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  1.    #1  
    Any thoughts gratefully appreciated...

    In the last few days, my Pre2 has started acting strangely.

    It lights up / switches on frequently when not in use.

    Sometimes it appears to lose and regain phone signal.

    A fully charged battery drops fast or I find the phone has died and I have to recharge.

    So, my first thought was just that it was somekind of network or reception problem and the constant dropping & reconnecting was using up juice. I also checked the seating of the SIM. It seemed OK. I pulled it and put it in another phone and that seemed fine.

    I set the Pre2 to aeroplane mode - which was a bit... laggy. I'm not sure how battery life was affected, but it seemed a bit happier.

    Sidenote: My ringtones stopped working - alarms and calls used the standard system sound. Is this normal? Solved when I put the SIM back in. Oh... except it must have started when the SIM was in because of the ringtone...

    I'm getting a lot of 'Set time temporarily' notifications with & without SIM. Does network time not work through WiFi?

    Charging up and rebooting brings up the device unlock screen, but no longer the SIM unlock screen - I have to go to dailler and try to make a call for that to appear!

    So my obvious guesses are:
    1. Network problem. Constant dropping and re-acquiring is wasting power?
    2. SIM problem? Unlikely. I can still make and receive calls, unlock etc.
    3. System problem... Uh oh!

    I opened Lumberjack and looked at the log - there seemed to be a lot of red, but I don't know what's normal.

    There seems to be a lot of "SystemUI phone Notification" (looks like displaying signal strength bars) and "Uncaught TypeError: Cannot call method 'modelChanged' of undefined, file:///media [blah, blah] org.webosinternals.lumberjack etc. (yes, lumberjack seems to have a problem!)

    Does anyone have any ideas to begin diagnosis?

    So far this doesn't seems to be affected by reboots or battery pulls (I have an old original & a Mugen) or removing and replacing the SIM, but the problem seems to fluctuate somewhat.
  2. Proximity's Avatar
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    #2  
    Hi Preemptive,

    I'm with you. My PreČ behaves the same lately.
    I have the feeling, that it might have something to do with the slider. As sliding the keyboard repeatedly out and in again seems to fix the loosing signal sometimes. (Or it took longer - and I didn't noticed it anymore)

    The modem of the phone is behind the keyboard. So it could be due to shocks and additional keypresses the contacts to the modem are bad.

    Can someone confirm this?

    I'm still inexperienced in diagnosis : )
  3.    #3  
    Thanks for the reply. I'm not convinced the problem is the slider for me. A faulty microswitch could be causing the phone to light up at random, but doesn't really explain the apparent dropping and re-acquiring of the signal. It could be that the phone is waking up when this happens, but I'm not sure if this is normal or not. If there is a signal problem where I am, it could be the reason but this is unusual - or it would be my normal experience. Loss of signal would explain the clock problems as it seems network time is via the GSM, not WiFi. I'm using Clock Sync at the moment as I've pulled the SIM.

    The occasional lighting up for no apparent reason is continuing.

    I examine the log and see a bunch of various error messages. How normal is it to see this?
  4. Proximity's Avatar
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    #4  
    I can confirm that, when lying on the same spot on the table, everytime the phone's screen lights up the carrier string switches to "telephone offline" or back to the carrier string. When changing back to carrier the screen relights itself up again a minute later to show the "clock sync" error.

    The behavior is the same if connected to the charger.

    The recurring screen lightups, reconnects to the carrier, network clock checks and message displays are draining the battery. And this in such a manner, that the charger is not able to charge the battery overnight. Leading to a dead battery the next morning.

    I am currently restarting the phone whenever it happens again to enlarge the time between the signal losses.


    PS: Sorry for the sometimes worse english, as I am not a native speaker. ; )
  5. #5  
    Ok guys, I have the solution.

    The problem is the ribbon cable that connects the radio board to the main board. The logs will include some sort of radio standby issues or stuff like that, its all in the ribbon.

    The good news is that it is inexpensive and not that hard to replace, and if you happen to have a pre +, it uses the exact same ribbon.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by Proximity View Post
    I can confirm that, when lying on the same spot on the table, everytime the phone's screen lights up the carrier string switches to "telephone offline" or back to the carrier string. When changing back to carrier the screen relights itself up again a minute later to show the "clock sync" error.

    The behavior is the same if connected to the charger.

    The recurring screen lightups, reconnects to the carrier, network clock checks and message displays are draining the battery. And this in such a manner, that the charger is not able to charge the battery overnight. Leading to a dead battery the next morning.

    I am currently restarting the phone whenever it happens again to enlarge the time between the signal losses.


    PS: Sorry for the sometimes worse english, as I am not a native speaker. ; )
    Does the problem continue when you set Aeroplane Mode and/or remove the SIM card?
  7.    #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by zubiaur View Post
    Ok guys, I have the solution.

    The problem is the ribbon cable that connects the radio board to the main board. The logs will include some sort of radio standby issues or stuff like that, its all in the ribbon.

