Stage 1  The Control Head  

 The radio as I un-boxed it.  Motorola Spectra, model:

  D = Dash Mount
  4 = 45 Watts
  3 =
VHF High
  KMA =
Low Power Spectra
  7 =
  J =
model specific info
  A =
  5 =
Standard 3 Button Control
  B =
Model Revision
  K =
Shipped with standard accessories.

  Notice this radio is absolutely filthy!

  (I didn't get charged extra for the fill dirt)

 With a Torx bit or an Alan wrench of the proper size, remove the 2 front screws.

  I keep a plastic parts bowl handy for things like screws, clips, small parts, etc. 

  I also keep a toothbrush and alcohol on hand for cleaning these parts before they go into the bowl.

 Pull the control head out of the radio.  The interconnect
 board may be left in the radio, or it may come out with
 the control head.  Either way, remove it as well and set it aside.

Set the Interconnect Board aside for later re-assembly.

You can get rid of that old masking tape in there as well.

Locate the 6 silver torx screws that mount the circuit board to the face plate.

Remove the screws and set them aside.

Separate the face plate from the circuit board assembly.

Remove the rubber gasket / o-ring from the edge of the face plate and set aside for cleaning.

Carefully insert a small screwdriver into the clear plastic button retainer and lift upwards to separate the retainer from the face plate.

Take all of these parts (in this picture) to a sink with a strainer over the drain to prevent the loss of the small buttons.

Clean all the parts well with soap and water and a toothbrush.  Dry with paper towels.


I will post a section on polishing and restoring the display lens later.

Remove the rubber button sheet from the circuit board by merely lifting it upwards. 

Locate the black plastic tab that holds the plastic frame to the back of the circuit board. (right side of this picture)  Push the tab away from the circuit board, just enough to allow the circuit board to be lifted from the frame.

Note, the tab on the other end of the circuit board (left side of this picture) does not move, so you must slide the board out from under that tab.

Clean the frame and set it aside for later re-assembly.

The capacitors to be removed are the two silver electrolytic SMD type towards the right side of the board in this photo.

A close-up of the capacitors.  Note the 3 parallel traces that run between these caps.  Damage to any of these traces will result in display errors.  Specifically, if the 3rd digit is dim or out, you will find the error here.  The trace must be repaired.

I use a SMD hot air rework station to remove the parts.

Once the parts are removed, some de-soldering wick and a small iron will clean up the excess solder on the pads. 

Be careful not to overheat the pads or they WILL lift up and you will have to super glue them back in place.

I use a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol to remove any excess flux, and leaked electrolyte.

The capacitors are filled with a boric acid solution.  It will eat through the solder mask, traces and pads. 

Make sure you clean well away from, and all around the area where the parts were, whether or not you observe any acid or damage. 

A close up of the cleaned pads and area.

Notice these pads and traces are in excellent shape.  These caps had only recently begun to leak.

Here are the new parts that I have put together as a kit.  These will replace all of the electrolytic caps throughout the entire radio.

Do them all!

A fine-tipped, low heat iron is used for reworking the Surface Mount Devices.  This one is a part of my SMD rework station.

Tin the component leads with a very SMALL amount of solder.

The capacitor on the left has the leads tinned.  The capacitor on the right does not. (yet)

The left capacitor's left lead has too much solder on it, the right lead is correct.

This is not critical, but will come into play as you begin to solder these components back onto the board.

Make sure you observe the correct polarity when you mount the new capacitors.

(Keep the black end oriented in the same direction as shown here in the photos.)

If you have a different revision of the control head board, and the capacitor in this picture is oriented 90 off from the one you have, then the black end of your capacitor will face away from the chip (59A347W) shown on the left side of this photo.

(Look two photos down for your version.)

Both new capacitors mounted and the board cleaned.

Again, if your board differs, and your cap on the left side of this pic is 90 off from what is shown here, then your left hand cap's black end will be oriented towards you, and away from the big chip, as you look from this angle.

  Here is the other board revision, showing the closest capacitor's mounting orientation.

Clean up all the parts.  Clean them well and wash your hands!

You never know where your radio came from or may have been.  Some disgusting slob may have had the flu, a hangover, and was working as a coroner's assistant.  This person may have had infectious body fluids on his hands while he pressed his radio's buttons. 

Now imagine what may be waiting there for you and that open scratch or hangnail you are sporting while working on your radio refurbishing project!

Be safe, burn yourself with that soldering iron, not some odd disease like Beriberi or Tsutsugamuchi!

(Yes, I live in Atlanta, where the CDC is.)

Replace the rubber button sheet back onto the circuit board, slide the board under the frame tab on the left and push the board down on the right, allowing that tab to lock onto the board.

Here is a close-up of the cleaned face plate.  Notice the display lens is entirely scratched up and hazed over.  It's ridiculous.

I usually take these up to the sink, mask off the surrounding plastic, and polish the scratches out.

I mask off the lens with packing tape, then wet it with a few drops of water. I sprinkle on a bit of baking soda and take a cotton ball and buff in small circles, like spit shining the old Army boots. 

After the lens is a uniform haze, I get the Turtle Wax headlamp polishing kit from the car parts store.  I use the plastic polish from that kit, and keep going with the cotton ball.

After a short time, your lens will be scratch free and like brand new.  This whole process takes about 5-8 minutes, depending on how bad your lens was.

I like to put the interconnect board onto the control head board, place it all back into the radio, and turn it on to ensure the control head is back in normal working order.

If you omit this step, and screw something up, you'll have a lot harder time troubleshooting, especially if the issue is in the control head itself!

(If you failed to do this step, and indeed screwed your radio up and the display won't even come on, send me a picture of you slapping yourself, along with your email for help.)

You can see the display is nice, bright, all digits functioning.

I placed the scratched up, hazy, un-polished face plate back over the board so you could see just how bad it really was.

This is the exact same faceplate from the previous picture!

The display lens has been polished, and the buttons, retainer and o-ring put back in.  The circuit board assembly was put back on and the retaining screws replaced.

(it's been re-assembled)

Notice the display is like brand new!

(Below is the first picture from the top of this page, for you to compare.)


Nasty, picture from before we started.
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