Many Tungstens out there experience the “drift.” What’s the drift, you ask?
Along with so many other Palm Tungsten T owners, I began having problems with the digitizer on my unit. That’s the touch-screen sensor underneath the LCD that detects your stylus movements.
For some reason, Palm had assembly issues with this interface, and as a result many Tungstens out there experience the “drift.” What’s the drift, you ask? It’s an offset, anywhere from a few pixels to a few inches. Wildly unpredictable.
In my case, the drift was correctable with a good swift tap on the case (usually in the upper left or right side). That of course seems to indicate an electromechanical problem, i.e., some connector making intermittent contact.
So, what to do? Why, take it apart of course! But alas, even I was not daring enough to rip apart this rather expensive piece of hardware blindly. So I consulted the good people at PDAparts.com. They sell scrap PDA guts (LCD screens, memory chips, cases, etc.). So they have wonderful disassembly instructions on their website with pictures for the do-it-yourself enthusiast and hobbyist. Among them is a great Tungsten-T repaire guide.
With that reference, I took my Tungsten apart. Below is the SD slot board. It also contains the audio out jack and the voice recorder button on the right.
Below is the back portion of the case, the slider.
Below is the LCD touch-screen assembly. The offending connector and cable are here. To repair this, I cleaned all the contacts with alcohol and then re-mated them and glued them down with an industrial silicone-based adhesive.
So far, so good. I’ve not noticed near as much problems. Occasionally, the digitizer will still drift (maybe once a month), but not nearly like it did. This may mean that the contacts inside the cable assembly have become loose. And since this is a flex circuit cable, there’s not much fixing that. The only thing I could insure better connection was the interface between cable and board.
Full Project Gallery: