View Full Version : How to repair Zire's cable
07-07-2004, 05:32 PM
Hi everyone. Many Zire71 users have complained that after some time , especially those, who excessively use camrea, they unable to use synchronization button, or even they are unable to synchronize at all. And this is not a sofware problem, so this could be an inner flexible cable failure. Since zire71 has a slider, there is a cable that connects the cradle connector to the rest of unit's hardware, you can see it here, on the pictuer. . Actually , after many (thousands) times of opening-closing palm's slider the cable may fail and as a result - you will not be able to synchronize the unit , ore even recharge it at all. This happened to me 4 months ago since i use zire's camera very often (to capture documents mostly) . So suddenly one day, hotsynch button failed. I first thought that it is some soft issue, - nope, even after hard reset it wont synch by button , only by clicking on sync icon. 2 days after - it cound'nt sync at all!!! No matter what i did. So i had to open it and discovered the real problem.
Important: First , you should not open your palm if you still have the warranty, otherwice you will cancell it.
Second: all this info is just my personal experience , So i suggest you follow the steps only if you completely understand what you are doing. It also requires some minimal skills.
Third, Even if you have abovementioned symptoms - syncrhnization failure, and you are completly sure that this is not a sofware problem - it is still not 100% sure that this cable is the reason, there can be aother hardware issues that can lead to theis
Ok, This is how Zire's cable looks like.
Now if you look close enough to my cable, you can see some inner pins that are damaged, as a result of hundreds times of opening/closing:
The problem isnt' because the cord is bad or poor qulality, actually this cable is pretty good, the problem is that it has very had working conditions, this is how this cable "looks like" when the zire is closed.
The harder you fold it - the sooner it will fail. Since there's no much space in zire - cable has to be fold pretty tight. Ok, this was description of the problem, Now , how can you fix this:
In such cases, one can just add some small wires and replace the broken ones, but this cable is waaay to small to do this. So i decided to something else:
First, we need to clean up the damaged place like this:
Second - in order to restore the electrical contact - we need to solder the damaged space . By the way, this cable is NOT afraid of soldering iron and will not melt, After we do this - it is very recommended to test the contact with an tester - to avoid chance of starting all the work all over again. So , after this stage cable should look like this:
3) Although the cable is working again - this is definitely not enough. If we put this cable back "as is" - most chances that it will faill nex day or so. So the most important thing - we have to pretect the damaged place so cable cannot be folded there. To do this - i gluded a small thin metal object to the opposite side of the cable, here:
Well, that's all, just gle some piece of paper to the damaged side so it won't make a short circuit inside the unit and put the cable back to it's place:
07-07-2004, 05:58 PM
Just a thought, would PalmOne actually just take a Z71 back for repair if this fault occured?
07-07-2004, 06:38 PM
Just a thought, would PalmOne actually just take a Z71 back for repair if this fault occured?
Ou, sure, thank for reminding me, i will edit the post and will add this,
I don't want anobody crew their palm when they still have a warranty, thanks.
07-07-2004, 07:41 PM
Kewl. Nice guide though.
07-19-2004, 12:19 PM
Has anyone been able to find this cable for sale anywhere?..I just picked up a zire 71 and it looks like this "molex" cable is completely fried..
Any help is appreciated.
07-22-2004, 04:11 AM
Don't think so.
I suppose you can't sync or your sync button doesn't work.
As an alternative - you can sync via Infrared, if you have one. Or you can buy a IR-adaptor for you pc - I think it will be way cheaper than reparying the unit.
Or,.. you can try to follow the above my steps, but not - you can damage the cable even more, if you are unfamiliar with all this stuff. The choice is yours.
07-22-2004, 12:09 PM
Thanks for the reply junglemike..but it's way beyond not being able to sync, it wont charge and is there is no power at all going to the zire, no signs of life. The cable has several spots that are obviously burnt, it looks like someone used the wrong power adapter to try and charge it. To bad, I gambled $20.00 and lost it on this one.
07-22-2004, 01:49 PM
Thanks for this; my Zire 71 has been failing to sync for several weeks now, though it still charges, and this explains everything.
i'm in the same boat. palm should do a recall on this unit!!!
glad to know i'm not alone.
04-18-2005, 07:25 PM
Another way, rather than dealing with soldering and opening up the Palm is to keep the camera permanently open and launch it when you need to. Check out this posting (http://discussion.brighthand.com/palmhandhelds/showthread.php?s=&threadid=77094) for more info. I have figured out how to still be able to launch the camera app without physically moving the slider out by using some other programs to access it. And, of course, with the camera stuck permanently open, the cable won't be further damaged by more bending. And, if you have other 3rd party programs like Zire/Palm Movie Maker, you can still use it since it's the same as if you opened the slider to access the camera.
04-19-2005, 06:40 AM
Hi jungle mike!! I have heard about you a lot out of here and i have been looking for this post for a long time! finally i found it... my zireīs molex cable is broken and i wanna try fix it but your pictures are offline. could you send them to another server please??! thanx!
04-19-2005, 11:53 AM
Check out this link (http://discussion.brighthand.com/palmhandhelds/showthread.php?s=&postid=339718) for junglemike's posting
04-20-2005, 05:33 PM
ok ill not try to fix that cable.... that seems a lot of work to get a temporary solution (how much it will least after fixed? 1/2/3 months?). What is the data rate of infra red? if it takes a long time to send some mp3s id send it to repair.
