I currently own two Treo 600 phones. I bought one a while back on eBay, it went through a painful period of dropping too many calls and not letting me answer incoming calls. When I got fed up with that, I bought another one, again on eBay. That one has lasted quite some time now.

While I was deployed for hurricane relief last month, my Treo went through the washing machine. I was, to say the least, ticked off. No phone, no email, no connection to my family at all. Owning a web business means I need to stay in touch as much as possible - I had people taking care of things while I was gone, but sometimes I have to be the one to handle an issue.

After a few days of begging and borrowing phones (not everybody's phone worked down there) I decided what the heck, if the phone is dead it's dead. I can't make it any more dead. I plugged it in, half expecting it to blow up...but it turned on! After charging for a while I had a working phone again!

Kudos to Palm for that. I've heard a lot of people complain about the fragility of the Treo, and maybe my first one was an example of that. This one went through the spin cycle and still worked!

I've been home now for about three weeks and the phone has not been an issue. Yesterday morning, however, I woke up and it was completely dark. I pushed all the buttons but nothing would make it wake up. I figured it had finally fallen victim of the Kenmore. I went about my business, then looked down and some point and saw the big "palm" logo on the screen - it had put itself through a hard reset. All of my data was gone, but I had a phone again...so I thought. When I tried to turn on the wireless mode, it crashed with a big dark blue screen and eventually hard reset itself again. I tried syncing it, same thing. Any button I pushed would crash it.

I decided to open the phone up and see if I could find anything obviously wrong with it. I've always been a tinkerer, and I have no qualms about taking things apart. I brushed out a lot of corrosion, but that didn't do any good.

I still had my old Treo around, so I called up Sprint and had them change my account to use that phone. I figured a phone that works 50% of the time is better than a phone that doesn't work at all. It worked okay yesterday during the day, but last night started the same old crap. From reading around the boards here today it seems like this is a known issue and maybe Sprint will replace it, even though it's out of warranty...I'm on hold with them right now to find out. I decided today to try swapping some components out to see if it did any good. After all, the warranty is gone on both anyway. I figured that the problem was probably the radio, since I had problems when trying to do things on the internet or on the phone. Logically the piece that connects to that antenna must be the radio, so I put the radio from the washed phone into the old phone - same stuff. Must not be the radio. I noticed then that while the radio was disconnected, I could use the washed phone for other things without seeing the nasty blue screen...so I put the old radio in there. Amazingly enough, it works now! While I had everything apart I swapped screens out since the washed screen had a blue tint and was dimmer than the other.

I've also discovered that the ESN number is linked to the radio in the phone, not the main circuit board. When I did manage to get through using the old phone with the new radio, I got the message from Sprint about not being able to verify my account. With the new old radio in the new phone, it works fine without calling Sprint to do an equipment change. Interesting.

So anywho, that's my story from today. These things are actually not hard to take apart...even though there aren't many components you can replace once you get in there. Hopefully I've just saved myself the $200 it would take to buy another Treo.