Times2 Tech iPAQ 64mb Upgrade Review

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Product Requirements:
Compaq iPAQ 3650

Isn’t there a saying that "you can never be too rich or too thin?"
Well, I’d like to also add that you can never have too much RAM! The standard
32MB iPAQ is fine as long as you don’t want to carry a bunch of MP3s with you,
or install the multitudes of shareware available. Once you run out of room, you
might start thinking about getting a CF
. That’s a great accessory, but what if you want your iPAQ to remain
skinny? One solution is the Silver Slider
CF Sleeve modification, and the other is the Times2
iPAQ 64MB upgrade. Times2Tech will take your iPAQ and upgrade its 32MB of RAM
to 64MB of RAM. This will give you plenty of space for several MP3s, or plenty
of applications.

Times2 Tech is a small company that has been in business since 1995. Mack
Baggette, his wife and 3 other workers make up the company. In the
beginning  they did speed and memory upgrades for the HP200LX palmtops.
Since their start, they have done over 5,000 of the HP200LX upgrades. Now they have
to expanded their memory upgrade service to include the iPAQ and other Pocket PCs. 

When Judie and I first heard about the upgrade, we both immediately wanted
it. It wasn’t like either of us ‘needed’ it. I already had a CF sleeve and a
128MB CF card and Judie had the PC Card sleeve and a 2G DataPak. But that didn’t
matter to us, we wanted 64MB iPAQs! Considering that this would give us the
option of being able to go out sans our respective sleeves on occasion, the
upgrade just sounded so attractive.

Julie’s Upgrade Notes:
I packed up Judie’s and my iPAQs and shipped them off to Times2 Tech. I started
going thru withdraw symptoms less than 20mins after I taped up the box. 🙂

Luckily the wait was very short. Mack received the PDAs on a Monday and they
were back in my hands by Thursday of the same week! Now that’s service! Mack
hopes to keep up with a 2-3 day turn around. He even accepts overseas and
Canadian orders as long as they are accompanied with the original sales receipt
for customs.

As soon as I got mine back, I tried to power it on but it was dead. So, I
waited till I got home and stuck it in the cradle. But the charger LED wouldn’t
light up indicating it was charging. I was about ready to freak out till I
realized that the hard reset switch was off. So, I flipped it on and the iPAQ
turned on! I really felt like an idiot at the time… 

The first thing I did was go to the memory settings to see the effect of the
upgrade. Lo and behold, my iPAQ was now 64MB!

The next thing I did was check my unit over really good. I was worried about
screen and body scratches. Luckily, my iPAQ was in the same condition as it was
when it left me. I did find something though…. my iPAQ now has 2 new pieces of
dust under the display. I had always had only one dust particle but now I have
3. They are all very tiny and not especially noticeable, but they are

Then I tried to restore my backup from compact flash. For some reason it
would get to the very end and would give me an error. I was never able to
restore and had to re-install all my programs from scratch. I don’t know if this
had anything at all to do with the upgrade though.

After using my upgraded unit for over a week, I’ve not noticed any problems
at all with stability or battery drain. I can’t tell that there is any
difference with battery life. 

I’m VERY happy with the upgrade and workmanship from Times2 Tech. Mack
answered all my emails in a very timely manner and did a great job! It’s nice to
be able to install more applications directly on the iPAQ so that I can use my
CF sleeve for my CF modem.

Judie’s Upgrade Notes:
What Julie didn’t mention was that we had to wait almost a whole extra week
before we were able to send in our iPAQs for the upgrade. 

Thankfully, my 4G07 3650 model’s stylus latch broke. I say thankfully,
because I was able to send it in for warranty work one last time. Since doing
the 64MB upgrade does void your Compaq warranty, I was a little afraid to take
the plunge, however – since I was nearing the end of my warranty year, I didn’t
have that many misgivings – I wanted 64MB!!

