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  1.    #1  
    First off, I owe Mal credit for the inspiration for this mod. (I'll try not to burst into song here. )

    Secondly, I owe credit to jimh2000 for the "easy" method (wuss. ) and for linking me to Palm's PDF.

    Thirdly, I owe credit to Muffnician who I'm stealing pictures from. HAH!

    On to the mod!



    Reasons for the mod:
    Some users have complained that the 800w's speaker is too quiet or too "muddy" sounding. While I haven't really noticed the muddiness on mine, I was curious to see if I could further improve sound quality/volume (see my previous mod).


    Results of the mod:
    Quote Originally Posted by jimh2000 View Post
    Now I can say the muddiness that I had is gone and the phone earpiece is louder, much better sounding to me. It only makes sense after looking at the opening on the Pro.
    Next time I think I will open it up myself per Ebag's instructions. I definately recommend this case modification.

    Edit:
    In side by side testing with the Pro, before and after the mod, the Pro quality is still better, but the 800w is closer to the quality of the Pro

    Things to know before doing this:
    You will void your warranty. You may also void your insurance (if you have it). That being said if you do this properly, I doubt that even a Palm technician will notice that it's been done.


    To perform the mod:
    The are two ways of doing this. The easy way, and my way.



    The easy way:
    Quote Originally Posted by jimh2000 View Post
    I did it also, but this way.
    I went to my local sprint store tech and he took the phone apart, gave me the back cover, I took it to a jeweler around the corner and he drilled the hole bigger, then took back to the sprint store and he put the phone back together, it looked like a bear to get the phone apart. I was more conservative and didn't open up the entire slot. (I should have)


    The easy way: (dos)
    Quote Originally Posted by kaptainchump View Post
    For an easier way to do the same thing, use a small safety pin. Bend the safety pin out so that it is almost straight. Light a candle and get the tip of the safety pin hot enough to melt plastic. Poke the safety pin very carefully and very slowly into the plastic of the earpiece. Remove the excess plastic from the pin by re-heating the pin and scraping the pin on an edge. Continue until you get desired effect. This hack took me a total of 1-2 minutes to do!

    TIP:
    don't use a safety pin who's diameter is wider than that of the speaker hole.



    The hard(er) way:
    Quote Originally Posted by Ebag333 View Post
    (For all references I will use "SD side" and "non-SD Side". I think you guys can figure out what that means... )

    For the antenna cover, attack it from the non-SD side. There's a rounded little...well, edge there, and it's designed to slip a pick in. I just used a jewelers flat head screw driver. (See red box below.)




    Once you get that side off (there's 2 spots to pop IIRC), you can attack the other side. Once those two are off, the rest should be cake.

    I was worried about damaging something under this cover. Don't. There's nothing there to damage really, unless you go seriously crazy. The biggest danger is cracking the plastic housing.

    (Side note: Now is a good time to clean out your speakerphone grill, mine was half plugged up.)


    For separating the front cover, start on the SD side right under the SD card slot. If you leverage the case away from the frame you can see on the bottom of the phone two little tabs (either side of the micro USB port). This you just push in, and the case pops right off. (See red box below)




    Continue working around the phone on the non-SD side, and that whole side should pop out rather easily.

    You can then attack the SD side, leaving only the top to get off which should be easy.

    (Side note: Now is a good time to clean your screen and apply a new screen protector..)



    Once the case was apart I just used a push pin to break up the slot around the ear piece hole. I think used that jewelers flathead screwdriver to scrape it all down flat.

    Be very careful with this step as you're focusing a lot of pressure on a small area. I could hear my housing creaking at times.

    I went ahead and opened up the whole slot. Unless you look very closely it looks OEM. Honestly I doubt even a Sprint tech would notice.



    The only catch is over one of the screws is a little red Palm sticker. No way to get that off without destroying it. So you're definitely voiding your warranty (and more importantly, Palm is gonna know it ).

    If most of the tweaks/fixes are a 1 banana fix (download CAB and install), and QPST is a 3 banana fix, I'd put this at a 2 banana. Not hard at all, just takes patience.



    Results? Well so far I've only called myself and put the handset up to a speaker playing music. Not a very good test. It's certainly louder. I never really had the muddy speaker, so I can't tell you if it helped in that regard.

    Word of warning: DO NOT attempt this with the case on the phone. The speakerphone speaker has a metal grill over it to protect it. This does not. You are almost definitely going to destroy your speaker.


