David MacKay

Fixing the display cable to get rid of the vertical lines (jail bars)

99/11/27, my psion 3a developed vertical lines on the screen. This is apparently a well-known problem, caused by the cable to the screen having internal cracks in its copper or bad solder at its end in side the screen.

I read dejanews and found a few fixes including using car-windscreen-repair-gloop for restoring the defroster wires when they break.

Then I tried a simpler hack, which worked for my jail bars: I removed the battery case (4 screws), and half-opened the psion. (Held it open with tape from jaw to jaw.) In this position, you can get at both sides of the cable, and there is just enough space to fit a piece of tape 5mm wide through. I reckoned the problem was associated with bending and straightening of the cable at the place where it disappeared into the screen. So I taped several pieces of old plastic card (credit card) to the cable there, on both sides of the cable, to try to stiffen it and discourage it from bending. The straight state appeared to be the reliable jail-bar-free state, as tugging on the cable improved things on the screen. The bars still come and go, but the problem is much reduced, and I plan to retire the psion into a home-vt100-terminal role.

Alternative solutions:

A good squirt of WD-40. (oil)

Open the cover about 25% and squirt wd-40 in onto the ribbon cable (not too

Remove batteries from compartment and squirt ribbon cable from rear.

The wd-40 allows the copper contacts to work again.

fixes 90% of the Jail-Bar problems. (Tried it on two different Psions, and
worked well with both).

doesn't work for ever and wd-40 may need to be re-applied a month or so
later, but worth a try.

Laurie Williams


 I sent it to Pinnock Organiser
Services who did a smashing repair job, and I actually got back a better
functioning machine than the one I sent away! They even mended the squeaky
hinge! For the price of the repair, you get a full (very full!) service of the
machine and some new batteries. Invaulable repair, and turned round in about
five days (from post to receipt!) Can't recommend it enough! Cost about 60ukp
as I remember.
0181 677 9246
Address for website is http://www.posltd.com (was co.uk)

Site last modified Tue Dec 27 09:27:43 GMT 2011