Since I knew this was my last-warranty work, I asked the tech at Compaq if he
could please make sure that they installed the "new" catch, because
the one I had had a history of breaking (it had done so once before). Well, to
my astonishment, the day after I sent my 3650 to Compaq, a new non-model
numbered 4G14(!!) showed up. I almost fell over, because I don’t even
have a Care-paq! (Kudos to Compaq – a great experience, by the way)

Well – not only did this new unit have the fixed latch, it also had zero
dust, and the new ROM upgrade (v1.69) already installed. I figured I was totally
safe for sending it in for the RAM upgrade…now or never, right?

So I sent it Julie, and in the meantime, I waited….

When the modified iPAQ came back – I couldn’t even tell that it had been
cracked! I realize that these guys are professionals, but I was still impressed
that there were no scratches, scrapes, nor new particles of dust on my
iPAQzilla. They truly treated my baby with respect! :0)

There was that "AHHHHH" moment when I first went to the asset
viewer, and saw the System RAM size reading 64MB. There was an "OOOOOOOOH"
second while I looked at the memory slider. 

It seemed as if my iPAQ was a bit zippier, and I did not notice any
difference in battery life. I actually have found myself carrying the naked iPAQ
around, which is something I never did before!

But, in the back of my mind I was a little bummed… as I no longer had my
old iPAQ – I also no longer had my old ROM chip – which had been one of those
32MBs Compaq had stuffed in some of the early iPAQs, when there was a chip

What difference does that make, you might ask. Well, as we all know, Compaq
decided to come out with the v1.77 ROM upgrade this past week. I have read on
some of the popular Pocket PC boards that people with the ROM chip I used to
were actually showing 32MB ROM after they did the ROM upgrade!
The greedy memory-monster in me wanted to be able to say that I had a 96MB
!!! But, since I realized that I wasn’t going to be one of those lucky
folks, I decided to wait til a more "major" upgrade to install v1.77.
My fear was that I might be one of the unlucky ones that performed this
upgrade – only to be rewarded with either the "Parrot of Death",
or the "Blue Screen of Death". With no Compaq warranty, I would
be up the creek without a paddle.

I waited all of two days…

Today, I decided, "What the heck?" and decided to go for it! Julie
and I were in the middle of a chat session while I was doing it, and so she got
to be present while I had my HEART ATTACK as the screen turned blue, and got hung
on the upgrade!!!! All I could think of was how hosed I was! Remembering
that our good buddy Dale
had posted copious help-notes for the upgrade, I was thrilled to see
that he had a possible fix for the dead screen, too! Believe it or not – his
suggestion worked!

So now, not only do I have the fabulously upgraded Times2Tech 64MB iPAQ, I
have the most current ROM upgrade, also! Ya’ll should razz Julie just a
little…she actually has one of those 32MB ROM chips in her iPAQ, but she is
afraid to do the ROM upgrade because her active-sync connection is a bit

One thing I would like you to think about is this: If you have an iPAQ that
is near the end of it’s one-year warranty, if you don’t have a Care-paq, and if
you don’t want to invest an additional $650+ in a new iPAQ with nothing changed
but the memory size (knowing that there may be a 4.0 version out either later
this year or in 2002) this is a great option. 

Mack and the folks at Times2Tech are professional, courteous, and treated my
iPAQ like it is something special. I suppose for the amount of money that I have
invested in it, it certainly deserved to be! Considering the 90 day warranty on
their upgrade, I am confident that if things go buggy they will stand behind
their work.

Price: $149 + return shipping (90 day warranty)

Professional, excellent workmanship
Benefits of an iPAQ 3670 without paying for a brand new iPAQ!
More memory for storing programs, e-books, or Mp3s


Voids your Compaq warranty


Product Information

Manufacturer:Pocket PC Techs
  • Professional, excellent workmanship
  • Benefits of an iPAQ 3670 without paying for a brand new iPAQ!
  • More memory for storing programs, e-books, or Mp3s
  • Voids your Compaq warranty
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