    The good news is that it is inexpensive and not that hard to replace, and if you happen to have a pre +, it uses the exact same ribbon.
    Thanks.

    I'll check. I want to avoid doctoring the device if possible as it was a bit touch and go when I had to do it before, but I'm hoping for a software fault before I have to take the thing apart. I have a Pre3, so a fix isn't urgent.

    I realise I've set it to a wifi only, so it could be the wifi waking it up. I'll switch it all off and assume that if the problem goes away, then it is a radio system issue. If not, then something else.

    Also, I didn't notice any calling problems. Would a loose cable not cut the call?
  8. #8  
    Network time can be tricky on wifi and it really depends on the router. So if you don't need to sync to the wifi just turn it off. There was a world time app somewhere - I've used it to sync/set time when going abroad and using mu useless CMDA sprint pre in GSM land on wifi only.
    If your ring tones have disappeared then something else happened.
    I cleaned my db file and this triggered download of my apps from the app cat and all my patches were on. I noticed the same fast discharge but it wasn't that severe. Still last me a day but will be going bellow 20 or 10 % with 6 month old battery. I noticed that the phone was showing set your pin enforced by my work exchange policy but since I had bypass pin installed I didn't care. Well I just set my pin and my phone is holding charge much better than before for the last 2 days. Unfortunately my battery health according to Dr Battery went down to 80% - hope this wasn't caused by the phone going below 20% charge few times.
    Hope that helps.
    If I were you I'll turn off the the network time.
  9. #9  
    As far as I know Network Time is based on MCC code which is being read from your SIM! There's a file /usr/palm/ext-timezones.json that has this information based on MCC. MCC is derived from the SIM!
    HP Veer (daily driver), HP Pre 3, HP Touchpad Proper 4G/LTE (Sierra MC7710), HP Touchpad 32GB WiFi, Palm Pre 2
  10. #10  
    What tipped me off about the flex cable being at fault was that some twisting, handling would "wake up" the phone, it indicated a hardware problem. Took the thing apart and carefully started testing each and every one of the pins in the flex cable. After finding a dead one I replaced it with the one in my + (with a dead KB, due to the flex cable), it fixed the random wake ups, the battery drain, but introduced the KB issue, since I already knew the flex was the problem, buying one from ebay was a no brainer, it fixed all the issues.

    What I suspect was happening is that that particular pin carried some sort of radio energy profile mode status or command signal, what I could see in the logs was repeated attempts to change the radio's energy profile (sleep something something) that failed, as it failed, it tried again, and failed, resulting in a battery draining loop.

    I have no deeper knowledge of the inner workings of the phone, but perhaps somebody else might be able to confirm/explain/reformulate my explanation.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by zubiaur View Post
    Ok guys, I have the solution.

    The problem is the ribbon cable that connects the radio board to the main board. The logs will include some sort of radio standby issues or stuff like that, its all in the ribbon.

    The good news is that it is inexpensive and not that hard to replace, and if you happen to have a pre +, it uses the exact same ribbon.
    This sound reasonable.

    The phone screen will come on if it gets a signal from the cell tower, because that will allow you to use the touch screen to answer the phone or read a text. If there unusual activity going on, due to something like a bad ribbon, the phone may power up, thinking it is about to get something from the cell tower.

    If your pre2 happens to be Verizon, CDMA is really hard on battery life, so it would make sense that a radio problem could kill your battery.

    Also a Pre2 will come on when it gets some type of input, like when you slide the keyboard out or when you press a key or hardware button. So if your screen lights up, a stuck key or button is also a place to check.
  12.    #12  
    Thanks for the replies. I have an EU GSM Pre2. I can confirm that the phone is waking up when in aeroplane mode and all radios off - so either it's trying to do something and reporting a fault when it can't connect - which seems to me an illogical programming error (I'm not running any apps either, so this would have to be a system thing like network time or email checking). I've managed to jump on the phone when it's lit up a couple of times now and save logs with Lumberjack. There seems to be loads of even normal entries every second, so just a minute's log of the time when it woke is long. I will see if I can spot some common problem. Handling the phone doesn't seem to cause it, but I'll check buttons and stuff. Wake up on slider is normal, but I think it can be patched to 'off', so that might be worth a try to check if that microswitch is faulty. To save constant battery draining, I decided to shut the phone down after recharging the batteries and it now won't do that. The screen that says 'Do not remove battery" never switches off, so a battery pull is required.

    So, my plan is:
    1. Try to cause a wake up with buttons - maybe one has dirt in it causing a short.
    2. Check the logs to try to spot a cause
    3. Look up how to retain my ipks and maybe redownload at least my paid apps for safety.
    4. I think I almost certainly have to doctor the device. I did it once before and it took about four attemps to work without getting stuck, so I'm reluctant, but if the device now won't shut down properly, that says system fault to me.
    5. If that fails, then I may have to dissassemble to try and find a hardware fault. Yikes!

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