I like PDAs a lot, and my own is no exeption. What I don't like
however, is when they stop working due to being neglected over longer
periods of time. My trusty ol' X30 have unfortunately seen declining
use ever since I stopped working and went back to school, and sometime
last fall/winter I managed (don't ask me how) to unplug the power cable
from the cradle. So there it stood, with no power, til about last week
when I tried to power it up again.
After I ran through the
initial setup in Windows Mobile 6, I was greeted with a red dialog
telling me that the backup battery was critically low and needed to be
charged. So, I left it charging overnight hoping that would fix it up.
No dice. The battery showed up as "Abnormal" in the power settings
dialog, and running the diagnostic program from Dell's support pages
showed that it had battery had 0% charge.
Consulting Google, I
quickly gathered that this was a somewhat known problem on the Axim x3*
series, and the only way to solve it was to replace the battery. I
tried to find any detailed guides on the process, but exept for some
scattered message board posts there was't much usefull info. I
therefore decided to document what I did, in case somebody else runs
across this exact same problem.Dissection time:Disclamer for morons:
Follow this at your own risk. **** can happen, so don't screw around if
you don't know what you are doing. If you are that kind of person that
leaves electronic devices in more pieces than they originally came,
just send it back to Dell and they'll fix it for you (it's probably
cheaper than getting a new). What you need:
- Replacement battery: Varta V20HR
- Small Philips screwdriver (I used size #00)
- Strong tape or conducting glue to attach the wires to the battery (I used duct tape)
- Small knife to open the plastic cover on the old battery
Step one is to open the device. First remove the main battery, any
SD-card you might have in the slot and the stylus. Turn the device so
the screen faces DOWN, and with something pointy (I used my nails)
remove the rubber feet located in each corner. You should now see 4
screws as pictured to the right (bigger picture
), so get a small screwdriver and unscrew those.
you got to separate the back plate from the rest of the unit. Just
start in a corner and bend it outwards til it clicks out and continue
this around the unit. It might be very stiff if it's the first time you
remove it, so it can be smart to use a flat screwdriver to help with
the bending. When it's all loose, just take it off.
You should now see something like the picture on the left (bigger version
Remove the three screws highlighted. Keep in mind that the topmost
screw also holds the antenna in place (if you have the WiFi/Bluetooth
version), so remove the screw, then push the antenna outwards to remove
it (you need to do this on order to flip the mainboard later).
three arrows at the bottom of the picture show the cables that needs to
be unplugged to get access to the battery (Note: The arrows point the
way you need to drag the cable to get it loose, not at the cable
itself). The leftmost one (arrow pointing left) is to the speaker and
is easy removable by pulling it towards yourself. The bottom (arrow
pointing down) can be more tricky, there are two brownish hinges on
each side of the white connector that needs to be pushed outwards. Once
they are loose pulling the cable out should be easy. Third one (arrow
pointing right) is the battery connector itself, just drag it the same
way as the arrow and it should come loose.
Now from the left
side of the motherboard simply pull bit to the left (to get the audio
jack/selection wheel out of their grooves on the frame) and the fold
the whole board over to the other side, giving you access to the
underside. Here you should see the battery itself (in a green plastic
cover, taped to the frame), and you can easily remove it.
Now take the knife and cut open the green battery cover. If you want to
reuse it (and I suggest you do) be very carefull how you cut it open (I
split it in the middle, and bent the old battery out). As you should be
able to see now the actual battery is point welded to the contacts, so
just removing the contact plates is out of the question. I suggest that
you just separate the wires from the contacts (just pull them off) and
then reattach them on your new battery. You are free to tackle this as
you see fit (I used duct tape), but keep in mind that you SHOULD NOT
use a soldering iron directly on any kind of battery, especially not as
small as these (the heat will destroy them). Also be sure to get the
polarity right, red wire goes to (+), black goes to (-).
the wires are properly fitted put the new battery back in the green
cover (or something else that insulates it from the mainboard) and
reseat it where it used to sit on the frame. It can be smart to use
some extra tape or glue to attach it if the glue on the frame itself is
getting weak. Now simply reattach the cables and screw everything
together, and your PDA should be as good as new. I slapped mine in the
cradle right away, and after about 30 minutes the "low backup battery"
warning disappeared, and the status changed to "normal" in the power
Matt Brown"Southall Technologies & Advertisement" 912 376-0472 web: "southalljrcta.com" Stimulas7@gmail.com