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  1.    #1  
    I needed to remove the camera from my GSM Treo 650 for security reasons. I would have baught a Treo without a camera, but palmone does not have GSM ones.
    It is possible to dissasemble the Treo without any damage or unrecoverable changes, but it is a bit tricky. Maybe this guide helps some to do the same.

    What you need:
    - Very small Torx size 3 or 4 (don't know what size it was, the smallest I could find)
    - Very small Screwdriver
    - A good thumbnail

    Preparations:
    - Be sure you know what you do, and really want it.
    - Never do this in hurry.
    - Wash your hands carefully. When the Treo is open some contact pads are exposed and may be damaged by fingerprints.

    Step1: Clear the Treo
    - Remove Back cover
    - Remove SIM Card with cardrige
    - Remove SD Card or tray
    - Remove battery
    - Remove Stylus
    - Remove the small Rubber cover next to the antenna (a needle helps)
    - Remove the small red warranty sealing with a needle (see next picture). This can be done without harm to it. Put it to somewhere it doesn't stick permanently on it.
    http://home.arcor.de/swifty99/treo_screws.jpg

    Step2: Unscrew
    Unscrew all 7 Screws shown on the picture.
    The longest screw fits to the hole next to the antenna. After this done the Antenna can be removed. Remember how it was inserted, it fits only in one direction and has a small contact.

    Step3: Remove back part of the body
    Now the tricky part begins. This is nasty because the Treo is not only screwed but also clipsed.
    As you can see on the pictures below the hooks grip in the middle part of the body with the noses showing outside.
    My way to open it was lying the treo on the front and going with my thumbnail between the back and the middle part of the body. This while gently twisting and pushing the top part to the inside.
    After the first hook opens, go with your nail to the next until all three spring open. When one side is open carefully lift it. After moving it a bit the other side will open automatically.
    http://home.arcor.de/swifty99/treo_open1.jpg

    NEVER use a screwdriver or anything harder than the body to open it. You will receive scratches and damage the body.

    [edit:]
    thanks to littlerms post you can skip this step. just go to step 4 and remove the back and middle part together.

    Step4: Remove the middle part of the body
    This is a little bit easier, as this part ist softer. Start from the bottom side and twist gently. The body will spring out. Look at the pictures to see in which direction the hooks are oriented.
    Be very careful not to touch the PCB. The contacts for the microphone and speaker are exposed.
    http://home.arcor.de/swifty99/treo_open2.jpg

    Step5: Remove Camera
    At last there is direct access to the camera module (almost). The black rubber sealing may have fallen out earlier. If not, remove it.
    Now the metal cover from the camera needs to be removed. It is only hooked so lift the flaps with a small screwdriver on all 3 accessible sides. The cover will fall out, I didnít reinsert it.

    http://home.arcor.de/swifty99/treo_open3.jpg

    The next step is to unplug the camera connector. This best done with the small scredriver going around the plug and lifting it a little from all sides. After the plug disconected the camera module can be taken out.

    http://home.arcor.de/swifty99/treo_camera.jpg

    The rest is easy. Follow the Steps 4 to 1 in reverse order.

    One mystery happend here. After complete assembly the stylus did not hold in the treo. Maybe the the screws were not tightend enough, but I didnít want to overwind them. So while dissasembling try to remember the torque for assembling.
    I opened the case an put a small piece of tape on the inside of the rear body. This does the job perfectly. The stylue is held by the small rubber you can see here:
    http://home.arcor.de/swifty99/treo_rubber.jpg

    [edit:]
    thanks again to littlerms post. It is important to reinsert the metalcover of the camera to make it press against the rubber. 'Now the stylus should hold as usual.

    Before assembling I printed a small paper (6x6mm) with my name on it and sticked it behind the camera glas. This is also a good insurance for the device, as it becomes worthless for most people.
    http://home.arcor.de/swifty99/treo_name.jpg


    Do I have to mention that this is done at your own risk and any warranty goes to hell?
    Last edited by swifty99; 06/01/2005 at 12:34 PM.
  2. #2  
    Great post- this is a very interesting subject.

    I myself am getting pretty upset at this "security issue" regarding the camera. I had my phone banned from the SAG awards recently. Funny thing is, I was a cameraman. It would have been hard for me to break out my camera and shoot a picture while holding an giant HD camera. And - last I checked, "movie stars" entire purpose on this planet is to have their picture taken. Hmnn... Does anyone making up these rules realize that the quality of the camera means pictures taken with it are absolutely useless for anything but casual viewing? I really doubt that people are going to film the next Star Wars movie and put it on the net with their Treo. Wake up paranoids! What happens if my wife goes into the hospital while my phone is sitting in the car because it's got a crappy camera on it? Enough of this paranoia. If you don't want people to see something, don't make it public. My phone camera isn't going to do squat for anything. I've considered smashing the lens with a hammer, but this post shows another posibility.
  3. #3  
    i just put peanut butter on mine
  4. #4  
    Smooth or chunky? Reduced fat or regular?
    Quote Originally Posted by treoneo
    i just put peanut butter on mine
  5. #5  
    This, of course, begs the question: After seeing how the camera module can be extracted with (relative) ease, is there a possibility for some kind of aftermarket camera upgrades with better image quality or added features?

