Instructables

Amazon Kindle e-ink Screen Transplant from a Sony Reader

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Having purchased the $400 Amazon Kindle, while I was visiting family last Christmas my little sister accidentally stepped on the device, shattering the screen. It laid around for eight months in storage before I decided to try the impossible- a cross species transplant! Muahahahahahahaha!

*ahem*

This instructable will show you how I removed a broken screen from my Amazon Kindle and replaced it with the screen from an old Sony Reader. I make no guarantees that this method will work for you, and be aware that you'll need to destroy a $300 device to try and salvage a $400 device ($360, now).

ALSO BE AWARE- after I was finished the Kindle had some nagging button issues, so don't expect it to be perfect.

Let's get started:
 
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Step 1: Gather the Tools and Materials

1. An Amazon Kindle with a broken screen, and ONLY a broken screen. If the motherboard is cracked as well, you're pretty much screwed.

2. An e-ink Sony Reader. I used the original black one that came out a few years ago that has been collecting dust. I have no idea if the newer white model will work.

3. A Dremel rotary tool with cutting and grinding wheels suitable for use on aluminum. I just used the ones that came with the tool.

4. A tiny Philips screwdriver for dismantling. Tweezers and a magnifying glass might be helpful, too.

5. A Well-Lit Work area, Determination, Steady Hands, and a bit of Luck.
or you could call customer service and have them replace the kindle for free due to a recent lawsuit regarding very fragile screens :P
Kasm2794 years ago
That thing you thought was the keyboard power cable is an antenna, the connector is the same as the one used to connect the wifi card to the antennas in the upper half in laptops.
Wow...i'm impressed that you risked the sony reader for it! For future reference, you can probably buy a broken kindle for parts pretty cheap off ebay.
on a solid state device like the kindle 99.999999% of the time whats broken is the screen its not like a psp where the drive can magically crap out but it is totally possible!
jridley osgeld6 years ago
99.999999% isn't really possible; Amazon hasn't sold 100,000,000 Kindles yet. Personally I'd have thought the screen breaking was a good excuse to switch to the Sony reader, but I made the choice for Sony in the first place, and would have even if the prices were the same. Very interesting to see the guts of the machines though. I love product disassembly photos.
99.999999% of solid state devices like the kindle.
pffft you can use statistic to prove anything...88% of people know that - homer simpson. :)
But 67% of statistics are completely made up!
ya but only 13% percent of people know that
your assuming that you have to sell a device before you break it, and that a device cannot break more than once... neither assumption is entirely fair.
zimmemic256 years ago
can someone pls PM me and tell me where to get cheap e-ink/e-paper PDF-readers that work with a SD or CF card? i googled &searched at ebay. the cheapest thing i found was 200€ (ca. 270$). the fact is that i dont have much money cause i bought a new WII. so it would be best if i could get something for 50-100€ (ca. 70-120$). btw im in germany, so it shouldn't be from US, they want 20% taxes.
you might try www.ectaco.com and one of the jetbook readers. but shipping to europe may be problematic. it has a tft screen instead of e-ink but it still works ok now they seem to have the bugs worked out.
I did the same thing to my Kindle. After crying a little, I tried calling Amazon's customer service. I simply told them "the screen's broken". After going through the turn-it-off-and-on-again troubleshoot, they sent me a shipping label to mail the broken kindle back to them. Four days later, a brand new Kindle 1 was at my front door. Amazon has always been great with customer service, and if it takes sending you a new Kindle to keep you buying Kindle books, it's still a profit for them.
MrFairlady6 years ago
lol in the 1st pic of the cracked screen it looks like the end of an assault rifle
EXACTLY what i was thinking
lol same
Fasteners5 years ago
This is great, thanks for the 'ible.
chorpler5 years ago
I'm sure the factors that OrangeTide mentioned don't help, but the PRS-500 has a very ghost-prone display anyway. I've got one in front of me right now and every time you change the page, a very visible ghost of the previous page stays on the screen forever, until you change the display again.

I'd be interested to see what it would look like if a less ghosty display (like the one from the PRS-505) was used. Nobody's going to be sacrificing one of those any time soon, though!
Danwiz6 years ago
A couple of days ago a car ran over my wife's mobile phone and smashed the screen. Verizon is saying they cannot move the data off the phone without the screen working (the phone still works.) Any ideas on how to get around that? Thanks.
tcabeen Danwiz6 years ago
google "bitpim" From their site, you can find a list of compatible phones. I have an enV and it works marvelously with a USB cable I bought off ebay. Good luck.
The Amazon Kindle has an EVDO card??!?! Are you serious?! Only Sprint has EVDO access cards and phones, and as far as I know, it's the fastest speed available to consumers here in the USA. In other words, at least 15 times faster than the beloved iPhone 3G's internet connection speed!
OrangeTide6 years ago
The eInk controller has waveform data that is matched to the display material. Also there is a temperature compensation that is unique for every display. These two factors are going to result in significant ghosting. Nice work though!
Lego man6 years ago
Wow your sister must be heavy because my 150lb father stepped on mine... but he stepped on it really fast. i'm guessing your sister kind of stood on it.. I love my Kindle. Do you get free books from www.Feedbooks.com ?
static6 years ago
God instructable and good to know for those who own or aspire to own the Kindle. Unless I win the lotto, I would be putting the ~$400 towards a laptop. Although the Kindle would be nice to have as well. Who actually manufactures the Kindle and are direct replacement parts available? While it may not apply, did you check to see if your homeowners or renter's insurance would have covered repair or replacement of the busted Kindle?
Nesagwa static6 years ago
Amazon does. They probably would have repaired it for him for a fee since it was out of warranty and was damaged by outside forces (ie. a foot) He was also not in his home when it happened so I doubt either insurance would cover it (I doubt theyd cover it either way really.) Still, I love my Sony Reader and it makes me cringe to see both devices destroyed (in one way or the other.) :( Still an OK idea I guess.
blakebevin (author)  Nesagwa6 years ago
Hehe, yeah, I'm sure I could have sent it in to Amazon, but where's the fun in that? ;) I did like the Sony Reader, but I felt the wireless features and the Kindle store trumped it. I would love the features of the Kindle with the Sony Reader form factor. Anyhoo, thanks for reading and commenting! (And apologies if I made you wince)
depotdevoid6 years ago
"Love and sex with robots?" Are you serious? There is really a book by that name? Very nice instructable. Two thumbs up. I laughed, I cried, I stopped fiddling on the internets and went back to work.
"Love and sex with robots?" Are you serious? There is really a book by that name?

Apparently there is...
lol