Replacing the Palm Tungsten T3 battery

My Palm Tungsten T3 was already three years old. I still like the Palm features although nowadays Windows Mobile is coming in very strongly in the market. Palm has not been catching up with their Palm Operating System as well as devices using it that they are getting side lined and overlooked. Even their new Palm Treo features Windows Mobile operating system as they did not want to lose out in the PDA handphone market.

Nevertheless I still liked my old Tungsten T3 but the battery has since worn down and could not hold a charge like it use to. Checking around with several PDA shops revealed that nobody repairs or replaces Palm devices. And if I were to sent it to Palm service center in Singapore it would surely cost a bomb to replace. I might as well buy a new PDA for the cost of replacement.



I remembered someone saying that you could purchase replacement batteries for Palm devices online and that you could quite easily change the battery yourself and do it quite affordably too. So a quick search revealed a couple of online companies selling replacement batteries. Later I even found some replacement batteries sold in Amazon.com as well and much cheaper too! But I’ve already bought mine by then. Still the vendor – Infinity Batteries – that I went for has 1100mAh Lithium Ion replacement battery while most of the others only had 850mAh which was even less power than the original 900mAh Tungsten T3 Li-Ion battery.

After contacting them about some technical issues about changing the battery and whether a higher capacity battery could fit well into a T3 casing or not, I decided to go for it.

I received a brown padded envelope package by registered post about one week later sent from their Hong Kong factory. The company HQ was located in USA but their factory was located in HK. Included with the package were 3 types of screwdrivers for opening the Palm and of course the all important item, the battery.

I made a printout from their website on how to change the battery and also search around the YouTube and found some videos showing how the Palm Tungsten was open and the battery changed. It looked so easy on YouTube the way they open the casing effortlessly. So when it was time for me to do it, it turned out to be pretty tough. You could see how I struggled in my own video. Sheesh… I hope I didn’t scare you guys who are planning to do your own battery change.

Sure it was tough. There were hidden clips, stuck screws, and glued ribbon connector and battery. Still I managed to change the battery albeit with some minor scratches on the side body. You need to be careful and see where you could force it out a little without breaking the case. Perhaps I should have used the hairdryer like one of the video to soften the adhesive with heat and thereby have an easier time at removing the various stuck parts.

Once the part was unstuck the glue was no longer sticky, so the next round when you change the battery it should be easier. As for the battery, I used a little blue-tac to stick to the backcase so it won’t drop out. The battery should be easy to remove the next time it needs replacing.

If you plan to use the normal charge rating of about 850-900mAh, I think the cheapest one would be in Amazon. But if you need a higher charge one like the one I got with a 1100mAh, then the only place you could find it is at Infinity Batteries. I chose the higher one because the Tungsten T3 really drains the power charge quite quickly, so may as well use a higher capacity battery for it.

After an initial overnight charge, the battery works like a charm! Restoring the software and data from backup, the Palm Tungsten T3 continued to work from where it left off. Just needed to reinstall one software as it could not be reloaded from a backup because of a frozen database. Other than that, the whole restoration process was rather smooth.

Here’s the link to Inifinity Batteries (www.infinitybatteries.com) 1100mAh if you plan to use a high capacity battery. [update 16/7/2010 – the website is gone, I guess they didn’t do well online. Pity, they are the only ones that I found that has the 1100mAh battery. Looks like you have to try Amazon or other sites for your battery purchase.]

Good luck to your battery change!
Cheers!
Jan.

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Replacing the Palm Tungsten T3 battery
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16 Responses to “Replacing the Palm Tungsten T3 battery”

  1. fisherman10 says:

    aaarrrggghhh!!!!
    my ears!!!!!
    cant u use some other nicer music??!!!
    Palm sumtin like iPod la, dun let u change batt.
    but did put some double sided tape or sumtin like dat when puting the new battery? the tape can make it tighter so dat when u shake it, it doesnt wobble or vibrate.
    haha….urs so hard to change, but mine so easy
    take less than a minute….lol…

  2. Jan says:

    Haha! Don’t like good old opera, do you?
    I used a small amount of Faber Castell Blue Tack to adhere the battery to the casing. Seemed to work well.

  3. drizad says:

    Hi Jan,

    Does Amazon.com ship to Malaysia? AFAIK, they don’t. And How much did you pay for the packaging of the battery?

  4. Robert says:

    Jan
    Thanks for your video. I had no instructions with my battery so had no idea where to start.
    Only thing I didn’t understand was where you released the sliders on the back, so I started at the clip and released that first. Then the back slid out.
    Mine is reassembled and on charge. Just need to restore all the data and programs.
    Many thanks . I’m not sure what I would have done without your video

  5. Jan says:

    Dear Drizad,

    Amazon do ship to Malaysia. I bought a book from them once because I couldn’t find it in any of the local bookstores. So I should think there shouldn’t be any problem with other items as well.

    I paid US$24.50 for the 1100mAh Li-Ion battery plus US$2.95 for shipping.

    Dear Robert,

    As for the sliders, before I could video it properly the slider pop off. So I filmed a simulated release instead. Not so accurate, but that was roughly how I released the catch and got it to pop off. Thanks for your thanks!

  6. Pete says:

    Hi Jan, I caught your video on Youtube. Glad to see you showed it how it really was.
    I think I’ll follow your lead and change the battery on my T3. How did you know that it was the battery and not the screen that died. I seem to be able to charge mine in the crade and the charge light comes on but it won’t start when I press the power button.
    How did you know it was definitely not the screen?
    Thanks
    Pete

  7. Jan says:

    Dear Pete,

    As most devices that requires the use of rechargeable battery, you will know it was time to change when a full charge didn’t last as long as it use to before. No need to wait till your device battery not holding any charge and won’t startup. Most batteries last about 1-2 years. If like me, you can make the battery last longer if you use until the battery level is about 5-15% before charging. I think my wife’s iPaq 1910 beat my own personal record for using it for 4 years before deciding to change the battery.

  8. Pete says:

    Hi Jan,
    My replacement batter arrived this week safe and sound in Norway. I had another watch of your video and then changed it out for the one in the Palm. Everything is working well and I have a living T3 again. The old battery did me proud. I bought the device in 2003. The new one has a higher capacity so all in all it should last that bit longer between charges too. Thanks again for the video.

  9. Jan says:

    Dear Pete,

    You are welcome!
    2003, wow, that’s a very long time too!

  10. Mike says:

    Dear Jan,

    Glad to have found this video. I’m about to order a 1100mAh battery either from somewhere on eBay and Infinite Batteries to replace my T3 battery (I was about to rid the device, only two days ago to have found out I can tether it with my current Nokia phone – 320×480 resolution sure beats my current Nokia screen resolution of 160×160!).

    I’ll watch the video over once the new battery arrives.

    Regards,

    Mike

  11. T3repair says:

    Dear Jan,
    There are lots of place to buy this Cameron Sino 1000mAh battery. I ordered one a week ago from infinity batteries for about 30$ including shipping and tax. The same battery only cost 19$ at megacapacity with free shipping!!! I felt so stupid to order my battery from infinity (I was desperate to replace my battery, what can I do?). Please correct your information on buying battery as infinity is not the best place to go.

    The address for megacapacity: http://www.megacapacity.com/15020.html

  12. Robert says:

    Hi Jan

    Thank you for posting the instructions, I got the same battery from megacapcity.com within 1 week, they even supplied tools to replace the battery free of charge and I can confirm that the price I paid for the same battery is almost 50% cheaper then from infinity.com. My T3 performs better then it was when I first got it. Once again I do appriciate that you posted the video on line.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    Very useful. A couple tips – get a good set of mini slotted and Phillips screwdrivers, my jewelers set didn’t cut it (good handles help). Patience and a little extra pressure helps with some of the screws – they don’t come out easily. Another useful picture and step-by-step website: http://www.pdainternalbattery.com/palm/tungsteninstall.htm

    Thanks!

  14. Armusen says:

    http://www.megacapacity.com does not deliver to Malaysia (not even for additional fee). So http://www.infinitybatteries.com is the only option. Does anyone know of other options for Malaysia? There are some jokers on lelong.com.my and ebay.com.my but they usually don’t have anything in stock and a waste of time dealing with them.

    • Jan says:

      If anybody having difficulty getting battery for devices in Malaysia. Check with Portable Power Technology Sdn Bhd at Amcorp Mall (03-79540355). They have all kinds of batteries for laptops to PDAs. Even custom made ones if required but only if they are able to make them. Tell them your model and see if they have any stock available. Most batteries made in China, how dependable the battery will depend on your device and luck. I had one hit and one miss. My old HP iPaq battery replacement works like a charm. However my O2 replacement battery was a total wipeout. Could be a device problem coz the battery drain like nobody business.

  15. Smantha says:

    I ordered this battery and when it came in, the directions to take the case apart were impossible to figure out. Your video helped amazingly. thanks!

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