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Changing DIGIDOC5 backlights!

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Thanks to: ANIMEGURU For Providing Us With This AWESOME Article!

WARNING: Obligatory disclamer to follow. It should be noted that this, like almost any other mod, will in fact void your warranty. I don't know if Mac Power even provides a warranty for the DigiDoc, but if they that you do to your DigiDoc that ruins it is solely your responsibility. I cannot be held responsible for anything that results in the destruction of your DigiDoc or your computer. Proceed at your own risk.

Well, now that that is out of the way, the first thing that you will need is a clean place to work. Note that all images in this article are clickable for a larger size that will open in a new window.

Here is what the DigiDoc 5 looks like out of the box and plugged in to your computer. It's a nice little controller that fits right into one of your 5 1/4 bays.

Okay, first things first. You'll need the following tools to perform this mod.

  • Soldering Iron suitable for electronics (mine is a 25W from Radio Shack)
  • Solder
  • Desoldering braid or a desoldering gun
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Replacement LEDs for backlight

It should be noted that these LEDs are VERY difficult to find. The only manufacturer that I've found so far is LEDTronics and the actual page to these specific LEDS is located at: After contacting ALL of their distributors, I only found one that would sell to me.

Power down your computer and unplug your DigiDoc 5. Here is what you'll be looking at.

Turn the DigiDoc onto its side and locate the plastic tabs that hold it in place on the metal frame. Carefully press these tabs in to pop the plastic face plate and circuitry from the frame. You may need to pull on the metal frame slightly to release the face plate. Once you have removed the face plate, this is what you'll be looking at.

You will need to remove the screws that I have indicated with red circles. Then, very carefully pull the top PCB away from the bottom. Note that there are pins that connect the two PCBs together. I have circled those in blue below to point them out. Be careful not to bend or break them while separating the two PCBs.

After removing the upper PCB, unscrew the two screws circled in red and the two standoffs circled in blue. You will probably need to use your needle nose pliers to remove these two standoffs.

At this point, you will have the PCB that you will need to modify. Note the four metal tabs that hold the LCD screen in place, I've circled them for you. Use your needle nose pliers to twist these slightly and remove the LCD from the PCB. BEFORE you remove the LCD, use a pencil to mark the top side of the LCD... It does matter!! Make a small mark on the metal chassis of the LCD screen so that you remember which side is up.

Remove the LCD screen from the PCB. It'll look like this. Put it in a safe place so that you do not scratch it or break it. You will be left with the PCB with a small piece of plastic attached to it. The plastic acts as a diffuser for the backlight. You can remove it if you like, it is held on by a piece of sticky tape. Carefully remove the plastic piece.

Locate the two LEDs that you are about to replace. The are 9mm long, 2mm wide and all white with very tiny metal plates on the inside. I've circled them in red for you. Also locate their connections on the back of the PCB, I've circled those in blue. You can easily find the connectors as they have been silk screened with an LED symbol on the board.

Use your soldering iron and desoldering braid to remove all of the solder from the LEDs. Be careful not to desolder anything else from the board. Try to be quick about it so as not to damage any of the other components on the board. Be sure to remove all of the solder for easy removal of the LEDs. Pull the LEDs from the board and you will be left with the open holes ready for your new LEDs.

Now, attach your new LEDs to the board and carefully solder them into place. Be sure not to short any of the circuits on the board. Try to use as little solder as possible to prevent this from happening, however, make sure that you adequately cover the copper pads. Also make sure that you have your LEDs facing in the correct direction. The metal plated side should be facing into the plastic diffuser. If you put them in wrong, your DigiDoc will not light up. I have noted the correct side in the picture below.

Re-assemble your DigiDoc in reverse order. Make sure that when you reattach your LCD screen that there is adequate pressure holding it against the PCB circuitry. If the screen is not firmly, and I mean firmly in place, the LCD will not display anything when you boot it up. I found it best to use my needle nose pliers to pull up on the metal tabs, then twist them back into place. Plug your DigiDoc back into your computer and you're done!! Here are some pics of the final product. I hope that your DigiDoc turns out as well as mine did!!

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