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-   -   Disassembly Guide: Cowon S9 (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43843)

trikon000 06-02-2009 10:16 PM

Disassembly Guide: Cowon S9
 
This will cover taking apart a Cowon S9, model used is a COWON S9 32GB Titanium/Black from jetmall.net.

Tools used:
Electronics screw driver set
A very thin and pointy pin
Precision Phone Disassembly Tool set (optional)

This guide should only be used if you do not care about the product warranty
or your device's warranty has elapsed. Onto the guide then.


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...hIMG_2134b.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2135.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2136.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2137.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2138.jpg

Now that we have the S9 out we can now flip the device over and see the backside where the screws are. The screws are covered by plastic covers that need to be removed. With a pin or thin needle we will need to remove the plastic covers, put them on wax paper or something.

In the diagram below, the plastic covers are marked:


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...hIMG_2139b.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2140.jpg

We can now remove the screws, now that the screws are removed we can use the electronics flat head screw driver or phone tools at this point. I have opted for the phone tools for this part, they leave less visible marks when used.


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...hIMG_2141b.jpg

At this point the S9 should be on the table or workbench when you pry the back off. Not doing so will result in a loss of the buttons when the back seperates from the device. Each side of the back is held in place by 4 internal snap on clips on each side, that is a total of 8 holding the back piece. Finding a space big enough for the wedge tools to get between the side and back was near the volume controls.


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2142.jpg

You will only need to pry off one side to get the whole backing off in some cases.


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2143.jpg

Once you have the backing seperated we will now look at what is holding the PCB down. After looking at what is holding the rest of it in place we can see that it is held down by 4 screws, the LCD frame and oddly enough the AMOLED Touch Screen flat ribbon cable.

Order you should take them apart are: A, C, B
(yes that labeling is intentional, doing B before C first will rip the ribbon cable)


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...hIMG_2143b.jpg

There is a piece of blue thermal tape on the ribbon cable that needs to be removed before disconnecting the ribbon cable. Lift the black part up and the cable will come out without effort. Pulling on the cable will will rip the dimpled head. The metal tabs on the LCD will need to be poped out of the frame. You will need the wedge tool to slowly seperate it from the AMOLED Touch Screen.


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2145.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2146.jpg

Now that the AMOLED Touch Screen is seperated from the PCB assembly we can now look at what else is holding the LCD and PCB together.

You can stop at this point and flip the PCB assembly over for cleaning of the LCD and inside of the AMOLED Touch Screen.

After looking at the design we can see that the battery is soldered to the main board on the left side. The sub board is soldered to the main board via a riser pin in the lower right side. After several attempts at seperating the battery from the back of the LCD by hand, resorted to using the exacto knife to cut the double sticky sided neoprene off.


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...hIMG_2146b.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...hIMG_2146c.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2147.jpg


This is after reassembling the S9.


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2148.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2149.jpg


http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x...thIMG_2150.jpg

I had to use reference images of the volume button forward/backward button to place them back in place, it is not exactly marked and they are actually angled buttons.

This concludes the guide, trikon000.

---

Close up shot of the PCB:

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x.../IMG_2143c.jpg


This can be found here:
http://iaudiophile.net/forums/showthread.php?t=28554
http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum...ad.php?t=43843

My Cowon S9 folder:
http://s186.photobucket.com/albums/x...n000/cowon_s9/

tma888 06-03-2009 12:26 AM

Wow! That is insane man!:eek:
You didnt even turn the unit on first hahaha!:D
You have paved the way. Now if anyone can only modify
it to add something like maybe an SD card slot!:D

karupin101 06-03-2009 11:52 AM

Hmm, so the battery isnt easy to remove then....

trikon000 06-03-2009 12:46 PM

A third of the case is empty space.

Nope, the battery requires soldering.

Confispect 06-03-2009 04:30 PM

I have a question, my screen is been gone haywire I been holding out on sending it in because then I'd be without my music, anyhow. I believe I sat on it to much because it was always in my back pocket. When I press where it says Cowon right under the screen the colors go back right. If I press it to hard I can successfully turn it off. One when I press right under the screen in the black space what am I pressing on. Two could something be....smushed out of of place and just need to be realigned?

trikon000 06-03-2009 05:13 PM

The nonconductive padding below the screen probably came off and came into contact with the sensor points on the screen.

