Shocker/Nerve Board Damage Troubleshooting ZDSPB.com > Tech index > Shocker SFT > Troubleshooting and repair > Board Damage
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Tech index -> Nerve -> Troubleshooting and repair -> Board Damage

The problem:
The two upper grip screws happen to be positioned right next to the upper circuit board (attached to the solenoid). Note that I am referring to the screws that hold the grip panels onto the frame, not the screws that hold the frame to the body.
If you're using grips that are thinner than the stock SP ones, what happens is the screws will be able to screw into the frame deeper than they should, and essentially screw right into the bottom of the circuit board. This includes Hybrid grips, Dye Sticky3's, Smart Parts 07 Protouch grips, and some others. Note that older Dye grips are thick, like the older SP "Smartgrips", so neither of those have the problem.

Damage Damage
These pictures above show some sample damaged boards. When the grip screw digs into the board, oftentimes there will be a scratch visible on the bottom.
Damage Damage
These two pictures are close-ups of damaged boards. Sometimes the board will physically rip up the circuit, which can be seen here.

However, please note that it's possible for the screws to scratch the board a little, but not cause any real damage. Remember, for the circuit to be damaged, the copper circuit etching will have to be dug into and severed. If it isn't broken (like in the below picture), the board will still work perfectly fine. But you should still shorten you screws anyway!
Damage

Symptoms of Board Damage:
Once the board is damaged, any number of things can happen. This is partially becuase there are a few different versions of boards out there, with different circuit layouts (this is explained in the upper board section, but isn't necessary information so don't worry about it).
Gun doesn't turn on; most common.
When you pull the trigger, solenoid won't click.
When you pull the trigger, solenoid won't click and LED won't blink.
(Tadao board only) board enters programming mode on its own, or enters programming mode when the powerswitch is pressed.
Gun turns itself on and off (when grip screws are installed only)
Board pushed off the solenoid and damages the solenoid coil (very expensive to repair).
Depending on the severity, the gun can exhibit one or more of those conditions.

Please remember that there are multiple causes for some of these problems, unrelated to the grip screw damage. Just becuase your gun exhibits any of these symptoms doesn't mean your board is damaged. Please refer to the Electronics Troubleshooting page in the Related Links section.

Preventing Board Damage:
If you purchase thinner grips, you MUST NOT tighten the screws too far into the frame. Simple as that! There are several things you can do to make this easier.
1. Shorten the stock screws, using a hacksaw, bench grinder, dremel, heavy-duty clippers, whatever you can find.
2. Use shorter screws. The grip screw thread size is 6-32. Go to the hardware store and see if they have any 6-32 screws that are shorter than 5/16". For hybrid grip I suggest 3/16; for Dye grips this may work but if not go with 1/4" (sometimes works on one side of the frame but not the other, don't worry about why).
NOTE! Hybrid grips are supposed to come with shorter ones. Use them!
3. Space out the stock screws using o-rings, washers, or whatever else you can find. I've found that 6/90 o-rings work well. This particular size isn't used by many paintball guns, so you'd have to special order it from someplace. I don't know where (don't ask me; I get my o-rings local).

Testing your Grips:
If you are unsure if your grip screws are too far, there's an easy way to test. Place the grip screw in the grips while they're off the gun, and look to see how much of the screw sticks out the back. If there are more than three threads visible (approx 1/8", or 3 millimeters) then your screw is too long, and you'll have to do one of the things mentioned above. Seen below are the SP stock grips, Hybrid, Sticky3, and 07 Protouch in the next picture.
Damage Damage
If you're unsure, assume the screws are too short.
So...your board is damaged, what now?
You will either have to get the board repaired, or purchase a new one from SP (for $125).
I can repair the damage myself, but it costs $15 plus shipping. Contact me via e-mail if you need more details on this.
HOWEVER! Remember when I said the grip screws can push the board off and damage the solenoid coil? If that has happened, you will have no choice but to replace the entire solenoid (for the above $125). There's unfortunately nothing that can be done to save the solenoid in this situation; the board can be repaired, but the solenoid coil is useless.

I have also put together a guide for home repair of the circuit board. Please note that this guide is meant ONLY for those with advanced soldering experience. If done incorrectly you will further damage the board and/or burn yourself in the process. It will also void your factory warranty, if present. Refer to the Related Links section for the guide.

Related Links:
Electronics Troubleshooting
How to repair board damage.