For no really good reason, I had to mod a Dingoo A320 with a memory upgrade. The 320 has 32MB of RAM, but the A330 has 64MB of RAM. IMHO the A320 has more going for it, fewer glitches, than the 330. But the 330 has more memory…
I read up on the chips in the 330, and the chips in the 320. I checked my 320 to see how it was wired. It looked feasable. None of my tests said it would fail, so the only way to know for sure was to try it.
DigiKey had the chips I wanted and they were only about $12.50 for a pair of them. No turning back now…
Detailed instructions follow below the fold…
Please note: This is a Very Difficult process and should not be attempted unless you are experienced at soldering. You will require a steady hand and a sharp eye.
This mod can kill your Dingoo forever so this information is presented for education only, should you attempt to follow these instructions, you are on your own! I cannot help you and cannot fix your Dingoo if you kill it.
- two W9825G6EH-6 Winbond memory chips
- Q-tips or similar product
- Liquid rosin flux
- Dingoo A320
- Soldering iron, fine tip, temp. controlled preferred, otherwise low (10 – 15) watts.
- Needle tipped tweezers
- Small x-acto knife blade
- Jewellers loupe, or other hands-free magnifier
- Have a clean tidy well lit workspace with no distractions
- Static grounding is important, keep yourself grounded or ground frequently
- Have your tools handy. Keep the new SDRAM chips in their anti-static packaging for now.
- I suggest you desolder the battery leads, or at least the positive (red) one. This ensures the Dingoo is completely off for the process.
- Pick one of the SDRAM chips on the A320 and begin at one end.
- You will probably have a bit of trial and error to find the most comfortable position.
- Using either the tweezers or the x-acto blade, position the tool under one of the chip’s pins but don’t lift yet.
- Touch the tip of the iron lightly to the top of the pin, and when you see the solder melt, lift or twist your tool so the pin is lifted up off the circuit board.
- Repeat 27 times, till you complete one side of the first chip.
- Set the iron in its stand and review all 27 pins, ensure they are completely free and clear of the circuit board. If you find any that are still attached or partially attached, use the soldering iron to melt it and the tool to lift it.
- DO NOT FORCE ANY PINS UP
- if you force a pin, you will almost certainly tear the trace off the board, which could be a FATAL mistake for your Dingoo
- When you are confident that all 27 pins are free, rotate the dingoo 180 degrees and start working on the other side of the same chip.
- Repeat the process, be careful and go slowly.
- At the very last pin, the chip may be quite loose. Do not let it pull twist or fall free. It will tear the trace from the board. Keep the chip steady and melt the solder on the last pin so the chip is properly freed.
- If the chip does not come free on its own, use your loupe / magnifier and tool to verify all 54 pins are fully freed. On my dingoo, the chips were not glued or otherwise attached, they were only held by solder.
- Once you have the first SDRAM chip removed, use your loupe / magnifier and examine the 54 pads. Use your soldering iron (but do not add any solder) to momentarily melt the solder on each pad, just enough to give it a smooth shiney surface.
- Be careful not to leave any solder bridges.
- When you are certain that the space for the first chip is clean and neat, move on to the second memory chip.
- Remove the second chip in the same way as the first.
- Be patient, do not rush.
- When the second memory chip is free, examine the solder pads, and use your soldering iron to momentarily melt each pad to ensure they all have a clear shiney surface.
- The entire removal process for me took approximately 1 hour.
- As before, set up your working area, clean neat and free of distractions.
- Using a Q-tip, dip it in your liquid rosin then let most of the rosin drip away – the Q-tip should be damp, not dripping
- With the Q-tip, carefully ‘paint’ the liquid rosin over all 54 pads of both memory chip areas.
- You should be able to see where the rosin is going, don’t let it flow all over the place – you only want it over the areas of the solder pads for the two memory chips
- Ground yourself
- Remove the first new memory chip from its anti-static package
- Carefully use the Q-tip to coat the bottoms of its pins with rosin
- Again, you don’t want dripping, just damp. Just enough to get the pins damp.
- Be gentle and move the Q-tip in the direction of the pins, not across them. (They are fragile and you don’t want to bend or break them!)
- Once all 54 pins of the memory chip have been rosined, use your tweezers to place the memory chip in position on the Dingoo board
- Ensure the orientation is correct! There are white orientation marks on the circuit board which indicate pin-1 for the memory chips
- Rosin is a bit sticky and will help to hold the chip in place, but don’t depend on it
- Carefully position the memory chip so that all 54 pins rest exactly atop the 54 solder pads
- Use a finger or thumb to gently hold the memory chip still, while your other hand holds the soldering iron
- Gently touch the tip of the soldering iron to one pin of the memory chip, gently press down so the pin is making positive contact to the solder pad
- The solder will flow upwards onto the pin (thanks to the rosin)
- When you see the solder flowing, lift the iron up and clear, while continuing to gently hold the memory chip in place
- Repeat for the remaining pins on this side, while ensuring the chip has not moved — ensuring that the remaining pins are still positioned correctly
- When finished, rotate the Dingoo 180 degrees and repeat with the pins on the other side
- When all pins are finished, set the soldering iron aside and use either your tweezers or the x-acto blade, to Very Gently test every pin
- You must ensure the pin is soldered down. Sometimes when you make the connection with the iron, solder flows but when you lift the iron, the pin lifts up and the connection is not made
- If you find any pins that aren’t connected, use the soldering iron to resolder them, and then test them again
- Once you have confirmed that every pin is properly soldered, repeat the process with the second memory chip
- If you desoldered the battery, resolder it now. The dingoo might power-up on its own.
- The replacement process took me about 30 minutes.
Testing – #1
- Turn the dingoo on or press the Reset button
- If the dingoo is functional (i.e. it works) then the memory is properly soldered.
- If the dingoo lights up but does not turn on, you must re-examine all pins on both memory chips. Did you miss one? Is there a solder bridge? Did you disturb another component near the memory while you were working?
- This is the moment of truth / moment of terror. If it works, kudos. If not, there is nothing you can do but examine every connection very carefully.
- If the connections look good, try and resolder them anyways. Just reheat them, you do not need to add solder. Reheat them so the solder reflows.
- If it still doesn’t work, then it’s possible you have killed your Dingoo.
Testing – #2
- If your Dingoo still works, then it’s time to get it to use the extra RAM
- Install the Dingux Dualboot A330 / 64MB version, and see what happens
- If the dingoo worked in Testing 1 then it should work now, with 64MB.