You would have to open it to find out though.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x.../IMG_2147b.jpg

Illbashu 06-03-2009 10:23 PM

Wouldn't that kill the warranty ?

trikon000 06-03-2009 11:23 PM

This guide should only be used if you do not care about the product warranty
or your device's warranty has elapsed.

Try not skipping anything I put down in text.

invertedskull 06-05-2009 04:41 PM

From this, can anyone tell me where on the unit the bluetooth receiver is located? I want to know where I should perhaps ´try to avoid´ holding the S9 due to poor bluetooth reception.

trikon000 06-05-2009 09:43 PM

I would assume it is on the sub board since there is print labling ANT1, which would be an antenna. Either that or it is the FM antenna.

WalkGood 06-05-2009 10:07 PM

@ trikon000 Very nice guide, moved to sticky.

trikon000 06-06-2009 12:22 AM

Only thing left to wait for is a 32GB P3.

eroarex 06-07-2009 08:55 AM

yep and the sony x1000, i'd really like to see that one disassembled :D

trikon000 06-07-2009 11:54 AM

someone already did the sony one.

http://www.sonyinsider.com/2009/05/2...ies-dissected/

Uffeh 06-09-2009 01:27 PM

I would love to see this:
http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n...143csdcopy.jpg

:p

Would it fit? Kinda hard to tell since the pic is pretty much 2d.

trikon000 06-09-2009 04:27 PM

not really. you would be covering up the bluetooth antenna, FM antenna, reset switch and mic; not only that you would cut off the heat disapparating from the chips.

Action 06-10-2009 10:11 AM

What opamp is used? Can someone point it out?

trikon000 06-10-2009 01:42 PM

Op-amps are just circuit components, be more specific in what you want to ask. Or is it that you are misusing the term and confusing it for something else?

Johnnaris 06-11-2009 01:59 AM

Thanks for sharing. It's great.
simulation credit


stephsalvador 06-11-2009 01:22 PM


this is interesting. thanks for sharing the info :)

Action 06-12-2009 12:31 PM

I'm looking for the output amplification modules used to power the headphone jack. If I wanted to replace the existing amp module with something better, where could it be found and what is it?

trikon000 06-12-2009 01:07 PM

If you do not have any skills with SMT you should drop the idea of replacing any modules. In most microelectronics of this size it is usually integrated directly in the sound processor, meaning you can't replace it without having to rewrite the firmware to support any new sound processor you put in.

It would have to be located somewhere on the main board under the sub-board. You will have to desolder the sub-board to get to what you want.

Better solution to your issue would be to use an external amp like the fiio or what ever else they would recommend here at ABI.

paulr 06-16-2009 09:00 PM

If you have a caliper available, can you post the exact (or anyway as exact as feasible) dimensions of the battery, particularly the thickness? I always want that info in order to figure out possible replacement batteries. For example, there is a Nokia cell phone battery that fits into the D2, if you do a little soldering to get the wires in the right place.

trikon000 06-16-2009 10:17 PM

I already give you that answer over at iaudiophile.net here.

dfkt 06-17-2009 08:13 AM

Trikon000, could you make out which specific Telechips SoC the S9 runs on?

trikon000 06-17-2009 05:42 PM

It is not visible from the pictures, it would have to be under the sub-board.

tma888 06-18-2009 03:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Action (Post 365233)
I'm looking for the output amplification modules used to power the headphone jack. If I wanted to replace the existing amp module with something better, where could it be found and what is it?

Action, another idea is this:

Buy on of those cheap external amp like the Fiio E5, dissect it and remove the internal board.

Locate the output input and output signal, then tap those signal with the signal coming from the headphone jack of the S9.

Also make sure to tap the power of the E5 with the power pins on the USB pins of the S9 that way when you charge the S9, you are also charging the E5 simultaneously.

I opened the S9 and there is enough space in the back casing to fit the board of the E5.

Im thinking of this aswell but as of now, I still dont see the need to amplify the output signal of the S9 since it is more than enough for the earphones Im using.

