webOS Nation Forums >  Homebrew >  WebOS Internals > How to disassemble & reassemble a Palm Pre
How to disassemble & reassemble a Palm Pre
  Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05/06/2010, 04:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
Developer
 
rwhitby's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,555
Here are some tips to remember as you are disassembling & reassembling a Palm Pre.

First you should mainly follow the guide at Palm Pre Teardown - iFixit - it gets you 95% of the way there.

You can find my pictures of the disassembly at Palm Pre Disassembly on Flickr

Note that there is a separate post by another author regarding disassembly of a Pixi: http://forums.precentral.net/palm-pi...ok-inside.html

The following points are additional things I noted as I was going through that process on two devices. I'll also add some pictures of the more fiddly steps, which show the internal locations of things that you need to watch out for.

Assuming you already know how to remove the battery (if you don't then you really shouldn't be trying this), then you can skip straight to step 11. The step numbers below correspond to the iFixit article.

Step 11:

It's really important to remove the warranty sticker from the screw in the top right corner before trying to remove the screw. Otherwise the bits of the sticker get stuck in the head of the screw and make it harder to get the Torx T5 bit to mate with the screw.

I'll try and add some pictures here which shows the locations of the interlocking tabs that you need to release to get the backplate off.

At the top of the phone, there are no tabs. But inside the phone there is some accoustic shielding around the speaker and vibrator, and that is lightly stuck to the slider assembly inside. Start separating it right where the headphone jack is, and be very careful not to try and go past the point above the volume buttons where the top right corner screw was - see step 13 for the reason for that caution. You won't get the whole of the top of the backplate to separate at this point, your goal is just to unstick the accoustic shielding.

Now work your way down the left hand side (the side with the USB port) of the device, and the first interlocking tab you will come to is the one near the USB port. This is one of the hardest tabs to separate without breaking something, so you will need to take a lot of care here. I'll put some detailed pictures of this tab in here later. When you come to reassemble these two tabs, you need to slide them in from bottom to top, you can't click them back in from the side.

Once you're past the tab at the USB port, the next two are between the middle and bottom screws on the left hand side. Here you are actually separating the backplate from the keyboard bezel (the keyboard is connected to the slider mechanism), but you want to try and not separate the keyboard bezel from the keyboard assembly if you can avoid it.

Step 12:

Be aware of the two antenna wires just above the middle screw on the left hand side. They are connected to the comms board, with a metal cover that is only held in place by the black sticker over the top of it. It's actually easier to disconnect the two connectors under that metal cover before trying to go further. Note that the black wire is on the bottom connector (marked DIV) and the white wire is on the connector closest to the battery comparment (marked GPS).

The next four tabs are along the bottom of the keyboard. Again, you are separating the keyboard bezel from the backplate here, not trying to separate the keyboard bezel from the rest of the keyboard assembly.

Once the left side and bottom are separated, the two tabs between the bottom and middle screws on the right side and the tab just below the volume buttons should all come apart pretty easily.

Step 13:

At this point, the backplate will be completely separated, apart from the very fragile flexible circuit board which connects the volume controls to the slider assembly. As noted on the iFixit guide, you need to remove the plastic rocker piece first. You can push this out at the bottom end from the inside (there's a little hole there where you can poke at the tab). Watch out, cause it will fly off once it comes loose. Once you've got the backplate off, it's a good idea to put the plastic volume rocker piece back in place in the backplate so you don't loose it.

Step 14:

At this point you can remove the comms board. The small connector is for the keyboard, and the large connector contains all the power and communication signals between the screen assembly and the comms board.

Step 15:

I recommend a different course of action to iFixit here. I tried it their way first, and if you do it their way, you end up with your keyboard separated into two parts (which is not good if you want to salvage the keyboard for another device like I do).

I recommend separating the brown part of the keyboard away from the metal part of the slider assembly, thereby keeping the keyboard assembly and keyboard bezel in one piece.

Start at the bottom of the phone, and slowly separate the two pieces, working your way up to the top of the keyboard. Once you have most of it separated, the whole keyboard assembly will pivot and then you can slide it off to the left hand side (taking care not to damage the tiny connector and cable).

The key success factor here is keeping the tiny thin plastic rectangular hooks at the bottom of the black plastic layer of the keyboard which has the actual key symbols printed on it connected to the keyboard bezel. If you can get the keyboard out without breaking those, then you've done well. Using my method instead of iFixit's method helps you do this without harming those thin plastic hooks.

Step 16:

Once the keyboard is off, you can actually get to the four philips head screws which attach the screen assembly to the slider assembly. The top two are easiest to unscrew when the slider is closed. The bottom two are easiest when the slider is 90% open. You need to move the cable on the right hand side a bit to get to the screw which is behind it.

