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  1.    #1  
    Has anyone here taken a Treo 270 apart because of an issue like I am having? I want to see why the connector has begun to wobble (weak solder, or whatever) My Treo 270 is out of warranty and I'm reluctant to pay $179 to have PalmOne fix it. The hotsync connection is now weak, and I have to use the cable (cradle no longer makes a good connection) with a small object placed directly underneath the cable's male connector at the point where it enters the Treo 270.
    Treo user, 67+
  2. #2  
    Your mechanical solder connections from the PCB to connector are most likely broken. I have the same problem right now on my 15 month old T300. There are 4 pads that are "mechanical only", 2 (or more) of these need to be resoldered.

    Without repair your electrical lines (now under stress) will start to fail.
    GG
  3.    #3  
    Thanks for the reply. Since I posted my question, I did a search and located a page with color photos of the Treo 270 taken apart. I haven't done that much soldering in my life! I am debating whether or not to attempt it, or pay PalmOne $179 to do the repair (I'm out of warranty).
    I am leaning toward carefully opening it and making my decision once I check out the likely difficulties I might encounter. I might do some practice soldering on electronic junk I have at home.
    I will need to do something pretty soon, as I am now lucky if I can prop up the cable at an angle to sustain the connection while it is charging. The hotsync cradle no longer works because it doesn't allow one to adjust the angle of connection.
    What is your plan?
    Treo user, 67+
  4. #4  
    I'll be opening mine up tomorrow night for repair.

    I'd recommend digging into yourself, to save the $$.
    Check out this thread, I posted some info on dis-assembly that will make it fairly simple to open up. I'd also replace the battery while you have it open. Mine batt died after 14 months of use.

    http://discussion.treocentral.com/tc...35396/s/h.html

    GG
  5.    #5  
    Thanks for the advice, Gekko. Let me know how your fare. At least I will try to open it up and see what is in there. I looked at the pages you recommended, and printed out the color photos of the dismantled Treo.
    I'll report back on my adventure if I do go ahead and take the 270 apart.
    Treo user, 67+
  6. #6  
    As suspected the loose connector on my T300 was due to 2 broken solder joints of the 4 that are used to mechanically hold the connector in place. See attached file.
    A1,A2,B3,B4 are all mechanical fastening "feet".
    A1 and B3 were the problem on my phone.
    The minimal amount of solder that HS places on the pad to hold each foot was not enough. The feet just became "unglued".
    Solution was a snap, just resoldered the 2 broken connections and then the remaining 2 for good measure.

    When your Treo is apart also take a look at the gold plated antenna connector soldered to the main PCB. Minimal solder on my phone caused that to fail 6 months ago. So you may as well beef those solder joints up while you have it apart. Be carefull and do not apply to much heat to the components or PCB when soldering.

    Note #5 is an interesting rework HS must have done at their factory.

    Good luck,
    GG
    Attached Images Attached Images
  7. #7  
    Gekko, thanks for posting the great pics
    www.gsmworld.com
  8.    #8  
    Amazingly clear photos and description. Two questions:
    1) Most of the soldering I have ever done didn't depend on neatness or extra carefulness for its success, i.e., soldering two radio wires together. I would get a big lumpy ball of solder and just hope that inside that lump there was enough of a connection. I assume that amateur soldering could make a mess in the case of fixing several spots on my Treo 270. Any advice?
    2) I will gladly post my closeup photos of my Treo 270 work. I have an excellent digital camera that takes perfect closeups. How did you a) get the resolution of the pictures small enough to be still sharp but not take the viewer a lot of time to download, b) assemble them in a grouping with lettering on them? Did you c) use Photoshop or Powerpoint? Did you save it as a single JPEG that was down to less than 102k? Too many questions, I know. Steve
    Treo user, 67+
  9. #9  
    Steve,

    1) Regarding soldering skill: No talent needed on this repair, just use a soldering iron that has a small tip, place on top of metal "foot" heat and apply solder. You only get into problems if your iron is too hot or hold it in place too long. Any small tip iron from radio shack will work. Soldering each foot takes 1-3 seconds. I should have taken after repair photos but I needed to get it back together quickly. Don't worry about a small of solder on top of the foot, mine has 'em.

    2) Photos were taken with a low quality 2 MP camera, the trick was using video microscope and monitor at work over lunch. The pics are screen shots of the monitor. I did combine 4 images and add text in Photoshop, then saved as a jpeg at 600x800 at 50% quality.

