I gave Brenda a Palm TX, so she can better organize her life. As a plus, it is wi-fi aware, so all sorts of interesting things can be done. Sadly, though, it doesn’t ship with a microphone (I still wonder why… it’s large enough to hold an embedded mic, just as Palm smartphones have). Lately, Brenda was talking about recording some sessions or holding her thoughts in one of those tiny memo-recorders, and this promptly stroke me as “another gadget to stuff her purse”… then I remembered having read that Palm TX have all that is required to hold a microphone, but the microphone…
I retrieved the Palm Multi-Connector pinout from Wikipedia and realized that all I had to do was attach an electret microphone to 16 and 17 pins and there we go. I ordered a charging cable just for the connector and here are the pictures I took of the building process:
The tools and pieces I used:
It’s easy to disassemble the connector. Take a close look at the attaching plastic hooks… there are four of them: two outside, near the pins, and two inside near the cable. Last two are harder to detach, but once you’ve detached the first ones, just hold the two pieces of the connector and easily shear them: one side will detach first.
The microphone have two terminals that already hold enough soldering tin. Beware to solder the “blue” cable (the one that goes with pin 16 – AGND) to the marked terminal of the microphone, and the “red” one (the one that goes with pin 17 – MIC_IN) to the unmarked one. (In the picture, my cables are all black, but the wires inside are “red” or “blue”. I could not get a good picture of the terminal markings).
I have dissolded the charging cables from pins 1, 3, 5, and 8, but that is up to you (you can just cut the main cable and leave the pins untouched). Also, while soldering the microphone cables to the connector, beware of using as little tin as possible. It’ll be even easier if you remove the pin from the connector… it’s easy to do if you have small pliers and careful fingers. Try first with one of the other pins that will not be used. Solder the “red” one to pin 17 and the “blue” one to pin 16.
I cut a piece of an old earphone cushion to close the charging cable hole (and to protect the microphone). Here is the final result:
Now, for the recording software, there’s a nice free software that does that perfectly for PalmOS: Better Recorder. Now Brenda can record her mind!