Don't get to adventerous trying to separate the screen assembly from the slider assembly just yet - there are some more cables hidden underneath which are a bit more difficult to disconnect.

What iFixit doesn't show you in step 16 is that you need to lift the bottom part up slightly, and then pull it down slightly to unhook to metal tabs at the top of the slider assembly. It's easiest to unhook the top left metal tab, and then pivot the slider assembly counter-clockwise to unhook the other one. Then you can lift the left hand side of the board to see the two connectors underneath.

Once you've disconnected those two cables, the screen assembly and the slider assembly come apart freely.

I have gone further into separating the logic board from the screen and will add the notes for that here later.

-- Rod
__________________
WebOS Internals and Preware Founder and Developer
You may wish to donate by Paypal to donations @ webos-internals.org if you find our work useful.
All donations go back into development.
www.webos-internals.org twitter.com/webosinternals facebook.com/webosinternals

Last edited by rwhitby; 01/13/2011 at 06:47 PM.
rwhitby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/12/2010, 02:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 15
I can't figure out how to take the two clips on the side off.
tonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/12/2010, 02:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
Developer
 
rwhitby's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonie View Post
I can't figure out how to take the two clips on the side off.
Try releasing the clips around the keyboard, and then the two above the keyboard should slide downwards.

-- Rod
__________________
WebOS Internals and Preware Founder and Developer
You may wish to donate by Paypal to donations @ webos-internals.org if you find our work useful.
All donations go back into development.
www.webos-internals.org twitter.com/webosinternals facebook.com/webosinternals
rwhitby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/12/2010, 02:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 15
You mean the four clips? Just push it down right?

Edit: Nevermind, I got it. It's late and I'm kind of tired. Will proceed when I'm done studying for my test. Thanks

Last edited by tonie; 06/12/2010 at 03:04 AM.
tonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/12/2010, 04:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 15
How do I take the slide off?
tonie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06/12/2010, 04:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
Developer
 
rwhitby's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonie View Post
How do I take the slide off?
Which step in the iFixit guide are you up to, and what are you having problems with?

-- Rod
__________________
WebOS Internals and Preware Founder and Developer
You may wish to donate by Paypal to donations @ webos-internals.org if you find our work useful.
All donations go back into development.
www.webos-internals.org twitter.com/webosinternals facebook.com/webosinternals
rwhitby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/26/2010, 08:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 23
Call me crazy, but im bored over summer and wanted to take on a project.
I will be using used phones meant for parts.
I wanted to poke around in the pre, see if it is possible to increase the memory, or ram.

I figured my best bet would be tinkering with a palm pre plus, and seeing if i could extract what is crucial, and combine it with an original pre, to get a pre plus on sprint.

Any words of wisdom?
ineedihelp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/26/2010, 01:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
Developer
 
rwhitby's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by ineedihelp View Post
Call me crazy, but im bored over summer and wanted to take on a project.
I will be using used phones meant for parts.
I wanted to poke around in the pre, see if it is possible to increase the memory, or ram.

I figured my best bet would be tinkering with a palm pre plus, and seeing if i could extract what is crucial, and combine it with an original pre, to get a pre plus on sprint.

Any words of wisdom?
There is a thread on how to do just that.

-- Rod
rwhitby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/27/2010, 11:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 6
Hey Rod. Quick question. I've got 2 pre's, one with a broken screen. I'd like to switch the two screens. Is there a simple way of simply detaching the two halves without disassembling the entire phone, a step I can skip to, or do I need to go step by step until they are apart. I just don't want to do any needless disassembly for the switch. Thank you for your help.
PreFloyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07/27/2010, 05:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
Developer
 
rwhitby's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreFloyd View Post
Hey Rod. Quick question. I've got 2 pre's, one with a broken screen. I'd like to switch the two screens. Is there a simple way of simply detaching the two halves without disassembling the entire phone, a step I can skip to, or do I need to go step by step until they are apart. I just don't want to do any needless disassembly for the switch. Thank you for your help.
Step by step until they are apart I'm afraid.

-- Rod
__________________
WebOS Internals and Preware Founder and Developer
You may wish to donate by Paypal to donations @ webos-internals.org if you find our work useful.
All donations go back into development.
www.webos-internals.org twitter.com/webosinternals facebook.com/webosinternals
rwhitby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/25/2010, 10:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 9
I really want to view this image, but I can't see it ;(
koyoteshinji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/26/2010, 01:18 AM   #12 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 200
Some may have seen my severe hardware hacking, i have complete testpoints in my notebook but just snagged a photo from ifixit to post a few of my useful findings that were added to my pre before moving to a Beagleboard. these were all the ones I could remember off the top of my head but their are alot of smaller hard to notice onces useful for debugging/JTAG/ETC. I will check my notes sometime this week to add and make sure their uart3 is correct but I had no issues when I hooked it up wrong a few times. MUST use 1.8v TTL.