    Useful reference:
    http://www.palm.com/us/support/conta...st_Treo500.pdf
    http://discussion.treocentral.com/sh...ght=800w+frame
    Last edited by Ebag333; 01/29/2009 at 11:43 PM.
  2.    #2  
    Three more pictures uploaded, two of the spots you start from and one of the final product.
  3. #3  
    Good write-up Ebag!
    I did take the easy way out, at least I didn't get charged anything for the work (my local sprint store is awesome).
    Watching the Tech, the plastic pick looked really important and helpful to the process.
    Do you notice a clearer and louder sound from the earpiece?
    I can tell a big difference plus I was comparing the TP and the 800w side by side earlier today before the mod so I had a reference point.
  4.    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by jimh2000 View Post
    Do you notice a clearer and louder sound from the earpiece?
    Clearer? Mmmm, maybe slightly, but like I said I didn't have the muddied sound to begin with (or maybe just can't hear it, I don't have the best hearing ).

    Louder? Most definitely. I'd say about the same amount that QPST improved it.


    Quote Originally Posted by jimh2000 View Post
    I can tell a big difference plus I was comparing the TP and the 800w side by side earlier today before the mod so I had a reference point.
    I might stop by the Sprint store this weekend and see if they have an 800w, Treo Pro, and Touch Pro to play with. That'd be a better comparison for me.

    I can already say though that even before this mod (but after the QPST tweak) that the sound is much clearer and louder than my old 700wx. This mod has only improved that gap. (Prior to this mod and the QPST tweak I would have rated the 700wx above the 800w.)
  5. #5  
    OK, opened it up the hard way, really not as difficult as I thought it was going to be - thanks to Ebag going first. Made the earpiece hole larger, actually I made 3 evenly spaced holes in the slot that almost opens up the entire slot.
    Sounds even better, this should have done in manufacturing.
  6.    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by jimh2000 View Post
    Sounds even better
    Does this bump it up from a 7 to an 8?


    Quote Originally Posted by jimh2000 View Post
    this should have done in manufacturing.
    Agreed. This absolutely should have been done from the start.

    I'm glad it's a quick and easy mod. I'm not glad that I had to do it.
  7. #7  
    Pic of my 800w earpiece mod, enlarged the original opening and added two additional holes within the slot.


  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Ebag333 View Post
    Does this bump it up from a 7 to an 8?
    Yes, I think something close to that.
  9.    #9  
    I should note that after cleaning out the dust that's accumulated in my speaker grill (in the antenna cover) my speakerphone is much louder and clearer.

    Since the back cover is relatively easy to pop off, I think I'm periodically going to clean it every couple of months. I was missing a lot of calls because I couldn't hear the ringer (which the default one is WAY quiet, so it's mostly my fault for not switching it) but I'd hear the notification that I missed a call.

    After cleaning the holes for the rear speaker I can hear the default ringer loud and clear. When my galarm went off this morning it scared the crap out of me it was so loud.
  10. #10  
    This is pretty desperate hack.
    ATT History- From 1997-2001-> Nokia 6362->Motorola StarTac->Nokia 8260.

    Nextel History From 2001-2004-> Motorola i1000-> Motorola i90c-> Motorola i95cl-> Motorola i730->Motorola i850.

    Sprint History From 2005 - Currently->Sanyo 5500-> Sanyo 5600-> Sanyo-> 7400->Sanyo 8300->Sanyo->7500-> Sanyo 9000->Sanyo 8400->Sanyo M1->PPC-6700->Treo 700wx->PPC-6800(Mogul)-> Motorola Q9C-> Treo 800w-> Curve->Treo 800w->Touch Pro->Treo Pro> Curve "M"->HTC Hero.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by VibrantRedGT View Post
    This is pretty desperate hack.
    Maybe, but I can attest, very well worth it...
  12. #12  
    UPDATE!

    For an easier way to do the same thing, use a small safety pin. Bend the safety pin out so that it is almost straight. Light a candle and get the tip of the safety pin hot enough to melt plastic. Poke the safety pin very carefully and very slowly into the plastic of the earpiece. Remove the excess plastic from the pin by re-heating the pin and scraping the pin on an edge. Continue until you get desired effect. This hack took me a total of 1-2 minutes to do!

    TIP:
    don't use a safety pin who's diameter is wider than that of the speaker hole.
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by kaptainchump View Post
    UPDATE!

    For an easier way to do the same thing, use a small safety pin. Bend the safety pin out so that it is almost straight. Light a candle and get the tip of the safety pin hot enough to melt plastic. Poke the safety pin very carefully and very slowly into the plastic of the earpiece. Remove the excess plastic from the pin by re-heating the pin and scraping the pin on an edge. Continue until you get desired effect. This hack took me a total of 1-2 minutes to do!

