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Old 09-09-2009, 10:05 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Danny Fekete View Post
I'm so sorry, Grim. Your reports of your positive experiences, your successful academic usage, and your contributions to the DR1000s community here were the major deciding factors in my getting the device. You don't deserve this.
+1 too. I'm so sorry for your loss, lord
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:13 AM   #17
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... Can you find out what happened to it while you were gone? Anyone else in the house that might admit to dropping it, sitting on it, or something?
I'd really like to figure this out too, but no, no one was around while I was away.

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Originally Posted by cmhsieh54 View Post
... I was just holding the DR in my hand, and noticed that I sometimes held it in my left hand to read, along the bottom left hand corner. Sometimes, I'd lift it from that corner from my lap, and due to the weight of the thing, it seemed like I might be unnecessarily straining the bottom corner of the device (or its innards).

Any thoughts on whether the way you held your DR may be a cause of the malfunctioning/broken screen? Maybe it wasn't trauma but strain that has led to the screen issue?
BAM! I would never have thought of that. Yes, I think thats exactly what happened, and now that you mention it, I can recall times when I've wondered if I was straining the screen. This is the most common way I hold the device while reading (with the capacitive buttons being hypersensitive and everything), and I don't think this will change. Too bad the device is so large that it actually strains the corners

Well, at least I now know (or think I know) how this happened, and since it was a result of my lifestyle, I will probably not send my DR in for fixing (and probably sell the accessories and give the DR away), as it is likely to happen again.

Many thanks to cbell, cmhsieh54, myprecious and Danny. I'm glad my posts on the forum were useful, and I hope you have a positive experience with your DR. For the most part, I did too!
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:26 PM   #18
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so how exactly do you have to hold the DR that this can happen?
because i got my DR today and im holding it on the left bottom corner which needs much pressure and im afraid this case could happen to me
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:48 PM   #19
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so how exactly do you have to hold the DR that this can happen?
because i got my DR today and im holding it on the left bottom corner which needs much pressure and im afraid this case could happen to me
I didn't like hitting the capacitive buttons, so I held the DR by the corner. This should be okay if the DR is also resting on your desk or lap, but it probably strains the DR if this is how you're holding it in the air (especially if you're lifting it off the floor). I distinctly remember hearing creaking noises, after which I would immediately check the left corner bezel. My fear, strangely, was always that the bezel would separate from the screen

I am probably the worst person to tell you how to hold the DR, but perhaps you could consciously try to grip it a little higher. You probably want all those other people (whose DRs didn't break) telling you how they hold it
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:27 AM   #20
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Grimulkan,

Don't get rid of your DR yet, if it is only the case's flexibility that keeps you from repairing it, and you have any mechanical ability.

I just received a broken screen DR that I bought for battery use/drain and USB experimentation, and I will be able to give you some ideas/help along the lines of stiffening or replacing the case--I am a fairly competent Mech Engineer--don't jump the gun.

Kent Walters

Last edited by Kent Walters; 09-16-2009 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 09-16-2009, 01:53 AM   #21
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Kent,

I appreciate the idea, but I really want to be sure about this before spending $400. In other words, I want iRex to send me the DR in a solid case that they can guarantee to handle the bending stress (or whatever technical term) of its own body, at least. I shouldn't have to piece together something that may work, not for $400. For $200, your idea would be great!

Cost is a factor here, because for $200-300 more I can grab a used tablet/slate PC on eBay (apples and oranges, I know) that does a whole lot more, or the Kindle DX new. I'm sure the forum would appreciate any thoughts on strengthening the case though

In any case, don't worry, I won't throw the DR in dust bin I'll either rip it open for more pictures (if the community wants that), or give it to someone for hacking around. Since it technically "works", I can still develop/port apps for it, but I'm not really motivated to.

Last edited by Grimulkan; 09-16-2009 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:35 AM   #22
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how did you carry your DR
do you have a leather case which you want to sell?
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:42 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floeee View Post
how did you carry your DR
do you have a leather case which you want to sell?
I have the flip case, but I glued velcro pads to the back so I could attach my Tekkeon charger pack. I don't think I can rip the pads out without damaging the case.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:05 AM   #24
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Grimulkan

I do understand; been there/done that. There’s already no way you can win.

