eReader battery never goes flat (in the sun)

solar_powered_kobo

Instructables user [flapke] has a Kobo eReader and wanted to add some solar cells to it in order to charge the battery for free. The modification is similar to others we have seen recently, though his work was done so well that it almost looks stock.

He started out by sourcing a pair of solar panels from DealExtreme that purported to supply 5.5v @ 80mA. Like most of us are inclined to do, he tested them before use and found that they actually put out around 50mA instead. While the performance was a bit off, they still fit his needs pretty well, as the charge current needed to be at or less than 100mA to avoid damaging the battery.

He opened the Kobo’s case, and carefully removed a section of the back panel to make room for the solar panels. Once they were soldered together in parallel, he wired them to the eReader’s battery through a Schottky diode to prevent the battery from draining.

While we think his solar modification is a great way to ensure that he never runs out of juice while reading by the pool, we would certainly add a bit of extra charge circuitry to ours to prevent damage to the battery. What do you think?

EEVblog dissects a kindle 3

guts!

[Dave] over at the EEVblog did a review of the kindle 3 recently, but never got to the good stuff, the guts.  He is now rectifying this with a full video dissection of the eReader. Full of details on how to open it up as well as specifics on the internals, this is a fun video to watch. One thing that caught our attention was the RFID tag on the inside of the case.  It is probably for inventory tracking, but we can’t help but have a few tinfoil hat type thoughts. You can watch the video after the break.

Continue reading “EEVblog dissects a kindle 3”

New nook says: no root for you!

That is a blurry image of a Barnes & Noble Nook eReader stuck in an infinite reboot loop. This is the result of trying to downgrade the firmware to 1.0 in preparation to soft-root the device. So after a few failures the device will recover itself, right? It doesn’t look that way. No problem, don’t you just pop it open and re-write the OS to the SD card inside to do a hardware root? Nope, it looks like the newest hardware revision has replaced that convenient SD card with a memory chip.

For now it’s a brick, but we’re sure there will soon be a way to fix this. A bit of solder, some wires, and a reflash should work much in the same way an EEPROM recovery does. That is, if you have an original image to work with.

So for now, be careful not to attempt to root your nook if the serial number starts with 1003.

[Thanks Ken]

I am root! – Alex eReader

The Alex eReader has been rooted. This little handheld was the belle of the ball at CES 2010 when it came to eReaders. Now that is has been released into the wild it takes its place next to the heavy hitters that have already seen root access. If you’re unfamiliar, this device boasts a six-inch e-ink display and a 320×240 LCD touchscreen interface. Now that you can make it do your bidding, what are your plans for the $350 tablet? Let us know in the comments.

[Thanks Richard]