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Ltryptophan's avatar

What will happen if I attempt to swap chips in two identical voice memo recorders?

Asked by Ltryptophan (11292points) September 8th, 2018

One day while running I realized all my cool thoughts were being forgotten. So, I started bringing a voice recorder. This was all going well, until a year on, with about 200 recordings saved on it, the recorder was put in the wash.

It still had a trace of life in it. It chirped once. Every now and then I check to see if it came back to life. I cleaned it with alcohol on the connections. I dried it carefully. I let it sit in rice. Nothing. Just two little led lights that I think mean I made a big mistake.

So, I have another voice recorder. Same identical type. This one is brand new. They do not have removable memory cards. Everything is digital, and stored on chips within the unit.

So, what if an expert removed the memory chips from the broken one, and re-soldered them into the new device that works, at least before this is tried it works.

Would hate to destroy a second memo recorder without good reason, but if it’s possible, I’d be willing to try.

Possible problems I foresee are it simple destroying the unit. Or, maybe the heat, or the removal would eliminate any memories still embedded on the chips.

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8 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

90% sure that swapping the chips would be effective.

Chips are solid state and your thoughts are stored digitally. When your voice recorder went into the wash, it died because the electronics (battery to chip, controller, etc.) got wet and shorted out. And maybe the power supply/controller as well.

But the chip with your voice recording is almost certainly unscathed. That’s made out of silicon (which is sand) and essentially cannot be damaged by water.

My guess is that if you can put the old chip in the new device, you will be successful.

It would be a great experiment. Let us know.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

It’s probably surface mount and that’s assuming the chips are the same. Often the same model electronic gadget will have different generation integrated circuits. Doing surface mount work takes specialized tools. I have placed new surface mount components on a new printed circuit board but desoldering, removing the old chip, removing the new chip and resoldering the old chip in the new recorder is not such an easy feat. You would be hard pressed to even find someone qualified and also willing to do it at any price.

It may be possible that the power supply is on a different circuit board, in that case it could be an easy swap. That’ll be worth a try.

imrainmaker's avatar

I don’t have answer to your specific question but I guess you can use wearable products like This which is integrated with your smart phone / cloud eventually. This way you won’t run the risk of losing your precious data.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’m with @ARE_you_kidding_me. If the recorders are older technology. with chips that have legs then you have a chance at being successful. But if the manufacturer used surface mount technology you have virtually no chance. Some components have soldering pads under as well as the sides that are visible. You would need to take the whole thing up to just above the solder melt temperature and remove the components. Unfortunately by doing so you are almost guaranteed a short somewhere.

Ltryptophan's avatar

Thanks everyone. @LuckyGuy @ARE_you_kidding_me @elbanditoroso @imrainmaker

Do you think if I link to some component pics maybe one of you’d be able to say, yea or nay on the type, or the stickiness of the situation?

If I think that it will not be successful to ‘operate’ then I will save the broken device sort of like a cryogenically frozen human brain, waiting for the right technology to come along and resurrect it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

If you open the case and take a few pics it will help a lot.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The other side may have a small surface mount fuse.

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