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[Q] Transplant Surgery - T999 mainboard into SCH-I535/SPH-L710 body

OP xguju

15th February 2014, 02:42 AM   |  #1  
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I have been looking around, but no place specifically answers this exact question.
Long story short I have a t-mobile Mainboard that I want to save from a phone with a broken screen that I have. From what I understand the other components work as well (camera, speaker and whatever else). I understand that I can purchase an LCD/digitizer with assembly and carefully place the components into there to make sure the phone works but it would cost me around $120 for the parts + whatever time it takes me to replace the components. My second option which I am asking to see if it is indeed possible, would be to take the mainboard from the T-999 and replace it with a SCH-I535/SPH-L710 that I would purchase (most likely with bad ESN - costing me the same amount) but it would mean that I would not have to deal with screen replacement and I have a higher likelihood of having a good quality screen. (I have never been happy with the quality of screen replacements from ebay). It makes no difference if it doesn't work, but someone with the experience of working with different models should be able to answer this question.
15th February 2014, 02:57 AM   |  #2  
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Why not buy T999 with bad ESN ?
15th February 2014, 02:58 AM   |  #3  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perseus71

Why not buy T999 with bad ESN ?

I am trying but T999 with bad IMEI's are not only more expensive but a lot of them also have broken screens so im back where I started. I am just stating these two because I can find them cheaply and easy to find as well.
15th February 2014, 08:35 PM   |  #4  
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In that case, you could try taking the Display & Digitizer from those phones and put it in your phone. Don't try to transplant your motherboard into that phone unless you have a good reason to do so.
16th February 2014, 09:29 PM   |  #5  
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It functions but you have to use a case and...
I did this a about a week ago. Here's how it went.
I bought a SPH-L710 without realizing it did not have a sim card slot. The screen had one slight crack and everything else worked.
After receiving it, I bought a T999 with a cracked screen/ non-working digitizer and everything else worked (the seller heard sounds when it powered on.)

I disassembled both and put the T999 mainboard on the L710 screen digitizer. Most of the screws line up. The two screws that don't line up are:

1. at the bottom near the TOP of the USB port. The hole in the board and the hole in the digitizer are on opposite sides of the USB port. This cannot be remedied, where the screw goes through the board, there's no hole on the digitizer, and you can't put a hole through the mainboard to meet up with the one on the digitizer. You could try but I think there's a circuit on the board there, or not enough room.
The two holes on the SIDES of the USB port will line up only when you squeeze thee mainboard and digitizer together while installing the screws.

2. on the side near the power button, there is a screw that goes there, but on the T999 mainboard near where the screw goes, there's something that looks like a button cell battery about 3mm wide and 1.5-2mm tall. It stuck in a hole made for it in the T999 digitizer, but the L710 digitizer does not have a recess in it to fit this button cell so the T999 mainboard sticks up slightly, enough that if you put the screw in the hole in the side, then the power switch on the mainboard will not stick down far enough, and when you push the power button on the outside of the case, it won't engage the power switch on the mainboard. To remedy this, leave out the screw on the side of the mainboard.

Because the mainboard is slightly bent due to the button cell battery, you need to have a case that compresses the phone together so the power button will engage the power switch properly. I used a "waterproof" chinese knockoff case I got on e$ay for $13. It's not waterproof, but the phone didn't get ruined even thought I tested the waterproof-ness of the case before I put the phone in and it passed, so maybe a genuine otterbox case would have been better. But the case does OK to compress everything enough that the power button and power switch work all the time. With the case on, you can't tell the phone is missing screws internally.

Verdict: everything works properly except the camera doesn't focus properly, it only works in Macro focus, I don't know if I should take the camera module from the L710 and try it or if it won't move because of the stress of the mainboard being slightly bent all time due to the button cell battery. It did focus properly for the few few days I had it.

One other issue: I can't get Windows 7 to recognize it, so I can't use Odin to root it, I've tried all the drivers, I've tried all the modes. I have no idea if this is a Windows issue or if it is somehow caused by the Frankenstein's Monster-ness of the hardware.

So yes, it can be done, with a "rugged" style case and with a few issues. I have no experience with the I535 at all.

I hope this helps,
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16th February 2014, 11:54 PM   |  #6  
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I could not have asked for a better reply. Thanks so much!!!!
17th February 2014, 12:17 AM   |  #7  
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Glad I could help
I was looking for this info about 3 weeks ago and didn't really look that hard since i was pretty sure everyone would give me the same replies you got before I replied. But for my entire life I've been asking questions no one else has asked, so I'm used to just having to do stuff to get answers. In this case, it helped you too.

If I had to do it over again, I think I'd try the whole process w/o the L710 parts. Maybe the I535 will work, and I still could drill a recess into the L710 digitizer if I had a mill, but I don't have access to mine now and won't for a while, and I'm not sure I trust the drill press to not crack the digitizer.

Also - NFC is less reliable than it was with my S2, meaning it doesn't work all the time - it's harder to beam contact info to another phone, but QI wireless charging works flawlessly.

My hope is to put some NFC tags in the truck along with a wireless charger so I can listen to internet radio as I drive, i.e. - a tag to turn off wifi, turn on bluetooth, turn on the app that streams music to my JVC car stereo and turn on the "TuneIn" app. and then I can still charge my phone without worrying about wires.

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