It’s been quite a popular post, and I’ve had a few comments and emails from people on how I managed to do it.
The other day, I found a cheap 3G Kindle (Model: D00901) on eBay. But it had a busted screen. So I decided to buy it for my sister, along with a replacement screen, and publish a quick “howto” on opening, operating on, and replacing a broken LCD screen on the D00901 Kindle 3 model.
First up, get a replacement screen. Easiest way is to put the model number and the word screen into an eBay search. You’ll get a few options. I got a new screen, posted, for about $45 AUD. I’m sure if you look really hard you might find a cheaper option.
Anyway, wait for it to turn up. When it does, you’re nearly there. You’ll also need a small Philip’s head screwdriver.
Next step, crack open the plastic shell on the back of the Kindle. I do this by a crude method of using a small screwdriver. There are several tabs that hold it on tight that you’ll have to pull apart gently.
Eventually, and with a tiny bit of pressure, you’ll get the plastic back off. There are no screws that hold the back bit on.
This is what you’ll see.
Take out the screws which hold in the battery (see the red ovals above) then put them and the battery to one side. Then get ready, then get ready – there are 15 tiny screws to take out for the next step.
Once you’ve taken out the screws, the main board isn’t quite ready to be removed.
You now need to carefully disconnect the ribbons. Some have a little lock mechanism. You lift up gently with a normal screwdriver (the brown bit of plastic) then slide the ribbon out. The one down the bottom lifts up (it’s the modem’s antenna), the one with the red/black cable pulls out (don’t yank, edge it out bit-by-bit with a screwdriver).
Again, be very careful here.
If you’ve done it all correctly, the board will then lift out.
Put to one side.
Now the screws which hold in the LCD screen. There’s two at the top, and two on the side.
Undo them, put the screws to one side.
Final stretch, I promise.
The red ovals below have screws which hold the screen holder in. The blue boxes show the location of some tabs. The big purple box down the bottom – that’s just a warning. That’s the on/off switch and it’s easily damageable, so keep an eye out.
Once you’d done that, the metal chassis will lift out.
The screen will fall away. Discard the broken screen.
Carefully place in the new one, then go backwards through these instructions.
A few notes:
The little ribbons are fragile. They also need to be carefully replaced, or buttons won’t work.
The screen is fragile, don’t break it again!
Before you put all the screws back in, put the battery in and see if everything works properly. Nothing worse that having to undo everything again because you forgot one little ribbon… I speak from experience on that point.
Funny thing is that I’d tried NewsBlur before. It was a bit slow and the design wasn’t great, so I moved on. Lucky I don’t stick with first impressions.
NewsBlur rolled out a new design the other day. It fixed its speed and now its wonderful. Wonderful. I couldn’t be happier.
It’s even got a premium pricing model. $24 a year. That’s cheap. And you know what? That’s worth paying. It’s worth paying for things that are good, because it means the designers and developers have a reason to keep pushing forward, rather than letting it all stagnate before letting it die.
It also has a really good iPhone and iPad (and Android) app. They are polished, and fast.
So dear Google Reader. Thanks for the good times. I am sorry to see you go. It hasn’t been easy, but – for now at least – NewsBlur is great. I couldn’t be happier.
I am a massive fan of Midsomer Murders. What’s not to like?
Episode after episode you sit down to Bumbling Barnaby and his trusty sidekick wandering around a picturesque village, asking probing questions, but – quite frankly – often doing it so badly the only reason the killer is caught is because they are the only ones left.
For a while I had a bit of a game going between friends and family. Midsomer Murders starts at 8:30pm on TV. Everyone has half an hour to text each other to lock in what they think the a) body count will be, and b) who they think the murderer is.
Inevitably, all the players would watch their a) body count guesstimate again be eclipsed by a show which has more death per episode than the entire James Bond series and b) their chosen murder suspect quickly included in said death toll.
I had a real knack for locking in my murder suspect, only to see them crushed against piles of bottled sauce with a forklift before being thrown naked into a sterilizer (yes this happened) at around 9:05pm.
