I'm lucky enough to received a faulty Airport Express from a kind gentleman. Was told by him, he heard a 'pop' sound before the APE went K.O. So I guess it's the famous power supply issue. A quick google show me to an already well documented guide by Henrik. A big thanks to him. OK, let's get started.
What do you need:
• the APE ofcourse
• a saw
• some cable
• glue/tape to put the casing back together
• a replacement power source (there's a few options, will talk about it later).
Cutting the APE apart:
Like most Apple charger, APE design wasn't meant to open for repair. To cut open it is the way to reveal the inner part. Saw was my pick. You can have your way. More details about that are already documented by others. Remember not to cut too deep as you might damage the APE.
Before we get all fancy about repairing it, we must first makesure the APE is still in working order. The easiest way to test it is to get a ATX power supply (PSU). The APE needs 3.3V & 5V to works. ATX PSU did just fine, Orange cable is 3.3V, Red is 5V. Mine was confirmed working with a steady green.
There's 2 way documented. One is building a step down board with some capacitors & regulator. Another was already mentioned above ATX. ATX is too bulky for me, defeat the mobility of the APE. DIY step down board was initially my plan. But I can't find any decent electronic shops around me that supply all I needs. So? Give up?? Hell no!
5v supply are easily found, ipod charger, phone charger you name it. The issue are 3.3V supply. My research point me to CF card. They use 3.3V. That instantly hit me that I remember seeing some sort of adapter that will conver to IDE + Molex. Molex has standard 12V & 5V input. Meaning I can use the adapter to get my 3.3V step down!
And I ebay for Cf related adapter. Bingo! I found this:
Next step is to find out does it really supply 3.3V and where. My meter tells me this:
Did a quick "tape on" test. Viola, solid green lights! Next is to discard the unwanted part:
and connect everything nicely. Also, an idea to use USB as power-in hit me. Since I can't find any DC plug for the input, plus I have plenty of USB male-female cable around. Here's how it looks like:
Remember to test your USB plug which is 5V. But it's known that the red wire is 5V, black is ground, green & white is data. But just in case, run a test.
And finally, I put everything together again, they fit nicely into the case. A hot glue sealed the deal.
A final test with my Mac:
I will get one of those 5V USB travel charger later. A side note for all DIYer, not all USB ports will supply steady 5V.
Does my guide works for you? do let me know