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  1. myrandex's Avatar
    Sonartech, first of all thanks so much for posting all of your helpful content on here. I just ordered this phone yesterday and I didn't research that much before I did (I kind of jumped at a special offer that I received). I've made a decent investment in Qi charging devices and definitely want to get Qi working on my 1520 when it comes in.

    Have you given any thought to using a Lumia 925 charging plate's internal circuitry for this? I observed a video on youtube where some people modded a 925 to have built in wireless charging by using that circuitry and it was done without any soldering (the reason I say this is I haven't soldered in years and the last time I did it was nowhere near as neat as your excellent work). Here is the video: DIY: Nokia Lumia 925 Wireless Charging Mod smotretrusskoe.ru

    That does appear to be an elegant solution. It might benefit from some form of attachment (such as soldering) but it makes use of the 3 pin connector on the back of the phone to communicate to the wireless charging components.

    Thanks,

    Jason Cook
    GrayW0lf likes this.
    02-07-2014 10:30 PM
  2. Sonartech's Avatar
    Hey, Jason -

    I did have a look at this many months ago, but the key difference here is that the 925 was made to support both PMA and Qi-compatible charging back covers, and although the pin spacing on the 1520 looks very similar to the pin spacing on the 925 covers, it is unfortunately not the same. The 1520 has a wider spacing than the 925 cover, so folding over the flex to form a pressure-contact isn't going to work. Additionally, I think the pinouts are different, but I never confirmed that detail 100%. Both PMA and Qi-compatible cases are available for the 925, but there are no plans to release a Qi-compatible cover for the AT&T 1520, because that specifically goes against AT&T's release agreement with Nokia. Nokia's work-around for that was to release the International 1520, which as we all know, has Qi-charging support built-in.

    The goal here was to find a way to support Qi-charging on a device that is specifically designed not to support Qi-charging, per AT&T's requirements.

    As of yet, I haven't been able to locate a self-contained Qi-coil that has pinouts that directly match the pin arrangement and spacing found on the back of the 1520. I don't know where they came up with the pin spacing used, but I'm absolutely certain Nokia designed the 1520 pin spacing to be intentionally non-compatible with the existing Qi-charging covers. As I typed earlier, I think they also dicked with the polarity and trigger on the pin arrangement as well, but I'm not certain of that. I abandoned this path after I found the pin spacing was several milli-meters different.

    Now, that said, there is nothing that keeps you from buying a PMA charging cover for the AT&T 1520, gutting the PMA coil out of it, and replacing that coil with a Qi-compatible coil. That would at least let you have the Qi-charging capability without opening your 1520, but you're still going to have to solder the Qi-coil to the PMA cover's flex somehow...

    So, the short of it is that I haven't found a way to do this solder-free. Apart from pre-building the mods and selling them, I don't have a reasonable alternative for how to get around at least some soldering.

    I'm always looking for improvements, so if I figure out how to get around this requirement, I'll definitely post something here.

    Cheers,

    SonarTech
    GrayW0lf and vivilxw like this.
    02-08-2014 12:17 AM
  3. mrZoSo's Avatar
    Awesome work to all involved!!
    Currently I'm with VZW using a 928, patiently waiting for the 929/Icon. If it's not big enough, and with this Qi mod for the 1520, I'll be leaving VZW ;)
    Thanks for all the info!!!
    02-09-2014 10:53 AM
  4. GrayW0lf's Avatar
    So the "good news" from my side is that I did successfully get the phone apart using the little plastic prying tool that came with the Qi Wireless charger that I bought off eBay. The process was every bit as easy-and-clean as Sonartech's instructions indicated. After getting the polycarbonate case separated from the phone's unibody, I looked at the PMA flex cable under a 2x magnification lens from the X-Acto "Helping Hands" kit. With light directly hitting the flex, I could see the lines under the black coating, as Sonartech indicated. However, 2x magnification is really not enough for my comfort. I'd started to gently remove the black coating on the flex but changed my mind on moving any further with the process due to inadequate lighting and a lack of a replacement flex if I should screw things up. I "cleaned up" by putting a very thing slice of electrical tape over the area on the flex that I scraped open and then reassembled the phone as per Sonartech's instructions.

