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Old 08-09-2019, 02:23 PM   #1
karthikrr
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Device: Kobo Aura (N514) / Sony PRS 600
How do I know if it is working?

Hi,

So, I just got a "defective" Kobo Aura (N514). The person who gave it to me said she never dropped it or anything, but believes the screen died due to a recent heatwave. I am skeptical that a 40C day would simply kill a display, BUT perhaps she left it in her car, or perhaps she is lying, I do not know.

The point is I have it now, the display is definitely dead, and I know what replacement part to order and how to fix it. What I do not know is how to verify that the rest of the device still functions properly, making the replacement worthwhile. I have never used a Kobo reader before and am unsure whether this one works or not.

I see an orange/red slider on top, apparently the power switch. Sliding it and holding it makes a difference on the screen : the lower part goes black with some japanese text on it, and doing it again makes the whole screen go white, with the top part of the screen and its vertical and horizontal lines never changing. When I push the light button, it lights up fine as well. When it is in the off condition (presumably when the lower working part of the display is black), and if I plug it to the computer, the screen goes white, making me think it "connects" to the computer and so "wakes up" ... Also, there is a blinking light on the power switch at various times, whatever that means.

However, I see no indication in the eject devices popup on my computer that says an ereader is connected. I received no notification at all that a USB device was connected. Calibre does not seem to show any ereader as being connected. Kobo Reader also does not seem to detect the device. This makes me wonder if perhaps the screen is not the only thing that is dead. Reset had no effect as far as I can tell.

So, how do I know if it is working? I do not want to buy a replacement screen and do all that work only to find the motherboard is also dead! Any ideas?

Thanks,
Karthik
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Old 08-09-2019, 05:30 PM   #2
tshering
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My guess is that it is fine apart from the broken screen. I am not totally sure about what is happening, but here is what I think:

Quote:
Originally Posted by karthikrr View Post
I see an orange/red slider on top, apparently the power switch. Sliding it and holding it makes a difference on the screen : the lower part goes black with some japanese text on it, and doing it again makes the whole screen go white, with the top part of the screen and its vertical and horizontal lines never changing. When I push the light button, it lights up fine as well. When it is in the off condition (presumably when the lower working part of the display is black),
It seem to me that the device is always powered on, and that you are toggling sleep mode on and off, the black screen being the sleep mode, and the white screen an empty page in the book. When you slide the power switch and hold it in this position for 25 secs or so, the device should definitely power off. When you wait a bit and then slide again holding the switch for 1 or 2 seconds the device should power on and you should see the (lower part of the) home screen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by karthikrr View Post
and if I plug it to the computer, the screen goes white, making me think it "connects" to the computer and so "wakes up" ... Also, there is a blinking light on the power switch at various times, whatever that means.

However, I see no indication in the eject devices popup on my computer that says an ereader is connected. I received no notification at all that a USB device was connected. Calibre does not seem to show any ereader as being connected. Kobo Reader also does not seem to detect the device. This makes me wonder if perhaps the screen is not the only thing that is dead. Reset had no effect as far as I can tell.
When you plug it on there should appeare a pop up asking you whether you want the device to connect to the PC. Evidently the pop up window is on the broken part of the screen.

Last edited by tshering; 08-09-2019 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 08-09-2019, 06:29 PM   #3
karthikrr
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Device: Kobo Aura (N514) / Sony PRS 600
Quote:
Originally Posted by tshering View Post
It seem to me that the device is always powered on, and that you are toggling sleep mode on and off, the black screen being the sleep mode, and the white screen an empty page in the book. When you slide the power switch and hold it in this position for 25 secs or so, the device should definitely power off. When you wait a bit and then slide again holding the switch for 1 or 2 seconds the device should power on and you should see the (lower part of the) home screen.
Ah, this is very helpful! I tried this, and while I did not get any "home screen" stuff on the bottom, I also randomly tapped various parts of the screen and ended up getting a keyboard and then somehow the wifi-selection screen, and eventually even a language screen, but just the very bottom third of the screen, so not much to go on.

I managed to change the language, though I am not sure to what. But instead of the japanese characters on the black page, I now have what looks to me like German : "Ausgeschaltet"

One thing of concern, in the keyboard, before the language change as well as after, I found that the ... umm, non alphabet keys??? I mean the shift, enter, etc keys were all either gibberish or some strange language. Not sure if this is related to the broken screen or if its a deeper problem. However, I am consistently able to get different settings menus in readable form by tapping near the top left of the screen.

Quote:
When you plug it on there should appeare a pop up asking you whether you want the device to connect to the PC. Evidently the pop up window is on the broken part of the screen.
This makes a lot of sense. I reconnected it and then again tried the random taps to get it to connect idea. Didn't have any luck, and got bored of repeating it over and over since I wasn't even sure if the popup remains visible if I tap the wrong place.

UNLESS the garbled text in the keyboard is of real concern, Im inclined to believe this is a reasonably good candidate for fixing. Would you agree with that assessment?

And if yes, a second question popped up as I was looking at options on aliexpress. I used the information at https://e-ink-reader.ru/chg_dsp_en.php as well as physical information from the current screen (back of the display cable) to figure out what screen to buy. The issue though is that ED060XH3(LF) seems common, BUT my current screen has H2-S5 printed after (LF) and the screens on aliexpress vary wildly on that final text. Is this a deal-breaker? One seller made a point of asking what "resistance" is required. Not sure if this text is the information he needs.

In any case, I contacted a bunch of sellers and sent them the pic of the broken screen. Hopefully some of them understand and respond with the right information.