The world now has 95 episodes of Midsomer Murders. More are planned. It’s a show – as my friend Viv put to me once – not about Barnaby but about the countryside. It’s also a show about blood. There are sites which track how many people die (and how), and the statistics are worrying:
16 historical including one possible
11 suicides including three historical
15 accidental deaths including two historical
Nine natural causes where murder is suspected or relevant to the plot
One of which may have been a murder
One unexplained death
One historical death by firing squad
One historical massacre (numbers not specified)
That means 2.7 confirmed murders, on average, per episode. Or 324 deaths, averaging 3.4 an episode (this doesn’t include the massacre, but does include possible historical deaths). In one high death, particularly gruesome episode where there was bleeding to death from a spear wound, a bow and arrow murder and an iron bar to the head, Sgt. Scott asked:
The murder of a journalist has chilling echoes of a 1960s horror film starring Midsomer’s own Stella Harris. When Stella’s more famous sister returns after a 40-year family rift, the killings escalate, each reminiscent of a movie plot. Is life – and death – imitating art?
That seems to be more about a movie, rather than a solid investigative news story. It’s about time some of the hacks from Badgers Drift got it on this and exposed the murderous hellhole for what it really is.
They could begin by exposing that the most popular form of murder is a stabbing or a slashing, followed up by shooting or a bash around the head. There’s also been a lot of suicides.
I decided the other day to try and graph the types of deaths in Midsomer, and started logging each episode:
I only got through eight episodes for a couple of reasons, the main being the writers would keep coming up with new ways for people to die, the graph would never make sense. It’d just be a series of small bars. Categorising the deaths was also difficult. In which category do you put ”run over by car and then injected with pure liquid nicotine” or “rendered unconscious by concentrated valirium in drink and then drowned.”
Viv reckons I need a column “only in Midsomer”, which is a great idea, but it would dwarf the rest of the results, and again not show very much. The writers are indeed very creative. So creative that in at least one episode, the cause of death for one poor electrocuted burgler is never made entirely clear. One presumes it’s accidental, but with Midsomer, you’d never know. Maybe Joyce knocked him off?
Looking at the table, you can see how creative they really are. Obviously they need the grizzly deaths and it keeps it exciting. I added a new column in each time I needed a new category, and you can see how the thought process from episode to episode. “How about we write an episode where someone dies because the murderer withholds vital medication to keep the heart going?” says one writer. “Perfect,” the others reply. (See episode five – a below average two murders (and a tragic accident) – but still rather inventive.
Viv also pointed out to me that Midsomer Murders is a highly successful English TV export, sold to many countries. The names of the show change from market to market, apparently in Russia it’s called ”Very English Murders”. Nothing says Very English like a dubbed Russian accent taking the role of Barnaby.
The different promos television networks run vary widely too:
And finally a very dark ad from the Hallmark Channel (who else?) asking “Will the body count ever stop?”
I was playing around the other day with my phone and a pair of binoculars, trying to work out how combine the two to take a photo. This is the best I could come up with.
It was taken with a iPhone 3GS, so the quality isn’t as high as it otherwise could have been. That and I held a smartphone up to the eye piece of a fairly cheap set of binoculars before pushing the “take photo” button with my nose.
I pulled it out of my bag, and the screen was broken. Tragedy!
I have noo idea how it happened. It must have been broken somewhere, but it wasn’t like I’d dropped it or squashed it or stepped on it.
I decided to see if I could get a replacement from Amazon. I’d read that Amazon sometimes replaces Kindles free-of-charge if the screen is broken. It’s possible I didn’t press hard enough, but that offer never came up for me.
I did get this offer though:
I’m sorry to hear about the problem with your Kindle.
I’ve checked and see that the One-Year warranty of your Kindle has been expired.
I know a lot of other companies don’t give you any options outside of the original warranty, because you are already a Kindle owner, rather than leaving you hanging we can actually get you a replacement at a highly discounted rate.
As you are loyal customer, to replace your Kindle device, we have some options for the Kindle device with reduced prices.
1. Kindle, Wi-Fi, 6″ E Ink Display – includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers for a charge of $54.00.
2. Certified Refurbished Kindle Touch 3G (ATT), Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6″ E Ink Display – includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers for a charge of $104.00.
These Kindles will have a new 90 day warranty at no cost and you will even be able to transfer over all your books for free.
Sigh. I had a think about it, and decided on option 1. But it turns out there was none in stock.
My Kindle is a 3G keyboard, and you can’t get them anymore. I really like the 3G internet feature (I can download books in more than 100 countries, for only the cost of the book). So I decided to try and fix it!
I got a new screen from eBay, ordered it. It turned up today so I cracked it open and got to work.
This guide helped me, but you don’t really need to remove the speaker part to get at the screen. Also, watch you don’t damage the power switch. It’s delicate and I accidentally dislodged it and spent about an hour figuring out how to make it all fit back in again.
Not to worry, as it’s all fixed now!
As good as new!
Things can still be fixed these days. Why buy a new model, when you can fix what you’ve already got?
