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  1.    #1  
    Yesterday I noticed for the first time that the battery charge indicator (both the onscreen one and the LED) is no longer reliably staying on when I've connected the HotSync cable to my Treo 300.

    After some fiddling around, I determined that if I let gravity pull the cable downwards (my Treo is sitting on the top of my PC's tower case, with the cable dangling off the edge), the power connection sometimes fails, and the charging indicator goes out (even if the battery still needs charging). If I manually lift the cable up, i.e. so that the HotSync cable connector is parallel to the plane of the Treo, rather than angled slightly downwards, the charge indicator comes back on.

    I can also go beyond parallel and tilt the connector upwards and the indicator will reliably stay lit. Therefore I could get around the problem by laying my Treo face down rather than face up, but this is unaccepable because I need to be able to look down at the screen when it comes to life due to it getting an incoming email notification from my sms_biff script.

    I determined that this wasn't a problem internal to the cable, since if I manually keep the connector tilted downwards but lift up the cable so that the first several inches are parallel to the plane of the connector, I still have the problem.

    Also, it looks like the problem only affects the power connection -- if I manually tilt the connector down as far as it will go, the charging indicator will reliably go out, yet I can still do a successful HotSync with it like this (with no noticeable slowness due to it having to do retransmissions).

    I looked inside the HotSync connector on my Treo, and in fact I found what appeared to be a small scrap of cardboard at the bottom of it, but blowing that out with a compressed air duster didn't help. Neither did spraying in some Caig contact cleaner and working the connector in and out a few times.

    At one point yesterday I even got a fatal alert due to this problem:

    Code:
    Fatal Alert
    ../Src/Palm/HwrBattery6
    8Z328.c, Line 3355, Battery
    timer stopped
    I left it sitting there for a minute or so without hitting the onscreen "Reset" button, and then the alert message changed to:

    Code:
    Stack in use
    I tried hitting the onscreen Reset at that point, but nothing happened, so I had to use the hardware reset button.

    At first (this was before I tracked things down to the connector tilt issue), I thought the alert might have something to do with the fact that I had just finished running StabilityTest's torture test (and FlyZip before that), but the thread "Fatal Alert with car charger" confirms that this is a charger / connector issue.

    Now, I presume this problem will go away if I buy Handspring's Treo USB Charging Cradle, but it kind of sucks to have to shell out $50 because Handspring didn't design their HotSync connector properly. I've noticed since day one that this connection is wobbly and that it doesn't stay reliably locked in there -- you can pull it out even without depressing those buttons on the sides of the connector.

    Also there's no room for the cradle's larger footprint with my current setup, so I'll have to rearrange my workspace...

    Anyway, anyone else noticed this with their Treo?
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by Dan Harkless
    At one point yesterday I even got a fatal alert due to this problem:

    Code:
    Fatal Alert
    ../Src/Palm/HwrBattery6
    8Z328.c, Line 3355, Battery
    timer stopped
    I could swear I've gotten that before. But there is something which I've noticed.. the charging light does not come on reliably with USB charging cables, AA chargers etc. Only with the wall wart.

    I have several charging cables and both an AAA charger and an AA charger, and they all have sometimes caused the charging light to be flaky. Sometimes it will show 100% and green lightning bolt, and sometimes the LED will sorta intermittently fade in and and out of solid red during charging.

    I think for the most part it happens when I use the USB cable to charge while the radio is on. I think they don't supply enough voltage or current or something.

    I read in another thread that doing a pin reset while charging can reset the charging circuit. Maybe I'll try that the next time it happens.
  3.    #3  
    Originally posted by potatoho
    I could swear I've gotten that before. But there is something which I've noticed.. the charging light does not come on reliably with USB charging cables, AA chargers etc. Only with the wall wart.
    Ah, thanks for the (indirect) suggestion. I tried unhooking the USB cable from the wall wart and plugging the latter's cable directly into my Treo, and unfortunately the problem still occurs. It does seem to be a little bit better, since the wall wart cable's connector fits slightly more snugly (it's only been disconnected from the USB cable twice), but I can definitely get the charge indicator to turn off at will by tilting the top of the Treo downwards so that the connector-Treo interface is at its maximum level of backwards tilt.

    I guess that means the problem is is definitely with the connector on the Treo side. A couple of threads, including "Loose Data Connector", talk about how the connector is only attached to the PCB by a solder joint (poor design). I suppose I'll need to get Treo replaced under warranty, Circuit City service plan, or Sprint replacement plan (have to research which of those options is best), and order a cradle to use almost exclusively with the replacement, since that will place less stress on the connector.

    I have several charging cables and both an AAA charger and an AA charger, and they all have sometimes caused the charging light to be flaky. Sometimes it will show 100% and green lightning bolt, and sometimes the LED will sorta intermittently fade in and and out of solid red during charging.
    But while your LED is acting flaky, the onscreen charge indicator acts properly? In my case, the LED and onscreen indicator are going hand-in-hand.

    I think for the most part it happens when I use the USB cable to charge while the radio is on. I think they don't supply enough voltage or current or something.

