December 4, 2023


Digitally first class

Revive Your Old E-Ink Tablet For Timetable Helper Duty


In our drawers, there’s gonna be quite a couple previous gadgets that we’ve neglected about, and probably we should to make them perform for us rather. [Jonatron] uncovered a Nook Easy Contact in his drawer – with its E-ink display screen, wi-fi connectivity and a workable Android variation, this e-reader from 2011 has the guts for always-on display screen obligation. Regrettably, the gentle touch covering on the again disintegrated into a sticky mess, as tender touch does, the LiIon battery has long gone flat, and the computer software support’s lackluster. Equally of these are possible to happen for a whole lot of tablets, which is why we’re content [Jonatron] has shared his story about this e-reader’s revival.

The tablet in question with back cover removed, battery wires connected to a USB cable for powerThe tender contact layer on the back again did not go away with support of liquor, but by sheer luck, an acetone bottle was close by, and an acetone scrub assisted get rid of the disagreeable stickiness. The tablet’s charging circuitry turned out to be unsophisticated – the tablet would not boot from MicroUSB enter, and [Jonathan] wired up 5 volts from a USB cable straight into the battery enter. Thoughts you, this could not be encouraged, as Lithium-Ion battery range is from 3 volts to 4.2 volts and a regulator would be referred to as for, but [Jonatron] states it is been performing just wonderful.

Ordinarily, you could just place a webserver on your neighborhood network and serve a site with useful info, introducing code to refresh the webpage periodically – but the Nook’s browser didn’t support automatic refreshes. Not to be stopped, [Jonatron] wrote an application for the Nook’s Android put in as an alternative rooting was demanded but went seamlessly. The Android set up is previous, and Android Studio for it is no for a longer time downloadable, so he employed an more mature development toolkit someway nonetheless obtainable online. There is continue to a modest Python-written webserver operating on a spare Pi, conditioning the info for the app to fetch. Next greatest hacker traditions, each the app and the server are open-sourced! With aid of a 3D printed stand, this pill now shows coach departure schedules – excellent software for an old e-reader like this.

Got a Nook Simple Contact in a drawer? Now you know you can simply convert it into a hackable E-ink display screen! We have found a lot of pill restorations in advance of, changing charger ICs and eMMC drives, turning them into videophones to chat with our kinfolk and smart home controllers, and there’s even maintenance databases to help you in your revival attempts. We’ve been getting quite a couple tasks like these in our last Hackaday Prize installment, Hack It Again, and we hope to see a lot more these rebuilds for our Wildcard round!


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