Palm Multi-Connector

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Palm Multi-Connector
Palm multi connector.svg
Close view of Palm Multi-Connector. Data cable connector features a hotsync button.
Type Communication, power supply, USB
Designer Palm, Inc.
Superseded Palm Universal Connector
Pins 18

The Palm Multi-Connector (also Athena Connector) is a power, audio and data interface connector designed by Palm, Inc.


The connector is used by: LifeDrive, Tungsten E2, Tungsten T5, Treo 650, Treo 680, Treo 700p, Treo 750, Treo 755p, Palm TX, Palm Centro.


Palm, Inc. has changed the connectors it uses over time:

  • some machines connect via Palm Universal Connector (Older Standard for Palm Handhelds)
  • some machines use a standard Mini USB (Some Low-Budget Handhelds)
  • some machines use a Multi-Connector (Newer standard for palmOne and Palm Handhelds)
  • some early models used model-specific connectors.

The Connector can be used to charge the device, transfer data to a computer, HotSync, and play audio. It is the new standard to replace the previous Palm Universal Connector, which performed similar functions but did not have an audio output capability.

This port has also been used to connect to an external microphone or to GPS units


The connector is divided in two sections: the longer one has thirteen pins numbered from right to left (5 to 17); the shorter one has three pins, on the left (3), top (2) and right (1). The cable shield connectors (4,18) are located on each side of the thirteen pins.

Pin # on device/Multiconnector Pin # on charger/adapter connector Pin# on data/cable connector Name Direction with respect to the device Default state with no attachment Function
1 1 VDOCK Power CHRG_IN DC charging voltage, 5 V
2 2 ADAPTER_ID Input VCC, weak pull-up Adapter identification
3 3 VDOCK_RTN Power GND DC charging return
4 1 SHIELD Shield GND Cable shield
5 2 VBUS Power VBUS_IN USB charging voltage, 5 V typical, 500 mA max
6 3 USB_DP Input/Output Floating USB Data +
7 4 USB_DN Input/Output Floating USB Data -
8 5 DGND Power GND Digital ground, and VBUS return
9 6 Reserved NA NA Do not connect
10 7 TXD Input/output VCC, weak pull-up Transmit data, 3.3 V logic level
11 8 RXD Input VCC, weak pull-up Receive data, 3.3 V logic level
12 9 HOTSYNC Input VCC, weak pull-up HotSync input, active low, pulled up on device
13 10 POWER_OUT Output High impedance Power output to external devices
14 11 SPKR_L Analog output AC coupled Speaker output left
15 12 SPKR_R Analog output AC coupled Speaker output right
16 13 AGND Power GND Analog ground
17 14 MIC_IN Analog input DC coupled Microphone input
18 15 SHIELD Shield GND Cable shield

Pins 10 and 11 have TTL levels and cannot be directly connected to the RS-232 port.


The Multi-Connector has received criticism from users who were familiar with previous connectors such as the Universal Connector. Users have been frustrated with the requirement to replace their Universal Connector cables, cradles, keyboards, sleds, and attachments as they have become incompatible. Another criticism is that the connector is fiddly, harder to remove and feels fragile.

All that is needed to charge the Treo is to connect +5 V to VDOCK and 0 V (negative) to VDOCK_RTN.

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