Treo 270 Case for BlackBerry 8700

A little history:

Back when I got my Treo 300, I ordered a horizontal leather holster case for it. At the time Leather International was only carrying cases for the Treo 270, but they said that the Treo 300 would fit. It did fit but it didn’t fit well, and when they came out with a Treo 300 specific case, they sent me one for free.

When I sold my Treo 300, (I think) I included the cases in the deal. However I still had a nearly pristine Treo 270 case in it’s box and for some reason I’ve kept it for the last 5 years.

Fast forward to this week.

The plastic holster that comes with the BlackBerry 8700 is often referred to as a “launcher” in the BlackBerry forums. I don’t much care for plastic cases anyway, and I did a little looking for a better option.

The case I like best so far is the GizmoSkin vertical case. However, I couldn’t get one delivered before I leave for Italy and I prefer horizontal cases1.

I needed a temporary solution.

I checked if the BlackBerry would fit in my Treo 600 holster, but it was too wide. Then I remembered the old Treo 270 case, which had been tucked back in the far reaches of my office cabinets. The BlackBerry 8700g fits in there perfectly! Sure, the holes for the charging cable and headset don’t line up2, and it’s a little tougher to remove from the case since there isn’t an external antenna on the BlackBerry, but it was definitely going to work.

One of the nice features of the BlackBerry is its :scare: awareness :/scare: of when it is in its case or not. This is accomplished by having a magnet inside the BlackBerry and another magnet in the BlackBerry cases. When the BlackBerry is in its case, the keys automatically lock, the screen turns off, and it activates the “in Holster” settings for your chosen profile.

The Treo 270 case, of course, has no magnet. And worse, because there is no flip covering the keyboard like there is with the Treo 270, the pressure applied when securing the snap closure or when pressing the top of the belt clip to take it on and off, would press the keyboard keys and turn the BlackBerry on.

I needed a magnet.

I first tried using the little Rare Earth Magnets that I’d read that some folks were using, but they were too weak to get through the leather case. On my second trip to the store, I decided to test while I was there. The larger rectangular magnets did the trick nicely. I was also surprised that they worked regardless of the side I placed next to the BlackBerry.

The next step was to attach the magnet to the case.

  1. Using a utility knife, I cut out a section of the leather and foam padding on the back of the case.
  2. I put some Liquid Nails on the back of the magnet, and positioned it on the inner carboard stiffener.
  3. A couple of strips of electrical tape, and you can hardly tell it’s there.

This will do nicely for a while. I can sit back and wait for the 8700 cases to arrive en masse before making a purchase. :)

  1. GizmoSkin plans to have one in 4-6 weeks. [back]
  2. Not as big a deal since I’m using a Bluetooth headset. [back]