HTH,

TMA.

tma888 06-18-2009 03:13 AM

Trikon,

Being the first one to open the S9, do you see any posibility of adding a micro sd slot and connecting it in parallel to the I/O controller to increase the storage?

I am currently reading on the data sheet of the I/O controller of the S9 figuring a way to tap a micro sd host without interrupting the process flow. Im likely to find it sooner or later but if you are willing, we can corraborate on this to hack the I/O bypassing the cpu and making it think that the additional memory is native to the board.

TMA.

trikon000 06-18-2009 02:11 PM

Even if you could add one internally, you still need code written with the firmware to read and write to the microSD. without a working custom firmware available, this type of hardware hack is not fesible at the time being.

maikon 07-27-2009 01:51 PM

so they are using somekind of duct tape on the batteryattached on lcd ?

Lol is that the reason why they only recommend the pmp to be only at 0 - 40 degrees celsius so the ducttape doesnt melt away and so it wouldnt froze and get deattached

trikon000 07-28-2009 12:37 AM

It is not duct tape.

operating temp is more for the battery than anything else.

mgz 07-28-2009 09:57 AM

yea batteries currently used tend to get toward danger levels in much hotter temps like 110f or so if they are on for long period of time or say in your pocket insulated by pants

and the cold just makes batteries not work until they heat up some.

dominator025 08-13-2009 01:49 PM

what are the benefits of doing this

ultrauber 12-27-2009 03:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominator025 (Post 383980)
what are the benefits of doing this

Doing what, specifically? Opening the player?
So that hackers/modders can figure out how to tinker with this thing and make it AWESOME.
Replacing the battery?
To get longer battery life. Or to replace a broken one.
Doing the thing with the amp?
To get better sound quality.

trikon000 12-27-2009 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominator025 (Post 383980)
what are the benefits of doing this

Examples of such are:

replacing the battery
cleanning the insides
replacing the lcd if broken
upgrade outer shell to something better like a chome version
adding a gps logger to the inside in case of theft
replace the back with a clear back if someone ever decides to sell such a thing
documenting the inside hardware when current documentation is non-existant
internal modding of hardware



Reverse Engineering begins with taking things apart either physically or by thoughly mapping out the behavior of the inputs and outputs.


You can come back in 5 years when your mp3 player dies and you find the need to replace yours.

ender10 12-31-2009 07:38 PM

hi trikon, great guide. sorry to bother you with this, but would disassembling my S9 (assuming my warranty will not cover my following problem) allow me to fix my decrease volume button on the top left, which is permanently depressed?

it appears that the button cover is not stuck, but rather the button pad below it. I'll try to explain better if needed

jphamvn 01-01-2010 04:24 AM

Does it matter what mAh I have for the battery replacement? I know its Lithium Polymer @ 3.7v and...thats it lol

Technex 01-01-2010 05:31 AM

mAh does matter both for size and run time, to big and it won't fit, too small and you won't have much run time.



ender, it should allow you to fix it, but I wouldn't really know.

trikon000 01-01-2010 01:08 PM

@ender10
You most likely broke the piece of plastic that acts as the pivot. If it is still under warranty, they would fix that.

@jphamvn
No it really doesn't matter what the mAh replacement battery you want to use. The only thing you need to know is if it isn't the same as the original, any battery tests and metrics do not really apply anymore. Things like battery life will be alot less if your mAh is lower, etc. You would have to find out what your metrics are for the replacement battery.

jphamvn 01-03-2010 04:22 AM

I wanted to measure it but I had to bag it and safely recycle/dispose since it was visibly leaking.

Sanchas 01-03-2010 03:05 PM

I have a problem with my s9.
When I move around with it, it simply turn off, like it has something inside that is bad connected, because when it's not moving it works perfectly.
This is extremely annoying i can't move with the s9 in my pocket because it will simply turn off [and does not safe the music/volume you have now, like reset]

Could anyone tell me if I open my s9 where that problem should be and what could I do to fix it?

trikon000 01-03-2010 08:18 PM

If it is under waranty, you can have it repaired.

If not, you would have to check where the power switch is. Another place would be if there is something sitting over the reset button.

It might just be as simple as you not putting it in HOLD before you put it in your pocket.

