volume levels. Either the problem is transient after all, or there must have been an update automatically pushed through. I'm still running the stock android OS that came out of the box.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, CitricBase said:

In fact, a few days ago, for me this went from being a reliably reproducible and persistent issue, to suddenly vanishing. My phone's sound now works perfectly at all volume levels.

Same here!

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2 hours ago, CitricBase said:

Hi! I also had this exact issue, and contacted support. According to F(x)tec, this is a known firmware problem, and the update is on it's way. No need to take apart your phone.

In fact, a few days ago, for me this went from being a reliably reproducible and persistent issue, to suddenly vanishing. My phone's sound now works perfectly at all volume levels. Either the problem is transient after all, or there must have been an update automatically pushed through. I'm still running the stock android OS that came out of the box.

 

 

 

Does the phone automatically do the update for the speakers or did you get an notification for it?   Super curious about that

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@Mysti-Que2020 No update notification whatsoever, but I haven't touched any default Google Play settings or anything. Presumably it's doing all sorts of updates on its own.

Especially with the corroboration from @Rob. S., I'm more convinced it was a background software update that fixed the bug. The bug was so reliable, persistent, and reproducible beforehand, and now it's just completely gone without a trace. Considering that F(x)tec straight-up stated it was a firmware bug, and said that they had a fix coming, I'm inclined to believe them.

I haven't really done much to the phone since receiving it, so it wasn't anything else that could have fixed it. It's just been sitting on my desk this whole time. (Patiently waiting for a Google-less OS to flash.)

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I haven't heard about the existence of¬†clandestine OTA updates happening in the background, and I have no reason to suspect my phone would have had any such update in the short while that I have it. That said, I have no idea what has been¬†happening here, either, but, purely speculatively, I could think of some things. Like some kind of speaker calibration happening in the first days of usage, with some usage data gathered and the driver behaviour changing slightly according to the collected data. I have no idea why anyone would program something like that for something as simple as a speaker, but anyway it's a potential, possible, hypothetical explanation¬†ūüėČ

Edited by Rob. S.
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1 hour ago, Rob. S. said:

I haven't heard about the existence of¬†clandestine OTA updates happening in the background, and I have no reason to suspect my phone would have had any such update in the short while that I have it. That said, I have no idea what has been¬†happening here, either, but, purely speculatively, I could think of some things. Like some kind of speaker calibration happening in the first days of usage, with some usage data gathered and the driver behaviour changing slightly according to the collected data. I have no idea why anyone would program something like that for something as simple as a speaker, but anyway it's a potential, possible, hypothetical explanation¬†ūüėČ

...or another application / service was upgraded through Play Store as a standard Android (not firmware) upgrade which is somehow in connection with speaker-related issue...

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I saw it initially but have not seen it since. But would be REALLY surprised if some magic secret update should have been issued that does not even change the build/number.

More likely it is something that disappears after 'something', the big question then is what that 'something' is. Could be as simple as a boot, but sound unlikely that those having the issue have not booted.

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5 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

I saw it initially but have not seen it since. But would be REALLY surprised if some magic secret update should have been issued that does not even change the build/number.

More likely it is something that disappears after 'something', the big question then is what that 'something' is. Could be as simple as a boot, but sound unlikely that those having the issue have not booted.

Do you mean root or boot?

Today it was back on my phone, just the popping sound was much less noticeable.
As the phone wasn't warm my theory on thermal expansion vanished.

I didn't test yet, as i don't have headphones available here, but shouldn't it also be on headphones if it's a software bug?
Though while i'm thinking on that, i remember my Macbook M1 Max also had popping sounds while playing music and doing intense tasks via roseta...
It only had those popping sounds while using the internal speakers, never while using headphones. It too was fixed in software.

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1 hour ago, Jormsen said:

Do you mean root or boot?

Today it was back on my phone, just the popping sound was much less noticeable.
As the phone wasn't warm my theory on thermal expansion vanished.

I didn't test yet, as i don't have headphones available here, but shouldn't it also be on headphones if it's a software bug?
Though while i'm thinking on that, i remember my Macbook M1 Max also had popping sounds while playing music and doing intense tasks via roseta...
It only had those popping sounds while using the internal speakers, never while using headphones. It too was fixed in software.

He he, I mean Boot.

When I had the bug, the first thing I did was to try headphones, and it was fine. When I had it, the only thing that helped was increasing the volume. As described earlier.
I do not recall how early I tested it. But I do now it was only quite a while and multiple boots and other stuff later I tried again, only to my amazement to find that it seems to have been gone.

But as this is a test-unit, I will try to do a factory reset, and see if the bug reoccur.

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21 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

But as this is a test-unit, I will try to do a factory reset, and see if the bug reoccur.

Just tried a factory reset (not a reflash), Entered google account, but skipped restore, and as soon as the wizard ended launched youtube and played some random junk, and it worked (no matter the volume)

So this was NOT enough to trigger the bug. (despite having had it earlier)

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  • 2 months later...

So I seem to have the exact same issue with the right speaker as reported by @spam71.

The speaker just makes a popping sound at low volume and works reliably only at highest gain. After operating for a while at high amplitude (warming up? vibration from speaker itself?) the volume can be decreased to lower values. After some time (cooling down?) the popping noise comes back, though.

The problem can sometimes be cured by applying high pressure to the case near the speaker, and is much worse with USB plugged in, similarly to what spam71 observed. This indeed looks like a hardware issue. Not a good sign for QA, if something this obvious indeed affects many (all?) phones.

It is not excluded or even unusual that such a contact problem cures itself by just using the phone for a while, as others seem to have experienced. Repeated thermal cycling of the components during operation or charging might be enough to "fix" a bad spring contact. So I'll keep observing it for a while before opening the phone. 

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8 hours ago, claude0001 said:

The speaker just makes a popping sound at low volume and works reliably only at highest gain. After operating for a while at high amplitude (warming up? vibration from speaker itself?) the volume can be decreased to lower values. After some time (cooling down?) the popping noise comes back, though.

Unfortunately I can't help with that... Mine is very clear at all volume ranges, even when USB-C is connected at just 30% volume. No clicking.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The problem happens when battery voltage > around 4.1V on my phone with droidian.

Please check
while true; do cat /sys/class/power_supply/battery/voltage_now; done

I think it is not related with temp or charging state.

 

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On 8/15/2022 at 9:35 PM, Hook said:

 

They accidentally turned on the device while disassembling it, I guess they should add "MAKE SURE THE DEVICE IS TURNED OFF!" before they unplug the connector because to me that sounds like a one way trip to dead screen.

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So I did open the phone yesterday and could not fix the issue using @spam71's recipe. I fiddled a lot with the spring contacts to the speaker, even while playing music through it: The problem seems to be independent of the electrical contact.

The popping does seem to come and go also in my case. Sometimes the speaker works at all volume levels, sometimes only at highest gain.

I will test if there is a correlation with the level of the battery charge. Thanks for the hint @IMD.

Edited by claude0001
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