Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Treo 650 2.5 mm to 3.5 mm Audio Jack Swap

Update: I now offer a 2.5mm to 3.5mm jack swap service. The cost is $200. This is a very difficult and time consuming modification but the end result is a very sturdy and useful audio jack. Apart from the jack swap, the rear plastic cover needs to be trimmed a bit so that the jack fits. I have been using this setup for 3 months with no problems. I even caught my audio cable on a heavy suitcase and almost ripped my leather jacket since the Treo was in my inner pocket.

This is not really a How-To guide but more of a Proof-of-Concept. Palm could have made the Treo 650 with a more media friendly 3.5 mm jack, but they chose not to. A correctly designed connector would have worked great.

If you want to do this mod, there is enough information here for any competent electrical hobbyist to perform the upgrade. I would not recommend doing this upgrade and don't ask me if I can do it because I will not. I have been repairing broken jacks for a nominal fee but this is way different. If you really want a 3.5 mm jack, look at my Audio Jack Hack. I also do those for a fee.

This jack swap uses the same jack as the one used in the Audio Jack hack mentioned above. Let me start by showing a board with the original 2.5 mm jack removed.

You will need to bridge MIC and GROUND where the 2 white arrows indicate "BRIDGE" this is so you can have internal mic functionality with the 3.5 mm stereo headset. The 2 pads labeled "TIP or LEFT" also need to be bridged together. The round pad labeled "MIDDLE or RIGHT' will be used to solder to the connector and the square pads need to also be bridged together. There is no need for a switch since the Treo has an electrical switch that senses when there is a Stereo headset pluged in.

After performing the above modifications to the board, you can now prepare the connector. I used a Kycon P/N ST-3500-3N. The connector needs to be shortened by 2 mm and a placement pin removed. The pin removal weakens the connector bond to the board, so you may want to use a non-conductive epoxy afterwards to secure the connector to the board. A before and after picture of the connector is shown below. Notice the edge of the connector is cut away to the metal contact. That metal contact will need to be soldered to the board since the tab had to be cut away.

Afere the connector modification, you can then place it to the board and solder it in place. Solder as shown below, making sure the solder point on the right is soldered to the contact deep in the connector. The other solder tab on the opposite side of the connector gets soldered to the round solder pad previously shown.

Once the connector is soldered in place. place the rear plastic on the board. Notice you will need to cut some plastic to get the board to sit flush. You will also need to trim more of the connector if it protrudes out like pictured below. It need to be flush with the plastic so that it does not interfere witht the battery. a normal OEM battery should be ok, but high-capacity batteries barely fit. Notice the jack tip in the pcture, it fits but any longer ant it would hit the battery.

below is a picture of two plastic shells joined together, notice they do not join correctly. You will need to cut the half circles on each plastic halve to make room for the bigger connector.

Well, that is enough info I think. Please let me know if anyone else was brave enough to do this mod. I did it just to prove that it would work on a spare board.... It works!!! the board is now sitting in a box of treo junk...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Mac and SD friendly Treo 650 GSM 1.20 update

I received a comment indicating dissapointment at the unavalibility of a Mac updater, so I decided to look for a way. Below is a link to a file that will work on a Mac via transfer to a SD card.

This update also includes the missing files needed for voice playback of videos.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New GSM Unlocked Firmware released from Palm

New Firmware was released today... Go check it out!!!

Palm - Support - Treo 650 Updater (Unlocked GSM version)

Pocket Tunes Streaming MP3 Playlists

Here is a list I put together of popular streaming internet radio stations. The playlists link to other playlists that are on the web and will be updated periodically. This is just a quick list I made, I will have more later.

To get the liks to work, just open them up with blazer. Eventually you will want to save them to the SD card under /Palm/Programs/Pockettunes, but for now this is beta and the links may be down or change in the future. Any updates will be posted here. Change the text under Skin Properties to a smaller size to see a full description of the audio stream.

You can also check the streams out via Winamp and itunes before you download.

Here is the List:

I hope you guys like them and find them useful. Please let me know if there are any problems or suggestions.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Treo 650 Screen Replacement Video

I found this video the other day while checking out one of the Treo forums. It's pretty good, better that my how-to (never did one... opps). My disassembly instructions did not go that far, but are good for opening up the shell. Two suggestions I would give: Use your fingernail to split the case and watch for the tabs holding the mainboard to the housing. here is the video.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Treo 650 Audio Jack Fix, Part 1.


I have been fixing the Treo 600 and 650 of this defective and broken jack problem. I charge $75 plus $10 for USPS Priority shipping with insurance. I usually ship your phone out the same day. The fix is a permant fix and will not require to be repaired ever again. I leave no external signs of tampering for warranty purposes.