    GG
  10.    #10  
    Gordon-Gekko: I tried! Now I don't exactly know what to do. When I took my Treo 270 apart, the connector fell out onto the table; nothing was holding to the board anymore. So I did my best to solder it exactly in the position I found it had been soldered before and now it won't hotsync; it can't open up a connection with the Palm Desktop. No hotsync, no Treo 270!
    I lined the little comb-like tines on top of a matching set on the board and soldered all four tabs. Could I have done anything wrong, shorted out anything? Would there be any advantage to taking it apart and unsoldering it? It hotsynced before I took it apart. I had the battery disconnected from the board for awhile during the process.
    I may have to go online and buy another Treo 270 on Ebay, or a Treo 600. The innards of a Treo 270 aren't an exact match with the Treo 300. I will try to attach a digital picture I took (with red arrows added), before I did the soldering.
    Steve
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Treo user, 67+
  11. #11  
    Steve,
    You should be able to fix this with a careful soldering of the 15 comb lines. It sounds like you already have them lined up. Don't throw in the towel!

    You will need to re-solder the "comb-like" lines back to the PCB pads. They were originally soldered to the pads on the PCB and from your photo I can see the solder has fractured. After the 4 "mechanical" solder connections broke the 15 electircal lines soon followed....and the connector broke free.

    I was lucky on my T300 and repaired it before the electrical lines had a chance to get too stressed and fail.

    You were lucky to be able to sync before as the electrical connection was just across the 15 broken solder joints.

    With the batt disconnected you are safe and did not damage any thing by shorting out coinnections.

    I have a few T270s in my Treo graveyard and will take a look at the connector tomorrow to see if I can offer any more advice.

    Do not desolder the 4 mechanical pads if the other 15 are lined up with their corresponding pads.
    I think your best bet will be to just apply a hot solder tip to each line to melt the existing solder and connect each line to its pad. Adding extra solder may be tricky as the lines are close together.

    GG
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by sjohnson
    Gordon-Gekko: I tried! Now I don't exactly know what to do. When I took my Treo 270 apart, the connector fell out onto the table; nothing was holding to the board anymore. So I did my best to solder it exactly in the position I found it had been soldered before and now it won't hotsync; it can't open up a connection with the Palm Desktop. No hotsync, no Treo 270!
    I lined the little comb-like tines on top of a matching set on the board and soldered all four tabs. Could I have done anything wrong, shorted out anything? Would there be any advantage to taking it apart and unsoldering it? It hotsynced before I took it apart. I had the battery disconnected from the board for awhile during the process.
    I may have to go online and buy another Treo 270 on Ebay, or a Treo 600. The innards of a Treo 270 aren't an exact match with the Treo 300. I will try to attach a digital picture I took (with red arrows added), before I did the soldering.
    Steve
    Steve, I had the exact same problem but on a Treo 300. Phone would not charge or hot sync. After resoldering the 15 lines, it would now charge but not hot sync. Not sure if you soldered the 15 lines but you have nothing to loose but try it, you may be able to bring it back to life.
  13.    #13  
    I appreciate both posts...
    To be really honest, last night I was unable to figure out how the thing worked, as I resoldered the four mechanical pads, while leaving the 15 tines merely touching a matching set below.
    I now think I know, from what you both say, that the top set is supposed to be soldered to the bottom set. Four mechanical tabs and 15 tines = 19 solder points! Last night I wished I had four hands. I had to get by with two. I could not hold a magnifying glass so I SCOTCHTAPED a jeweler's loupe to my glasses. Then, hunched over with the hot iron approx. 4" from my face I tacked the connector exactly in place with the iron and then in a subsequent step, added solder to each tab making sure I didn't add too much or spend too much time building up heat.
    I will wait to see what GG says before I try soldering the 15 tines, or as he suggests, heating each one to melt the little amount of solder beneath it.
    I am sure I am not the only one who mentally SCREAMS at Handspring (now part of PalmOne) for simultaneously creating the greatest and most shabbily constructed PDA-phone of 2001-02! Solder should not be used to hold something that is stressed everytime there is a hotsync operation. Come on.
    I think I'll wait to see if GG finds out anything, or if he will sell me a 270 from his boneyard that will mate with my otherwise perfect 270.
    Steve
    Treo user, 67+
  14.    #14  
    Did you simply reapply heat the tines from the top set, or actually add solder? I am assuming they shouldn't touch each other, which would happen from crude, running, out-of-control solder blobs? Steve
    Treo user, 67+
  15.    #15  
    I meant "did you simply re-apply heat to each of the top set of tines, or also add solder to each of them?"
    Treo user, 67+
  16. #16  
    Originally posted by sjohnson
    I appreciate both posts...
    To be really honest, last night I was unable to figure out how the thing worked, as I resoldered the four mechanical pads, while leaving the 15 tines merely touching a matching set below.
    I now think I know, from what you both say, that the top set is supposed to be soldered to the bottom set. Four mechanical tabs and 15 tines = 19 solder points! Last night I wished I had four hands. I had to get by with two. I could not hold a magnifying glass so I SCOTCHTAPED a jeweler's loupe to my glasses. Then, hunched over with the hot iron approx. 4" from my face I tacked the connector exactly in place with the iron and then in a subsequent step, added solder to each tab making sure I didn't add too much or spend too much time building up heat.
    I will wait to see what GG says before I try soldering the 15 tines, or as he suggests, heating each one to melt the little amount of solder beneath it.
    I am sure I am not the only one who mentally SCREAMS at Handspring (now part of PalmOne) for simultaneously creating the greatest and most shabbily constructed PDA-phone of 2001-02! Solder should not be used to hold something that is stressed everytime there is a hotsync operation. Come on.
    I think I'll wait to see if GG finds out anything, or if he will sell me a 270 from his boneyard that will mate with my otherwise perfect 270.
    Steve
    I think some Treo 270 and 300's connectors were not well soldered from the factory. A quality control issue. Add to that a bad design where the connector is not supported by anything other than the solder and you have a case of loose connector. If you look at the charge connector after being plugged into the Treo 270/300, there's lots of space around it and there is no support. Any torque applied to the charge cable connector is transmitted directly to the PC board prying the connector loose. The 600 has a much tighter fitting connector and should do better hopefully. Soldering the 15 lines will be tricky. File down a tip to size if you have to. Have some solder wick handy if you bridge adjacent lines with solder. Hot iron 4" from your nose? You are brave.
  17. #17  
    Steve,
    Enclosed are a few close ups of the 15 pins as soldered from HS.
    A few recommendations:
    1) Do not add extra solder, just apply iron to pins and the existing solder should reflow.

