everhack Stuff I've been messing with, or just thinking about.

19May/1158

Last Broken Cricut, Fixed!

Woo woo, I'm now 6 for 6 on repairing the "broken" Cricuts I got off eBay. (ok, Danny M. gets 95% of the credit for the one with the busted middle-layer board traces)

The last holdout was a Personal model, which would beep three times when powered up. Nothing from the LCD, all the keyboard lights would come on.

I started by plugging a known-good power supply into it, just in case, but it didn't make any difference.

Next, I removed the bottom cover where the motherboard lives, and immediately spotted the culprit. The LCD header was unplugged.

After plugging it back in and powering it back up, angels sang, it started right up and gave me the "Cricut 1.0 OK"!

Incidentally, I had been wondering if the earliest firmware versions had perhaps not been read-only, so I plugged in my handy programmer card and attempted to download the firmware.

At first I thought I had hit paydirt, the file was NOT all 0s like the others, but alas, I realized the bytes were all sequential numbers in an interesting pattern (high-byte increasing across, low byte increasing downwards).

This machine looks pretty much unused and gleaming. I wonder if it was bad right from the factory? How else could a header just come unplugged like that?

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  1. Hi,
    My wife is now the proud owner of a semi-dead CRV0001 (Personal). The power button light illuminates, the LCD panel is dead and the keypad blinks a few keys on the right a couple of times then fades away. Do you think this sounds like a loose wire connector/bad solder joint or is it more likely to be electronics? I’ve pulled the base off and checked the voltage to the power connector which is 18v.

    It’s out of warranty, so I’m just trying to work out whether to pull it apart completely and investigate or send it off for certified repair. I prefer the first option but was stumped as to how the side panels come off without too much force. Any hits on the disassembly procedure would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers.

    • I haven’t seen that one before, but it’s not hopeless. For the end caps, try something thin and strong like a credit card (that you don’t care about). Push it in between the end cap and the trim ring from the sides and use it to release the “fingers” one at a time, pulling outwards at the same time to keep them from snapping back in.

      Chances are these won’t really help you, sounds more like a power problem. I had one that would flash on and off over and over again, the power adapter was putting out 18v, but as soon as there was any load on it, it would shut off and start over. So, if you have access to another (known good) adapter or power supply (18v 2A I think), I might try that first if you possibly can.

      Next, take a photo of the board to keep track of the connectors (there are one or two that can fit in 2 possible places), unplug them all, and remove the board from the base plate. Look very closely for bad and broken solder joints, especially around the power section. One of mine had a broken lead at the inductor next to the 5V regulator, which had come disconnected from two middle layer traces leading to the regulator. Test with your voltmeter around the 5V regulator and CPU power pins to see if it’s getting the proper voltage. Earlier 2-layer boards are easier to troubleshoot than the 3-layer ones which can be a drag.

      Let me know what you find!

  2. Thanks for the tips. I’m hoping to have another shot at it this weekend.

  3. Same problem with us. I took it apart and sketched out the schematic a bit. I think I shorted something in the relay with my scope probes on the power card that caused ‘er to kick right back in and start working again :)

  4. The size dial on the machine moves but the size on screen doesn’t. its stuck on 3 inches. This machine is out of warranty and and only used twice, so I am baffled. Any suggestions on what I can try? its an expressions machine.

    • The dials often break if the machine falls over, you could also try popping off the right side cover to see if theres anything obviously wrong with the dial or its wiring. I’ve found more than one with a wire broken at the connector, or simply come unplugged. The dials are plugged into the main processor board which can be seen by removing the 7 phillips screws on the bottom of the machine.

      • I opened the bottom today and took a look, everything looks like its is connected properly (but I am just a house wife)
        Maybe you should open up a shop and fix these things for other people……………could make some good money that way, sounds like lots of people are frustrated with their broken cricuts.

  5. Help the little piece that dose the actual cutting is stuck and it makes a loud noise when you turn it on. I can move it with my hands and it will return back to the starting position but won’t move on it’s own it lights up and everything else works fine. when looking on line lots of people have this problem but haven’t seen any solutions on how to fix it any suggestions? ( out of warranty don’t want to have to mess with or have to send it back.)

