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[software/elephly-net.git] / posts / 2013-07-25-kobo-touch.markdown
1 ---
2 title: A look inside the Kobo Touch
3 tags: DIY,electronics
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6 The e-ink screen of my Kobo Touch ebook reader broke, probably because
7 it didn't like being bent regularly. It was a little over a year old
8 when it happened, way too soon to give up on it, so I decided to take
9 it apart and replace the screen if possible.
11 If you want to open any device that is held together by plastic parts
12 with teeny plastic flaps that snap into each other: use a guitar
13 pick. The Jazz III pick (my favourite) is very well suited for the
14 job. I used it to pry apart the plastic frame of my netbook before.
15 The Kobo touch is really a beautiful device (if you have one, I
16 encourage you to look inside) and is much easier to take apart than my
17 netbook. The battery is much smaller than I expected and the PCB is
18 very clean and ordered.
20 The screen is glued to a very robust frame (metallic, looks like iron)
21 with two stripes of adhesives; with some nudging I could separate the
22 two components. The screen's backside is shiny, polished;
23 mesmerizing. If you want to keep it that way, don't touch it with your
24 filthy fingers.
26 Originally, I wanted to take the opportunity to upgrade the screen to
27 whatever model is compatible with the driver chip. This is printed on
28 the chip:
30 E INK
31 TPS65185
32 TI 181
33 A49F G4
35 As it was difficult to get detailed documentation on the types of
36 panels that can be used with the chip I decided to simply get the same
37 model as the broken screen: ED060SCE LF T1. The same screen seems to
38 be used in the Nook.
40 I paid CNY 180 for a replacement. It appears to be a more recent
41 revision of the screen; there's a little IC on the flexible connector
42 and a few numbers on the labels have changed. It works fine, though
43 ghosting seems to be significantly worse. The Kobo UI doesn't always
44 force a full page refresh; this only really affects the library
45 browser, though. (The refresh rate can be configured for reading
46 mode.) The more often a part of the screen is updated the more gray
47 noise appears all over the screen.