    2) You are dealing with a very small amt of solder, small pads ,and thin pins, apply the soldering iron for extremely short time per pin.

    3) If the Pins were labeled 1-15, left to right, I resolder in this order to avoid heat build up on one side.
    1 & 15, 2 & 14, 3 & 13,....etc.

    4) To much heat or time will cause solder to flow where you don't want it to go.

    Good luck and let us know how it goes.

    GG
    Last edited by Gordon-Gekko; 12/31/2003 at 11:56 AM.
  18. #18  
    Here are the images:
    T-270 bottom connector solder detail
    GG
    Attached Images Attached Images
  19.    #19  
    Gekko: You have been extraordinarily helpful. Your latest post again shows your willingness to go the extra mile for a fellow Treo user.
    Yet, now I must confess I spent the good part of a day, taking the 270 apart and putting it together maybe 15 times (literally), and having perhaps 97% success, but failure nonetheless. Let me explain.
    When I last posted I had nicely soldered the four pads but failed to do anything about the pins. Today I realized that I could slide a piece of paper under the front of all 15 pins (!) so I had to desolder all 4 corners and lower their tops a bit so that the pins rest firmly on the matching base. Then, one by one, proceeding from the middle outwards in both directions I reheated each one of the pins. This went on for hours, as I would test it and find there were still pins that I could wiggle using the tip of an Exacto blade. In a few cases I added a tiny bit of solder but had a few mishaps that required the removal of solder from between the tines. Ultimately, I got the following working: 1) hotsync, with all old phonebook, software etc restored, 2) the cellphone works fine, 3) e-mail works, 4) however, most of the middle row of the keyboard no longer works (letters a, s,d, f g, h, j, and k are dead). Why? I don't know. One possibility is that I shorted out two of the pins when I was messing around with a tiny screwdriver, pushing down on the pins forgetting that the battery was still connected. That happened only once, but perhaps that caused a short.
    Or, who knows?
    So, for the moment, it is a mostly useless Treo. I still have a working Treo 180, but I liked my 270 much better.
    Anyone have a Treo 270 that has a bad screen or speaker or something else wrong but the fundamental electronics are still OK? I might want to buy such an item, which I could mate with my otherwise perfect Treo 270.
    I guess I learned an awful lot about soldering today...
    Steve
    Treo user, 67+
  20. #20  
    Steve,
    Congrats on a great repair. I do not think your soldering affected the keypad. I've wrestled with itermitant keys once in a while and the root cause was the flip door connector on the main PCB not being closed onto the flex properly or the flex not seated well. You should see a black sponge pad stuck to the back of the keypad board module that is supposed to push on the flip door connector when the phone is assembled.
    Another possibilty: Sometimes the torque of the screws holding the housings together affects this flip door connector (thru the black pad) and even somteimes the other "slide in " connector for the display. It might be worth a shot to open it up one more time in a couple of days and try re-assembly and messing around with torquing the screws. For now I'd recommend take a break for a day or two.
    I'm glad to hear your about there!

    GG
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