What is this wire?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by papatient, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. papatient macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2011
    I feel like I'm going to puke.

    Today I was installing a second hdd instead of the optical drive in my unibody macbook pro 17", and while inserting the new hdd tray I managed to tear off a connection that was soldered to the logic board. To top it off one of the micro pins that was on the connector fell off and I lost it forever.

    Now I'd like to know what exactly is this wire that connects to the board (isight?) and if the macbook can function properly without it. Let me know if more explanations or photos are needed. Thanks a lot for checking.

    Here's an image:

  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
  3. papatient thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2011
  4. al2o3cr macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2009
  5. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    Looks like the camera connector to me. The display cable wouldn't be attached to 2 different places on the motherboard. The camera cord runs in the same plastic channel as the display cord, but as you can see in those ifixit pics, the display cord plugs in on the opposite side of the board.
  6. Big-TDI-Guy, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011

    Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2007
    FYI lots of display cables have 2 attachment points. One usually goes to the backlight driver (whether it be CFL or LED) - the other carries the video source. Come to think of it, I think that's all I've seen thusfar.

    Edit: To the OP - I can't really make out your pics too well - but with the number of pins visible - it's not likely video data - it looks more apt to be Isight / Mic or backlight driver. I also seem to recall some unibody macs route the Wifi / Bluetooth around the LCD (I think?) - but those usually have a mini/micro SMA connector - not that style.

    All is not lost - I've broken some of these tiny connectors myself - and I work with electronics for a living - usually epoxy will fix them right up. (if the solder pads are still intact)
  7. mikeo007 macrumors 65816

    Mar 18, 2010
    The speaker cable is pictured in the OP's original image, in the lower left corner of the image. It's fully intact.

    Big-TDI-Guy: Truthfully, I haven't opened up many laptops. Older machines that I opened usually connected the display with a large ribbon cable and nothing else. I don't think the Macbook has 2 connection points, although I could be wrong, as I've never really gone so far as to pull my entire LCD off.

    Also, you're correct about the bluetooth being routed with the display cable.
  8. papatient thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2011
    Thanks a whole lot for the help guys, much much appreciated.

    Looking at page 4 of the guide that al2o3cr provided, I found the 2 connectors in the first 2 pics to be pretty similar to the ones I have on mine. (not in term of shape surprisingly, but in overall location) This kinda gave me the confidence to leave it unsoldered and boot the macbook, and it turned out to be the onboard camera cable indeed. (Photoboot detect no camera now)


    I must confess I fell FANTASTIC right now.

    For the records, the camera cable, along with the large flat black display cable (must be it) that we see hanging in my first photo, are both routed together to the other side (upper right corner, see second pic) and connect to that "big diagonal one" al2o3cr pointed out. And I can confirm that the mic is still working, so it was really just for the iSight.

    Big-TDI-Guy: The 2 sets of "pins" that I kinda linked in red were soldered together before I ripped them off accidentally. Now I just stuck it on the body with a bit of contact glue so it doesn't move around.

    Again, thanks all!
  9. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010

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