DIY REPAIRING THE LIVESCRIBE®
QUICK TEST FOR "ECHO" PENS:|
While watching the pen's display, plug it into laptop/desktop via micro-USB cable. The display should briefly show "LIVESCRIBE," and then will display the current time and a small battery-symbol. (If not, then dead pen, or perhaps just dead display.) The laptop USB should 'recognize.' If it does, and the display remains dark, then probably the display has failed.
Next, disconnect the pen from the charging cable, and press the button once to shut it down. Take it into a very dark room. Press down the power button and hold it for about ten seconds. The display should immediately show "LIVESCRIBE" for one second, then darken again as you continue to hold down the button. (Can you see it, very dimmly? If so, display is dim/bad.) After five seconds, you should hear a chime-sound and the pen begins recording audio. Immediately release the power button. Pen is in sound-recording mode. Next press the button once briefly, and the pen plays another chime-sound and halts recording, then powers-down. If these chimes are heard, but the OLED display remains dark, then the pen is working, but the display has failed.
The secret to disassembly is simple: the entire front of the ECHO pen is a plastic glove which slips off.
NOTE, leave the ink cartridge installed
before trying this. Just grab the two halves and pull. The
front of the pen pops off. (It's VERY tight on new pens, loose and
cracked on older ones.)
There's also a tilted plastic silver ring to remove, don't let it fall
and get lost.
(If the ink cartridge was missing, then the small black cylindrical
cartridge-grabber inside the pen will promptly fly across the room.
Don't lose that part!)
cover removed, spin the ink cartridge and you'll see
the little black/clear cylinder which holds it in. Pull the cartridge,
and store the little black cylinder so it's not lost.
Notice the two Torx screws inset in small wells. They hold down the
end of the entire remaining half-shell, plus six internal snap-hooks
between the plastic shells along both sides, plus a tab at the headphones
end. Remove and safely store the screws.
Note the "pry slots" on either
side of the case near the screws. I found that I could pry up the
'screws-end' of the plastic shell by a couple mm, then slip tiny
screwdrivers progressively along the crack on both sides, prying up the
front shell as I went.
PRY THE EDGES OF THE BOTTOM SHELL OUTWARDS, since
the hooks are part of the top of the pen. This unsnaps the first pair of
then I lift and pry to unsnap the next pair and the next.
There's a trick
to it, so go slow to avoid snapping off the plastic hooks. (Heh, it helps
to be repairing the clear-shell 2010 version of Echo, the
transparent edition where the internal hooks are visible!)
With the top shell gone, two more identical screws are exposed.
These hold down the camera pcb. Remove and store these.
[Oct 2015 MORE TO COME, PLUS PHOTOS/VIDEO but
see some guy's Vimeo for now]
The glass OLED display is permanently glued to a small plastic carrier
clipped to the processor pcb. On this carrier, locate the four plastic
hooks at corners; the little ones holding it against the main processor
PCB. Pry these away with a tiny flat screwdriver. When it's loose you'll
find that the display is connected by a flexible Kynar pcb-strip
soldered to the main pcb. Your task is to de-solder this strip. I use
tweezers and a fine-tip iron to melt each of the ten pads in sequence,
lifting gently with tweezers.
fine solderwick and a little flux to clean up the PCB solder-pads. I
didn't bother to clean the Kynar-strip pads, just the PCB. Then, solder
in the identical display assembly removed from a CPU-crashed pen. To
avoid getting the cable flipped around backwards, first mark the upper
surface of both display cables at the solder end. It helps greatly to use
tweezers rather than fingers, unsoldering each pad and lifting up one edge
of the cable as you go. Note that the solder pad at one end goes to the
PCB ground layer, so that one takes extra heat. (Unsolder the red/black
microphone wires as well, and note that the red wire has the little arrow
on the pcb pad.)
WARNING! This thin ribbon cable is Kynar plastic, and can be
burned/warped by soldering temperatures. Kynar is high-temperature
plastic, but can still be destroyed by a too-hot iron and slow crude
soldering skills. One trick: adjust your temp-control soldering iron so it
barely melts lead-free-solder. Then, add tin/lead solder to each of the
small solder blobs holding the cable down. This greatly lowers the
solder-melt temp, allowing you to turn down your tip temperature even
Before reassembling, don't forget to clean any built-up filth the pen
shells, especially cleaning the inside of the display window. Wipe off
any finger prints from the glass display. And make sure there's no
fingerprints or bits of lint left on the plastic shell's front camera
Battery is a lithium cell 3.7V, 250mAH, 28mm x 10mm, "Great Power" brand.
More to come...