    • This one totally sounds to me like the wires for the little home switch have a disconnect somewhere. Take off the bottom cover and first check that all the cables at the right side are firmly connected. This one has two wires, red and white I -think-. Next you’ll need to get the right side cover off and check inside there. I had one once where the wires had gotten caught between sharp metal edges and the plastic side cover.

  6. Hi!

    Any suggestions on this problem: One prong from the power supply broke off and lodged itself in the mother board, any suggestions on removing it? If we can do that all I need is a new power cord and my cricut imagine is up and running! Thank you hope to hear from you soon!

  7. I have the 6 inch machine. A few days ago the lid with the reader board won’t illuminate. Any suggestions?

    • I don’t understand what you mean by “lid with the reader board.” Does the machine still work otherwise, or is it failing to power up completely?

  8. Have an expression that would get a green light but that was it. messed around some and got it to do something by playing with the BD327 power transistor.. I thought maybe it had gotten loosened up orsomething, so I traced the traces, put jumpers to make sure no broken traces etc.. Now what it will do is turn on, the lcd will flash, the stepper motor will move the cutter a short distance to the left (away from home) then the LCD will go out.. about a second later, will flash again (very briefly, MAYBE .10 / .25 sec, if I pay attention I can tell it has firmware 2.31 :D) it will just do this forever.. I’ve looked at the power input and it’s not moving, staying right at 18v.. the main voltage reg has a nice constant 5 v out.. but the one mentioned above, and some other components you can put the meter on them and see the voltage build to about 10, the LCD will flash, the stepper will step and then the voltage drops to about 5.. then builds again over the next couple of seconds and do it over and over and over.. ANY thoughts?

    • Not clear what you’re saying – is the input power stable 18v, or does it drop to 5 when the stepper tries to pull some current?

      This sounds exactly like what mine acted like when it had a faulty power adapter…

      Any chance you’ve got a spare you can try?

      • No, it stays nice and steady 18v.. so not that easy..
        the voltage reg is putting out 5v constant (the one with 5 legs on it). There is the adjustable voltage reg that is mounted by itself with the 3 wires running to it, and then the power transistor…

  9. Well, doing more checking after actually replacing one of the adjustable voltage regs and still didnt make a difference, just started probing.. found the Vcc pad on the far end of the PCB *away from power input* probed it and still was getting the rising and falling voltage.. Knowing the Vcc is a constant and should normally be in the 5v range or so… I jumpered from the 5 pin regulator to the Vcc pad.. and BAM it worked!! So now, I have an extra expression on the way because I had kind of given up on this one lol.. Not 100% sure it’s fixed ‘right’ but everything works well, so whatever I’ve bypassed, works for me :)

  10. Hi.

    I have just tried to combine two faulty Cricut Create machines to make one good one.

    My first problem is that the motherboard on one has a fried L4 component located near to the power inlet and just a bit below that and over to the left is a cracked C44. Do you know the value of these components so that I might be able to replace them. (photo available)

    Second machine has just one line (top) of the LCD showing without a backlight.
    After testing the LCD from a good machine it is not the LCD at fault, and after testing for voltage on the feed cable I appear to be missing 12volt between the red one and the one at the far end, it is around 4.5 volts instead (12 v on the good one) all other voltages match. Any idea where the missing supply could be hiding?

    Brian

  11. Hi,

    My Cricut Expression makes a grinding noise when it powers on. Everything looks like it will work it even tries to cut but it doesn’t move properly and is all messed up. The grinding has gotten worse and it acts like it is cutting but, alas, not correctly. I tried the reset button tricks with no luck. Any ideas? ProvoCraft says it will have to be replaced…”but even if you did have it repaired it would cost as much as our reconditioned one that is on sale”. So, maybe it can be repaired?

    Diana

    • I suspect the carriage belt is loose – check the tension with your finger, it should be fairly tight.. see if the carriage is straight on the track and all the wheels in the groove.. etc.. Secondly do check those limit switch wires.

      Yes, the problem with repair is it’s just not cost effective for the customer or repair shop; its generally cheaper to buy a working one from ebay ($50?) or perhaps PC’s reconditioned one (how much are they?). You could likely save a little money by getting one that doesn’t come with cartridges, blade holder, and so on.

  12. Hey there. I’m wondering if you have an email address where I could contact you? I have a cricut personal cutter that is not working (not powering on). Problem is, I borrowed it from a friend so if I can’t get it working, I’m going to have to buy them a new one!!