It seems that apart from the poor volume , buggy software and other issues, the Treo 650 also suffers from an audio jack of poor quality. Their are different issues with the audio jack, but the most common are:

  1. The internal speaker and speakerphone stop functioning.
  2. The stereo outputs only mono.
  3. crackling sounds with audio connector movement.
  4. jack is easily broken when using an adapter, and sometimes without.

If you have a good carrier that provided your phone or you bought it straight from Palm, you have a warranty that is good for one year and I would recommend replacing a faulty phone. Unfortunatly, many people bought their Treos from other places, and theses phones are also starting to come out of warranty. So, for the rest of us poor souls, including me, we need to look for other solutions. This article deals mostly with solving problem #1.

First, some general information. The problem with the jack, aside from its smaller size compared to its more rugged 3.5mm cousin, is the fast that it is a generic jack that is even less rugged and durable than a normal unswitched 3 pin 2.5mm jack.

The jack is of the switched type with one switch and 6 pins, one of which is redundant. The plastic housing being generic for the 2.5mm size, has a provision for 2 switches. The second circuit is the circuit that causes problem #1. It is basically a "switch" that is always connected, with the connector inserted and the connector removed. With gereral use, this switch opens, and causes problem #1. With a good board design this would not be a problem, but seems Palm initally had planned to incorporate a switch in that location and later changed their mind. An error in their Treo 650 developers guide indicating a switch in the problem circuit would seem to suggest a switch was planned but later removed.

Why palm even used a mechanical switch in the jack is hard to understand, since the Treo also has an electrical switch. My Audio Jack Hack , a 3.5mm audio jack in the antenna, taps into the audio source before the original jack and uses no switches, but the internal audio still switched off when I plug in my headphones.

The Fix:
  1. Install a program that overrides the switching
  2. Disable and bridge the mechanical switches.

The first is a good solution for people that cannot or will not take apart their Treo. Their is a drawback though, in that the electrical switch is also overridden and one needs to make the switch manually from internal speaker to headset.

The second fix requires some work, but will still keep the same fuctionality. It should only be attempted by people familiar with electronics and soldering. That fix is described next.

The tools needed for the job are:

  1. T5 Torx Driver.
  2. Small wire cutters.
  3. High quality solder tool.
  4. fine solid core copper wire.

first, take apart the Treo 650, as described in my Dissassembly Instructions. After taking apart the Treo, look at the ajck to see if there is any damage. You probably will not see any damage, unless the jack was broken by force, the damage will be internally. below is a close-up of jack. Signal1 is for left channel audio or for mic (with mono headset). Signal3 is normally grounded, or mic only with the special 2-in-1 headset.

Create a copper wire bridge between the two pads labeled switched signal1 and signal1. This mechanical switch only causes problems and is not needed. Below is a picture of the other side of the connector.

The electrical connection between the two signal2 pads should never be broken. Bridging the two pads together will make the jack more durable and will cure the "ghost jack" problem.

Please send me feedback or ask for help if needed.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

A Marriage Not Made in Heaven - New York Times

A Marriage Not Made in Heaven - New York Times

So much for the Treo 700w being "better" that the 650. I can't wait to read more reviews... and the 700p

Best of Gizmodo - Winner Time! - Gizmodo

Best of Gizmodo - Winner Time! - Gizmodo

With all the problems and less than lackluster customer satisfaction rating, I am a bit surprised that The Treo 650 was voted number one. Probably the people willing to vote for the other devices were too busy enjoying their gadget instead of surfing online to try to figure out how to use it or fix it.

I love my Treo buy it takes a lot of work to get it working productive. I know many user that could not put up with the many problems or that do not use it to it's full potential. I hope palm does a better job with their newer devices.

What I am looking for:

1) Sufficient memory.
2) More robust software (less resets).
3) Better Bluetooth (at least voice dialing).
4) 3.5mm Audio.
5) Wifi via SD.
6) A good camera.

The last 2 are not too important, but more and more smartphones are packing in more features. If a better phone that The Treo hits the market, I might jump ship!

Treo 650 Audio Jack Secrets

Treo 650 Audio Jack Secrets.

Here is some information on the Treo 650 2.5mm audio jack. It comes straight from the Palm Developers guide that I downloaded a while back from Palm.

I was originally going to explain the audio jack functionality in my own words, but after reading the guide and being somewhat confused, I decided to post the information in it's original form. The confusion comes from the errors in the document, see if you can find them. I took my EE classes pass/fail, but I think I have a basic understanding of electricity...

There is also one error that is not apparent until you dissect a Treo. The basic information is correct though...

Headset Jack Specifications