    Reassembly was as "crunchy" as he indicated but the effort needed to reinsert the unibody into the shell wasn't as much as I feared (based on the bold-red text in his instructions :) ). I also managed to correct the small "smooshing" of the rubber surround from my original attempt to open the phone up.

    If/when I find a source for replacement PMA flex cables, I will probably buy 1-2 of them in order to try the modification before I crack this phone open again. I don't really want to buy a 20x magnifier and the phone is otherwise "fine" for me - even without wireless charging... for now.

    Sonartech: Thank you, again, for your time and effort. I'm glad that you are as skilled as you clearly are. I hope that those you've modded the phone for are getting lots of enjoyment out of their phones. :) You are awesome for spending the time that you have put in to give us all the instructions needed to replicate your work. One day, I might be able to follow in your footsteps.. it just won't be today, unfortunately.
    02-09-2014 04:46 PM
  5. dougolupski's Avatar
    Does anyone have a source for the backplate besides the Ebay guy in Spain? The lens on my camera cracked and I need to replace it. I dont have an issue with the Spanish ones but if there are the US models around I would rather get on of those.
    02-11-2014 11:42 AM
  6. TheBadGuy_88's Avatar
    Does anyone have a source for the backplate besides the Ebay guy in Spain? The lens on my camera cracked and I need to replace it. I dont have an issue with the Spanish ones but if there are the US models around I would rather get on of those.
    Nokia Repair Parts - Nokia Lumia 1520 - Parts4repair.Com I've gotten original repair parts from there, legit
    02-11-2014 12:46 PM
  7. myrandex's Avatar
    Well my 1520 came in a couple of days ago and I finally got it all up and running. I'm not convinced that I'll keep it. I'm running into a situation where I believe my IT department will not allow the phone to sync due to it having an SD card slot. I'm having trouble getting it to work and if I can't get it operational I'll probably have to sell it or return it and go back to my 920, which feels truly tiny now.

    If I do keep it I'm planning on undertaking this procedure. I know a couple of engineers in the area with soldering experience and equipment so I might see if they would be willing to help out.
    02-15-2014 08:55 PM
  8. ChrisXP's Avatar
    can anywhere make a video how i can easy take the screen from my 1520 out?
    i need a video but in youtube is nothing

    (sorry for my bad english, i am from german)
    02-28-2014 05:47 PM
  9. NoRomBasic's Avatar
    So just to provide some more feedback to this forum, Ithought Id thought Id post my experience with an attempted QI installationtoday.

    First off Thanks to Sonartech for his outstandinginstructions and photos. Whileultimately I wasnt successful, it certainly wasnt because of any lack withregards to everything he has posted and all the feedback he provided.
    Second, unfortunately for me I screwed up the PMAFLEX piece andas Sonartech has noted, those arent growing on trees right now so until thoseturn up as a replacement part (or possibly as part of an ATT replacement shell,which is how it seems the International Shell is done) Ill have to hold off ontrying this again for the time being.

    Anyway, for anyone who is determined to do this, Im not going to rehash thealready provided instructions or provide any additional disassembly photos,again everything Sonartech has provided is really all you need. But I will provide a few observations:


    • For those of you who are concerned aboutremoving the shell from the 1520; with just one exception, really, it is veryeasy. Possibly the easiest shell toremove of any phone Ive messed with (and I have taken a few apart). The only exception is that %$#@ little screwbetween the SIM and MicroSD card slots. Asothers have noted, it seems like a T2 is too small and a T3 is too big. In addition, at least in my case it seemedlike it was tightened at the factory by a very enthusiastic worker. While I didnt completely strip the head, it definitelysuffered some damage. In the future Illlikely be looking for a torx specifically sized for Nokia (if such a beastexists). Other than that the phone comesout of the shell surprisingly easily. Idrecommend using something made of semi-soft plastic to loosen/pry the edges ofthe case (Ill toss in a picture of a small tool that came with a generic phonedisassembly kit I got a while back as it was close to perfect for this job, butanything similar would do nicely). Andthe trick is to work out the top area first, starting with the Sim door side,then the volume rocker side, then the top. Once the top is freed, simply pull the phone upward and away from thecase so the bottom slides up within the case a bit before coming out. Because of my troubles with getting things towork, I got VERY good at this procedure. But really it wasnt hard.

    • As others have advised, I would get a goodstand/part holder. A magnifying glasswould help, but I didnt have one and my vision is generally pretty good. So Ididnt feel an absolute need.

    • A multimeter is a MUST. Not having one was probably my biggest mistaketoday. It my case it led to way too muchassembly/disassembly and eventually it caused what I think is a cold-short inthe PMAFLEX towards the top. I have aquality unit, but it was 600 miles away and I got a little too eager to trythis out. Dont be me.


    So what went wrong? In my case I ran into some issues with trying to join the T and T onthe PMA flex. For now Ill bow toSonartechs soldering skills and simply say they are better than mine weretoday. That combined with using wirethat was bit too thick and somewhat reluctant to flex sufficiently after beingput together and a bit too much of a cowboy attitude by not checking thingswith a mutlimeter before assembly means it lead to me having to take it apart afew times and breaking a solder joint on the PMAFLEX. And attempts to repair kind of went downhillfrom there. When I do this again (and Ilikely will since I HATE to be defeated by any technology) I may actually gowith the original design and solder a thinner wire to the two separate T and Ttraces as it seems that, while not as pretty, doesnt need as steady ahand/precision of effort.

    Until then Ill be looking for a way to buy/acquire a new PMAFLEX, or if it isincluded a replacement ATT shell in some color other than black.


    Thanks again to everyone who have been contributing this thread.


    • Michael
    Attached Thumbnails plastic-case-tool.jpg  
    Citizen X likes this.
    02-28-2014 07:20 PM
  10. Benny Vallejo's Avatar
    @NoRomBasic... I was also afraid to ruin my flex cable once i opened up the phone and saw how thin and tiny it was. In no way was i going to attempt to butcher it. Instead, i went with soloist_huaxin's suggestion and just soldered the 3 pin connections on the bottom of the flex to the 920 qi coil. the outer 2 negative and the middle one positive and voila! It will be a lot easier in my opinion to remove the solder from the 3 pins without literally hacking away into the actual flex cable. Just a heads up next time.
    03-02-2014 11:26 PM
  11. Benny Vallejo's Avatar
    Hey, Jason -

    I did have a look at this many months ago, but the key difference here is that the 925 was made to support both PMA and Qi-compatible charging back covers, and although the pin spacing on the 1520 looks very similar to the pin spacing on the 925 covers, it is unfortunately not the same. The 1520 has a wider spacing than the 925 cover, so folding over the flex to form a pressure-contact isn't going to work. Additionally, I think the pinouts are different, but I never confirmed that detail 100%. Both PMA and Qi-compatible cases are available for the 925, but there are no plans to release a Qi-compatible cover for the AT&T 1520, because that specifically goes against AT&T's release agreement with Nokia. Nokia's work-around for that was to release the International 1520, which as we all know, has Qi-charging support built-in.

    The goal here was to find a way to support Qi-charging on a device that is specifically designed not to support Qi-charging, per AT&T's requirements.

    As of yet, I haven't been able to locate a self-contained Qi-coil that has pinouts that directly match the pin arrangement and spacing found on the back of the 1520. I don't know where they came up with the pin spacing used, but I'm absolutely certain Nokia designed the 1520 pin spacing to be intentionally non-compatible with the existing Qi-charging covers. As I typed earlier, I think they also dicked with the polarity and trigger on the pin arrangement as well, but I'm not certain of that. I abandoned this path after I found the pin spacing was several milli-meters different.