  13. HI – I now have 2 faulty cricut expression 2 in my posession and wondering if I could fix either before I send them back. The first one isn’t cutting. It is making all the correct movements and is even lightly scoring in places – after googling it appears its a common problem to do with pressure in the blade housing, but can it be fixed???
    The second cuts TOO well!! When the blade is moving across the mat to starting point, it is scoring the paper along the line travelled and its also doing the sane when it’s finished cutting and returning to its home position. Again I’m guessing its a pressure problem, but opposite to the first!!! Any help would be appreciated if possible xx

    • The “not enough cutting pressure” problem does seem to be a common problem! Unfortunately none of my machines have this issue so I haven’t been able to try diagnosing it. If you were in the US I’d offer to buy it from you to give it a try :(

      On your second issue, “cutting TOO well”, have you tried the fix I wrote about in the “Cricut Repair Tips” article regarding bent leaf springs in the carriage?

  14. We purchased a Provo Craft Cricut Image. It goes through all of the startup functions until it get to where the cartridge needs to drop down into the cartridge carriage. It will not go any further. Do you have any idea how to correct this problem?

  15. Hey There, have you ever found a solution for the failed USB port problem? PC doesn’t even know something’s plugged in, port seems dead so no PC based cutting options which is why I bought it in the first place…please email if you have any thoughts…thanks!

    • Many people have posted about this, only one has reported a fix, which was (I believe) actually replacing the USB connector on the board. I’d be willing to make the attempt and document it if you want to pay for shipping both ways.

  16. I have a cricut create machine. I went to turn my cricut on today and they only button that lights up is my power button. The green piece that holds the needed won’t move. What do I need to do? Please, help me!

  17. Would you be willing fix it for me? If I sent it to you and paid for shipped both ways?

  18. Perhaps you can help…I have a cricut expression and when I turn it on, the power button lights up and makes a tick, but nothing else happens. I emailed provo and they recommended using a new plug, done that-and still nothing. Do you have any´╗┐ suggestions for this problem?

  19. Hi. I’m BEGGING for your help because provocraft is being (in my opinion) jerks. When my house burned down and I lost my family, they told me to purchase another circut the same way i did the first one and that new one would be covered the way the old one would. Now, 8 months later, the screen fades to white if the machine is on more than 5 minutes or so. If i turn it off, it will go back to a picture, but i’m getting shorter and shorter usage time out of it again and again before the screen fades to un-usable. The provocraft representatives are insistant that this is “my fault” for my buying from an unauthorized dealer – even though they told me to get it the same way i got it before – i just happened to pick a different vendor – so they refuse to honor their own warranty. How do i fix or trouble shoot this screen, where do i get parts, and if all else fails,where are “authorized dealers” who still carry imagines? I’m desperate at this point. Thanks so much.. i’m terminally ill so i may not get back on this page so if you don’t mind shooting the answer to this to my personal email address i’d appreciate it muchly.. thanks again!

    S. Ravin

    • Hi. I’m BEGGING for your help because provocraft is being (in my opinion) jerks. When my house burned down and I lost my family, they told me to purchase another circut the same way i did the first one and that new one would be covered the way the old one would. Now, 8 months later, the screen fades to white if the machine is on more than 5 minutes or so. If i turn it off, it will go back to a picture, but i’m getting shorter and shorter usage time out of it again and again before the screen fades to un-usable. The provocraft representatives are insistant that this is “my fault” for my buying from an unauthorized dealer – even though they told me to get it the same way i got it before – i just happened to pick a different vendor – so they refuse to honor their own warranty. How do i fix or trouble shoot this screen, where do i get parts, and if all else fails,where are “authorized dealers” who still carry imagines? I’m desperate at this point. Thanks so much.. i’m terminally ill so i may not get back on this page so if you don’t mind shooting the answer to this to my personal email address i’d appreciate it muchly.. thanks again!

      S. Ravin

      • Hi Steph- I agree, PC are being jerks for blaming you. Unfortunately I cannot help :(. I don’t think the Imagine is still being produced, which means there wouldn’t be any authorized dealers. I’ve seen plenty of broken ones on eBay in the past, so you could try getting one for parts, but I’ve never had my hands on one to even begin to try and diagnose the issue. Hopefully someone will see your note here and offer help.

