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  1.    #1  
    Several of the keys toward the right-hand side of my Treo 300 keyboard are getting flakey. "O", "L", "P", backspace, and "0" work only intermittantly.

    Fortunately, the "function" key still seems to always work, so I can bring up the "soft keyboard" when necessary. But the problem seems to be getting worse.

    Has anyone else experienced this problem? Has anyone solved it?

    And what's that blue-green foam that's glued to the underside of the keyboard, anyhow? (See the excellent photos, here: )

    dave283 at burtonsys dot com but please no spam
    Last edited by ncdave; 11/28/2005 at 02:43 AM.
  2. #2  

    So you've had your Treo apart and there doesn't appear to be a problem with the "touch pads" or the keyboard contacts either?

    I'd probably recommend just taking it apart looking for anything out of the ordinary... Clean and reassemble. Hope after it is back togeather that it works OK.

    Alright then... you're an "expert" in the Treo "fix it" club. So I'm sure you've already tried the above.

    If I ever figure out my "Transplant" operation (swapping Treo 300 screens while keeping the "phone/radio" intact)... Basicly just need to know the safest way to remove/reinstall the Ribbon Cables. I'd suspect the ability to "swap" a Keyboard/Screen from another Treo 300 or "compatible" Treo (270?) would be rather simple. If the Keyboard can be separated from the Display screen (my old one has a dime size Blob in the upper left corner) I'd have an "extra" Keyboard to replace your dying one.
    Last edited by Lgodave; 11/30/2005 at 01:36 AM.
  3.    #3  
    Well, I've had it pretty far apart. But the keys on the Treo just press against specific points on the top surface of the real keyboard, inside, a "clicky" plastic membrane of some sort. (Sorry, I should have taken pictures of it.) The back side of the keyboard has that weird blue-green foam glued to it. So I wasn't able to get the keyboard apart. Probably I'd have to scrape off the foam from the underside, but that would surely ruin the foam, and I fear it might have a purpose (though I have no idea what). So, following the M.D.'s dictum ("first, do no harm"), I stopped without disassembling the keyboard.

    One annoying thing is that the iffy keys on the keyboard work intermittantly. Like my knees, it has good days and bad. In fact, the keyboard has been working fine all day, today. So even if I could get the keyboard apart, and try to clean it or something, it would still be hard to tell whether or not I'd actually accomplished anything. There's nothing harder to fix than an intermittant problem!

    However, a few hours ago I bought a "parts" Treo 300 on eBay for $10.50 shipped, described as having a broken lid but otherwise working. So I should be able to swap parts, and come up with a fully working phone.


    Regarding the ribbon cables... mine is reassembled at the moment, but often tiny ribbon cable sockets like those work via a compression effect. At the top surface of the socket is a plastic piece (either covering the entire top surface of the socket, or two smaller pieces, one at each end) that can be pried slightly away from the base of the socket to free the socket's grip on the ribbon cable. I would call the plastic pieces "retainer clips," but that probably isn't the right name.

    To reassemble, you insert the ribbon cable in the socket and then press the plastic retainer clip(s) back down into place to grip the cable and hold it securely in place.

    Take a look at this picture:
    There are several ribbon cable sockets visible.

    Look first at the biggest one, near the right side of the photo, the larger of the two ribbon cables which attach the display+keyboard (left-hand) to the main circuit board (right-hand). It appears to connect the display/digitizer to the main circuit board. Look closely at the upper and lower ends of the socket. Do you see the separate plastic pieces? If you pry them "up" a bit (i.e., to the left in the photo), I think the ribbon cable will be freed.

    Now look at the one below it. It is a bit smaller. I think it probably connects the keyboard to the main circuit board. Do you see that it seems to be made in two parts? The "top" (left in the photo) part is darker than the "bottom" part. I suspect that the dark part slides out (to the left in the photo) to loosen the ribbon cable.

    Note that you should not completely remove the plastic retainer clips. If you pry them up 1-2mm, that should be sufficient, I think. Be gentle, they are fragile.

    Last edited by ncdave; 11/30/2005 at 03:41 AM.
  4. #4  

    Thanks... if I get a chance this weekend I'll have to experiment on my "parts" Treo and see if I can get it apart the way I want. If the parts are then exchangeable and the FrankTreo still works I'll let you know...
  5.    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by Lgodave

    Thanks... if I get a chance this weekend I'll have to experiment on my "parts" Treo and see if I can get it apart the way I want. If the parts are then exchangeable and the FrankTreo still works I'll let you know...

    Here's a photo, with red arrows showing how to loosen the two flexible
    flat cable connectors:

    For the larger of the two connectors, pry the white retainer clip up (to the
    left in the photo), at the two ends of the connector. That's how most such
    connectors work.

    But the smaller one on the Treo 300 works differently. For that one, the dark
    retainer clip swings up away from the PCB, pivoting along its length, to loosen
    the grip on the cable.

    Here's a close-up (but with no red arrows):

    I hope this helps.

  6. #6  

    Thanks for the info., I'd kind of forgotten about this little project. If I get a chance I'll have to take a few minutes and test it out... Looks VERY EASY now that I have pics and and an example.

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