    Now, that said, there is nothing that keeps you from buying a PMA charging cover for the AT&T 1520, gutting the PMA coil out of it, and replacing that coil with a Qi-compatible coil. That would at least let you have the Qi-charging capability without opening your 1520, but you're still going to have to solder the Qi-coil to the PMA cover's flex somehow...

    So, the short of it is that I haven't found a way to do this solder-free. Apart from pre-building the mods and selling them, I don't have a reasonable alternative for how to get around at least some soldering.

    I'm always looking for improvements, so if I figure out how to get around this requirement, I'll definitely post something here.

    Cheers,

    SonarTech
    @Sonartech. I was able to remove the larger qi coil from the international case and re solder it on to the 920 coil, of course by removing the smaller one. I'm not sure if it the charging time varies by doing this but it does seems to charge pretty fast. and i don't have to continually re-position the phone at all since the coil is quite large and made for the 1520. Also, it doesn't hurt that the international case looks good without 3 empty holes in the back (i used the 3 pins to solder instead of the flex cable and tucked them back into the case). So, in my opinion, it worked out for me to buy the international case since i used the qi coil from it as well as the case. Thanks for all of your help by the way.
    theboomr likes this.
    03-02-2014 11:49 PM
  12. cporta's Avatar
    Benny, can you elaborate on the method you used. I have the international case as well. Where did you solder? Did you use 3 wires? 1 positive and two negatives? How did everything fit in the international case?
    03-03-2014 08:15 AM
  13. Citizen X's Avatar
    @Sonartech. I was able to remove the larger qi coil from the international case and re solder it on to the 920 coil, of course by removing the smaller one. I'm not sure if it the charging time varies by doing this but it does seems to charge pretty fast. and i don't have to continually re-position the phone at all since the coil is quite large and made for the 1520. Also, it doesn't hurt that the international case looks good without 3 empty holes in the back (i used the 3 pins to solder instead of the flex cable and tucked them back into the case). So, in my opinion, it worked out for me to buy the international case since i used the qi coil from it as well as the case. Thanks for all of your help by the way.
    Any chance you can provide some pictures showing what you did?

    For example what exactly was your procedure for removing the coil from the 920 charging circuitry?
    03-03-2014 09:18 AM
  14. NoRomBasic's Avatar
    @NoRomBasic... I was also afraid to ruin my flex cable once i opened up the phone and saw how thin and tiny it was. In no way was i going to attempt to butcher it. Instead, i went with soloist_huaxin's suggestion and just soldered the 3 pin connections on the bottom of the flex to the 920 qi coil. the outer 2 negative and the middle one positive and voila! It will be a lot easier in my opinion to remove the solder from the 3 pins without literally hacking away into the actual flex cable. Just a heads up next time.
    Thanks Benny,

    I like your idea. I'm considering some different approaches when I get ready to take a shot at it again.

    - Michael
    Benny Vallejo likes this.
    03-03-2014 01:27 PM
  15. Benny Vallejo's Avatar
    Any chance you can provide some pictures showing what you did?

