[Teardown] Google official wireless charging pad dissassembly
I recently stumbled upon some magnetic docking problems
with my Nexus 5, so I wanted to know how the charger from Google
managed to hold the phone very well. I looked for a teardown of the charger but I found none, neither in XDA nor by a Google search. After hesitating because of the warranty, my curiosity was stronger and I disassembled mine.
The little beast, up and down. There is adhesive rubber on the bottom.
I had no idea about where to start until I discovered how the Nexus 4 charger was disassembled
, so I removed the black rubber band on the bottom of the charger. There are 4 screws under it, they're easily removed with a Torx 5 screwdriver.
I love tools from iFixit guys.
The plastic part is then pulled and reveals the main charging board. This board must be carefully lifted
because of 4 wires that go under the metallic part, especially the 2 copper wires
which seem to be very thin. The board is above a metallic chassis and hides what seem to be 4 magnets.
The main charging board.
The main charging board, with 4 wires going under the metallic part. Notice the 2 little copper wires.
The metallic part. Notice the odd shape (cuboid) of what seems to be 4 magnets.
I couldn't extract the magnets from there, so I had to pull the metallic part. It wasn't easy, even when I understood that it was glued to the black glass panel. It's handy to start with holes designed for wires to separate the metallic part from the glass. WARNING : The glass is actually transparent and there is black paint on it. The paint is under the glass when you look at the (not disassembled) charger. It is VERY EASY to do some scratches, as I've done, when separating the metal part from the glass. Try to avoid it if not needed, else do it with caution.
Using a thin and resistant tool starting from holes for wires makes it easier.
Nice scratches. Meh. I'm gonna use some black paint. If you do this, be careful with the black paint on the glass.
Loads of glue, but nothing impossible to break. You can see the glass, from this point of view the black paint is above it.
We can see the charging coil now, and 4 slots for magnets. Each magnet is held by a black plastic thing. Be aware of the little white plastic part that may fall discreetly, it's used to guide the red light of the charger's LED.
At the left, the charging coil and slots for magnets. At the middle, magnets and black glass. At the right, big piece of black plastic removed at the beginning.
At the left : the little guy trying to escape. At the middle : the place where it belongs to. At the right : same spot with the part inside.
Magnets and their plastic support are bound to the glass only by glue. They come together when you try to extract one of them.
They easily come. Together. No way to extract only the magnet. Luckily you can freely move them, and then use the magnets slots as guides when remounting the charger
Then...surprise ! Each "magnet" is actually made of 3 different pieces. It is very instructional about magnet configuration required to build an optimized magnetic dock. Most people use a single magnet. It isn't completely efficient because metal plates in the Nexus 5 behave oddly and Google had this in mind when designing the charger. There are 2 magnets, attracting the external part of the phone's metal plates, while not covering the coil with their magnetic field. The 2 magnets are glued to a ferromagnetic metal part, and to some black plastic.
One magnet is magic. Two magnets are pure awesomeness.
This wouldn't really be a good topic without a perfectly photoshopped picture, which should be useful to understand how those magnets are held together and how they attach to the Nexus 5. This picture is a bit outdated and wrong, replace "Cuboid magnet" by "Cuboid ferromagnetic plate". Oh and there is no repulsion from the center of course
Sorry for the crappy pictures, I don't have a lot of skills in teardowns.
I hope this will be helpful for you.
EDIT : When you remount your charger, at the end, when you put back the black plastic part to screw it, don't forget the little LED. Try to power on the charger to see where the light goes, because the plastic part got 4 sides but only one of them got the little hole in black paint for the red light.
EDITē : I got an explanation about how were those magnets working by Craiq
, and I checked everything on my own Google charger. Here is his picture, it's self-explanatory.