Zoomer PDA Technical Information

How to repair a loose or broken Zoomer flip-cover

Has the hinge mechanism on the flip-cover of your Zoomer worn to the point where the flip-cover falls off in your hand? If so, it's probably due to two small plastic nubs on the flip-cover which form part of the hinge (and, IMHO, are the weakest point in the otherwise sturdy design of the Zoomer). Those little nubs wear down with use, and eventually they don't hold the flip-cover to the hinge on the main body.

I've fixed two Zoomers with this problem, and documented the process when I fixed one recently. But first, a...

Disclaimer: This process appears to work just fine, but you're solely responsible for whatever might result from following my advice. It's very possible to damage the Zoomer case during the process, and although I don't anticipate any problems, it is also possible that following this process will introduce new problems as the new hinge mechanism becomes worn.

With that said, here goes:

Tools that you'll need

You'll need the following items: Be very careful if you use a motor-powered drill. The Zoomer case is made of soft plastic, and it would be quite easy to make a mess of things if your drill gets even slightly out of control.

Step 1: Prepare the flip-cover

Remove the flip-cover, if it hasn't fallen off in your hand already.

Using the dental pick, remove the soft rubber plugs on each side of the flip-cover near the hinge points (see photo, below), exposing a small cavity (now you know why I recommend a dental pick :-).

Using the x-acto blade, shave off the nubs on the flip-cover, or what might be left of them (see photo, below). You'll want to shave them off completely flat.

Use the tip of the x-acto blade to carve a small indentation in the plastic, creating a guide for drilling. The indentation should be centered where the nub used to be.

Step 2: Drill holes where the nubs used to be

Using the guides that you created in at the end of step 1, drill out each side of the flip-cover as shown in the photo below, starting on the inside edge of the flip-cover and stopping the drill once it has reached the cavity exposed in in the beginning of step 1.

A few cautions about this critical step:

Step 3: Drill out the holes where the nubs used to fit

Drill out the existing holes on each side of the hinge on the main body of the Zoomer, as shown in the photo below.

Step 4: Insert a wire through the holes

Using the pliers, uncoil and mold the paper clip into a very straight piece of wire. You may wish to use your wire cutters to trim this wire to be about 3-1/8" long.

Thread the wire through the flip-cover cavity, through the hole you drilled in the flip-cover, through the hole you drilled out in the main body hinge, and into (but not through) the opposite hole in the main body hinge (see photo, below). Since you'll need to slightly bend the wire as it threads through the flip-cover cavity, you may find helpful to rotate the wire as you thread it. Be gentle and don't force the wire.

Step 5: Trim the excess wire and complete the insertion

If you didn't pre-cut the wire in step 4, then you'll now need to cut off the excess paper clip (see photo, below) leaving enough wire remaining to push through the main body hinge and opposite-side flip-cover hole and into the cavity.

Using the dental pick, needle-nose pliers, or whatever works for you, gently push the cut end of the wire so that the other end of the wire threads through the rest of the main body hinge hole, the opposite-side flip-cover hole, and into the opposite-side cavity. The cut end of the wire should now slip into the near-side cavity.

You're done!

Congratulations, you now have a new hinge mechanism for your Zoomer!


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brian@grot.com 10/3/95

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