Swapping OLEDs in the 5K?

A Few Suggestions


When I replaced OLEDs on my 5K, I found Jose EB5AVG's OLED web page to be excellent.  It's based on a set of step-by-step instructions originally from Mirek SP1NY and Dick SP1FJZ.  But even with these very fine instructions, I had a few comments to add of my own. 


 Comments on the process

The swap is about a 2 hour process and I don’t expect you will have any problems other than it’s somewhat tedious.  The process is excellently documented - right up till the very end.  I had problems in two spots worth mentioning which may save you some head scratching.  So here’s the scoup needed to get past that pesky end part...


When you get to the end, it’s important to note that the OLED and the PCB are separate gadgets – you want to pull the PCB and the underlying black plastic backing (which holds the OLED) out as a set.  This will

make sense when you get to that point.  The black plastic backing for the OLED is not glued in or clipped in – but there are some alignment pins which may cause the thing to want to stick.  You may need to use an xacto or something small and sharp to encourage the black plastic oled backing to come free from the front panel.


Next, there is no mention of how the OLED ribbon hooks into these small sockets.  There is some Kapton type of tape that holds the black retaining level down.  Remove the Kapton tape (save it for later) – and then lift the small black plastic upward, away from the PCB.  It’s actually hinged with the white part of the connector in the same sort of

way a knife switch piviots, if that makes sense to you.  Once that black part is lifted vertical on each of the 3 OLED ribbons, then the OLED assembly and the PCB can be separated. The OLED are held in place by some sort of two sided foam lined backing tape.  Take your knife and lift the OLED glass away from the plastic black on one corner, and the OLED will pop free.  Remove all 3. Put the new OLED into their place and push them against the backing tape.  Make sure you get it lined up right in their recess.  And don’t pull the red tab protective covering off yet. Hook the OLED ribbons to the PCB on each of the 3 sockets – all a the same time – flip the levers to secure each.  And replace the kapton tape. Bend the PCB back into positon so the OLED and PCB are back to back and it’s ready to mount.  When you are ready to stick the OLED assembly into the front panel, pull the red tabs and make sure to keep your paws off the OLED displays.  Screw the little bastard in place with one of the first thousand screws to put back in place. 

Before screwing the switch PCB in place (the next reassembly step after sticking the OLED assembly back into the front panel), make sure the plastic button & inserts are seated into the front panel.  If you supported the front panel by laying it on something flat, these things will want to lift away from their proper seating points.   After putting in the next thousand screws on that board, click all the buttons on the front and make sure they are traveling properly. The only tricky part I found was in reattaching the black plastic main front panel to the metal backing – there’s one ribbon cable that needs

to stick up, the damned mic washer needs to be put in there, and you have to get the controls poked through their holes – all at the same time.  The good news is that I went from batshit crazy at that point to seeing the road to completion with the click of those snaps.  When you get to this point, it’s smooth sailing from here on out.  From this point onward, the reassembly goes very quickly.  And you can test the rig’s operation before buttoning it up to be sure you did not miss anything.


 And a few notes


1. In my rig, two of the sockets did not have anything plugged into them.   Not sure why.


2. The 5 screws that go into the front panel from the metal backing frame are either short or long.  I did not pay attention to which was which.  So when reassembling, I used short ones on the right 3, and long ones on the left two (which I remembered as being long).  I figured short would hold it where long had the risk of maybe pushing something out in front if I got it wrong.  So just pay attention there.


3. There are a lot of screws you need to take out.  And you will have a lot of rig parts laying about which (at least in my case) may drive you nuts with worry that you won’t remember how it goes back together – but that turns out to be no problem at all.  Remain calm.  :)


4. The instructions talk about leaving the two screws in to serve as hinges.  What they don’t say is that you will eventually need to pull each of these screws off to gain access to something – and then replace the screw again.  That will make sense when you get to it – just remember, the hinge position is more of a easy way to keep the thing from falling apart – than a “it gives you full access” – because it did not in my case.  But I may not have twisted it far enough.


5. Not explained in the instructions but implied in the pics is that you do have to initially take off both the top and bottom cases.  The bottom has a lot of screws...


6. I had no problems getting the control nuts off with a long needle nose pliers – no nut driver socket modification required in my case.


7. I replace the encoder set that Jose mentions he repaired.  That fixed the poor response I had with the control. Plus it's so difficult to get to that control, it should probably be done just as a preventative mantainance item and be done with it.


8. The brightness of the new OLED is hugely improved from the old ones (which have dimmed with age).  I would not swap only one; do all 3.


9.  Be careful when you are sticking those ribbon cables into their compression sockets – make sure you get that inserted squarely.  I used a 45-degree needle nose plier to spread the force over the width of the width of the socket.




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