    For example what exactly was your procedure for removing the coil from the 920 charging circuitry?
    I'll see if i can post some pics later on when i have some more free time. As for removing the coil.... if you see on the back of the 920 replacement coil, there are two little prongs sticking up with a tiny bit of solder on it connecting it to the circuitry. i used the soldering gun to melt the existing solder. Before doing this though...you have to carefully remove the actual coil from the black adhesive that envelops it. once it is removed from the adhesive, and the only thing connecting it is the two prong, you can then melt the solder while at the same time pulling it away from the circuitry carefully. Now do the same thing to the flex cable with the larger qi from the international case and just swap them. You may need to add a bit more solder to the 920 that you have removed. Not alot though....maybe just tin the tip of the qi prongs. then re-melt them once you place it on top of the 920 circuitry.
    Last edited by Benny Vallejo; 03-03-2014 at 04:33 PM.
    Citizen X likes this.
    03-03-2014 03:41 PM
  16. Benny Vallejo's Avatar
    Benny, can you elaborate on the method you used. I have the international case as well. Where did you solder? Did you use 3 wires? 1 positive and two negatives? How did everything fit in the international case?
    I soldered the 3 pins at the bottom of the U.S. flex cable to the actual replacement 920 qi. Yes, i did do 3 wires. 1, for the middle pin for [+], then I solder the two outer pins for [-]. I routed the [-] wires to create 1 connection to solder to the 920 qi coil. remember to pre-tin your wires before doing this. Also if you are thinking about soldering directly to the pins like i did, take Sonartech's advice and DO NOT put the soldering gun directly on the 3 pins as they will fall off after long exposure to the heat. Pre-tin the wires and then melt the solder to have it fall off onto the pins. As for arranging the wiring on the inside, it may take some time but use as short and as thin of a wire as possible, do not leave too much slack as it may take up too much space and leave a bulge that is noticeable from the outside of the case. It took me a few tries but once i got it, it fit perfectly. The hardest part is making room for the 3 pins to fit inside the actual case. Try and solder the wires to the side of the 3 pins instead of directly on top and very carefully...that should give you a lot of room. I tried the top of the pins first which resulted in that bulge i spoke of earlier.
    Citizen X likes this.
    03-03-2014 03:54 PM
  17. NoRomBasic's Avatar
    Well, after getting a hold of a Multimeter and takinganother stab at it today, I think I’ve got it working. The solution is ugly (basically because I didscrew up the PMAFLEX cable and had to work around that) but I can place it on aNokia QI Charger and it will charge (at least it has 3 times so far). For some reason it won’t establish a chargelink with the Maxell dual-pad charger I’ve got but that isn’t the 1sttime that charging pad has been fussy (it wasn’t fond of the Lumia 822 either) so I'm more inclined to blame the Maxell unit.

    I’ll give it a few days here and see how it works overallbut so far it appears that I’ve got the “Unicorn” I was looking for (ATT LTEBands, 32GB, and QI Charging)
    03-03-2014 04:17 PM
  18. NoRomBasic's Avatar
    Well, after getting a hold of a Multimeter and takinganother stab at it today, I think I’ve got it working. The solution is ugly (basically because I didscrew up the PMAFLEX cable and had to work around that) but I can place it on aNokia QI Charger and it will charge (at least it has 3 times so far). For some reason it won’t establish a chargelink with the Maxell dual-pad charger I’ve got but that isn’t the 1sttime that charging pad has been fussy (it wasn’t fond of the Lumia 822 either) so I'm more inclined to blame the Maxell unit.

    I’ll give it a few days here and see how it works overallbut so far it appears that I’ve got the “Unicorn” I was looking for (ATT LTEBands, 32GB, and QI Charging)
    Yup, after 3 days I'm going to declare this fixed. I officially have a 1520 "Unicorn" edition (32GB, ATT LTE Bands, Internal QI Charging). Thanks to everyone on this group for all the suggestions, images, documentation and experimentation. If Nokia can fix the touch/swipe issue here soon as far as I'm concerned this is the best phone I've ever owned, Even where it is at though I'm not parting with it anytime soon.
    03-06-2014 01:32 PM
  19. CollinFX45's Avatar
    Yup, after 3 days I'm going to declare this fixed. I officially have a 1520 "Unicorn" edition (32GB, ATT LTE Bands, Internal QI Charging). Thanks to everyone on this group for all the suggestions, images, documentation and experimentation. If Nokia can fix the touch/swipe issue here soon as far as I'm concerned this is the best phone I've ever owned, Even where it is at though I'm not parting with it anytime soon.
    Do you mind sharing where you got it? I have been desperately searching as well and I'm ready to trade a kidney for one.