    I read in another thread that doing a pin reset while charging can reset the charging circuit. Maybe I'll try that the next time it happens.
    Interesting. Well, tried that for fun with my Treo, and as expected, no difference.
  4. #4  
    I shoulda figured I wasn't the only one.

    After I got a new computer, my previous hot sync problems basically disappeared.

    However, I smiled too soon. A few days ago, the physical connection became finicky, requiring me to prop up the cable a bit, push it tighter, etc.

    Until today, when the hot sync connector just broke. It recesses into the unit whenever I insert the hot sync cable, rendering me unable to charge or sync the unit.

    Called Handspring, and they made me go through the whole giving-my-credit-card-number rigamarole, only to tell me after answering a long series of questions that, ah, since I'm a T-Mobile customer, I have to take the issue up with them. Sheesh.

    So I called T-Mobile (joy oh joy) and they are gonna send me out a new unit (thankfully free) in 3-5 days. Though I don't get why I couldn't just go into a local T-Mobile store and swap out my current unit; would've saved me a lot of anguish waiting for a usable unit, and would've saved T-Mobile the cost of paying for shipping of units both ways with me. Go figure.
  5.    #5  
    As for me, I received the Treo USB Cradle I ordered. With it, my compromised (if not as clobbered as yours, Adam) HotSync connector makes a positive connection, even if I pick up the cradle and move it around.

    That isn't the reason I've been putting off getting a replacement 300, though -- I had a Windows meltdown and had to reinstall the world to be able to do one more backup before I could trade out my unit.

    Now I've got a working PC again, so I need to get off my **** and figure out which of the three entities (which doesn't even count Handspring) I want to exchange my unit with. I believe when I signed up for my Equipment Replacement Program with Sprint they said you can just stop by a Sprint store and trade in the broken unit for a brand new one, so I'll probably go that route.

    You're limited to one equipment replacement every X months (I forget the exact figure), but I had been thinking of dropping the $4 / month plan anyway, so that should work out OK.

    I suspect with the manufacturer warranty and the Circuit City service plan that I wouldn't get a brand-new unit...
  6. #6  
    I'd prolly do the Circuit City one if I had it. Can't you just walk out with a brand new in-the-box 300 with no extra charges. I thought Sprint had a $35 deductable and they sometimes give out refurbs.
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by Dan Harkless
    Loose Data Connector. I suppose I'll need to get Treo replaced under warranty, Circuit City service plan, or Sprint replacement plan
    Whichever route you go, I'd love to read what response you get when you say "yea, I've got a loose data connector" BTW, will this be your 2nd or 3rd treo?
    David
  8. #8  
    Originally posted by Dan Harkless
    Also there's no room for the cradle's larger footprint with my current setup, so I'll have to rearrange my workspace...
    It's good to plan on redundant desktop space. Otherwise, where do you put your plate of lasagne?
    David
  9. #9  
    I had similar problems with my connector at the bottom of my Treo300 (had issues holding the power and/or HotSync connections at all my various car chargers and cradle and standalone HotSync cable; was also having the same battery timer crash thing). I took it into the Sprint store - they took it in the back to do some testing, came back out and said yep, the phone has a problem, we'll send you a new one since you're under warranty.
    New one showed up about 2 days later (pretty sure it's a refurb, but I can't tell the diff, and I'm massively obsessive about the freaking thing - no wobble on the lid, no paint issues, nothing).
    So - all good for me.
  10.    #10  
    Originally posted by potatoho
    I'd prolly do the Circuit City one if I had it. Can't you just walk out with a brand new in-the-box 300 with no extra charges. I thought Sprint had a $35 deductable and they sometimes give out refurbs.
    Yeah, thanks -- I had forgotten about (or had missed in the fine print) the deductible issue with the Sprint equipment replacement plan. Guess for someone with the Circuit City Protection Plan, it's only worth paying for the Sprint plan if you're worried about your Treo getting lost or stolen.

    I called up Sprint and they said I'd be able to go into a Sprint store and do a warranty exchange, and that they'd give me a new unit if they had one, but otherwise they'd give me a refurbished one.

    Since I wanted to avoid a refurb unit that might have wear in certain areas, I elected to use my CC plan. I called my closest store and asked about how the plan would work, and they said to just bring in my unit and they'd give me a new one. I realized they hadn't bothered to verify that they had any in stock, so I called back and they said that they didn't have any, and that no local stores did, but that there were two in the warehouse and if I came in they could special-order one of those for me.

    When I got in, the story had changed -- they were unable to special-order either of those and they couldn't tell me why. Possibly related was that the price of the Treo 300 now ends with ".96", which is a special code they use to signify that an item is being discontinued.

    After a lot of arguing, being misled, being foisted off on different employees (who were busy doing other things), it finally turned out that despite what they'd just told me on the phone, my second-closest CC store had one new Treo 300 in stock. The salesman tried to convince me to let him sell me that unit out of the other store's stock (so he could get his commission, no doubt), but that meant I'd have to give up my existing Treo and then go to the other store the next day to get the new one, and potentially wind up with a DOA unit and be unable to undo the transaction and get my old one back.