This weekend, I’m going to design and build a fixture to pop open the DR’s case w/o damage--I’ve already figured out and made a tool for the corner pieces (no damage). I’m hoping to post my results Monday; please wait before opening yours--If nothing else, someone could benifit from an undamaged case.

About that Tekkeon charger pack; I remember you talking about that elsewhere--at the time I thought, “That’s so COOL!” and considered the posibility of doing something similar in the pen storage area of my executive case. Now I’m wondering if the weight of the charger pack, with the way you hold your reader, contributed to the screen break.

Regardless of that, from other posts here and elsewhere, it seems that the DR’s case strength is an issue that needs to be addressed. iRex might redisign the DR’s case, but I doubt they would upgrade anything in the field. Until a better solution is found, I suggest DR owners who don’t have broken screens try to get hold of a Masonite (not plastic or cardboard) clipboard, and cut the Masonite down to roughly the DR’s size, and slip it into the cover behind the DR. To buy a piece of Masonite might require buying a full 4 foot by 8 foot sheet--but if anyone wants to go that way, be sure to buy tempered Masonite; it is very dark brown, smooth on both sides, and will be labelled (on a full sheet) ‘tempered,’ (Don’t trust the word of a chain-store employee; often they are trying to help, but don’t realize that they don’t know what they are talking about, or that the differences matter. Many just don’t care, and are shining you on enough so that you’ll leave the store happy, and they don’t get fired.) Regular (untempered) Masonite is lighter in color, and smooth on one side only. The un-smooth side is covered with tiny hair-like fibers. Do not use this; a piece of newspaper would work as well.

3/32 inch 5 ply Birch plywood would work very well also. It can be found in hobby shops that cater to model airplane builders/fliers (I would guess cost to be about US $20 for a 18 inch by 3 foot piece.) Don’t use wall paneling, cardboard, 3 ply plywood, or any wood less hard than Birch.

Perhaps best (IMHO) would be aircraft grade aluminum alloy sheet; it could be found at the Airframe Repair Shop that services your local municiple airport (at major airports you will likely only get the runaround). Try to buy a scrap; this stuff is sold in 10 foot sheets, and is very expensive. A metal supply house will charge a hefty premium for a small piece, but if one is close to you, they may have an area filled with scraps at a good discount. My recommendation: .060 inch or .080 inch 6061 (the metals grade) T6 (temper/hardness rating). Do not use hardware store aluminum sheet; it is easily bendable and untempered (T0, where T = temper, 0 = zero). .060 inch thick (< 1/16 inch, .0625 inches) should be (minimally) adequate. At this (the DR’s) size, maximum protection (meaning that a 1 inch thick piece wouldn’t do any better) would come from .080 inch (< 3/32, .093 inches) thickness. At this thickness, if you held the reinforced DR at top and bottom and pulled it’s back hard against your knee, the case would flex enough that your finger pressure on the case would crack the screen, the same as it would if it were laying on a concrete floor, and you pushed down hard on 2 opposite ends of the case. (Mental estimates, no testing.)

Enough of that!

I hope that those DR owners who are using slip cases for carry, and nothing for use, are following this thread, and are considering additional protection; STDs (Stress Trauma Dmages) on the DR000 seem to be on the rise.

Ciao, y’all (That’s Southern Italian)
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Old 09-17-2009, 08:36 AM   #25
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Most likely a plastic substrate is required or a metal case such as the illiad has.

The problem with the glass is the weight of it.
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:08 PM   #26
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Jumpn Jack Flash,

Iím not sure if your suggestions are directed at iRex or current owners; however iRex might design the case of the next generation DR, it wonít help us. Adding a (suitable) plastic substrate adds advantage to users who use their DRís w/o a case, but the modification would likely void the warranty, and iRex might even, as a reasonable policy, decline to service, at all, a modified device. (If anyone considering doing this, please, contact me for suggestions.)

The case actually appears to be designed pretty well; itís major weakness, in terms of itís flexibility, is the seam where the top and bottom halves are joined (I did flex my Ďalready broken screení DR last night--donít try this at home). If the case had been electronically welded together, it would be, perhaps, 3 or 4 times more resistant to flexing. Of course, the case would then have to be cut open to gain access, even to replace the battery. Access doors, alas, contribute to weakness--no problem on a smaller device, or anything w/o a large glass screen.

A 18 inch by 24 inch piece of glass, removed from a picture frame, held between the thumb and fingers of one hand, at one corner (as Grimulkan describes holding his DR), will not noticeably flex or break; I just tried it. Iím sure that it is the combined weight of the DR, case, and any accessories that have caused these non-screen-contact breaks. I suspect that holding an uncased DR in the same way would not cause a screen break, but I wonít test it --the problem would have been found in the first production prototypes.

Manufacturing Ramble
Had I been the owner and HEWIC (Head Engineer Whatís In Charge) of iRex, I would have done several things differently on the DR (Iím sure that opinions similar to mine were voiced in meetings there). I donít believe that any decisions made there were intended to do anything other than to provide customers with anything less than they could reasonably provide. From initial concept to finished product, the manufacturing process is nothing, if it is not a series of compromises; the fewer compromises with ideals, the higher the price of the product. Bill Gates, if he is worried about his DR--or just on a whim decides to--might have a custom case machined out of titanium, but the average DR owner could ill afford the luxury, and far fewer would own a DR if iRex had made them that way.

The DR1000S is a fine product. It has shortcomings, and I believe that we users can improve ours. I am determined to improve mine, and to help, to the extent Iím able, others to improve theirs. It seems to me that modifying and improving my DR is no different than changing the stereo or tires on a new car--Iím just making it more satisfactory to me.

Hope I didnít bore anybody too much,
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Old 09-17-2009, 10:42 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Walters View Post
... A 18 inch by 24 inch piece of glass, removed from a picture frame, held between the thumb and fingers of one hand, at one corner (as Grimulkan describes holding his DR), will not noticeably flex or break; I just tried it. Iím sure that it is the combined weight of the DR, case, and any accessories that have caused these non-screen-contact breaks. I suspect that holding an uncased DR in the same way would not cause a screen break, but I wonít test it --the problem would have been found in the first production prototypes.
BTW Kent, I have almost never used the DR with the case or with any other accessory. Perhaps I wasn't careful enough or perhaps I was just plain unlucky. Still, you're probably right, given that only very few users seem to suffer from a broken screen.
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:23 AM   #28
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Clarifications

Grimulkan,

Regardless of contributing factors, the major factor does seem to be the flexibility of the case--I was actually shocked, last night, at the amount of flex on my ĎCrash Testí DR (again, everybody; this DR already has a broken screen--Donít Try This At Home!) I didnít mean to suggest that the DR couldnít be broken in normal use outside of the case, or that iRex couldnít possibly have a bone-headed executive making decisions at some level; my comments were based on experience, observation, and my estimation of likelihood. A reasonable (if not forgivable) explaination for a failure (at iRex) to find the problem during testing would be that a design change was made after pre-production testing, followed by a rush to meet a deadline--A lot of good people, products, and companies have fallen, due to over-anxious bankers and investors pushing for immediate gratification; and they seldom know as much about the product as any potential customer, let alone the design team. And there are all kinds of other forces at work.

What we do know, with reasonable certainty, is that the case will allow enough flex to damage the screen, and that we can do something about it to reduce the risk.

Also:
In my post yesterday, I didnít mention that one of my intended goals for a backing piece was to keep overall thickness to a minimum, both to avoid undue strain on the cover (of whatever type), and to minimize the bulkiness. A piece of 1/4 inch cabinet-grade plywood (5 ply), for example, would provide adequate support, but would be (slightly) more than 4 times thicker than the .060 alloy sheet, making the DR more cumbersom to handle, and possibly damaging the cover where it holds the DR, and stretching out itís hinge. The same could be said for a piece of 3/8 inch thick plexi-glass. The thinner the better, assuming adequate rigidity.

I intend to explore ways to stiffen the case from the inside (see the caveats in the earlier post) for anyone interested. This will maintain factory appearance and thickness (but please, donít anyone wait for that: put something behind your DR now). This will benifit those who have no warranty or donít care about it, or those who have already voided it--replaced a USB socket, anyone?

ĎNuff fer now,
Kent Walters
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