04-20-2005, 05:55 PM
I've read that synching by infrared is extremely slow although I've never tried it. If you just want to move mp3s over, just get a card reader or use something like CardExport II (http://www.softtick.com/cardexport2) to drag and drop your mp3s over to the Palm. I've read that PalmOne usually charges $125 for fixing the Palm. So, you may want to think about that before deciding to get it fixed.
As I've mentioned in my posting, if you don't want to try to fix the cable just keep the camera open so that you can still take pictures and still use the Zire 71 (via my solution) and keep the cable still so that it doesn't get any further damaged. The only problem is that the Zire 71 is now in the extended position and your case may no longer hold it anymore and you are now exposing the camera lens. You may need to pay for the software to access the camera. Or, you can just keep the camera closed and stop using it. But most Z71 owners bought the Zire 71 for the camera.
I have a holster case so it still fits okay and it doesn't scratch the lens.
06-11-2005, 08:04 PM
open my zire 71, how ? please help me :
06-11-2005, 08:06 PM
How can i open my zire 71 ?+
08-24-2005, 10:53 AM
After checking information on the damaged cable. I went hunting for the manufacturer and was able to determine the following:
This logo was on the cable:
This was the email I sent to Molex originally:
Palm hasnít been very helpful on such a simple part. Is there anyway that I can order a replacement molex cable for my Palm Zire 71 directly from Molex? I would love to provide a part number for it, but there isnít one, which makes me believe that you will not be able to help me. Itís worth a try!
I then received this response on the same day:
I don't know if I'll be able to help or not but I have sent an email the Molex Sales engineer who works with Palm.
I'll let you know his answer as soon as I hear from him.
So my first thought is cool, let's see where this goes, I then received this reply the next day.
Sorry but I am not able to help either - I contacted our Palm account manager in California and he says that the cable is not Molex.
I thought this was funny as a cable found in a Palm Zire 71, with their logo stamped on, from a company that has a Palm Account Manager, and he denied that the part exists. So I have recently sent an reply to that email, asking how a cable that has their logo stamped on it, could have been placed into the Palm Zire 71 and that they did not know about it. Here is the email:
I must say that your Palm account manager in California is incorrect. I knew that I needed to go through your company as the following logo was stamped on the cable in a white print. The logoís are a 100% match. Even if the account manager in California denies its existence, and insults my intelligence, at least I am doing the next best thing as I would like to report that Palm is using a cable that has your logo stamped on it and this seems obvious, without your companies permission. Palm's use of this cable with your logo really should be investigated.
This is how I knew that I should contact your company about this part, perhaps if I include a picture of the cable. The cable looks just like this:
I am awaiting a response. I will post it once I receive it.
08-24-2005, 11:36 AM
There might be zillions of cables shipping out of Molex for different products..Obviously...these guys just threw an answer out to you... I wonder what a palm account manager has to do with a molex cable :D
08-24-2005, 03:23 PM
Try to have it exchanged, it may just work like it did with my IIIc after some bickering. PalmOne recently had enough class action lawsuits shoving up their ***** quality up the producers *****..
08-26-2005, 08:27 AM
JungleMike, could you repost your message so that the pictures are visible?
09-14-2005, 07:35 PM
This is a job that should take maybe an hour or two if you got the tools (for me, to fix power and sound)
pre-requisite: you really gotta know how to solder (as in, you ought to have done some electronics soldering before - know how to solder wires and tiny bits to PCBs (printed circuit boards). i got my little bit of experience in school in the electronics lab). if you don't, don't mess with it. and to solder a wire onto the molex cable, the trick is to use the heated tip of the soldering iron to scrape off enough (3mm in length) of the orange plastic to expose the metal connection that will allow you to sufficiently lay down the solder.
as it wasn't the first time for me taking apart my zire71, i opened it a lot quicker than most first timers. i had to open it for the first time, when there was a problem, my stylus head (not the standard plastic pen that came with zire71) got separated from the body of the pen and got stuck down the tube.
there are no soldering pics here, just one pic to show it can be done. my molex cable snapped after taking one too many pics with the lousy palm cam (ok, it's not too bad a cam, but to have to solder a molex cable??? now that's lousy)
http://home.pacific.net.sg/~lsl4x/zire71/IMG_0003.JPG (800+ KB)
09-01-2008, 01:58 PM
Hi Jungle Mike... after soo many yrs of not looking at this, i ended up investing in a new zire 71 (love it) i've had to revisit your awesome thread. The pictures are not up anymore. It's harder and harder to find ppl to repair my zire71. I have 2 , both charge up on the cradle with some tilting, but both don't synch up. i'm thinking it's the dreaded flex cable since they both make that crackling sound when u open and close. one of the machines used to hotsynch when it was partly opened, but then stopped.
Can you repost or send me the pictures of how to repair the cable Please, please..??
i hope you're around.
do you know of anyplace where they still fix this thing for cheap?
09-11-2008, 05:28 PM
Check out my posting on repairs and take apart instructions here (http://palmdiscovery.com/2005/11/16/putting-it-all-together-pt-6-protecting-your-new-investment/#takeapart). The post also has a few suggestions on places you can get it repaired.
vBulletin v3.0.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.