Livescribe Sky OLED woes…

Although I’ve got the Livescribe Pulse, Echo, Sky, and Livescribe 3 pens, I find that I use my Sky the most. I guess I’m used to having everything sync up with Evernote.  This lets me access my notes where ever I am.

The Livescribe 3 would be a great solution for me since I carry my iPhone with me but I’m not in love with the way that pen feels in my hand. Its a lot like the original Pulse, in that its really just a round cylinder… sigh, you’d think that Livescribe would have learned their lesson about ergonomics. The 3 might figure more prominently if I make the plunge and upgrade to the 6S+ (the one with the huge screen 😉 as my older eyes are just not so comfortable with reading small screens anymore.

Why am I considering the change? Livescribe no longer carries the Sky in their lineup. I’m not sure why they dropped it; I love that it syncs whenever I’ve got wifi. This makes sure that my daily notes are always backed up in the cloud.

The OLED display on my second Sky finally died about a month ago. This happened to my first Sky, thus the second. Evidently, these displays have a limited lifetime, and I’ve used up two screens. Other Sky owners have reported their aggravation at not being able to read their OLED displays.

My biggest problem is that I’m used to glancing at the OLED display to be sure that the Sky is turned on. Can’t do that if the display is dead. So now, I usually tap the menu icon to hear “main menu,” and I know that the pen is powered up. “Usually” is the operative word here. My notes have more and more gaps because I assume that the Sky is on when in fact, it has powered itself down.

I can’t live with this situation! I purchased a used Sky on eBay, and am setting it up while I write this entry. Not going to be able to keep doing this though. The “New in Box” Sky pens are getting pretty pricey on eBay, and the used ones are a crapshoot – they already have some of their OLED life used up, and you never really know if they are fully operational until you get them. I’ve been lucky so far, 3 for 3.

I found a DIY page for replacing the OLED display on the Sky. Evidently this is an issue for the Echo as well. The only problem is that these displays were custom manufactured for Livescribe so you need to find a Sky or Echo with a working display, remove the dead display from your pen, and solder in the replacement display from the other pen. There are 10 solder pads on a ribbon which may be beyond my limited soldering capabilities.

Luckily, I know someone with better soldering skills than mine! I may have to find a couple of Sky or Echo pens being sold for parts – with working displays. They do show up on eBay but most of them have dead displays so they are getting harder to find. Might be worth taking a multimeter to the innards of a Sky to see if there is enough voltage to run an LED that can serve as a power indicator…

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2 responses to “Livescribe Sky OLED woes…

  1. You know, if someone could find a manufacturer to make OLED replacements & start fixing these pens,they could probably make bank! I’m getting my Echo replacement in the mail Monday (it was pretty painless to get warranty service by email, they had it off to Fedex about 6 business days after my first complaint), but I’m unhappy that I’ll have to manually sync entire notebooks to Evernote a again (and I haven’t found a single happy Android/Livescribe 3 user yet, so that’s not happening).

    Thanks for the suggestion of turning sound back on to test power on with the menu “button” – another trick for testing the charge level is that I use my Sky with LivePDF, and the associated windows program for putting custom PDF forms on my Sky Pen, called “Pen Director” – when that app connects by USB sync to my Sky, it tells me the charge level on my battery as part of the sync confirmation.

  2. Hans-Christian Heine

    Could one simply add a “connector” for generic OLED screens in the place where the broken curved OLED is situated? I could live with simply connecting an external OLED screen. I have a Livescribe pulse BTW, of course the screen is dead, although I did not use it for several years until now!

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