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Old 08-06-2008, 02:53 PM   #1
al35
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E-ink screen affected by direct sunlight?

Hello!

I've recently become a happy owner of the PRS505, it's a beautiful device.
I've just noticed a curious thing -- I wonder if anyone else experienced this, or is it just my eyes playing tricks?
When a part of the screen is exposed to direct sunlight while turning a page, the new page has different contrast across it: the text on the part that was exposed to sunlight is noticeably lighter than the text that was in the shade. It all goes back to normal when you refresh the screen.
Did you see it?

Last edited by al35; 08-06-2008 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:37 PM   #2
morty1753
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I have noticed the screen gets lighter when exposed to direct sunlight. I am talking here of intense sunlight as seen in the Sahara in mid-summer. In fact it only takes about 10 minutes before the text is almost too faded to read.

I find the screen rapidly returns to normal when moved out of the sun.

Refreshing the screen while staying in sunlight seems to do nothing with the contrast.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:45 PM   #3
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I have seen that behavior before and it is due to the nature of E-Ink.
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Old 08-06-2008, 03:47 PM   #4
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The fading int he heat of the sunlight is an artifact of the screens used on the 500. I've not noticed the 505 fading in the sunlight. The 505 uses Vizplex and the 500 doesn't.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:16 PM   #5
al35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morty1753 View Post
I find the screen rapidly returns to normal when moved out of the sun.

Refreshing the screen while staying in sunlight seems to do nothing with the contrast.
Yes, that's what I meant, sorry.

I wonder if it's the effect of the light, of the heat or maybe of the UV. I'll experiment with electric light later.
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Old 08-06-2008, 04:18 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
The fading int he heat of the sunlight is an artifact of the screens used on the 500. I've not noticed the 505 fading in the sunlight. The 505 uses Vizplex and the 500 doesn't.
Mine is the 505, and I see this effect... It's easiest to see when only a part of the page is exposed to the sun, then there's definitely a difference in contrast.
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Old 08-06-2008, 08:02 PM   #7
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Heat seems the most likely candidate to me, but then again, light gets converted to heat when it hits a dark object... like the dark ink grains in e ink.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:13 PM   #8
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*thread necromancy*

I've noticed the same thing on my cool-er reader this weekend.
The effect seems to occur as I change page - if I leave the shadow of my hand over the reader whilst I change page I get a nice hand-print in the display... very curious!
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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Taking advantage of codeMonkey's necromancy ritual, I'd like to ask for the bottomline: does that exposure bring permanent damage to it's circuits (i.e. is the heat enough for damaging whenever contrast is affected) or is it only a cool gimmick ?
Reading in the melting sun is so much fun!
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:24 PM   #10
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I've had my 505 since the first week in October 2007. I've never had a problem with it in direct sunlight.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bzpilman View Post
Taking advantage of codeMonkey's necromancy ritual, I'd like to ask for the bottomline: does that exposure bring permanent damage to it's circuits (i.e. is the heat enough for damaging whenever contrast is affected) or is it only a cool gimmick ?
Reading in the melting sun is so much fun!
If the screen actually gets too hot I guess that might damage it. From the specs:
Operating Temperature : 5 to 35 °C (41 to 95 °F).
As for the washed out screen in the sun, some have suggested that it might be caused by the UV radiation making E-Ink particles lose their charge and "float away", so to speak. Don't know if it's true, but sounds plausible.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:37 PM   #12
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Mine does this. For some reason some eink devices do it, most do not (and I mean across the board; some Kindles, some Sonys, some Cool-ers). My 505 will do it, but my mom's 505 won't. Just keep it in the shade (which sometimes means just turning around, or angling so that the shadow from the cover blocks the sun). It goes away after you turn it off, or get it out of the sun and turn the page.
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Old 08-25-2009, 06:11 AM   #13
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If I'm in very bright sunlight I just tilt the reader downwards whilst I turn the page and there's no problem.

I'd agree with igorsk's assessment since the particles don't seem to fade on my reader once they've been "set", just while switching pages. I'd still like to know more about it.
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Old 11-05-2009, 04:03 PM   #14
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I have seen the same behavior on my 505. Turning pages in direct sunlight yields a lighter contrast page, and I can avoid it by tilting the reader away from the sun when I turn the page.

The operating specs surprise me. The upper range is 95 °F? It easily gets into low tripple digits in the summer where I live, and I like to read by the pool. I hope I am not cooking my 505...
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