Well, it’s a New Year, so what better time to peek into some useful device for no other reason than it was already broken when I picked up, honest? After the unqualified success of my last “What’s in a…” post, I thought I would
try do it again, with something different.
Before the end of 2015, actually quite a way before, my lovely Kindle lost its own plot as well as those of the books stored on it. I suspect that the poor device knew what was in the pipeline – I discovered it had stopped working when I was about load onto it a copy of my NaNoWriMo efforts, “The Xylophone at the Gates of Dawn”. Personally, I would not have been offended if it had just said “No, please don’t make me store that rubbish in my brain”. However, my Kindle chose quietly to stop working. The charging light would only stay on for about twelve seconds (okay, exactly twelve seconds) before switching off. I am sure there is a little emoticon chappy that represents me going “harrumph”, but I haven’t found it yet.
Taking one of these things apart is actually quite easy as long as you remember to be gentle, to treat your Kindle kindly. The many plastic lug things that hold the case together can be eased apart with nothing stronger than a piece of plastic, rather than a metal screwdriver.* Personally, I use whatever was lying around – in this case, a guitar plectrum (my workbench is surrounded by guitars and broken dreams, so it wasn’t that surprising a choice). I have previously replaced the broken screen of niece-of-snail a year ago when she sat on her Kindle (probably) and learnt then that plastic beats metal at this task. There are also twenty tiny screws to remove – not so bad when you consider that the newer Kindle Paperwhite devices are simply glued to the screen so completely impossible to separate and thus to fix. Shame on you Amazon!
My immediate thought was that the thin internal battery was finally too flat, electrically speaking, too far gone to be charged. I bought another but this, alas, failed to fix the problem. By jury-rigging a power supply where the battery goes, I tried to persuade the book-filled flat e-reader** to start up, which it sort of tried to then didn’t.
It looked as if there was a component on the circuit board that had given up the ghost. Sadly, you can’t really fix a circuit board as found in modern devices – all-in-one with a few surface mount components. This kind of computing power has come at a price – fixability is zero. The only thing to do is to replace the whole board and then salvage any components you can for making up your own stuff.
So, I bought an old Kindle off e-Bay which was described as having a broken screen. Unfortunately, it too suffered from the 12 second charging light symptom as well and so behaved exactly the same way when I attached my presumed working screen. Perhaps my screen is broken too?
Oh well, back to the drawing board, a board lost under the mountain rubbish, er, useful things on my workbench (a wiring loom for a stuffed VW camper van doesn’t just make itself – it requires a whole mess of its own). I haven’t given up just yet though, as I want to see if my Kindle’s brain is still saying “hello” when it is powered up. If not, well, I’ll acquire a cheap second-hand screen and see if that works with the original circuit board. Or I’ll just stop reading e-books…
* …or a hammer and chisel.
** If you can think of something to go there that makes sense and rhymes with ‘puss’, do let me know.