Around mid-November I got the Nexus 6 from Google. My previous phone was the Samsun Galaxy S4, and when I purchased the S4, they threw in the Desktop Dock for free.
Since it served me so well, I decided I’d try and use it for the Nexus, since I had nothing else on-hand. Unfortunately, the USB connector is facing the opposite direction from the port on the Nexus – meaning my phone would be docked facing backward.
Obviously that will not do. So I tried to reverse it. The TL;DR is: I could not reverse it, the part is a solid mold designed specifically for the direction it is facing. I ended up getting the Nexus Wireless Charger instead. So this blog is about how to disassemble the device, since I could not find one myself.
What you’ll need
You’ll need some tiny screwdrivers – a phillips-head #0 size, to be specific, and some needle-nose pliers. I managed to get by with my trusty Leatherman, but something with a smaller nose-point would be better.
Exposing the screws
This works best when the device is a little warm…like having sat on a Macbook Power brick, or equally radiant device. This will loosen up the glue and soften the rubber. Flip the device and slowly peel the rubber bottom off at a 45-degree angle. This will preserve as much of the glue as possible without tearing the glue or the rubber.
There will be several screw holes on the bottom of the device (more than is necessary, IMO). Unscrew those, and set them aside in a cup or dish so you don’t lose them. Then comes the hard part…
Separating the top & bottom
Starting with a corner of the device, where it has the most give, using only your index and middle fingers on both hands, place them on the corner of the device in the crack between the top/bottom where the pieces are connected and slowly pull them apart. You’re dealing with several small plastic connectors that look like this…
Once you have one corner, the adjacent front-corner will be easier to pry apart. Then move to the back corners, with ever so slightly more force to pry those apart. You’ll now have 3 pieces: rubber, top and bottom.
Inside, you’ll find a weight (wtf?), a circuit board with a normal USB connection, a 3.5mm connection, and a ribbon USB connection running to the charger USB port.
There are tiny springs holding the USB charger port in place, bringing it back to normal, and those springs sit on tiny hooks, held in with 4 tiny screws. The screws hold down the hook assembly that keeps the rounded-rectangle piece in place.
If you remove the hook assemblies, you can then remove the rounded-rectangle piece with the USB charger port.
From there, your options are limited with the tools I’ve listed. You’ll need a star-like screw to remove the spring-loaded rounded rectangle covering from the piece holding the USB charger port. The circuit board could also be removed, and the whole circuitry could be transplanted into another housing.
Sorry for the bad picture quality. This was an impromptu post and Google Glass has an infinite focal point, and the further from the lens the object is the better the quality. Hope this helps someone looking to take apart their desktop dock. The most important thing for me is knowing what kind of connectors are holding it together, so I don’t break them.