Dell venue 8 pro Active Stylus FIX! ( for me at least )

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Dryden, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Dryden

    Dryden Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hello fellow Dell Venue owners

    My first post on this forum. :)

    My stylus arrived well before the tablet, once i had a chance to test it i found there was a lot of hover click and registering before the pen even touched the surface.

    I decided to take the pen apart and see how it works !.

    What i noticed was that the pen is put together very bad and the pressure sensor wobbles around a lot. ( its not sitting tight in its notch )

    [​IMG]

    Basically that metal thing near the front with the spring pushes on to a black pressure sensor, the black pressure sensor is seated on to the metal shielding casing. it shakes around a lot since the casing is loose so picks up random pressure changes == Clicks and hover clicks

    [​IMG]

    What i did to fix the problem is remove the silly tape that is currently holding the shielding and tape it up properly so it doesn't move. i also placed a backing behind the sensor to support it further ( Layers of electrical tape )

    I also used a pair of pliers and tightened the metal Nib holder. Now the Stylus Nib is stuck in nice and tight and will never pop out unless i really pull on it.

    So now my stylus works pretty much perfectly. the tails on handwriting when lifting the pen has pretty much disappeared and there are no more hover clicks for me.

    I am not sure if this will work for everyone. but it explains why some stylus works better than other (Quality Control Problems). also i am sure firmware updates could also fix this problem as the software could learn to ignore erratic small pressure changes.

    UPDATE: How to take the pen apart

    1 Unscrew the battery holder barrel
    2 Remove NIB
    3 Using your nail or something thin (Soft) pry the Button rocker switch off, It has a clip in its center that comes off easily.
    4 You can now separate the inner casing from the outer plastic, It just pulls apart. Hold the screw part in one hand and pull on the casing with the other hand (It should come apart, but may need some force)
    5 with the inner case removed you can separate the 2 halves of the shielding ( the parts that hold PCB in place) by peeling the Small metal tape.

    Your pen should now look like the image above.

    Inspect whats different about yours and if that vertical PCB with the sensor is loose. You can also go ahead and tighten the NIB holder.
    What i recommend when putting it back together is to discard that small metal tape and use Sellotape and wrap the whole thing. Not too much or the case wont slide over properly, just enough for it to be snug and to hold the PCB in place more securely.

    Update for you guys,
    A friend of mine's stylus was showing similar bad performance, I did the fixes on his and it improved somewhat.
    What i also did was;
    Extend the spring on the Nib Holder so more pressure is applied to the sensor, This completely eliminated all tails on writing when lifting the pen up. It now works better than mine.
    When the pen is lifted up the spring now releases pressure on the sensor much quicker so tails are not noticeable.

    TO DO THIS
    Basically i removed the center nib holder so the spring was on it own by just sliding it out.
    I then got 2 pairs of tweezers and stretched the spring. You have to pull it apart quite a bit for it to be longer when you let go. You have to pull it towards the sensor as the spring starts at the bottom.
    Then just put the Nib holder back and you should see it pushes harder against the sensor.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
    leaftye, be77solo, dceggert and 11 others like this.
  2. leaftye

    leaftye Old timer Super Moderator

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    Where is the tape you're talking about? If you would, please annotate the image. I'm planning to buy this stylus tomorrow if the Microsoft Store in town still has one left...unlikely since they sold so many Venue 8's yesterday.
     
  3. Dryden

    Dryden Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Sorry the images are not very helpful as i didn't think i would post them.

    The tape that is originally holding the casing (once removed from pen housing) is the small Orange thing in the first image. If you look to the right of the pen, you will see the other half of the casing. it is the orange looking small tape. they use a very small piece to hold it together.
     
    tonyz3 likes this.
  4. Dryden

    Dryden Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I have annotated the Images and provided a little more info to better understand the workings of the PEN, hope you find it usefull
     
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  5. tonyz3

    tonyz3 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Dryden is it poss to make some notes on the picture with maybe a more detailed directions on how to take the pen apart and your fix.....if you have the time.
     
  6. Dryden

    Dryden Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hey
    I have updated the post with both
    good luck if you try.
     
  7. Modred189

    Modred189 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Holy crap, Dryden. Nice.
     
  8. leaftye

    leaftye Old timer Super Moderator

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    Thanks Dryden. The annotations help a lot. Btw, welcome to the forum!
     
  9. Alchemist

    Alchemist Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Hopefully the delay in shipping on the pens is due to Dell having identified the problem and changing their manufacturing process. This looks a lot like its QC and assembly issues and not the underlying technology. I bet synaptics isn't to happy that their first pen interface release is getting a bad wrap.
     
  10. portmaster1000

    portmaster1000 Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I just contacted Dell and they said they would ship all their current stylus stock to Dryden for his retrofit. :D
     
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  11. leaftye

    leaftye Old timer Super Moderator

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    It's a good thing Dryden figured out how to give it a good wrap. :D
     
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  12. Dryden

    Dryden Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for the kind words guys

    If anyone does manage to try the same thing i would be very interested to know the results. As for now i am not even sure if it was the result of my tinkering or coincidence it started working properly.
     
    leaftye likes this.
  13. leaftye

    leaftye Old timer Super Moderator

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    Unfortunately I won't be able to confirm if it works any time soon since my MS Store is out of pens too. Now I'll be kicking myself for weeks for passing on the opportunity to buy it yesterday. Hopefully someone else can confirm if it works soon.
     
  14. be77solo

    be77solo Scribbler - Standard Member

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    As mentioned above, thanks for the post and pics! Love fixes like this! Now, if only I could find a stylus to actually purchase ha, seems it will be 2014 before we have any available :)
     
  15. nyb72

    nyb72 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    that's a great writeup! My pen works okay (no hover clicking), but I may try this anyway to see if it improves the curling.
     
  16. fretman

    fretman Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Don't see a mention of battery life so guessing you didn't have that issue of stylus battery dying within a few days?
     
  17. tonyz3

    tonyz3 Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Just one more question. I shut my tablet down when i am not using it (so my pen battery doesnt drain fast- still on original battery) but others who leave it on mention the battery drains on the pen fast quickly. Do you experience this before and after the FIX....
     
  18. wmaitner

    wmaitner Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I wonder if you added a small plastic disk to seperate the battery from the pen when you're not using it would help the battery. Or if someone is really brave, figure out how to add a physical on/off switch to the pen.
     
  19. Dryden

    Dryden Pen Pal - Newbie

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    I decided to take my pen apart the day i received my tablet so i don't know about the battery drain before. But it has been a little over a week of usage and my battery is still OK. I have a feeling the battery drain is side affects of hover clicks aka random pressure changes being detected by the sensor.

    From my experience i find the pen goes to sleep after a certain amount of time no pressure or button presses has been detected. I noticed this since i have to tap the screen with the pen to start it up when i haven't used it for a few hours. This is what probably starts the magnetic field to be generated.

    For the pens that are constantly clicking the pen cannot go to sleep and so you have a constant field being generated draining the battery.

    These are just my thoughts, i could very well be talking rubbish :p
     
    Mesosphere likes this.
  20. dceggert

    dceggert Moving 'up' from iPAQ Senior Member

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    This sounds perfectly reasonable to me.
     
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