PalmV Bridge
by MidWest PCB Designs, Inc.

Contact Info:
URL: Bottom Line:

The Price:
$14.99 US

The Pros:
Cheap and quick solution

The Cons:
Not quite steady on a keyboard
Fit is too tight on my sample Ratings*:

*Maximum Rating is FIVE (5) InfoPalms

PalmV Bridge Review
By Robert Zach

Palm has Plans for new products every 6 months according to their S-1 filing.   So looks like I have six months to save my pennies!  But, replacing all those peripherals, that's a different story. Well for $15 I can now use my Palm III accessories with my PalmVx.

MidWest PCB designs has conceived a very simplistic approach to doing this.  Use this little brick of plastic.

When attached to the bottom of my PalmVx the whole set-up appears non-intrusive.

The Bridge functions quiet well during HotSync operations and I was able to verify the functionality of a number of third part hardware devices.   The product simply works! Just as described.

What I found a little disconcerting is what happens to the sleek profile of the PalmVx once the Palm V Bridge is attached.

Due to the Palm Inc.'s design of the port , and the straight line PCB style construction by MidWest, the device actually protrudes significantly from the unit.   This makes keeping the Bridge attached during transportation clumsy.  Also, the flat PCB designed contacts could short if left attached to the device in your pocket.

As the MidWest web site says, the fit with third party add-ons is tight.  Very Tight! In struggling to remove the device I actually stuck myself on the solder pins sticking through the PCB.

Also, due entirely to Palm's design of the PalmVs serial port, although Palm III devices fit snug onto the Brige, sticking that mass onto the Palm V doesn't make a snug fit.  So with devices like keyboards (with the Palm now having a higher center of balance) the PalmV/Bridge combo tends to wiggle a little making the unit a little unstable on say the GoType Keyboard.

Well all of this must be already known because MidWest PCB Designs let me know that they have a clip-on type system under development.   These types of devices appear more stable as a "portable" solution. And, they tend to put more of the "attaching mechanism" in contact with the add-on peripheral.  I also hope the clip-on relieves the tightness a little, snug should be good enough for attaching devices.

So where do I think the BEST use of the Palm V Bridge is then?  If not attached to the Palm V, the best place the Bridge can be for me is to have one permanently attached to my home Palm III HotSync, and a second one attached to my HotSync travel cable.

This is where the diminutive size and simplicity of a non-clip-on device excels.   I plan on keeping the bridge permanently attached to the HotSync cable and stashed safely away in my travel bag for quick on-the-road syncs and occasional OS upgrades!   Absolutely perfect!

I gave the Palm V bridge it's rating based on the usefulness of the product and clever idea.  The coolness factor rating is based on the fact that the bridge is an elegantly simple "little chunk of plastic".  It really conjures up the notion "why didn't I think of that?"

I can't wait to see how tricky they can get in designing a clip-on.  ;-)

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Palm V Bridge to Palm IIIc?

Ina @ 2/28/2000 4:19:52 AM #
Well, what about those of us who have invested in Palm V stuff: GoType, TravelKit, 3COM modem, OmniSky modem. Will there be a reverse bridge to go from the PalmV/Vx to the color machines that seem to be built on the Palm III connectors.

Why can't Palm standardize on one set of connectors. The stuff above lists for over $500 in addition to an investment in Palm. I'd hate to throw all this away. And I don't like the idea of a tacky bridge, but will consider it if it preserves the utility of these add-ons. Resale of these peripherals will suck as they always do.

Thanks for listening.


"Clip On" attachment

Darin @ 2/28/2000 4:05:24 PM #
I've found a method for making the Palm V bridge attach quite firmly to the bottom of the Palm V. It isn't exactly pretty, but it completely eliminates to tendancy of the Palm V to tip from side to side when balanced atop the bridge, as in when you use the bridge to connect to a GoType keyboard.

If you remove both the stylus and the Cover from the Palm V, you have a deep channel running the length of each side of the PV. It is possible to wrap an elastic band around the bottom of the little "tabs" on either side of the PV side of the Bridge, and then hook the elastic through the channels on the side of the PV, around the tope of the PV. This holds the bridge to the bottom of the PV quite securely.

He's right

I.M. Anonymous @ 2/29/2000 10:39:07 AM #
Palm definitely needs to standarhize its units....

Palm V Bridge and Palm Modem

Nekrataal @ 4/24/2000 9:29:28 AM #
I'm having problems getting The Bridge to work with my 3Com Palm Modem. While everything else seems to work, my modem just doesn't want to initialize. Any clues? Thanks!


Bridge For PalmV on PalmIIIc Cradle

Kenneth @ 5/17/2000 9:46:24 PM #
hi, can I charge my PalmV using PalmIIIc Hotsync Cradle via Bridge4PalmV adapter? Please advise me, thank you. Regards, Kenneth


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