    Didn't sound like a good plan, so I kept my old unit and just went to the other store the next day. Luckily they still had their one unit in stock (they wouldn't do a hold to ensure this).

    The transaction went pretty smoothly. There is a small charge -- they give you a whole new 3-year period on your protection plan, so they charge you a pro-rated amount for the duration of the first plan that you used. In my case, with pro-rated usage of the plan since October, this was $11.56.

    Went ahead and had one of the salesmen activate my new Treo, since he was selling himself as if he was an expert at it, but actually he turned out to be fairly clueless. He got it done, though. The Sprint rep said it would take two hours for the activation to take effect, and the CC guy said it usually takes less than 5 minutes (that was my experience with my first Treo, which I activated at a Sprint store), but it's now been over 2 hours and I still get a "doo-dee-doo-dee-doo-dee" alert sound if I try to call any number besides *2. I tried to get a representative at *2 to ask about the issue, but the recording said they were closed for the day. Argh, I wonder if they'll be out all day tomorrow too...


    Originally posted by drw
    Whichever route you go, I'd love to read what response you get when you say "yea, I've got a loose data connector" BTW, will this be your 2nd or 3rd treo?
    Third TiVo, second Treo.

    None of the CC folks scoffed at my reason for needing a new Treo. As it turned out, while the USB cradle was effective for awhile at making a non-intermittent connection with my old unit with its compromised HotSync connector, it gradually got worse and I'd have to shift the unit around in the cradle to get it to charge and/or HotSync. Any movement at all would temporarily break the connection, making it go from green-light mode to red-light mode. So it was quite serious...

    It's good to plan on redundant desktop space. Otherwise, where do you put your plate of lasagne?
    That goes between my forearms. Can't really do that with the Treo, because of the cradle's cable.


    Another reason I'm very glad I have a new Treo is that the stylus silo had become so loose that the stylus would frequently go flying into the air (or just fall out in my pocket) when I pulled out my Treo. Once this happened at a movie theater just before the lights were going to go down (I was turning off my ringer) and the stylus rolled into the aisle in front of me. Luckily it stopped where a guy in front of my could see it, and he retrieved it for me.

    Great having a new unit again and being done with this problem. I wonder if it was the stylus, the silo, or both, that wore away on the old one. Even if it was just the stylus (which of course is easily replaceable), seems like Handspring could stand to do some redesign in that area. Will be interesting to see if the Treo 300's replacement coming out this summer will have any fixes there.

    The cool thing about the Cityadvantage Protection Plan is that if they no longer carry your unit (which it appears they very soon won't, with the 300), you can get store credit equal to your original purchase price on a new, different unit (e.g. the 300's successor).
  11.    #11  
    Originally posted by Dan Harkless
    Went ahead and had one of the salesmen activate my new Treo, since he was selling himself as if he was an expert at it, but actually he turned out to be fairly clueless. He got it done, though. The Sprint rep said it would take two hours for the activation to take effect, and the CC guy said it usually takes less than 5 minutes (that was my experience with my first Treo, which I activated at a Sprint store), but it's now been over 2 hours and I still get a "doo-dee-doo-dee-doo-dee" alert sound if I try to call any number besides *2. I tried to get a representative at *2 to ask about the issue, but the recording said they were closed for the day. Argh, I wonder if they'll be out all day tomorrow too...
    Actually, he didn't get it done, as I talk about in this thread. And *2 is indeed out all day today, but luckily the Sprint stores were open.

    Another reason I'm very glad I have a new Treo is that the stylus silo had become so loose that the stylus would frequently go flying into the air (or just fall out in my pocket) when I pulled out my Treo.
    Oh yeah, and one other problem my old Treo had started to have was that often right after an SMS alert sound, the speaker and microphone would feed back on themselves (even though I wouldn't be talking on the phone at the time, so you'd think the microphone would be disabled), causing a short squeal to be emitted.

    Also, though I have "Sound Mode On" in my Ringer Preferences set to "Ring Volume: Loud" and "Vibrate: On", often when I'd get an SMS message it'd do the vibration, but the "ding ding" message tone would fail to sound.

    Haven't seen either of these problems yet with the new unit...
  12.    #12  
    Originally posted by Dan Harkless
    Oh yeah, and one other problem my old Treo had started to have was that often right after an SMS alert sound, the speaker and microphone would feed back on themselves (even though I wouldn't be talking on the phone at the time, so you'd think the microphone would be disabled), causing a short squeal to be emitted.

    Also, though I have "Sound Mode On" in my Ringer Preferences set to "Ring Volume: Loud" and "Vibrate: On", often when I'd get an SMS message it'd do the vibration, but the "ding ding" message tone would fail to sound.

    Haven't seen either of these problems yet with the new unit...
    Well, I take it back. The new unit is also often failing to play the SMS message alert sound simultaneously with the vibrate.

    Haven't heard the feedback problem yet, though.

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