Palm Vx Battery Drain Issue & Mods

Removing Backlight Chip

The battery drain fault occurred on a small number of Palm Vx handhelds where the backlight stopped working and simultaneously the battery drained quicker than normal.

The high brightness LED it used was a new technology, and on some machines, it shorted thus drawing more current. This resulted in the battery losing charge rapidly. Many users did not notice this, as they had never seen the backlight work. They only knew that the image contrast should appear inverted.

I decided to remove the control chip, which powers the backlight to see what would happen, and it had very little effect on the rest of the system operation, but solved the battery drain problem. I never used the backlight; hence, it had very little impact on the usage, besides, I like the idea of a PDA that operates over a longer duration.

Software Modifications

I tested many software applications that were available on the Internet. I found many that were not very good and misbehaved; however, there is always the factory reset to remove them. Out of hundreds, I managed to find just ten that were useful and behaved.


The best mod was the "micro-Linux" kernel, for which there are many guides; hence, it is not worth duplicating that information. However, it is impressive to have Linux running on a Palm Vx.


I never thought it possible to write programs in BASIC on a RISC based ARM processor, and therefore found "SmallBASIC" to be impressive. I wrote a Fourier algorithm off the top of my head in BASIC and the machine performed well. I am always impressed seeing a powerful processor executing thousands of operations per second and consuming virtually no power.

This Article Continues...

Palm Vx Review
Palm Vx Reset
Opening the Palm Vx Back Cover
Palm Vx Battery Replacement
Palm Vx Chipset
Palm Vx Battery E17A
Palm Vx Digitizer
Palm Vx Cracked LCD Glass
Palm Vx Battery Drain Issue & Mods
Palm Vx Charger Adapter
Palm Vx Will Not Turn ON – Troubleshooting
Palm Vx Accessories
Palm Vx Modem
Palm Vx USB Cable
Palm Vx Factory Reset