Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Few Screws Loose, but It Still Works

What the hell am I talking about? It’s not my mental condition I’m referring to, but another intelligent machine, in this case my old Kindle eBook reader.

Kindle with broken screen

Back in early June my old Kindle 3 gave up the ghost, or rather became unreadable due to the screen breaking through misadventure (see photo above).  I purchased a new Kindle Paperwhite as a result and am perfectly happy with it.

So the old Kindle appeared to be defunct and destined for the recyclers, that is until I found a video on You Tube that explained very succinctly how to replace the broken screen, and subsequent to that I came across an excellent instructable on the web that elucidated on the video.  It didn’t look all that hard, so I decided to give it try and rescue my old Kindle from the scrap heap.

Finding a new screen was easy. You can buy them on Ebay and they cost about $40.00 –$50.00.  Far cheaper than buying a new Kindle.

My new screen arrived, but I put off the task of  replacing the old broken screen for a month. I felt I had to psych myself up to begin, as I have never done anything like this before. That is, taking apart a device and reassembling it.

Yesterday I felt in the mood to try and I’m pleased to report that the Kindle is now operable again.

It took me all afternoon, involving as it did, removing all the innards bit by bit and putting it together again with the new screen installed.

It was, I admit, not as easy as it looked on the video, which I had playing  on my laptop computer in front of me as I worked.

There were at least twenty five screws to unscrew, some of them little black ones the size of ants. If you don’t have twenty-twenty vision it can be incredibly difficult and frustrating unscrewing and replacing them. One of course fell on the floor, so I gave it up as a lost cause and figured one less screw wouldn’t make much difference in the long run.

I was right. I actually ended up with a few extra screws and little metal whatsits which I couldn’t find a place for in the reassembly.

The cats were starting to grumble about being fed as I finally snapped the back cover of the Kindle into place.

After recharging the device I tentatively turned it on and to my delight, it was working. It’s not perfect, as the images are not displayed properly (faded out) but the text is crisp.

Kindle image display Kindle text display

This could be the quality of the screen, but most probably it is a “bad waveform” problem - explained here (with advice on how to fix it). I certainly don’t feel up to taking the Kindle apart again, so I’ll just live with its imperfections. After all, as I have a new Kindle for reading, the old one can now be a spare should the new one stuff up.

I am however really chuffed that I was able to get my old Kindle working again. It was an educational exercise and I learned a lot in the process.

No comments: