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Old 05-31-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
gezzer
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Device: nook simple touch, paperwhite 2, paperwhite 3, kobo aura hd
*HARDWARE MOD* Internal warm light filter


the looks of the version 2

Disclaimer: Since this mod involves disassemblying the parts of the device the way you shouldn't, i don't take any responsibility. But any curious person with adequate electronics repair experience could handle this mod easily.

Looking at the kapton tape which looks in amber color, i wondered if i can use that slick tape to filter out blue light coming from the leds of the frontlight. Since the tape is so thin, it would fit virtually anywhere without difficulty in the device.

So i took apart my aura hd to give it a try, and it worked flawlessly.

Since this is not a mod for every user, and it is simple for those who can do it, i'll just post a few photos to show how i did it.

-take your front bezel off
-seperate display from front bezel, it is fixed with double sided tape, if it is your first time, get help from some heat and use soft thin tools like credit cards to pry between them.
-there is a flexible printed circuit board strip with leds under it, right below the visible display area, pry that off too. take a bit caution here since you can damage if you bend solder pads of the leds breaking them. you could also damage the cable going to the mainboard. mine started flickering after wiggleing it around, don't panic yet if this happens to you, i fixed mine by reseating the frontlight connector.
-you'll see to layers on the delicate e-ink display, the one on the top is the anti glare film, the one in the middle is the frontlight layer.
-put a strip of narrow kapton tape covering the step between the frontlight and the e-ink screen. this step is where the leds seat and you can see the five grinds on the edge to diffuse the light from leds, you have to cover them with tape.
-you can try to bend the tape with a spudger or a spatula to perfectly seat over the step to leave the led cavities less obstructed, but since the edges of the screen is covered with some rubbery material, the tape wont stick to it.
-cut the excess tape on the edges
-reseat the led flexible ribbon over there, first by placing the led side, making the leds touch to the edge of frontlight layer.
-reseat the front bezel.
-done.

the color is not the best, it has some greenish hue, but it is better than cool white for me, since i only use frontlight at night. i also heard somewhere that green light is much more easier on your eyes, and i used green text over black background for extended periods in the past, it was very comfortable.

if you can find a better light filter tape giving out proper warm color, you can use it too. inform me if you find one.

if you are concerned about the color of the light, you can try it before taking your device apart, putting some kapton tape over your phone flashlight, and then illuminating your kobo screen with that. the color will be EXACTLY the same.

i think this mod applies to any other front-lit e ink device, try and share your results.

here you see where you need to place the tape:
http://imgur.com/bQRGuRa

showing the cut edges:
http://imgur.com/7f3Vvpm

this is an image from my first trial, the tape placement is totally wrong but it gives you an idea about how to fold the tape inside the step between the frontlight layer and the display itself:
http://imgur.com/LavB3IF

here you see the led flexible strip put back in its place correctly:
http://imgur.com/13HBu7F

i couldn't image the proper color of the screen after installation due to white balance problems, but it is something between those to images:
http://imgur.com/hcvNljg
http://imgur.com/iinRVon

in comparison with ambient light only:
http://imgur.com/VrETK1U

good luck!

edit: below are the images of kapton tape vs. proper warming gel filter, you can clearly see why it doesn't give proper warm ight. you can also try those gel filters too, but kaptop tape is much easier to find.



UPDATE V2:

today i got some proper warm light gel filter used in photography lights:
http://imgur.com/Cjn6mwe

it was a little bit thicker than kapton tape and seemed harder to bend, so i placed this double sided tape in the one edge of the gel filter:
http://imgur.com/ybDccK6
these tapes are really strong(the one used to fix mobile phone lcd's to their bezels).

then i measured the thickness of the frontlight layer with a vernier caliper, it measured to about 0.7-0.8mm

later i cut two very thin(0.8mm) strips of this gel filter with the double sided tape on it, using a fresh utility knife and a steel ruler:
http://imgur.com/scUDbNA

then i sticked that two strips of filter stacked on to the bottom edge of the frontlight layer, where the light from leds enter the layer, i placed them in double because one layer of gel filter didn't seem warm enough:
http://imgur.com/YlhrJst
(can you see the strip in it's place?)

the version 2 turned out to be very good, with proper warm color with no awkward hue:
http://imgur.com/G0TiEV4
(the color in this image is accurate)

now i'm satisfied.

i'm not really sure yet but this filter seems to dim the light about to %70, which is not important to me because i only read my kobo at night.

please try at your own risk and share your experience.

