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Monday, August 1, 2011

3DS screen scratches avoidence fix

I posted before about the 3DS screen scratch problem. It's starting to bug me a bit. I recently returned from a trip where I had my 3DS in a backpack so I guess stuff might have been slightly pressing the 2 clamshell sides together, because I noticed that line when I pulled it out.

So I saw this vid about how to raise the 3DS top screen enough so that it doesn't come into contact with the bottom one. There are only 2 little rubber bumpers that prevent that when the 3DS is closed, and they aren't high enough in a lot of 3DS's (including mine)

This guy pulled the rubber bumpers out, put double-sided foam tape that's for the Wii sensor bar under them then put them back in, raising the bumper profile enough.

[The 3DS Line Fix - YouTube vid]

This fix doesn't really do much if you've already got scratches but it can prevent them from getting worse.

I just did this mod and it seems to work. Ironically, after having it hang around taking up space for like 3 years, I put my Wii box in the recycling bin last year... so I didn't have my Wii sensor double-sided tape. Luckily, a friend still had their Wii box-- with the unused/un-needed tape inside-- so I was able to do it.

The 3DS seems to go into sleep mode ok when it's closed. Only problem is that I think I created some scratches around the left bumper while removing/reinserting it. Man, even when I'm trying to avoid scratches, I create scratches.... can I ever get a break?? At least they aren't on the screen but still....

I had a chance to see a recently bought 3DS, and I noticed that its rubber bumpers were visably higher than mine, so I guess Nintendo fixed the issue... which is such a stupid & simple oversight that NEVER should've made it to the public units in the first place.

UPDATE: Below are the bumpers from a recently bought 3DS:

They are definitely 1-2 mm higher than my original ones. Mine were more flush with the edge of the top panel, barely extending over it at all.

I could've sent my unit to Nintendo, but I know first-hand from my warranty replaced PSP-2001 that what these companies do is send you someone else's fixed unit that was previously sent in for repairs. So it's a gamble whether you're trading in one problem for another.



Anonymous said...

I'm actually really interested in buying a 3DS, but pretty much the only thing holding me back is reports like yours about the top screen easily getting scratched when the unit is closed. And unfortunately, aside from your noticing on a new 3DS that the bumpers appeared to be beefed up a bit, I haven't been able to find much info elsewhere as to whether or not this problem has actually been fixed yet.

I wonder, do you think that the recently bought 3DS's bumpers looked taller because they weren't as used as yours are? You don't happen to have a picture of the newer 3DS's bumpers, do you (doubt it but figure it's worth a shot to ask :-)

Don said...

I can understand your hesitation. From what I've read anecdotaly, people seem to say that the newer 3DS's have higher bumpers. That's not scientific, so take it as you will.

I don't know if pressure over time will cause the bumpers to push in more. All I know is, they are very hard rubber-- they're not soft. And they are mounted on the hard backing which holds the speakers/screen. The only thing that might worry me a bit is my right bumper is lower than my left one for some unknown reason. But since doing the fix, I'm *very* happy with my 3DS now... there's no marks (mine didn't become permanent) and I don't have any more worries about this problem. Both bumpers are clearly high enough that the top screen isn't touching the bottom panel.

I've updated my post to add pics of the new 3DS's screen bumpers, so check that out.


Anonymous said...

I've had my 3DS since Late May. I recently opened it to find the two screen marks on the top screen, the small defect which I had seen a while earlier, had caused the entire top screen to become quite damaged.

Every part about my 3DS is still intact, except the upper screen, which has become incredibly dark with a blueish tint. It's not to do with the screen brightness being turned low, because the bottom screen is entirely functional. I believe it was caused by the two screen scratches.

The sound is fine, the game is still functional, however hard it is to play, every other aspect works. When I move hinge, the upper screen will flicker between normal colour, and the dark bluish tint colour. I try to get the system to stop when it is shows the normal colouring, but it won't fix it permanently.

I couldn't believe Nintendo would miss something like that in quality assurance. I'm now afraid I'll have to send it to get repaired. Hopefully I get back my own system and my save data isn't altered. I can handle downloading my downloaded games but replaying through Ocarina of Time again would kill me.

At least their support people speak fluent English.

-3DS owner

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