View Poll Results: Your opinion of this HACK (pardon the pun)

36. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yeah! thinking abt doing it!

    5 13.89%
  • Cool stuff but wanna keep my warranty.

    12 33.33%
  • Ok whatever.

    5 13.89%
  • You\'re ****ing nutzoid!

    14 38.89%
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. Boh
    Boh is offline
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    8 Posts
    Hey there...
    I thought this might be of interest.
    I have well and truly voided my warranty now but for a reason
    I have a Treo 180
    and I love it in general. I did not however, like the longish antenna and the added thickness of the lid as well as the irritation of all that flipping.
    So I made my own antenna (1/3 the length and in stainless steel)
    sawed off the lid, sourced for a small speaker and epoxied it onto the top-left corner of the treo.
    Now it's thinner, antenna looks cooler and cannot break, and I can use it against my ear like a typical non-flip style cellphone.
    The drawback is that is looks wierder and the speakerphone function will not work with the small speaker anymore.
    Just thought get inputs from pple out there who might have done the same thing. Please write in with pics if possible abt what you did.

    You gotta have some coments abt this...
    I call it my NL (no lid) version
    more pics at
    Attached Images Attached Images
  2. #2  
    Wow - the speaker looks cooler than I thought it would from earlier descriptions - nice job!

    But it DOES have sort of a "Terminator/Borg" kinda look to it...

  3. #3  
    That looks awesome.. Except I like the lid becuase I like lids.. And doesn'the speaker get caught on your pocket? Whatever, it still looks great!
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff
  4. #4  
    It looks much better than I imagined. The lidless look gives it a Blackberryesque quality only better looking. I personally prefer the Star Trek communicator look of my Treo but great job.
  5. Boh
    Boh is offline
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    8 Posts
    Hey thaks for the kind comments
    and miradu, the speaker doesn't get caught because of the little nubbin of plastic i added just below the speaker.

    (ahhhh... so that's what that's for... and i thot it was just for the look!)

  6. #6  
    We are Treo 180 of the Borg. Resistance is Futile; your lids will be removed. We will add your distinctiveness and shareware programs to our own.
    -- Go Illini!
  7. #7  
    Sorry, but I think this is deserving of a "tape on the glasses" geekdom award. Has anyone here ever heard of SWR, or what mismatched SWR can do to the finals of a transmitter?

    The fact that you buggered up the case by sawing off the lid, and glued a couple of pieces piece of crap to the top of it for a speaker is irrelevant. The real bad part is that you took an antennae that had been tuned to the transmitter, and replaced it with a piece of foreign metal cut to the length you thought was cute. Did you bother to tune that hunk of metal to the transmitter, or did you just make it look cute?

    If you didn't tune it, two things will probably now happen -- 1. that cell towers you used to be able to use are now lost in background noise because your antennae is providing an impedance lump that the finals in the Treo transmitter cannot overcome, effectively reducing your transmitted power and range. 2. In the worse case, you just shortened the life of your transmitter ... again ... that transmitter is fighting an uphill battle against SWR because you thought a shorter antennae looked cuter.

    Good luck dude, but personally, I think you needlessly buggered up a perfectly working device.

  8. #8  

    Thank you for the smile of the day. Your sense of whimsey, personal vision of functional design, and overall fearlessness when facing a $300 gizmo all earn my admiration. I would never in a million years have thought of attempting such as reworking of the physical parts of a device that was designed of a whole.

    Don't count on me to be your first customer, however.

    Thanks again.
  9. Boh
    Boh is offline
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    8 Posts
    Hi Gary,

    well thanks for the constructive comments, but wanted to find out if you could explain what you mean more throughly please.

    SWR = short wave radio? pls confirm
    also what do you mean by "finals" of the antenna? is this electronic jargon or a mispelling?

    I would very much like some technical theory about how the antenna can be damaged by using a lump of metal? I replaced my ericcson phone antenna with one just like this many years back and it worked perfectly for over 2 years till I decided to buy a new phone. Pls explain. I would not want to risk damaging the internal circuitry.

    Thanks for the info, and pls don't be defensive, I would very much like to pick up some knowledge here.

    PS: thus far the antenna hasn't seemed to cause any significant probs. batt life seems the same, and signal seems the same too...
  10. #10  

    No offense taken.

