posted in prehistoric times, 2004

I recently had the disconcerting (and apparently all too common) experience of pulling my Motorola 120c cellphone from my pocket only to find that the antenna had fallen off. I searched the Web and found that replacements are readily available for around $10 but not instructions on how to make the installation. (I also learned that this phone is much maligned. I don't feel that way. I prefer the basic, no frills design to the general run of cellphones, which seem to be styled to appeal to teenage girls.)

Here is how to replace the antenna. (You might want to glance ahead at step 5 for a note about a possible way, untried by me, of removing the broken antenna stub without disassembling the phone. I'm just describing what worked for me.)

1. Remove the back cover and battery.

2. Use a torx 6 screwdriver to remove six screws -- two at the top, two in the middle, and two at the bottom.

3. Separate the front and back sides of the phone.

4. Unpack and examine the new replacement antenna. You will notice that the bottom half consists of a black plastic peg with a copper contact at the tip. At the top of the peg is a silver-colored metal ring. Now look at your phone. The old silver ring is probably stuck in the antenna hole with the plastic tip still extending down inside.

5. Now the hard part. You need to carefully grab the ring with a pair of needle nose pliers and gently twist and pull until it comes out of the phone, along with the black peg. It is a very tight fit. (Note: Maybe it is easier to do this while the phone is still assembled. If anyone succeeds in removing the broken antenna this way, please let me know and I'll amend the instructions.)

6. Take the new antenna and carefully push the black stub down into the hole.

7. Reassemble.