I’ve been looking for a PDA on ebay. There is a seller called realcrazymo that sells PDA’s as-is. Most of these PDA’s don’t work, are missing things, or have undetermined technical problems. I’m looking at a Handspring Treo 90 that doesn’t work, doesn’t come with the manuals or software, and the bid is currently 75 bucks.
Here’s my question. Who’s buying this crap? Are these things easy enough to tear apart and put together that it’s worth the risk of 75 dollars? You can get a brand new one on ebay for 150, so I’m not sure I understand the market for these things.
realcrazymo sells all sorts of PDA’s in non-working order, which makes me wonder if I have one of these things with a broken screen, fixing it would only be a matter of buying one of these ‘parts’ models, using what I need and throwing it away. But are these things that easy to work on? And if so, is this something anyone can do, or do you have to have any special tools/equipment to do it?
The easy answer is “depends.” I haven’t used ebay, but I have repaired a couple screens (Palm III series) using parts from non-working models. At the prices for new ones, or working used ones, buying a broken one to fix seems less than ideal. A friend of mine continues to upgrade to new ones by finding buyers on ebay who over pay for her used (sometimes not working) models. (She’s very upfront with the conditions when she puts them up for auction.)
You’ve repaired screens yourself? How hard is that? do things just snap in, or do you have to solder anything? How about replacing memory?
I have no idea how hard it is to troubleshoot one of these PDA’s, but I’m amazed that someone would pay $75 for a broken model that you cannot return and they can’t tell you what’s wrong with it.
Another interested observer here…I have a Palm IIIx with a screwed up screen (lines and crap on it) who wonders how hard it would be to swap a screen.
OK, update here, I just disassembled my Palm IIIX, looked at the screen, and reassembled it in under 7 minutes! I can get a replacement screen on the Net for ~$50 bucks, I think I will be doing this soon.
Google “<insert brand and model> replacement screen” and you will find sites with screens and instructions.
of course a palmIIIx is only worth about $20 bucks to begin with…
Take a look at their “Repair Directions” and “Repair Videos” sections.
The only difficult to pull apart model is the Palm V/Vx, 'coz they don’t have screws. The two halves are glued together. You need to melt the glue (using a hair dryer, and some caution) in order to disassemble the device. Putting it back is also a delicate procedure.
The rest of the models are relatively easy to pull apart, but wires and cables inside are extremely delicate and fragile. If you’re not sure which way to yank - don’t. It’ll in all likelyhood come off in your hand.