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Antenna-Less Treo 650 Mods

Typically most of the third-party Treo ‘enhancements’ are of a software and not a hardware nature.  However, on this occasion two enterprising Treonauts have taken it upon themselves to find a way to reduce the size of the Treo 650’s external antenna to create an (almost) ‘antenna-less’ model – something close in design to what the anticipated future Treo Nitro and Lennon will be.

The first design by ‘Zoti’ (concept Photoshop image at top) would consist of manufacturing a shorter antenna (currently only for the Treo 650 but possibly also for the Treo 700p & w) that retains all of the current components (particularly the length of the antenna element) and maintains current reception levels.  Zoti notes that testing to date has shown no changes in reception with this shorter antenna and all that’s needed to remove the existing one is just one (trox) screw (I am however unsure if this requires opening the case or not).  Depending on the feedback that he receives from other Treonauts he expects to have his shorter antenna available with a few weeks.

The second design by ‘Ddeath’ (image above) was successfully completed and tested a few days ago with an antenna casing about one third the size of the original one.  Ddeath is also now looking to make this mod available to other Treonauts (albeit one with a better finish) if there is sufficient interest.

Personally I wish that such a shorter antenna kit (that works) had become available a year ago for the Treo 650 as I would have jumped at the opportunity.  I might still be interested to do so for both the Treo 700p and 700w that I have but evidently I’d rather have a Treo Nitro in my hand in a few months time…

Shorter Treo 650 Antenna
1. Assuming that reception and call quality remain the same, would you buy a kit to replace the current antenna on your Treo 650/700 with a shorter one?


2. If you answered 'Yes' or 'Maybe' to the previous question, how much would you be willing to pay for such an 'Antenna Replacement Kit'? [Please note that an original antenna replacement by Palm can cost $200…]

Less than $20
$20 - $30
$30 - $40
$40 - $50
Over $50

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Shorter Treo 650 Antenna [Treocentral Forum]
Treo 650 Mod [SPUG Forums]

Treonauts are always looking for modders

Posted by Andrew on July 5, 2006 at 06:59 AM

Treo 650 Accessories

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by PJ Arts | Jul 5, 2006 11:27:53 AM


Thanks as usual for posting such useful information. Really top-notch. For a very specific reason, I would never physically mod my Treo 650 or 700p:

I have had to have each of my Treos replaced at least once by Sprint.

Starting with
>4 replacements of my Treo 600 (terrible Mexican manufacture problems)

>2 replacements of my Treo 650 (once for a defective earphone jack, the second time for loss of signal strength)

>One replacement of my Treo 700p (being knocked out of my hand on a NYC street, and suffering a cracked screen)

The Sprint insurance provided me with a 'no runaround' replacement of the device each time. In the case of the 600 and 650, within an hour, because Sprint had them in stock at my local store. With the 700p, within 24 hours via FedEx.

I would never risk messing with such a fantastic safety net for the sake of aesthetics.

by Kevin | Jul 5, 2006 11:41:31 AM

I personally think these modifications add nothing to the style of the phone. In the case of the Treo, I think it's either all or nothing--in-between just looks strange.

by Doug Toombs | Jul 5, 2006 12:12:21 PM

Cool mod. Unbelievable that they still insist on putting the antenna on the GSM models, when basically no other high-end GSM phone in the world has one anymore. I can understand the CDMA units, and maybe tying into analog roaming ... but it's a shame they just put them on all the units. Would look so nice without any antenna at all.

by Fred | Jul 5, 2006 2:02:39 PM

Well, I was going to say that this "no-antenna for European users" thing is all wrong since Europeans use lots of phones with antennas, but then I checked the Nokia and Sony Ericsson Web sites and between the two of them there's only one phone (of about 50) with an antenna! Hmmm. Why do I see so many in Greece?? I guess it doesn't matter since Palm Inc. has forgotten that Greece exists! Palm products are not available here! Can anyone tell me why?

by Ronald LaPedis | Jul 5, 2006 8:15:28 PM

I think that the TORX screw is under a little rubber pad at the base of the antenna. You don't need to open the case.

by Ink | Jul 6, 2006 1:29:20 PM

Will this effect battery life. Treos will spend more enegery and get lower battery life if there is a weak signal. Perhaps, they don't see a differnce in signal recpetion but that doesn't mean the treo isn't now spending more energy to maintain the same connection. Also, what effect does this mod have on radiation given off by the phone.

Looks are important, but I don't want to sacrifice battery life or health to get it.

by Andre K | Jul 6, 2006 11:17:35 PM

I've been tracking both modders on TreoCentral threads, and I don't remember Zoti saying anything about having actually tested the mod. He hasn't even acknowledged finished a prototype yet, hence the Photoshop pic.

He has stated that that there should be no difference in reception, since the newer design uses the same antenna wire band; it's just shifted down a bit. If that explanation is true, then Ronald LaPedis fears about battery life and radiation are unfounded. To repeat: the exact same antenna strip is being used, only lowered.

Since he's not at the working prototype stage, I expect that it will be months, not weeks, until his design hits the market. But I hope I'm wrong, since I like mod more than DDeath's.

DDeath, on the other hand, has something real to show right now, and I suspect his version will be available within a month. DDeath's design is made from cannibalizing replacement antennas, very DIY, whereas Zoti's look like it involves some injection molding, probably requiring some outsourcing.

by earl e adopter | Jul 6, 2006 11:35:57 PM

ditto the comment by PJ Arts... I too have had almost exactly the same experience with Treos on Sprint. What I would like to see... some sort of signal amplifier for the Treo. I know Wilson makes antenna kits for cars, but does anyone make a portable unit to boost signal transmission and reception? Something which could be worn on the belt?

by zoti | Jul 7, 2006 12:21:22 AM

Ink is right on the money with his comment. I am however very close to actually having a few prototype antennas in my hand. It's a matter of a few weeks. That's it.

by Douglas J. Boehme | Jul 7, 2006 6:59:42 AM

The earlier post mentioning radiation is an interesting one - I saw a top 10 very recently showing phones with the highest outputs. I don't recall the exact numbers but I think the 9 highest were Motorola phones and #10 was, you guessed it, the Treo 650.

by Antenna Geek | Jul 14, 2006 8:02:08 AM

I would never buy an antenna-less phone. Higher average transmitting power for sure. Less care about the battery, more care about your brain guys ...

by scott | Sep 6, 2006 6:12:45 PM

How do you change the battery?

by Robert | Mar 22, 2011 7:03:41 AM

Thanks! Great post you have written on "Antenna-Less Treo 650 Mods". Really I can say that your post is very informative, I'll come across your blog again when you will update it with new.

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