Sanchas 01-05-2010 09:48 AM

The warranty expired.
Nop ... its not about being on hold or not ... the cowon s9 can be in my hand and if I shake it it goes off.
I guess I will have to open it xD

Ambush 05-12-2010 10:19 AM

Tried doing this to mine but for some reason the screwdriver that unscrewed 3 of the 4 screws wouldn't do that last one and now the top is all messed up and I can't get any screwdriver to undo it

PanzerIV 05-22-2010 01:17 PM

Hi everyone, interesting disassembling though the pictures are small resolution. I have a problem and I was wondering what I should do. 3 days ago I had it in my pockets while sitting in the bathroom and it felt of between 1 to 1.5ft and since then the (Lower Volume) button doesn't work anymore. It seems more looser than the (Raise Volume) and I no more hear a "click/pressure" feedback. It does a few months that I have my Cowon S9 32GB so it's still on warrenty but hell I do no want to pay 10$ shipping and wait 1 month if I send it for repair, unless you guys can tell me it's not going to be that long since I use it daily.

I know a lot about computer but yet there would still be a risk by openning the unit while voiding the warrenty. Even if I manage to do it (prolly could) then how would I fix the button issue?! :confused:

LSD25 07-28-2010 11:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PanzerIV (Post 473026)
Hi everyone, interesting disassembling though the pictures are small resolution. I have a problem and I was wondering what I should do. 3 days ago I had it in my pockets while sitting in the bathroom and it felt of between 1 to 1.5ft and since then the (Lower Volume) button doesn't work anymore. It seems more looser than the (Raise Volume) and I no more hear a "click/pressure" feedback. It does a few months that I have my Cowon S9 32GB so it's still on warrenty but hell I do no want to pay 10$ shipping and wait 1 month if I send it for repair, unless you guys can tell me it's not going to be that long since I use it daily.

I know a lot about computer but yet there would still be a risk by openning the unit while voiding the warrenty. Even if I manage to do it (prolly could) then how would I fix the button issue?! :confused:

I had the exact same problem with the lower volume button, mine fell on concrete floor.
Unfortunately, it isn't under warranty anymore since its been more than a year.
So, I opened it up, and saw the button was shifted and out of place. I think a tiny bit of it was chipped off too.
I tried to fix it, but i screwed it up even more, so now my volume won't go down with the button.
It is possible to fix it if you do it very carefully I guess, the button inside is very small, you'll need forceps or somethin with them.
And I dunno if Cowon guys will accept that under warranty, since it fell down.
Good luck though.

PanzerIV 07-28-2010 11:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LSD25 (Post 486940)
And I dunno if Cowon guys will accept that under warranty, since it fell down.
Good luck though.

I already got it fix maybe 2 months ago. It took 3 full weeks until I get it back so in the meantime I bought a iPod Classic 80Gb like I had before, at BestBuy then I refunded it 3 week later when I received my fixed Cowon. Since it was still on warrenty and that I had doubt about being able to fix it myself I didn't mess with this and I got it repaired. If I remember well I didn't told them how it broke as if I would had said that it felt on the floor.. heh my chance would had gone down for sure.

TheGrave 12-10-2014 07:54 PM

Pfu, I know this is an od topic but I'm still beating the crap out my excellent S9 :) I have a second one now (due to popular issue with broken power button) but it's 8GB. The 32GB had some amp screwed up (I guess) cause when I turn it on I hear horrible noise coming out of it. Any idea guys if I can get the 32GB flash drive onto the 8GB unit or it's way too complicated? Can't figure out where the drive is from the pictures.

skip252 12-10-2014 09:24 PM

It's pretty much that if you have to ask it isn't going to happen. Flash memory is soldered onto the boards using mount soldering techniques that the average person isn't going to able to replicate.

PanzerIV 12-11-2014 12:26 PM

I went to an electronic place recently to have my audio jack replaced and they said it should be 20$ only... but they finaly told me it was impossible to fix and if they would replace it by ordering the part from the manufacturer etc.. that it would be too expensive to do. Wtf it's that complicated to just replace a 3.5mm audio jack?!

It would be such a shame to throw in the garbage a fully working 32GB unit only because the sound often skip from the right side if you don't hold the cable in a specific way :mad: It's like trashing a 280$ player for a 5$ part inside of it.


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