Version 3 might be replacing the leds with 2700K of the same package in the future.

Last edited by gezzer; 06-02-2017 at 08:13 PM. Reason: version 2 update
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:36 AM   #2
Ken Maltby
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Well, that looks like one that is above my pay grade. Too scary for me. Did you have an AuraHD before? You only show a "Device: paperwhite 3".

Luck;
Ken
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Old 06-01-2017, 08:10 PM   #3
gezzer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maltby View Post
Well, that looks like one that is above my pay grade. Too scary for me. Did you have an AuraHD before? You only show a "Device: paperwhite 3".

Luck;
Ken
i currently have an aura hd, had paperwhite 2-3 and a nook simple touch in the past. just forgot to update my profile. it is not scary it requires experience and the confidence coming from that.
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:28 AM   #4
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Just wanted to say that this is very cool.
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:21 AM   #5
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Interesting idea.
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Old 06-02-2017, 09:54 AM   #6
gezzer
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thanks! please try and share your experiences.

i got proper warm light filter films from a photographer friend of mine, he said they are available as cheap huge 2m*10m rolls, will try tonight and update the post.
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Old 06-02-2017, 07:32 PM   #7
gezzer
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gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.
 
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version 2 edit added to the original post
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:53 AM   #8
gezzer
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gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.gezzer once ate a cherry pie in a record 7 seconds.
 
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Bump, it's been over a year since i first did this modification, and i'm happily using the device since. Even when reading under light, i don't need white front light. There have been no side effects on the device whatsoever.

This mod could be adopted to more e ink devices with single color front light. I really want to see people doing their own versions on other devices.
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:30 PM   #9
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Has anyone tried to do this with a Glo HD?
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:17 AM   #10
gezzer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlynton View Post
Has anyone tried to do this with a Glo HD?
i think you can do this mod on any display devices with led back/frontlights. for glo hd, i guess it would be very similiar with aura hd.
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Old 12-26-2018, 04:22 PM   #11
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Thanks for this very nice tutorial which set me on the way to do it on my Kobo !

Here is what I did for my Kobo Glo then, very slightly different from your Kobo Aura.

1. First I followed a wrong way, thinking the LEDs all around were used for backlight, after having removed pretty much all the screws and 3 connectors (slightly scary but hope is all around).
I know, this is not what had been described above by gezzer, but as I was working on a different model, I was thinking "who knows". I think I read somewhere these LEDs are actually infrared LEDs for the touchscreen.


2. Still following my wrong way, I thought inserting pieces of gel filter between the LEDs and the screen would work. Well, il obviously didn't: after plugging everything back in, the screen was still shining plain white.


3. Back to the beginning, this is where the actual mod starts and where wisdom finally struck me: I detached the screen from the front case by simply pushing gently on it (it is just glued). And you wouldn't even need to remove any connector to get there. Pfewww!


4. Ta daa! Starts looking like something we've seen before, doesn't it? I gently removed the flexible circuit board strip holding the LEDs, trying my best not to break anything, just like gezzer advised.



5. Here comes the tricky part: on the Kobo Glo, you can't actually put one single strip of gel filter between the LEDs and the screen, like gezzer did: there are 5 notches, one for each LED, and I needed to cut and stick 5 micropieces of gel filter (roughly 0,5*4 mm each). I used regular double-sided tape and tweezers to put them into place.
The good news is: you can actually keep the Kobo and its lights on (though the touchscreen won't work at this stage), quite helpful given the watchmaking skills required at this step. It is also very helpful for live-testing the mod!


6. Here we go!
I know, my gel filter has a very strong red color, but that was the only one in the pack to have an actual dimming effect. And I don't really care about the color, as long as the blue light goes away (especially since I keep my e-reader 10 cm away from my eyes in the middle of the night, short-sighted as I am).