        If you want a reliable machine I’m afraid you will need to find another brand, like the KNK Zing.

  20. I have a cricut expression 2 and the plastic protector over the lcd screen is missing cricut says that is the brain and it is unrepairable it turns on and everything but doesn’t recognize anything on screen is it repairable

  21. I have a cricut expression and after updating the firmware the LCD is garbled and the cutter doesn’t line up correctly. Can you tell me how to fix this?

  22. OK so I was wondering about the belt on a cricut expression I bought. the belt was cut and I need to place it. How do I do it? Where do I get a belt?

    • I’ve not found an exact replacement yet- but:
      If you measure the width and teeth-per-inch and go to grainger or other industrial or robot supply, I bet you can find something that will fit.
      I don’t how how to handle the metal ends of the original belt (and dont have one in front of me), but maybe perhaps metal pieces can be transferred to the new belt and reused somehow?
      I would be grateful if you would post your results here if you try this!
      regards
      david

  23. Can the dial size assembly be replaced on an expression? I have a picture of my damaged one if you would like to see it. I can’t find the part ANYWHERE. I really love my expression and don’t have money to get another. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I upload picture to Google Drive so you can see them.

  24. I have the cricut expression (CREX001) I went to turn it on and it doesnt work. The lights for the power button, the creative features buttons and the buttons to the right of the screen keep flashing and clicking. It basically just keeps doing that, the screen is blank and the needle sort of jumps as well. None of the buttons work except power. Can you help me?

  25. Hi I was recently given a used Cricut machine without the manual. I looked it up online and read it. Initially the machine would turn on, the lcd screen was fine however the keypad would not work but instead light up flashing green. Later it somehow worked and I was able to use it quite a bit until it started doing this again. I consulted the person I got it from and it has happened to her as well but she doesn’t know what to do. Do you have any idea what it might be and how to fix it? I’m on a tight deadline for some work with it.

  26. I’m having the same problem as Cheryl above. “Power” is the only button that works, but when pressed the lights flash is short bursts and the blade jumps. Power supply seems fine – happened overnight. Worked yesterday just fine, today not so much. ???

  27. We found the wires disconnected that control the limit switch. Can’t be plugged back in because it is broke. Ideas on how to reconnect it?

    • I believe radio shack sells pushbutton switches that are nearly identical. I don’t know whether the existing one is “normally open” or “normally closed”. If you have a multimeter you can test for yourself. Otherwise I can check and write back when I return home this evening.

  28. My size dial motherboard broke in half. It is stuck at 5 1/2″. Can i fix it myself or is there a place where I purchase a new one?

    • There’s no ready supply of spares, but I might be able to find you one. If I were you I would first try to rig up something because there are only a couple of wires to each dial. Maybe glue a couple popsicle stick pieces to the board to splint it together, and solder a couple short pieces of wires to reconnect the connections that broke?

  29. I have a Cricut Create CRV2001. It powers on, and the function buttons on the left, the left three rows of small square buttons that light up the mat , and the off, stop, and cut buttons light up. However, there is no sound or movement, and the small LCD screen doesn’t light up. I pushed the red reset button, and also tried to get the “beep” by pushing the stop, and then turning the machine on….no beep. I was hoping I could reinstall/update drivers. Any ideas on other things I can try?

  30. Hoping For Some Tips. Bought A Used Cricut Personal And Have Discovered It Has A ShoRt In Or Around He Power Button. I Know It Sounds Wierd But If You Tap THe Side Of The Cricu Where The Power Button Is It Flashes On And If You Hit The Button At The Same Time It Will Come On. Any Tips On How To Go About Repairing It? I RealLy Appreciate Your Time.

    • If you remove right side cover, it will reveal the guts of the power button – see if anything looks loose or damaged – see if you can isolate the place you have to poke it to make it come on. It does sound there’s a bad connection in there somewhere.

  31. Hi, I appreciate your blog as I have successfully fixed several Expressions for resale. I have a personal cutter at the moment that won’t even power on but when I slide the blade carriage to the left a section of buttons flash on the left side of the keypad. I tried searching for info on how to fix this but came up with nothing. Do you have any ideas for me? I appreciate any help you can offer!


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