This is the strip that needs to be removed

Changing a Boogie Board Battery

Boogie Board LCD Slate/Tablet

Boogie Board LCD Slate/Tablet

A couple of years ago I bought a cool looking gadget called a Boogie Board from Firebox. Intention was to attach it to the fridge-freezer and use it as a paperless notepad for shopping lists, reminders and so on. It has performed that job flawlessly until a week ago when it suddenly refused to erase the contents of the screen. To cut a long story short, the battery was flat and without any power the e-ink display (similar to the original Kindle) couldn’t be erased. The device is sold with a NON-REPLACEABLE 3V battery and is supposed to last for 50,000 screen wipes before losing charge. I’ve had the thing for not much longer than 2 years and even if it had been used and wiped every single day that would be less than 800 wipes, a figure massively short of the touted 50K. I’ve probably erased it once or twice a week so probably erased it 250-300 times, tops!!! When you consider that is cost me £30 and they expect me to throw it in the bin and get another one you can imagine I was not too pleased!

So, being a tinkerer and having nothing to lose if things went wrong I decided to open it up and see if there was anything I could do to salvage it. Turns out it is fitted with a normal 3v Lithium CR2032 Button Cell with the only complication being that it is soldered onto the small PCB inside. The good news is these can be purchased off eBay for less than £2, complete with the solder tags – a much better prospect than throwing a perfectly good product in the bin and spending £30 to replace it! Incidentally, I did try my local Maplins but they don’t stock this type of battery..

I thought I’d share my exploits in case it can help anyone else in a similar situation.

 

Prising the cover off

Prising the cover off with a screwdriver

First off, you need to remove the thick top strip (the bit that houses the erase button). There are no screws, it appears to just clip into place by means of four studs spaced across the width of the board. I was able to carefully prise this strip off using a very thin precision flat-head screwdriver, just be careful not to push the screwdriver in too far as you may damage the components inside.

 

Boogie Board with cover removed

Boogie Board with cover removed

Once it is off you will be able to see the old battery in the centre, soldered to the PCB by means of two ‘tags’. You will need to de-solder the old battery to make way for the new one. Be careful though, I was a little ham-fisted and accidentally pulled away some of the solder pad on one side – luckily enough remained to allow me to continue.

 

Old battery removed

Old battery removed

Here’s the PCB with the old battery removed.

 

 

 

Replacement 3V CR2032 Battery

Replacement 3V CR2032 Battery

Here’s the replacement battery, complete with tags. You need to make sure you observe the polarity of the tags when you solder it back onto the PCB otherwise it may not work.

 

New battery fitted

New battery fitted

Once the battery is soldered back on, check the erase function now works by depressing the little silver switch to the top left of the battery. You can then replace the cover strip by simply pressing it back into place and you’ll have a fully working Boogie Board once more!

 

My fixed Boogie Board

My fixed Boogie Board

Farewell George

George a few days after I got him

George a few days after I got him

Fair Warning – If you happen across this post you may want to skip it as it has nothing to do with my normal game or tech related stuff – I just felt I needed to somehow mark the passing of one of my favourite pet compantions so I’ve dedicated this post on my blog to him.

Today it is with much sadness that I’ve had to say goodbye to my little furry companion, George, who passed away peacefully in his sleep this afternoon.

George was a handsome Syrian ‘Teddy Bear’ hamster that I got from a rescue centre back in December of 2011. He’d been discarded in a bag of old clothes in a charity shop and (fortunately) passed on to the rescue centre. My wife and I couldn’t resist – the last time I had a hamster was back in the 70’s as a child. I never really knew exactly how old he was when I got him – the rescue centre reckoned he was at least 6 months old. He was with me for nearly 2 years so I suppose he had a good innings for a hamster.

George was fearless, inquisitive and very, very friendly. He loved climbing (often where he shouldn’t), racing around in his ball, coming out to play in his playpen and cardboard castle and especially being brushed. He was also very cheeky and knew exactly how to look especially cute to get treats. His cage was right next to the sofa so he was a constant companion no matter what I was up to.

I’m really sad to see him go but I can take comfort from knowing he had a good life right up to the end.

Rest in Peace George you will be greatly missed.

George enjoying a treat

George enjoying a treat

George a few days after I got him

George a few days after I got him

George looking cute

George looking cute

George in his castle

George in his castle

'Senior' George

‘Senior’ George

XBOX ONE Announced

microsoft-xbox-one

So Microsoft have finally announced the 360’s successor and it’s to be the XBOX ONE. Here’s a few of my thoughts about it so far:

Design

XBox ONE Console

XBox ONE Console

I have to say I really like the looks of it, sleek and understated and will blend in well under the TV. I have never liked the funky design of the original 360 or the ‘George Forman’ style PS3 and have longed for something more along the lines of a Blu-ray player. Looks like I’ve finally go what I’ve been wishing for.

Have to say I’m not that interested in the Kinect 2.0 side of things for the time being. I have Kinect already and it only gets used occasionally when I’m in the mood.

Hard Drive

Given game installation is mandatory I would have expected a 1TB HDD as standard rather than 500GB – the difference in price is negligible.

Controller

XBox ONE Controller

XBox ONE Controller

The controller is staying largely the same which is fantastic news as it’s hands down the best designed controller I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. It now also offers some form of force feedback for the triggers which sounds really interesting – imagine the kick-back of a gun trigger or a brake pedal in Forza!

Achievements

They will carry across! I should bloody well think so too! Sadly the same can’t be said for your games…

Backwards Compatibility

Very disappointed. I know Sony has already said the PS4 won’t support BC but I had hoped Microsoft would, especially given the effort they put into supporting original XBox games when the 360 came out.  I have hundreds of games both physical and digital for the XBox and I’m not about to consign them to the bin! I guess I’m going to have to find room for yet another box under the TV.

Apparently you CAN bring across any films and music you’ve bought on 360 but as I have never bought anything, this is of little comfort. To me it is all about the games.

It also worries me that there is now a question mark hanging over my digital download games off the marketplace. How long will Microsoft support them? What if my HDD dies and I need to re-download them in a few years time? I want some re-assurances from Microsoft that they have this covered.

Always On & Second Hand Games

Info here is a bit thin on the ground. Microsoft have said that you do need an internet connection but it doesn’t need to be ‘always on’. They are also talking about a fee to install second-hand games… Doesn’t sound good but I’ll keep an open mind for now until I hear more.

DVR for Games

This looks cool, a built-in DVR facility for recording game footage. Can’t tell if it’ll give you full control or if it’s going to be limited to kicking in automatically to record key moments of your game. Hoping for the former but interesting all the same.

Games

There was a bit too much emphasis on TV for my liking though. Not really interested in Spielberg making a Halo series – it’s been a long time since he’s produced anything stellar anyway. Forza 5 footage looked genuinely amazing. The difference between COD:MW3 graphics and COD:Ghosts was also very impressive and I really do like the idea of having the dog on my team – so long as he doesn’t get shot! Quantum Break looked interesting although not amazing graphically yet. Had zero interest in any of the EA sports games so guess I’ll have to wait until E3 to find out what else is in store.

Will I get One?

This was never really in doubt, I’m a sucker for new tech and besides, Forza 5 has been confirmed as a launch game and I love this franchise. Count me in!