    *Gets sudden mental image of a Treo with 2x optical zoom*
  6. #6  
    Its already got a 2x
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by galingula
    Its already got a 2x
    Not optical.
    Palm Pilot Personal -> Palm III -> Palm IIIx -> Visor Prism -> Clie TJ37 -> Treo 650 -> GSM Centro
  8. #8  
    Since camera phone paranoia seems to be getting worse, I'd like to see phone manufacturers come up with camera modules that can be easily removed/replaced by the user as circumstances warrant.
  9. #9  
    Now if only the little "plug" that is used for the CDMA non-camera versions were available-that would give the DIY non-camera versions a more "factory" look and minimize the security questions that will still arise with the presence of the lens.
  10. #10  
    I don't use the camera either and would love to "plug" it. This security issue is a real drag given its so difficult to find a decent phone without a camera these days.
  11. Webby's Avatar
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    #11  
    Why would anyone want to remove the Camera? THat is a great feature for the Treo 650.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by Webby
    Why would anyone want to remove the Camera? THat is a great feature for the Treo 650.
    Because many people have been barred from entering certain locales/businesses/etc. for security purposes.
    I've heard that polar bear steaks are tough, but maybe if you marinated them in beer they'd turn out all right.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by frankthetoad
    Because many people have been barred from entering certain locales/businesses/etc. for security purposes.
    Use a case that can conseal the camera. I am using the palmone case and there is a flip that covers the camera.
  14. ankur's Avatar
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    #14  
    Well removing the camera certainly takes care of the ACTUAL security but how would you convince the security people that the camera is non functional ? The outer camera lens is still there and DOES look like cam. I mean is the fact that your name is written inside that window enough to let you pass ? I am sure some people would understand that its actually not there, switching on the cam app to show them also would add some weight.

    I find this quite similar to the "flight attendant not understanding the flight off mode" and not allowing you to use the PDA part on a flight.

    Swifty, are you able to get past the security issue by this camera removal ?

    - Ankur.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by ankur
    Well removing the camera certainly takes care of the ACTUAL security but how would you convince the security people that the camera is non functional ? The outer camera lens is still there and DOES look like cam. I mean is the fact that your name is written inside that window enough to let you pass ? I am sure some people would understand that its actually not there, switching on the cam app to show them also would add some weight.

    I find this quite similar to the "flight attendant not understanding the flight off mode" and not allowing you to use the PDA part on a flight.

    Swifty, are you able to get past the security issue by this camera removal ?

    - Ankur.
    Good point because Security people are usually sticklers and don't give a crap about anything they don't see fit... This whole no camera thing is blown way out of proportion. How about bring your camera in but if you get caught using it your busted. That way cell phone companies can continue making single model cell phones and keep them cheaper. Is it illegal for me to bring in a pen and paper and sketch everything I see?

    I was just on a United flight and they actually said please disable your cell phone or the radio's on your cell PDA's during takeoff. Pretty soon society will have to adjust to technology.
  16. #16  
    I got hit by this yesterday.
    I was visiting one of our remote datacenters for the day that has hellish security.
    I don't even think about there being a camera on my treo cause I never use it.
    When asked about it I just told the guard it was my work pda. The camera wasn't visible in my case.
    If somebody had of noticed there was a camera on it, or noticed the model i would have had to give it up or be thrown out.
    I was talking to one of the techs up there and he was mentioning that it's near impossible to find a phone these days with nifty features that doesn't have a camera on it.
    I'd trade my 650 for a model 651(without the camera)
  17. JAnderson's Avatar
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    #17  
    I always play by the rule:

    "Out of site out of mind"

    If you flaunt it or make the camera visible then you will have issues. Get a case that does not show it and pretend it does not exist.

    My 2 cents
  18. #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by JAnderson
    I always play by the rule:

    "Out of site out of mind"

    If you flaunt it or make the camera visible then you will have issues. Get a case that does not show it and pretend it does not exist.

    My 2 cents

    Indeed.
    I'm looking for a nice in pocket case these days.
  19. #19  
    Thanks for the guide, Swifty! I work in a secure environment and cannot bring in camera phones. I talked to the security advisor and they said if I removed the camera they would approve the device. I just finished removing the camera and it wasn't too bad. But I do have a couple of changes you may want to add:

    1. I didn't have to seperate the back piece from the middle piece. Instead I pulled on the back and middle as one and slipped a credit card in between the front and middle/back pieces and slowly moved up the side and the pieces popped apart with the back and middle still together. It was much easier doing it this way and was one less step.

    2. When reassembling the Treo, the metal cover for the camera (that you didn't reinstall) pushes against a rubber piece on the back cover, which is what keeps the stylus in place. So if you want your stylus to stay in the silo simply reinstall the metal cover before reassembling.

    Thanks again for the instructions!
  20.    #20  
    Thanks for the additions. Now its clear why the stylus would not hold. I inserted some tape which does the job quite good, and I really don't want to open this thing again.

    to ankur:
    I usually don't get searched for cameras so I can't say if they would let me go. But I can definitely proof not having a camera by starting the camera application. If you start this you receive a very nice error message like:
    camera could not be started, because there is no one.

    to frankthetoad:
    I really did not want to remove the camera. But what's a perfect smartphone you can't use in the office? On the other side the quality of the pictures is not good enough to make me miss the camera.

    swifty
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