Tuesday, 17 August 2010

XDA 2 Connector

Another kind donation, this time of a nice O2 XDA 2 PDA/Smartphone (HTC Himalaya), running Windows Mobile 2003. The owner told me the 'phone wasn't working and the battery wouldn't charge, but it was quickly apparent that the fiddly little connector at the base of the 'phone wasn't right. The cradle had an option to charge a second battery in the cradle itself, so I took the battery out of the 'phone and charged it that way and the unit powered up perfectly and did its thing.

A quick search revealed the excellent XDA Developers website with a huge wiki and a forum and I quickly had an HTC service manual for the 'phone and the pin out for the connector. I was thinking of fashioning a serial cable in the same way I did for the iPaq using the power plug adaptor (the iPaq and XDA use the same plug, but different pin out), but the power adaptor was damaged as well making me think the 'phone had suffered an accident in the connector department (always painful).

I carefully dismantled the XDA last night and was amazed when the 22-pin connector fell out of the 'phone. It must have suffered a serious shock because all of the 22 little surface mount solder joints had failed which explained why it wasn't charging! Anyway there was no mission of re-connecting the socket and to be honest that wouldn't have helped, what I really need is a power connector and a 9-pin D male for RS232, directly connected to the XDA, a little ignorant looking maybe, but for a dashboard mini computer costing nothing perfectly acceptable.

The big problem now is whether I can solder half-a-dozen tiny wires onto even tinier PCB pads, something I doubt, but am willing to give it a shot. I may try and locate better connection points further back on the main board, but everything is absolutely minuscule on these things nowadays. Bring back the Russian radio sets of the 1970s with their hand-wired transistors and cardboard cases, much easier to repair!

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