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  1.    #1  
    I've been lucky - I've only had one Treo break, but that one was enough for me to try and understand why the lid broke and try to prevent it from happening again. I've had this phone for five months and so I thought that I should post my findings. I feel pretty confident about them, but I'm still not 100% certain.

    I started by trying to understand the problem:
    1.What were the characteristics of the failure?
    The lid broke at the right hinge where the spring that holds it open or closed is attached. The crack first extended from the window to the hinge, then extended out to the edge from there.
    These facts lead me to believe that the force from the spring has something to do with the lid failure. This is idea may be supported by the fact that some people are getting replacement Treos with weaker springs.

    2. Why does the lid on the 300 break, but not on the 180 and the 270?
    This is a difficult question to answer. The type of plastic used is different, and it's not possible for me to assess how much this contributed to the failure. I think that plastic in the 300 lid is more brittle, but I can't be sure. However, it's important to note that the 300 and the 270/180 differ in their lid bumpers. The 300 has a wider bumper with sharp corners, and 270/180 has a narrower bumper that is rounded. When I got my replacement 300 i inspected the lid carefully first thing when I took it out of the box. after opening and closing it a couple of times, I noticed something: two tiny divets had formed on lid where the corners of the bumper touch it when open. In the photos attached below those divets are visible. I looked at other Treo 300s and found that most had those divets as well.

    So my conclusion about the lid failure is as follows:
    In all likelihood the lid failed for a combination of two reasons: the lid spring is too strong and the shape of the bumper led to a concentration of force that eventually cracked the plastic. The crack grew until the lid split.

    My proposed solution to the problem:
    To mitigate these conditions requires either that the spring be replaced, which I don't think I can do easily (some people have reported that their replacement Treos have come with weaker springs - You may want to talk to you local Sprint store about trading yours in for one of those), or that the bumper be modified. Rounding the corners of the bumper should probably do the trick. However, that may constitute a modification of the device, and thus void your warranty. My personal solution was to modify the bumper with a removable cushion. I made the cushion by wrapping a short length of narrow gauge rubber band in double sided tape. The cushion absorbs most of the energy from opening the lid and prevents the bumper corners from touching the lid. The cushion can also be removed leaving no trace of modification. However, this results in lid being unable to completely open. Personally, I find the reduced angle to be more comfortable, but this change may not be acceptable for some.

    Over the last five months, the cushion has stayed in place and the divets have not grown. The lid has remained intact, and I'm hopeful that it will stay intact, at least until the 600 is released.
  2.    #2  
    Here are close ups of the divets.
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  3.    #3  
    The right divet
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  4.    #4  
    If you'd like more info about the cushion, please post to this thread.
    Conrad
  5.    #5  
    The cushion from the top
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  6.    #6  
    The cushion from the side
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  7.    #7  
    The cushion with the lid open
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  8. #8  
    I'm not sure if I open my Treo less than others but I'm now on my 5th Treo, and have never seen it divot, or crack.

    However, like I stated in other threads, I also use the headset almost exclusively. So, if that's why I would suggest that as a 2nd solution to those that have the lid breakage problem.

    After I saw the internal pictures of the Treo and that it was using a PCMCIA radio designed for laptop use, I really hate the idea of putting this thing up to my head to talk into it.
  9. #9  
    I'm going to give this modification a try with my new treo 300, which I should receive Monday or Tuesday. Apparently I am really hard on the lid since it has broken on me twice (and this doesn't seem to happen to everyone). My husband thinks I probably slammed it closed too much.

    I think the ultimate solution to my problem is going to be to buy the Treo 600 as soon as it comes out, and then give the Treo 300 to my husband (who is more patient and careful than I).

    -Yvonne
    Last edited by itsyvonne; 09/22/2003 at 01:36 AM.
  10. #10  
    After I saw the internal pictures of the Treo and that it was using a PCMCIA radio designed for laptop use, I really hate the idea of putting this thing up to my head to talk into it.
    This is not true.
    -Michael Ducker
    TreoCentral Staff
  11. #11  
    After I saw the internal pictures of the Treo and that it was using a PCMCIA radio designed for laptop use, I really hate the idea of putting this thing up to my head to talk into it.
    Originally posted by miradu


    This is not true.
    I was wonderin' about that weird statement ... nice to know there's some disagreement as to the veracity of it!