So here I am, having bought a pack of 5 30*30 cm gel filters to end up using roughly 10 mm² of it. But I am so glad that not only my Kobo Glo still works after everything I had unplugged, but also that the mod actually worked!

Hope this can help someone just like the original post helped me.

Last edited by guijo; 12-26-2018 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 01-14-2019, 05:32 PM   #12
gezzer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guijo View Post
Thanks for this very nice tutorial which set me on the way to do it on my Kobo !

Here is what I did for my Kobo Glo then, very slightly different from your Kobo Aura.

1. First I followed a wrong way, thinking the LEDs all around were used for backlight, after having removed pretty much all the screws and 3 connectors (slightly scary but hope is all around).
I know, this is not what had been described above by gezzer, but as I was working on a different model, I was thinking "who knows". I think I read somewhere these LEDs are actually infrared LEDs for the touchscreen.


2. Still following my wrong way, I thought inserting pieces of gel filter between the LEDs and the screen would work. Well, il obviously didn't: after plugging everything back in, the screen was still shining plain white.


3. Back to the beginning, this is where the actual mod starts and where wisdom finally struck me: I detached the screen from the front case by simply pushing gently on it (it is just glued). And you wouldn't even need to remove any connector to get there. Pfewww!


4. Ta daa! Starts looking like something we've seen before, doesn't it? I gently removed the flexible circuit board strip holding the LEDs, trying my best not to break anything, just like gezzer advised.



5. Here comes the tricky part: on the Kobo Glo, you can't actually put one single strip of gel filter between the LEDs and the screen, like gezzer did: there are 5 notches, one for each LED, and I needed to cut and stick 5 micropieces of gel filter (roughly 0,5*4 mm each). I used regular double-sided tape and tweezers to put them into place.
The good news is: you can actually keep the Kobo and its lights on (though the touchscreen won't work at this stage), quite helpful given the watchmaking skills required at this step. It is also very helpful for live-testing the mod!


6. Here we go!
I know, my gel filter has a very strong red color, but that was the only one in the pack to have an actual dimming effect. And I don't really care about the color, as long as the blue light goes away (especially since I keep my e-reader 10 cm away from my eyes in the middle of the night, short-sighted as I am).


So here I am, having bought a pack of 5 30*30 cm gel filters to end up using roughly 10 mm² of it. But I am so glad that not only my Kobo Glo still works after everything I had unplugged, but also that the mod actually worked!

Hope this can help someone just like the original post helped me.
It's nice to hear that you tried and succeeded. In my case as far as i remember, leds werent placed in notches, but you worked that around. Yes, you need only a small piece of filter, you couldve just bought a piece from a photography studio, they maybe even wont charge anything for that. I got mine from a photographer friend.

How much red are you talking about? Can you post a photo?

Edit: i saw the photos after i logged in to reply, the filters themselves look very deep red compared to what i used. A filter like this wouldve work better:
http://www.leefilters.com/lighting/c...#207&filter=cf
In my case, the backlight color is identical to my new tolino vision 4hd's warm setting. And with the product i linked, it's actually intended to convert 6500k to 3200k, considering majority of white leds are 6500k and 3200k bulbs are nice mild warm night lights, it should work perfectly.

Last edited by gezzer; 01-14-2019 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 01-18-2019, 06:34 AM   #13
guijo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gezzer View Post
you couldve just bought a piece from a photography studio, they maybe even wont charge anything for that.
Thanks for the tip, could have done that indeed.

Quote:
i saw the photos after i logged in to reply
I uploaded them onto the forum, I didn't think they would appear only when users are connected... is there a better way to do it?

Quote:
the filters themselves look very deep red compared to what i used.
That's true! It's not really what I expected but every other colour in the pack I bought from Amazon looked very pale. I got used to it pretty quickly though, especially since it drastically drops the luminosity - which is good for my eyes, my sleep, and my girlfriend's.


Quote:
A filter like this wouldve work better
Had a hard time finding something useful for less that 10€, but you're right, I might as well have asked for a piece from a photographer's. I didn't know I would have to use only 2cm x 1mm of it.
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