All I wanted to do was to get my Ardunio to send a SMS.
There are many ways to do it. People fromallover the world have discovered hacks to get a mobile phone connected and sending messages.
But I found that many of the hacks were for US phones, too complicated, or too expensive.
For example, this hack looks perfect. The USB Tri-band GPRS Modem at Deals Extreme is cheap (though it was out of stock when I looked). But reading into it, it seems the build quality is poor and that the GPRS modem doesn’t come with an IMEI number. Jarrod on Hack A Day reported “… doesnt work in Australia either.”
I really like the look of the ADH8066 GSM Module. It’s not that expensive ($49.95 AUD) and looks really capable. The problem was the tiny little pins. That means I need to either get a breakout board ($19.95 USD) or an evaluation board ($49.95 USD). While $100 + delivery isn’t a huge amount, I was pretty sure I could manage to get the feature much cheaper.
I originally started this little project by looking for old GSM Nokia 5110 phones. They used to be really, really popular. Most people loved them for the little Snake 1 game and ease of SMSing. The problem I found is finding old GSM phones with a serial (RS232) connection is pretty hard in 2012. It seems most people have thrown out (or put away) their old phones with the assumption they are of little value.
I finally found an old GSM Sony Ericsson K700i. $20 AUD (including delivery) later, it was in my possession and ready for hacking.
I’d done a little bit of research on the K700i before I bought it. The wonderfully helpfulpinouts.ru website shows you all you need to know about the K700i (and similar) models . I’d also found someone else who reckoned they’d connected the Ardiuno to a K700i. It’s always helpful if someone has gone before you. The sample code, diagrams, schematics dramatically cut down on time spent fiddling around when trying to link in new sensors/devices. The ardunio.cc forums are helpful in finding people who’ve gone before you.
So for the K700i in particular, I was interested in pins 4 and 5. They are the data to/from (rx/tx) the phone. Also, 10 for the power supply part. They’re all the pins I need to connect to the Ardunio!
This comment provides the required details for connection between Arduino and Sony Ericsson K700i
Pin 10 is GND
Pin 5 is Rx(0) serial
Pin 4 is Tx(1) serial
Connecting the phone (wires)
Hooking up the phone to the Ardunio was easy. Straight into the breadboard, then into Ardunio’s digital pins 2 and 3 and GND.
K700i Full Project
Coding and communicating
There’s a bible for the way the code communicates with the phone. They’re called AT Commands. You can control all sorts of phone functions with them. I’m mostly interested in SMS and (possibly) GPRS.
SMS is good for – obviously – sending short messages. GPRS is good for interacting with things on the internet. Sending messages to Twitter, for example. Wouldn’t it be cool if the space balloon could also update the internet where it is?
One thing to keep in mind, when sending SMS from the Ardunio via the K700i is the phone only accepts “PDU mode”. This may not mean a lot to you, so here’s a quick description: everything (phone number, message, etc) must be converted into an obscure string of numbers/letters, then sent to the phone.
PDU mode is a dark art, and took a while to work out. Try to get a phone which accepts plain text rather than PDU. I’ve provided the code on BitBucket anyway, which should get your a little way if you attempt to join the Dark Lord on his PDU crusade. The code is far from perfect. In fact, it barely works. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you feel like fixing it up, please do and submit a Pull Request.
I edited together a quick video of the project, so you can see it in action.
Well, not space specifically. That starts at about 80-100km above the surface. My balloon will hopefully get to at least 30km.
How? Well it’s been done by a lot of people before me. Generally, people fill a weather balloon with helium (or hydrogen) gas, slap a flight computer as a payload, and let it go.
The computer records distance, height, temperature, location. It helps you get the stuff back when the balloon explodes, and the box of electronics falls back to earth.
I’m planning on running a simple flight computer. Just GPS and temperature for the first time. It’ll be based around an Arduino micro-controller.
My Arduino, ready to be sent 30km+ into the atmosphere
Things I need to do:
Buy all the goodies: GPS chips, temperature chips, batteries, wires, PCB boards, GSM/GRPS module, radio transmitter, data logger.
Program the micro-controller
Test, test, test and test
Collect resources on what other people have done
Plug the wires in, let it go.
Couldn’t be easier.
We. Shall. See.
(P.S – This post also marks a slight change from my usual blog, which was a series of photos with pithy comments. I’ll still post those photos from time to time, and you can get just the photos if that’s what you want on the “Things I Like” page. The blog will probably stay much the same, but there might be other types of posts along the way)