SmartPhone Hacks, Tweaks, Tips & Utilities

Stuck Keys

After a couple of months of use, the joystick became harder and harder to get to respond.  I just kept pressing harder and it mostly worked but it was frustrating.  Eventually, it would only accept "up" as input.  Nothing in the other directions at all.

I have other devices so I used them for a while but decided to experiment a bit since the Tornado was not much better than a door stop without the joystick.  I used alcohol to clean the joystick part of the keypad.  Didn't have any impact at all.  I cleaned with WD-40 around the joystick and it actually did help.  After that, it worked periodically butValspar Goof Off it still wasn't very useable.  I then used a product called Goof Off which is a very aggressive cleaner and it worked instantly. Just dribble Goof Off into the joystick opening.  Work the joystick around actively and grab the joystick with your nails and lift.  This last step is important and should be repeated several times.  The lifting appears important in that it either allows cleaner into the contacts or, as the Goof Off softens the membrane that attaches the joy stick, lifting corrects stuck in one position. It's been 6 months and the phone has been working like a champ since.

I tried the same trick on a friends T-Mobile SDA and got the same result: it solved the problem and the joystick appears to work better than when it was new.   Over the last year, several others have contacted me and let me know that this worked for them.  Fabian Koenig took his apart and cleaned the joy stick contacts with contact cleaner.  This more elegant but more time consuming approach also worked fine.

I continue to track this and other related fixes and would like to collect more data on how well they are working.  So far, nothing but positive reports across the board.  If you have given this or something similar a try, drop me a note and let me know what you learned (

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Last updated 2007.03.25

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Copyright 2012 James Hamilton