9 November 2004

Taking My Tungsten T3 Apart

Posted under: at 05:29

What a mess!

My out of warranty Palm Tungsten T3‘s digitizer has been drifting away since several weeks ago. Just like everybody else did, recalibrating didn’t work. I tried from hard resetting the unit and trying several third party digitizer recalibration program like DigiE but the drift is still there. Knowing a software solution won’t solve the problem, I gave up and let the drift there. I’d just make mental adjustment whenever I was using the stylus.

I’m always reluctant to take apart things like this. I’m not that good with hardware. For example, in theory I know the pinout of an RJ-45 jack. However, whenever need to crimp them, I always end up with more failures than success. However, I’m also getting tired of this digitizer problem and decided that enough is enough. In the Internet, I’ve found some people have taken apart their Tungsten T3s in order to eliminate their digitizer problem with varying degrees of success. There are several take apart instructions, I use ones from gethightech.com and palmbattery.com.

After taken my Palm apart, I reseated the connector from digitizer to the motherboard. Reseating that connector ought to solve the problem, they said. However it doesn’t work on my case :(. The drift is still there, it’s hopeless. So, I just put it back together and live with the drift, maybe if I got the money I’ll just get a new one, preferably not another with a slider. After taking apart the unit, I’ve managed to break and scratch several parts, in particular I lost one screw because the screwdrivers I was using are either too big or too small. But the good news is the unit is still functioning perfectly, except for the digitizer, that is.

After putting the unit back, I figured the solution could be some compensation when calibrating. I did just that, I hit a spot a little off the bottom right calibration point. Now the drift happens at the middle of the screen, not at the bottom as before. So at least now I can use the function buttons on the bottom of the screen and the drift is now not as severe as before. At least it is usable for gaming.

The other solution is to ‘downgrade’ my unit by never pulling the slider. The drift occurs only in areas covered by the slider. So by always covering the drift area, I pretend the drift is not there. This way my unit becomes a phone-less and thumbboard-less Treo 650 some way or another. However, I have been accustomed to T3’s big screen, so I consider losing the big screen as a great loss.

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