Introduction: Palm TX Power Switch Repair
The Palm TX PDA is a great product, but mine and many others made as recently as 2006 have one, major flaw. The power switch quits working after a few months. The unit still works fine in every other way, but since the power switch doesn't work, you have to turn it on using one of the other buttons, which takes you to whatever application is assigned to that button. Then you have to go through the menus to get back to the app you were previously using. This is annoying.,
I finally got fed up with it and decided to open it up and find out what was going on. This instructable explains how I "fixed" the power switch on my TX.
The root cause of the problem is the cheesy switch that was used. It allows dirt from your pocket or bag to get inside and interfere with the switch contact. The fix described here is to clean it up and put it back together. A proper fix would be to replace the switch with a better one, but I haven't found a suitable part yet.
You'll need a soldering iron, some small hand tools, and sufficient cajones to open up your TX. It is also a good idea to have a grounded work surface and grounded wrist strap. A little alcohol and a Q tip will also be useful. A bright light and magnifier will help you see what you're doing.
Step 1: Open It Up
No mystery here. There are 4 screws in the corners on the back of the unit - none are hidden. Just unscrew them using a teeny-tiny hex wrench.
After the screws are out, put them in a dish or stick them to a magnet so you don't lose them.
Now you have to pry the case apart. Work you fingernails into the slot between the front bezel and back cover on the left side of the device and pull them apart. It will take some force, but be careful because the power/computer connector protrudes through the bottom cover that is attached to the back cover. The top cover and power switch cover can come off easily, so don't lose them.
Step 2: Remove the Switch
Now that you have it apart, all you have to do is unsolder the switch from the PCB. Use a small tip, and high temperature. Take the switch off the PCB.
Step 3: "Fix" the Switch
After removing the switch, pry the metal tabs apart until the whole thing falls apart. You'll see two metal domes used to provide spring force and tactile feedback when the power button is pushed. Check the body of the switch- it is probably dirty. This is what causes the switch to fail, and why it fails intermittently before it finally quits working completely. Clean it out with some alcohol on a Q-tip, then clean the domes and put it back together. Solder it back on the PCB and reassemble the case.
Reassembly is opposite the disassembly procedure, only much easier.
That's it! Now it should work again for several months.