    TIP:
    don't use a safety pin who's diameter is wider than that of the speaker hole.
    Good idea...
  14.    #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by kaptainchump View Post
    UPDATE!

    For an easier way to do the same thing, use a small safety pin. Bend the safety pin out so that it is almost straight. Light a candle and get the tip of the safety pin hot enough to melt plastic. Poke the safety pin very carefully and very slowly into the plastic of the earpiece. Remove the excess plastic from the pin by re-heating the pin and scraping the pin on an edge. Continue until you get desired effect. This hack took me a total of 1-2 minutes to do!

    TIP:
    don't use a safety pin who's diameter is wider than that of the speaker hole.
    Hey, that's pretty darn brilliant!

    Matter of fact, I'm gonna not only add that to the list of ways to do this, but go and do that myself (clean up the rough edges a bit). Hmm, now to find something metal to use....

    I suppose a screwdriver or any else that's metal and relatively sharp would work.
    Last edited by Ebag333; 01/29/2009 at 11:57 PM.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by Ebag333 View Post
    Hey, that's pretty darn brilliant!

    Matter of fact, I'm gonna not only add that to the list of ways to do this, but go and do that myself. Hmm, now to find something metal to use....

    I suppose a screwdriver or any else that's metal and relatively sharp would work.
    Use the screwdiver you use to open up the 800 that's what I'm going to do tomorrow...
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by VibrantRedGT View Post
    This is pretty desperate hack.
    eh, it's all fun too

    Nice work Ebag and crew btw, looks good!

    Here's my hack on the ppc-6700 (from 2006!) to make it sound better too, lol. We dremmeled off the speaker cover, then I used some carbon pre-filter to protect it and finally cut a piece from a dish strainer to make the "new" grill. Made it much louder.

    Granted, we shouldn't have to do this stuff but...being a dude, I freakin' love projects like this ;-P


    WMExperts: News, Reviews & Podcasts + Twitter
  17.    #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    eh, it's all fun too

    Nice work Ebag and crew btw, looks good!

    Here's my hack on the ppc-6700 (from 2006!) to make it sound better too, lol. We dremmeled off the speaker cover, then I used some carbon pre-filter to protect it and finally cut a piece from a dish strainer to make the "new" grill. Made it much louder.

    Granted, we shouldn't have to do this stuff but...being a dude, I freakin' love projects like this ;-P

    Wow. That's a much more ambitious project.

    Makes this look like cake.


    Quote Originally Posted by Malatesta View Post
    Granted, we shouldn't have to do this stuff but...being a dude, I freakin' love projects like this ;-P
    That's what I have my truck for.
  18. #18  
    You know it feels good to know there are others who know how to properly put a screen protecter on. Other than that I have a few HS's so I'm not worried about the earpiece. _ !!!
  19. #19  
    I remember the 6700 mod. I had a 6700 at the time also. A 30 day trial was not available back then so I dumped the 6700 before 14 days were up. By far the worst device I have ever owned. The 800 is a way, way distant second.

    I also remember complaining about the 800's "muddy-ness call quality" and was told by members (in this thread) that it was very sufficient and not many complained about it. I should dig up those threads for funzies.
    ATT History- From 1997-2001-> Nokia 6362->Motorola StarTac->Nokia 8260.

    Nextel History From 2001-2004-> Motorola i1000-> Motorola i90c-> Motorola i95cl-> Motorola i730->Motorola i850.

    Sprint History From 2005 - Currently->Sanyo 5500-> Sanyo 5600-> Sanyo-> 7400->Sanyo 8300->Sanyo->7500-> Sanyo 9000->Sanyo 8400->Sanyo M1->PPC-6700->Treo 700wx->PPC-6800(Mogul)-> Motorola Q9C-> Treo 800w-> Curve->Treo 800w->Touch Pro->Treo Pro> Curve "M"->HTC Hero.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by VibrantRedGT View Post
    I remember the 6700 mod. I had a 6700 at the time also. A 30 day trial was not available back then so I dumped the 6700 before 14 days were up. By far the worst device I have ever owned. The 800 is a way, way distant second.

    I also remember complaining about the 800's "muddy-ness call quality" and was told by members (in this thread) that it was very sufficient and not many complained about it. I should dig up those threads for funzies.
    Very true. It's a shame that phone companies force us to resort to stuff like this. It's been going on for a long time and will likely continue for a long time too.
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