Thanks again for your very helpful reply! Gives me enough confidence to order a screen. *fingers crossed*
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Old 08-09-2019, 09:28 PM   #4
davidfor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karthikrr View Post
This makes a lot of sense. I reconnected it and then again tried the random taps to get it to connect idea. Didn't have any luck, and got bored of repeating it over and over since I wasn't even sure if the popup remains visible if I tap the wrong place.
From everything you have posted, the device is working except for the screen. If you can find the connect button, it should connect to the PC. The exact spot is different on different firmware. But it tends to be a little bit left of centre, and two-thirds to three-quarters of the way down. If you plug in, wait for the screen change and then start tapping from the centre and move downwards, you will probably find it.

If I could find a ruler, I'd measure where the button was on my Glo. Here's a screenshot to give you an idea. The Glo has the same screen size and resolution as the Aura, so the locations should be roughly the same.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:28 AM   #5
karthikrr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
From everything you have posted, the device is working except for the screen. If you can find the connect button, it should connect to the PC. The exact spot is different on different firmware. But it tends to be a little bit left of centre, and two-thirds to three-quarters of the way down. If you plug in, wait for the screen change and then start tapping from the centre and move downwards, you will probably find it.

If I could find a ruler, I'd measure where the button was on my Glo. Here's a screenshot to give you an idea. The Glo has the same screen size and resolution as the Aura, so the locations should be roughly the same.
I was messing around and based on images online, I got the language changed to English. Now when I connect to the PC, I can see the changes and either its blank in the bottom (perhaps thats when there is a popup, based on your image), or it goes dark in the bottom with a msg to "download kobo desktop from ..... " When I get that msg, the light does not come on, leading me to believe it turns off.

I am away from the device at the moment, but will try to hit the connect button based on your image once I get home. Thank you for this. No need to measure, the screenshot is more than enough to help me.

The only thing that concerns me is the strange characters in the keyboard (which shows up when I try to connect to wifi, apparently). But I think its worth the risk, so trying to decide which replacement screen to buy.

ED060XH3 (LF)H2-S5 is mine, and I am contacting the sellers to find out if they can give me an exact match. Not sure what the last part (H2-S5) indicates, but its that bit that seems to vary in the replacements.
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Old 08-12-2019, 11:04 AM   #6
karthikrr
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Hmm, I have not been able to connect the device yet. But I wonder if the reason might be because I reset it? I tap around and only one of two things happen: either it turns off with a msg saying "download kobo desktop" or it ends up throwing the keyboard at me asking for wifi password. Perhaps its in the "initial setup" now and so I am not getting the Connect button?

Irrespective, I might have got lucky. I found another seller locally with the same device super cheap because the power switch is broken. It was cheaper to buy his device than a replacement screen on aliexpress. I will receive it by the end of the week and just swap the power key from this one and that takes care of that. I might either sell the broken display one as-is (after testing this logic board on the new one), OR if I really like the device, maybe buy the replacement screen and fix it and gift it to someone
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karthikrr View Post
Hmm, I have not been able to connect the device yet. But I wonder if the reason might be because I reset it? I tap around and only one of two things happen: either it turns off with a msg saying "download kobo desktop" or it ends up throwing the keyboard at me asking for wifi password. Perhaps its in the "initial setup" now and so I am not getting the Connect button?
If you did a factory reset, then the screen will be different to what I posted. The initial setup screens have changed a few times. The first screen is either asking for the language or whether to setup over WiFi or PC. The language screen is a drop-down of languages but defaults to English. You need to tap the button under that. Tapping from the bottom up in the middle should find it. If you do, it will take you to do the setup over WiFi or PC. Again, the button you want is the lower button in the middle. If you find the screen should go mainly black and the PC should detect it.

That's all from memory. Someone might correct me to where it is. But, it won't surprise me if I end up doing a factory reset of my Glo on the weekend to see if I'm right.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:38 PM   #8
karthikrr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidfor View Post
If you did a factory reset, then the screen will be different to what I posted. The initial setup screens have changed a few times. The first screen is either asking for the language or whether to setup over WiFi or PC. The language screen is a drop-down of languages but defaults to English. You need to tap the button under that. Tapping from the bottom up in the middle should find it. If you do, it will take you to do the setup over WiFi or PC. Again, the button you want is the lower button in the middle. If you find the screen should go mainly black and the PC should detect it.

That's all from memory. Someone might correct me to where it is. But, it won't surprise me if I end up doing a factory reset of my Glo on the weekend to see if I'm right.
Thank you for this! I am pretty sure its asking wifi/PC, because when I click from the bottom, it gives me the "download and install kobo desktop" message, and if I click from the bottom, it seems to throw up the keyboard for wifi password (I say this because when I click elsewhere to dismiss the keyboard, I see the wifi selection screen)

When the download kobo desktop msg comes, it does blink and seem to go mostly black, BUT nothing happens on the computer and it seems like the device turned off.

I would not waste any more time on this though, because if all goes well I definitely will have a working device by the end of the week and can test this board on that display. I will update once I have the second device.
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:26 PM   #9
karthikrr
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Okay, so I got the second reader and swapped the front panel. As @davidfor said, the device was on the "setup over wifi or pc" screen. Everything is setup now and it works perfectly.

Meanwhile, on the donor device, the power switch is broken. As in, when I opened the case, the actual switch (not the red plastic piece, but the physical switch) literally fell out. Its been ripped clean. It looks like a simple job to solder it back though (I don't have a soldering setup at the moment, but can do the job in a few months when I will get access).

Is there any reason why I should not assume this is a simple job? One concern is that it seems one of the pads on the board may have been ripped out alongwith the switch. In that case, I would guess soldering will not work, since there is nothing on the board to solder it to? I cannot really make out though. Anybody have any experience with this?
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