Fixing the touch screen problem on a Palm Vx

Friend H called me the other day, he found a PalmVx, but he is not sure does this once upon a time great machine works or not as he only found the body itself, no charger, cradle, no nothing…

Ok, lets charge it up, good, good old Palm logo shows up, was thinking to hand it back to Friend H, hang on, the digitizer seems acting funny… it is completly off tracking even it was hard reset…No wonder the ex-owner gave this baby up even she is still in extremely good condition…

Actually this is a very common problem on PalmV series, oxidizing on the film cable of the digitizer making the touch screen completly off tracking…

So do we gave her up? no way, lets fix her up!

There are no screws on the case of the PalmV series, instead, a special kind of glue was used to stick the machine together, this glue will melt at about a tempreture of 80C.

By using a electric heat gun, I heat the back of the machine up, please remember, DO NOT OVER DO IT, you may damage the device! you have been told!

After a few minutes heat up, I was able to “open” up the back of the machine, remember to put a glove on, it is HOT!

First, to be safe, unplug the power first, remember, this is a PalmV, not a TX, it does not uses NVFlash, so backup you data before you do so, in our case, no data, so no backup!

The power plug

Then we go to our target, the film cable of the digitizer.

Digitizer film cable

You can “unplug” the cable by switching the plug like the following picture.

In our case, it is just plain dirt and a little bit oxidize which makes the cable stop working, so a little bit cleaning with alcohol works, just in case it is in really bad condition, you may need to cut a little bit from the end of the film cable, 1mm is enough, don’t over do it or you will not be able to plug it back.

Then I plug the power back, testing the screen, good, it works!

Finally, I put the back of the case back, and using a combo of carton paper, clips and the electric heat gun, the Palm Vx is back to its shape!!!