    -Yvonne
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by Conrad
    If you'd like more info about the cushion, please post to this thread.
    Conrad
    I'd like more info. From the pictures it looks like you've cut the rubber band, but then where did you apply the tape? Is the bumper now "sticky"?
  13. #13  
    I just did this, and yes, the bumper is sticky all around ... but I am guessing it will lose its 'stickum' on the outward-facing side pretty quickly. My husband suggested maybe just putting the tape on the bumper and then applying the rubber band. I'm just leaving it 'as is' for now, though. It's working - it's not sticking enough on the outside to be a problem when I close the phone. I guess time will tell if this will make a difference in hinge longevity for me!

    -Yvonne
  14.    #14  
    Yeah, the sticky material on the outside wears off very quickly. After a little dust, lint, and finger oil, the sticky is gone.

    Also, I cut the rubber band to the correct length, and then wrapped it in the double sided tape.

    Let me know how the modification works out for you. Try to use a very narrow gauge rubber band, the thicker it is, the easier it can be accidentally pulled off. About 1mm diameter is perfect.

    Conrad
  15. #15  
    Conrad,
    Thank you for all the details and excellent photography. :-)
    I did not find any "divots" on my Treo which has been in heavy use for almost 1 year. However, from the beginning, I saw that the design was weak and have always opened the Treo slowly, being careful to avoid the impact that occurs when flipping it open. I have also avoided pushing the lid up against my ear. These are two relatively painless measures that could also help in postponing the cracks and breaks.

    Unfortunately, in spite of this extremely gentle treatment, I have evidently opened it so many times that I now often have to jiggle the lid back and forth to hear the voice of the person I am calling (in other words, I have problems with the evidently weak cable that was used in connecting the speaker internally). The lid is undoubtedly the Achilles heel of the Treo 300.

    Originally posted by Conrad
    So my conclusion about the lid failure is as follows:
    In all likelihood the lid failed for a combination of two reasons: the lid spring is too strong and the shape of the bumper led to a concentration of force that eventually cracked the plastic. The crack grew until the lid split.
  16. jmw
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    #16  
    I just used some double-sided sticky tape (the thick kind with foam in the middle). I cut a thin strip with a utility knife and stuck it on. Then i used my finger to slowly "unsticky" the exposed side of the tape. Worked great, for a few months, until the tape finally peeled off. I could have just put another piece on, but I decided to just round the corners with my dremel tool, and be done with it.

    Jmw
  17. #17  
    Conrad, thanks for your detailed post. Since I'm on my second Treo and holding(4 months now), I thought I'd check back into Treocentral for instructive updates.

    Like yours, my unit also exhibits the divets so I'll be attempting your mod. I am still very disappointed that this seems like it will only postpone the inevitable.

    Again, many thanks!
    --
    jt
  18. #18  
    Try using velcro! I picked up some velcro tape at Office Depot for $3. I used the fluffier side of the velcro as opposed to the rough one to provide more cushion. Since it is velcro tape, it already comes with the adhesive. Just cut and lay it where Conrad put his rubber band. It works great as a cushion and the black velcro matches the antenna and silver color of the Treo a lot better than the rubber band!
  19. #19  
    Maybe I'm just lucky, but I have had my Treo for 6 months and no problems with the lid, including surviving two drops. However, I have used two techniques that may be key to long-term Treo 300 lid durability (& no divets on the lid for me either)...
    1) I have left the protective plastic film covers on the inside and outside of the lid since day 1. There is no visibility problem and as long as you don't pull on the protective covers, they just stay there. I have noticed that the small tab on teh top used to peel off the outside protective film acts as a soft bumper when the lid swings all the way back. I think that's a key. Just enough soft plastic to cushion the lid as it flips open completely.
    2) I always hold 1 or 2 fingers on the outside of the lid when I am talking (which causes no smudging on the lid due to the protective plastic covers) and thus keeps the lid from being hyper-extended and likely weakened.
    Maybe this is too obvious, but so far it seems to work for me.
  20. #20  
    Is lid breakage of the type described covered by warranty?
    I thought it would be and took it to a sprint store to seek warranty replacement. The representative told me that if I had insurance it would be covered by that but not by warranty.
    I want to appeal the representatives decision.

    My one year contract is almost up. If sprint does not honer the warranty then I may give up on the treo and sprint and move to Verizon. I like the Treo but not the coverage that I have from sprint. I am hoping verizon will consider my treo in working order and give me $100 trade in value for a Kyocera 7135 Smartphone.
    Patrick

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