Why won't my palm accept its charge?
April 16, 2006 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Palm Filter: I'm away from home and my palm Tungsten T (that I've had for 2 years) is giving me grief. I only have my usb charging cable with me and, while when it's plugged in to my laptop, the power (and charge indicator) light is on. But when I stop charging (up to four hours so far) there seems to be no charge on the battery. Do I need to bin it?

And, given that I use it for my ebook habit, what can I replace it with? (I'm in Buenos Aires at the moment so the replacement may be a little problematic).
posted by itsjustanalias to Technology (6 answers total)
It's probably a problem with the battery, in which case you can buy one here or a Palm with a broken screen on eBay. This is not authorized by Palm and the battery is not considered user-servicable. Or you could just sell the Palm yourself noting that the battery probably isn't working, and someone who needs the screen or is willing to replace the battery will buy it.

The other possibility is that the contacts on your charging cable or Palm are corroding but I think this is unlikely. I would use a tiny piece of pencil eraser stuck onto a paperclip to clean the contacts of my Palm Vx when it stopped transferring data over the cable.
posted by grouse at 2:51 PM on April 16, 2006

Lithium batteries have a pretty limited life span. The end-of-life symptom is more or less as you describe: after charging the battery either doesn't actually have a charge, or else it doesn't keep the charge more than a few minutes. 2 years of moderate or heavy use is about what I would expect.

I suggest looking into whether it's possible to replace the battery; I see no reason why you'd need to discard the entire unit.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 2:52 PM on April 16, 2006

It sounds like the battery is toast. My pocketpc had the same problem, so I bought a battery off ebay for $30 and installed it myself.

The fact that you are traveling may be a problem, especially if you will be on the move before a battery can get to you.

good luck
posted by tcobretti at 2:53 PM on April 16, 2006

I read ebooks with FBReader on the Nokia 770. It is the most beautiful ebook reader I have ever seen. The 770 fits in my palm sideways, and FBreader will rotate the screen. I can then use the up-down rocker to go through pages. I love you, Nokia 770.

Images of what I mean here: Sideways orientation, up-down rocker

I've read ebooks on a palm IIIxe, a palm 3c, a treo 600, a treo 650, and a nokia 770, and the 770 is the best ebook reader I have ever used. I would have bought it simply as an ebook reader. The best "extra" I've used with the 770 is browse to Baen Free Library, grab an ebook off there, and read it, all without an extra computer.
posted by adamwolf at 3:17 PM on April 16, 2006 [1 favorite]

Yet another possibility -- though I'm not sure if I'm right about this -- is that not enough power is coming through the USB cable to charge the unit in four hours. A few years back I noticed that I could get a "trickle" charge from my G3 iBook to my Palm m505 when connecting them with a USB syncing cable: not enough to charge the unit properly, but some juice was being sent over. I guess that more power comes via USB 2.0 if you can charge an iPod with it, but maybe the combination of your computer and your Palm might not allow for effective charging via USB? (Just a guess.)
posted by mcwetboy at 3:49 PM on April 16, 2006

I'd suggest backing it up completely to the laptop and doing a hard reset then trying to charge it again. Sometimes Palm OS machines get wonked up and refuse to charge themselves - This usually fixes it. When you restore, you probably want to make sure that the UnsavedPrefrences.pdb and possibly SavedPrefrences.pdb get left off.
posted by Orb2069 at 4:52 PM on April 16, 2006

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