I still have 4 palm motherboards to stack inside my project(Think cluster) along with a beagle for a smaller more stable netbook. if you guys need anything as far as testpoints let me know.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Binarys-testpoint-discoveres.jpg (46.3 KB, 70 views) Email Attachment
Binary Tech is offline   Reply With Quote
Thanked By: qianjinfeng
Old 08/26/2010, 01:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
Developer
 
rwhitby's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by Binary Tech View Post
Some may have seen my severe hardware hacking, i have complete testpoints in my notebook but just snagged a photo from ifixit to post a few of my useful findings that were added to my pre before moving to a Beagleboard. these were all the ones I could remember off the top of my head but their are alot of smaller hard to notice onces useful for debugging/JTAG/ETC. I will check my notes sometime this week to add and make sure their uart3 is correct but I had no issues when I hooked it up wrong a few times. MUST use 1.8v TTL.

I still have 4 palm motherboards to stack inside my project(Think cluster) along with a beagle for a smaller more stable netbook. if you guys need anything as far as testpoints let me know.
Awesome. What is the minimum needed to power up and boot that board? Anything need to be tied off on the flex cable connectors?

-- Rod
__________________
WebOS Internals and Preware Founder and Developer
You may wish to donate by Paypal to donations @ webos-internals.org if you find our work useful.
All donations go back into development.
www.webos-internals.org twitter.com/webosinternals facebook.com/webosinternals
rwhitby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/26/2010, 02:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 200
you only need a motherboard and lcd if you want to play around with the board itself, the serial console/bootloader is only able to be accessed when powered via USB port only. no battery(i dont even bother with the radio boards)

if your talking about powering my project it will not consume much power at all but I have some huge lipo cells to use when complete. if you just want to poke at the i2c, uart and other ports just power it from the usb line.
Binary Tech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08/26/2010, 02:55 AM   #15 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 200
I noted were the power domain lines run but be very careful their. I killed 2 boards so let me get the exact pinout and voltage, this just allows you to power up certain components in groups, just use USB and all is well.you can see how easy it must be be palm to work on the boards. I love the design! 4 ground clamps to I assume a main jig that they can use to analyze all the data from those ports and make tweaks. I hope the next Palm is OMAP based, gonna be hard to build something so perfect IMO.

Board requires 1.8V for the core, 3.3 for the entire motherboard. sorry its 4AM so i'll fix the any mistakes later.

Take care Rob!
Binary Tech is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/29/2010, 08:03 PM   #16 (permalink)
Member
 
sethron's Avatar
 
Posts: 58
I have a piece of debris near the camera lens in my Pre. Would I have to disconnect the antennae wires and pull back the metal cover in step 12 to get the back plate off to remove the debris from the camera lens?
sethron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12/19/2010, 07:42 AM   #17 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 168
Thanks Rod, your tips are good !

I tried combining the iFixit, Rapid Repair Rapid Repair - Palm Pre Repair Guide by RapidRepair
& your guide to strip down my pre -- twice !

I have bent my 2 interlocking tabs..yes..these are the hardest for impatient people like me !..They dont sit properly now, not noticable.

Step15 (ifixit):
I used rapid repair's method (step7) here. Just remove the 4 screws, without bothering much to remove keyboard/slider mechanism. Maybe this is less risky if you are not interested in the keyboard disassembly.

The next hardest bit for me was the 2 cables below the keyboard/slide plate connecting to the motherboard...How to disconnect/connect this safely ?. my method was using a small plastic poking stick to push & pull then in place !

Last edited by FunkiBluDawg; 12/19/2010 at 07:55 AM.
FunkiBluDawg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12/31/2010, 06:09 PM   #18 (permalink)
Member
 
Posts: 127
So from what I have found and read, it sounds like the comm boards are the same from the pre/pre+/pre2 (within a carrier type of course)... can anyone confirm this? I think my comm board on the pre2 is bad and if I can't get it exchanged, then pulling one from a pre+ might be an option...

thanks...
prdamrican#AC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04/07/2011, 11:12 AM   #19 (permalink)
Banned
 
Posts: 5,110
Rod, I know you've been busy, but any tips to effectively separate the LCD and digitizer?
Any amount of force will crack the digitizer.
GuyFromNam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04/07/2011, 04:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
Developer
 
rwhitby's Avatar
 
Posts: 10,555
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyFromNam View Post
Rod, I know you've been busy, but any tips to effectively separate the LCD and digitizer?
Any amount of force will crack the digitizer.
I've not been successful in doing so, except on the Pixi.

-- Rod
rwhitby is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

 

Thread Tools
Display Modes



 


Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0