This article details how to fix the static buzz problem of the Treo 600. The problem stems from an unprotected power wire inside the Treo, and it can be fixed quite easily without paying for maintenance.
My Treo started to have symptoms sometime last summer – the people on the other end of the mobile call complained of static noise that nearly prevented them from hearing me. This was a major nuisance, of course. Sometimes it helped if I moved closer to a window to get a better reception. Gradually I noticed that the amount of power left in the battery affected the problem – when the battery was low, the problem appeared more often.
From the Palmone FAQ pages I read that it helps to have a full charge and a good reception. I did not know what was the cause, since I’d done lots of stuff (firmware update, dropping the phone on the ground, damaging it, having the antenna a bit loose, installing lots of behaviour-altering software…). When I finally did a Google on the subject, I found clear
instructions in English and in French on how to rectify the problem.
Apparently the power cord that connects the battery to the system has four wires and they are the cause of the static interference. One of the guides said that twisting the wire ends a couple of times (to achieve in essence the same protection as in twisted-pair cablind (you know, phone lines and the standard network cabling)) helps, and a Scottsman advised that wrapping the wire inside tin foil helps also. I did both of them.
As of now (just two days after the operation), I haven’t had any noise problems. But I’ll have to wait and see how things play out.
UPDATE: Reports from people I’ve talked to indicate a significantly clearer sound and no buzz. Excellent!
An excellent French article on opening the Treo and twisting the cable has very good pictures so even if you don’t know any French you can see how things happen. An English guide to wrapping the tin foil has good pictures as well, but doesn’t show the details of opening the case in as much detail. So read them both and have them open while you operate on your Treo.
Here’s a quick summary:
- Do a full backup of the Treo. Remove the SD card, the SIM card and the stylus.
- Remove the screw protectors with a wooden toothpick so as not to damage them.
- Unscrew the screws with a number 6 torque (star-shaped end).
- Remove the antenna.
- Slide a credit card into the crevice in the side of the case and slide up and down, separating the back and front sides. Repeat on both sides and twist the card a bit to pry the sides loose.
- Open by holding the screen downwards and lifting the back, starting from the top, separating the bottom part last.
- Pull out the battery wire. Make a note of which way the connectors go into their sockets.
- Twist the wire maybe four rotations.
- Wrap a small piece of tin foil (15mm * 30mm) around the twisted wire and add a small strip of adhesive to keep it in place.
- Reconnect the wire. The foil will easily break, so be careful. Also remember that as soon as you connect the wire, your Treo will have power, will reset and start with the tutorial and preliminary setup. At this point you can simply press the power button to shut down the screen.
- If you drop the longish black rubber pad from inside your Treo, it doesn’t break anything, but having it does give you that luxury feeling when sliding the stylus in and out of its holster. The two documents I linked to did not contain instructions on this. But the correct place to put the rubber pad is just below the camera eye, under the rim of the green circuit
board. When you place the rubber pad under the circuit board, the small nibble at one end goes towards the top of the phone, under the board. Push gently but firmly to set the pad properly in its place.
UPDATE: Here’a two images showing the rubber pad and its correct placement. Thanks to Claude
Morin for the images!
- You might want to blow out excess dust and dirt thay may have been gathering inside your Treo.
- Replace the back cover, first making sure the bottom is properly positioned and then swiveling the rest in place. Everything should click satisfactorily.
- Screws in, place the caps in place, connect the antenna, insert the SIM and SD cards.
- Push the power button and complete the primary setup. Set the language and the date properly.
- Connect to your computer and restore the contents from your backup. Done!
Credits go to XiaoBin and Ablivio. Thanks for the instructions and the pictures!
Tad McGeer says
Many thanks for posting this information. My Treo 600 developed this problem after about 18 months since new. Cingular’s phone-in “technical support” in India was of no help. Fortunately this site turned up near the top of a Google on “Treo 600 background noise” and allowed me to fix the problem myself.
Thank you! I’ve never been able to use the phone function on my treo 600 since purchasing an unlocked version 2 years ago. Out of frustration, I built up the courage to open the unit a week ago. The instructions were clear, I was careful and so pleased to find that it worked. I haven’t experienced a dropped call or missed a call or txt msg since. It’s wonderful! Thank you so very much.
Andy reynolds says
I think that you will find that simply unplugging the multi way cable inside the treo 600 (as described in the guides to adding foil etc) and plugging it back (repeat a few times) fixes the buzz. It’s due to the contacts becoming oxidised. Reseatimng the connector like this helps to clean the contacts. A little squirt of wd40 just in the connector should help too.
If the cable needing screening then handspring would have put a screen in.
It fixes my buzz, anyaway!
Tarmo Toikkanen says
Hmm… That would explain the symptoms I’ve had – after doing the operation the phone works nicely for some weeks, but then degrades again. So something gradual is happening there. I’ll try this soon, although I’ve already upgraded to a 650 a long time ago.
i tried this foil and twisting the coil trick but no luck. how can i fix this. Did this problem return for anyone else as well?
Gerardo Dueñas says
Great advice, I recovered a Treo that almost in the basket. Working great at all battery levels.