Sony Rolly – Finally Fully Functional
Article by Richard Grisafi
It’s been a while since my last post and I’ve been busy with a new job among other things. I was searching eBay last week and they so nicely suggested that I might be interested in purchasing a Sony Rolly based on my previous searching habits. Well since I noticed the price was less than $600 I figured there was something wrong with it. Sure enough the left wheel motor seemed to be locking up and it was being sold as-is with a current bid at about $200. The seller claimed it played stored music and operated as a Bluetooth speaker just fine. If you’ll remember from my previous Sony Rolly Article, it was my suspicion that the flash chip was to blame for my Rolly’s failure. My computer was unable to recognize it and tried to “Initialize the disk” every time I connected it. I put a bid on this new Rolly and forgot about it for a few days.
To my surprise I won the auction which also included a charging cradle and the blue arm accessories as well as the original box of everything. Fast forward to Friday afternoon when it arrived. I got home from work and began tearing the new one apart to find the flash chip.
I extracted the chip and put it aside. I left the new Rolly disassembled and opened up my original Rolly. I got it down to the flash chip and replaced it with the new one.
I reassembled the original Rolly with the new chip and just as I suspected it powered on successfully. I then reassembled the new Rolly with the old flash chip and as you can imagine it failed to power on correctly and I was met with a red light. The original Rolly however could now be recognized by my PC and Rolly Choreographer.
I excitedly charged up my original Rolly which has been uncharged since I wrote the last article. After a long and painful twenty minutes of suspense I tested the original Rolly with it’s shiny new flash chip. I played “Livin’ La Vida Loca” and was met with a Red Wheel light about ten seconds into the song. As you may or may not know if the wheel lights turn red and the Rolly stops moving it’s because the motor is obstructed or otherwise not moving. I diagnosed the problem to be with the right shoulder. When I powered on the Rolly this was the only part that didn’t move. Since I was incredibly frustrated at that point I just quit for the day and picked it up earlier again today.
Once again I opened up my original Rolly expecting to replace the shoulder motor. After a closer inspection the connector for the shoulder motor seemed to have been tugged from it’s socket. I wish I had a photo but I forgot to take one. It must have become loose the first time I disassembled the Rolly. I pushed it back in and it moved a noticeable distance before clicking into place. I reassembled the thing yet again and lo and behold it finally worked. It was able to make it through entire songs without any red lights and the shoulder is rotating just fine.
Above is the Rolly that provided the flash transplant. Thanks little buddy. You’ll make an excellent Bluetooth speaker.
Maybe some day I’ll get the nerve to attempt a chip-level replacement of the old flash board as well as the motor. Although I’m reasonably confident in my soldering ability I’m pretty hesitant to perform surgery on such a rare component. As for the motor I don’t think there was anything extravagant about it. It’s probably possible to source that through other means.
I’m overall super excited to have my Sony Rolly back in functioning condition. If there is anything I can help you with please don’t hesitate to ask. Thanks so much for reading and please feel free to browse my other articles.