    I am no "expert" in the area of radio and antennae, but being a licensed amateur radio operator (KA6ETP), I have built a few antennaes and tuned both them and the radio to the frequecnies I would be using. I also was a radio systems officer in the US Army and have dealt with low band and high band frequencies and power outputs that were pumped through klystron generators into 30 foot dishes with peak envelope power measured in mega-watts. Mismatched components at those power levels tend to leave very bright blue spots on the back of your eyeball when they fail and literally disapear. We theorized that we could have used the inverted V low-band antennae that had an output of several kilowats as a weapon if the bad guys got really nasty.

    SWR stands for Standing Wave Ratio and is a measure of what ain't radiating. If you picture a sine wave movig to and away from the antennae, as long as nothing imedes that sine wave from radiating everything is fine. However, if there is an impedance, then that wave starts to reflect back to the transmitter. SWR is the measure of what gets out compared to what gets reflected. Obvioulsy you want reflected power to be at a minimum so you tune the circuit, which means cutting the antennae to a proper length, and loading it at the proper point, to reduce SWR or reflected power. A full wavelength is best, but those tend to be unwieldly, so usually you cut the antennae to 1/4 or 1/2 wave length and then load it at the point were the SWR is at a minimum.

    The "finals" are the components of the transmitter that amplify the signal power to it's final level.

    For cell phones, which is nothing but a radio, we are talking 900+ megahertz and antennae lengths that are measured in inches for full wave lengths. Power is in milliwats so things wont turn to flamming plastic in your hand. You took what I would guess was a 1/4 wave antennae, matched and tuned to your transmitter, reduced the length to 3/12 (??) and used steel, which has different propagation characteristics than the original antennae. You changed the SWR. Did you lower the SWR, making things more effecient? I doubt it. Will this reduce the life of the Treo --- I suspect so. You could very easily be spattering all over the band --- which is called radio frequency interferrence (RFI). And as to your future prospects for brain tumors ... who knows.

    And then again ... maybe I am full of crap, but I guarantee I will not leave my Treo CDMA alone with you.


    Just discovered by NASA, two little sounds that preceeded the big bang. "Uh Oh..."
  11. #11  
    You took what I would guess was a 1/4 wave antennae, matched and tuned to your transmitter, reduced the length to 3/12 (??)
    Um. do you mean 1/12? If I remember my grade school math at all, 1/4 is 3/12.
  12. #12  
    I defer to you mathematical precociousness.

    (damn arthritic fingers!!!)


  13. Boh
    Boh is offline
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    8 Posts

    thanks for the info.
    SO.... ok then
    unfortunately I was never really involved in radio transmitters except for the sets we had to use in the army for short range comms, and even then we just basically stuck in the batteries and hoped they worked.. nobody bothered to open them up.

    ok anyway, how do you tell if the antenna really IS buggering up the elctronics,
    thus far I have no outward indication of anything wrong with it at all...
    i may be looking at the wrong things though.

  14. Boh
    Boh is offline
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    8 Posts
    PS, it really does feel much slimmer.

    after a week or two of using it, I have found that I have stopped using my holster and just carry it around in my pants pocket cos I really don't feel the thickness anymore.

    Batt life appears the same
    Signal appears the same
    It's actually much less fussy w/o the lid as well as smaller since there is no protruding lid once opened.
    Haven't had any probs with screen protection as I put it in my pocket with the screen on my thigh and hence it is well protected. (in addition to having a really thick plastic screen face.

    still... don't try this at home kids...
  15. #15  
    Interesting reconstruction!

    Good to read that it seems to be functioning well.
    I was wondering: has anyone at Handspring contacted you? I think they should at least look into this 'design'. If you say it's works better for you like this. The Treo being thinner is also a plus in my eyes.

    Greetings, Roel.
  16. #16  
    Where did you get the cool earpiece?
  17. #17  
    Originally posted by Gary G. Little
    being a licensed amateur radio operator (KA6ETP)
    KD6EHP -- Tech Plus here!

  18. #18  
    Doug ---


    Get thnyself to someone that understands SWR and has the equipment. Another HAM would be a good start. Of course you can simply ignore the possibility of a prblem since obviously nothing grossly is happening.

    Hmmm, do you notice airliners making right angle flight paths over you?


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