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Old 02-18-2024, 12:40 PM   #1
Apollyon202
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Kobo sleepcover vs 3rd party and Libra 2 revisions

A couple of days ago I obtained a brand new Libra 2 (black one, because the whites get snapped), and couldn't wait for the new Kobo announcement.

As always, I instantly bought a sleepcover with it, of course a 3rd party one, not just because they are cheaper, but I prefer the fabric ones and Kobo is not selling any fabric covers.
Then the Libra 2 arrived and a day later the kwmobile fabric cover as well, which is really nice to hold.

You already guessed it what is this all about! (partially)

So the sleepcover function doesn't work with it. I tried several times, like really, a hundred at least and yes, I selected it from the options, tried to switch it off and on again. Aaand it did not work.*
Surprisingly, because my Clara HD also have kwmobile sleepcovers and both work flawlessly (2 types, both fabric) with the sleep function.

Most of the time it is suggested to buy an official Kobo sleepcover, so I did that. A basic, one option grey color. More than twice as expensive than the kwmobile. So be it.
Today it arrived, and the sleep function works flawlessly.
What I noticed when I ordered it, is this in the description:
SLEEP & WAKE TECHNOLOGY – Our professional and experienced engineers have specialized in designing this case with a proprietary sleep/wake technology, [...]
so... proprietary...
Which (possibly) means, that they spent money and resources to engineer it in the way so buyers are forced to buy their more expensive, lesser quality covers.
At least it is working and it is not terribly worse quality than the kwmobile one, but latter has a way more nice touch for the hands.

Before I bought the official cover, just read about this issue with Libra 2 3rd party covers are not really working, I even found a reddit comment, that they have two Libra 2s at home, and one of them works, the other one doesn't with the same 3rd party cover. That makes me thinking that there are different hardware revisions, in some way, though haven't found much about it,
just this: https://www.mobileread.com/forums/sh...p?p=4255647#39
and this: https://github.com/koreader/koreader/issues/9218

Unfortunately I did not make a picture, but I noted that my Libra 2 came from factory with firmware version 4.34.20097, which was installed on it on the 14th of September, 2022. (I already put the newest firmware on it and tweaks and hacks.)

Maybe there is also a trickery with the magnets inside the Libra 2 and/or covers? Who knows.
*: I have to add it though, when I still tried to make the kwmobile cover to work, out of hundred, two times, on different days it worked. When I put down the reader for a few hours (it was sleeping) and opened the cover, it woke up the reader! But just in these two occasions, and it also put it down to sleep just once and never more. Felt like a proprietary malfunction, that something worked accidentally which was engineered purposely to shouldn't.

Sorry for the rant, and despite all of this, it is working as expected, a really nice device and happy with it overall.
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Old 02-18-2024, 02:27 PM   #2
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The Kobo case for the Libra 2 uses the same technology as their other models using a Hall effect switch triggered by a magnet in the case. That the Kobo case works suggests the issue is not with your Libra 2.

I suspect that your Kwmobile case did not have the magnet in the correct place or the magnet was entirely missing (I've seen both on 3rd party ereader cases) so exchanging it for a replacement would have been a good starting spot.
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Old 02-18-2024, 02:37 PM   #3
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Can we have a link to this kwmobile cover? Also, so,e kwmobile covers mention sleep and some do not.

This cover from Amazon US does specifically mentions sleep.

Last edited by JSWolf; 02-18-2024 at 02:43 PM.
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Old 02-18-2024, 04:00 PM   #4
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Sure, this is the kwmobile case I ordered. It mentions the auto sleep feature, it does have magnets inside, I checked them with a fridge magnet, also if I fold it to the back it holds the cover there, though I cannot determine if they are in the exactly right spot, but it looks like they are.

By the way I checked the hardware, it says BD71828, so it's the second revision. Maybe the new revisions don't work with 3rd party cases anymore, but that's just my assumption.

Forgot to mention that for some reason my Libra 2 is missing 3 default fonts: Caecilia, Gill Sans and Malabar. Not a tragedy, just I used to them being there, I'm using the Metropolis font anyway.
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Old 02-18-2024, 04:24 PM   #5
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Have you tried closing it and then using your fingers to push the cover up/down a little bit to see if you can get the auto sleep to trigger? If you can, that would prove that the magnet is simply misaligned, and you just need to exchange the defective cover for a working one. I have a kwmobile origami case, and the sleep/wake functionality works fine.
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Old 02-18-2024, 06:20 PM   #6
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You can use a small magnet and move it on the cover to see is there at magnet at all. I've seen ones with no magnet.

The "proprietary technology" is the crayon department technobabble. A hall effect sensor is cheap and small and operated by a magnet. Named after Hall who discovered it in 1879!
Used in keyboards from 1960s and game controllers from 1990s.
Used to sense wheels for "anti-lock", electric scooter throttles maybe 20 years ago. Timing sensor for car ignition.

There is no Kobo proprietary technology involved. It's a commodity part made by dozens of companies.
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Old 02-18-2024, 06:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollyon202 View Post

it does have magnets inside, I checked them with a fridge magnet, also if I fold it to the back it holds the cover there, though I cannot determine if they are in the exactly right spot, but it looks like they are.
Magnets to lock the cover are separate. Some sleep covers don't have them.
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Old 02-19-2024, 10:14 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Quoth View Post
Magnets to lock the cover are separate. Some sleep covers don't have them.
OP should use the fridge magnet on the Libra to learn where the sleep magnet is located. Hint: at the vertical halfway point, towards the side with the buttons, but still on the screen.
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Old 02-19-2024, 06:06 PM   #9
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Thanks, but I know what a Hall sensor is. I pointed out, because description said like there is a trickery with it, so I thought they engineered in the way to not work with 3rd party covers. Nevermind.

Well, it turned out I did not know that there is a magnet above the screen as well, if I push it a bit towards the screen (which is dangerous) it puts the device in sleep mode (the 3rd party one). But if I just lightly put the cover to the screen, it won't do it. It explains this whole mess.
Thanks for the tips though.

Also, does anybody know, why Kobo did a second revision from the device? And why do I miss 3 default fonts that I always had back to the Kobo Touch?
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Old 02-19-2024, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollyon202 View Post
Thanks, but I know what a Hall sensor is. I pointed out, because description said like there is a trickery with it, so I thought they engineered in the way to not work with 3rd party covers.
The only trickery is the description itself. You've just been unlucky to get a cover with a slightly badly positioned magnet. Perhaps it can be fixed.

Possibly the missing fonts are a mistake or cost too much now; I don't know. There are various reasons such parts become unavailable, or too dear, or there is a cost saving to be made. I'd be surprised if anyone outside of a few in Kobo know why.
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Old 02-19-2024, 06:35 PM   #11
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The three fonts were removed from the firmware several firmware revisions back so newer devices do not get them. There were other fonts added at the same time.

As for why the second revision? Likely due to the chips being used in the first revision not being available when needed.

What you mentioned about the magnet has been seen often in 3rd party covers where the magnet is not correctly located. Very often, a replacement works though one acquaintance of mine went through 3 covers for his Tolino Epos before finding out the listing was incorrect in saying that it was a sleep cover.
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