Matt accidentally dropped his Visor Prism and it can’t get up!

This is an internet friend’s Handspring Visor Prism.

Prism, assembled

Matt accidentally dropped it and the touch-screen connector broke, along with the microphone connector and some screw bosses.

FPC closeup 1

The small flat panel connector (FPC) in the Prism has a plastic tension rod that clamps down on the flex ribbon cable. This type is called a zero insertion force (ZIF) connector. The plastic “arms” which hold the rod down had snapped.

Instead of buying a direct replacement, I happened to find a sample connector at my office. It was a Molex part number 52689. There were a couple differences with this part though. For one, it wasn’t a ZIF connector. The old connector had a nifty tension bar so that there’s no strain on the flex ribbon cable as it’s inserted. But that feature wasn’t crucial, as long as I was careful inserting the ribbon.

front closeup 2

Second, the new connector was a 9-pin instead of the original 10-pin. But as it turned out, the last two pins were both electrical ground. So I just shorted the last two pins on the board and then shaved down the flex cable to make it fit. I also glued down the new connector to be sure of its strength.

front closeup 2

I tested the unit and the touch screen is working like a champ!

Next was the damaged microphone connector, which was broken off its pads. I re-soldered this down and glued it as well.

microphone closeup

But without something like a voice recording app, I had no way of testing this fix.

All in all, a good night’s work.

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  1. Rob, are you still out there? I. too. have dropped my Handspring Visor and it will wake up but nobody’s home when I touch the screen. I have another for pieces, parts but am not really sure what is broken. Can you help?

  2. Can you send me some pictures of how to repair?  Mine also was dropped and no longer responds to the touch.  Any help will be greatly appreciated!  Thanks!

    1. Sandy, did you not see my pics on this page? There are images of both before and after the repair. I don’t have any other pictures. If you would like me to take a look at it, you can always hire me! 🙂

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