    ​-Collin-
    03-09-2014 10:40 AM
  20. Benny Vallejo's Avatar
    Do you mind sharing where you got it? I have been desperately searching as well and I'm ready to trade a kidney for one.

    ​-Collin-
    This is a mod that has been described in this post. You have to physically open up your phone and do it to make it charge wirelessly.
    03-09-2014 12:03 PM
  21. NoRomBasic's Avatar
    Do you mind sharing where you got it? I have been desperately searching as well and I'm ready to trade a kidney for one.

    ​-Collin-
    Collin,

    Right now you cannot buy one (hence the "Unicorn" designation), you'll have to make it or get it made. I'd suggest reading the whole thread here, especially anything posted by Sonartech. While I was reluctant to do so as I'm worried I'll lose my official "modder" card I'll include two pics of my modded 32GB ATT 1520. One with the incredibly ugly mod after I frakked up the PMAFlex. and the other with the 1520 resting on a Lumia Charging plate happily topping off the battery.

    At this point if I were to do it again, I'm 100% certain I'd be able to do it a lot cleaner and with no mistakes (the benefit of experience). The one thing that I did choose to do differently than Sonartech is that I "flipped" the 920 QI coil/circuit so that the coil was pointed towards the top of the phone and the charging circuit was pointed towards the bottom of the phone. This allowed me to place the coil in nearly the perfect position for resting evenly on the Nokia charging plate while still getting nearly 100% of the 920 coil assembly in the recessed area where the original phone lay.

    AND if I had had an intact PMAFlex (which I didn't due to my ineptitude) I would have run the jumper wires from the 920 Coil and soldered them closer to the base off the PMAFlex instead of the top (as suggested by Benny). I suspect this would have been a cleaner/easier install but since I likely won't be doing this again anytime soon I may never know. ;)

    att-1520-qi-mod.jpgatt-1520-qi-charging.jpg
    oditius and Citizen X like this.
    03-09-2014 03:07 PM
  22. CollinFX45's Avatar
    Thanks guys, I totally misread the last post! Thought yu meant that you gave up and found an RM-938 :-)

    I was clearly wearing my unicorn goggles. I read all seven pages!

    -Collin-
    03-09-2014 05:59 PM
  23. NoRomBasic's Avatar
    Thanks guys, I totally misread the last post! Thought yu meant that you gave up and found an RM-938 :-)

    -Collin-
    No Worries Collin. Believe me I'd rather have been able to purchase an ATT version of the 1520 with all the features Nokia originally planned for the phone myself. Would have been a lot easier.

    - Michael
    03-10-2014 12:42 PM
  24. jssmarathon's Avatar
    If I were to buy the AT&T 32 GB version, does anyone know of anyone who would do this mod for me?
    I would pay for their time and of course the extra parts and shipping. Bet somebody could start a business!
    03-10-2014 03:27 PM
  25. Citizen X's Avatar
    The one thing that I did choose to do differently than Sonartech is that I "flipped" the 920 QI coil/circuit so that the coil was pointed towards the top of the phone and the charging circuit was pointed towards the bottom of the phone. This allowed me to place the coil in nearly the perfect position for resting evenly on the Nokia charging plate while still getting nearly 100% of the 920 coil assembly in the recessed area where the original phone lay.

    AND if I had had an intact PMAFlex (which I didn't due to my ineptitude) I would have run the jumper wires from the 920 Coil and soldered them closer to the base off the PMAFlex instead of the top (as suggested by Benny). I suspect this would have been a cleaner/easier install but since I likely won't be doing this again anytime soon I may never know. ;)

    Thank you so much. That picture was very informative. I was wondering about flipping the orientation and putting the coil connection closer to the pins. I got all the tools to hack into the flex but your butchering story scared me off. Anyway I need my phone for a work trip so it will be a couple of months before I sit down and do surgery on it. I don't want to f it up before I leave town.
    03-12-2014 08:43 AM
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