Mobileread
E-Reader with serial port on PCB
#1  Slople 10-14-2020, 10:08 AM
Hey there

this is my first post here

For a private hobby project, I am looking for e-readers which have an internal serial port on the PCB. I have already used Kobo minis in the past, which have one.
However, a device with Android would be much preferred. Does anyone of you know a device?
A color-e-paper-screen wouldn't hurt much either

I cannot buy dozens of e-readers and open them, just to see if there is a serial port or not

Thanks
Raphael
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#2  JSWolf 10-14-2020, 12:26 PM
do a search for teardown and the models you are interested. You may find something.
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#3  Slople 10-15-2020, 06:42 AM
Thanks for the tipp! I always searched for "brandname PCB" and did not find much, much better now with "teardown"

I have found this for my favorite model: https://the-digital-reader.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/pocketbook-color-internal.pdf

However, I don't think it has Android, or has it been hacked?
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#4  Slople 10-15-2020, 07:05 AM
The Onyx boox poke 2 color could have been feasible too, but it's sold out and I don't know about a serial port, no teardown / pcb-view found. :-(
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#5  Slople 10-20-2020, 04:10 PM
anyone any more help please? :|
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#6  Quoth 10-21-2020, 02:04 PM
Why Android? The only plus on Android is cheap tablets and the Playstore. Otherwise it's inferior for a custom application to a real Linux. Android has too many bits of Linux missing and the entire point of it is the Java LIKE apps and the Android touch GUI.
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#7  pazos 10-22-2020, 11:10 AM
Quote Quoth
Why Android? The only plus on Android is cheap tablets and the Playstore. Otherwise it's inferior for a custom application to a real Linux. Android has too many bits of Linux missing and the entire point of it is the Java LIKE apps and the Android touch GUI.

I see a lot of benefits for the OP to go with the android route:

1. There're plenty of tutorials to develop android apps.
2. Toolchains / SDKs are readily available on any major OS
3. Android has a powerful IPC via the binder, and makes communication with 3rd party apps or remote services a joy to program.
4. You can pretty much develop anywhere, using an emulator
5. Because of 3 you don't need to reinvent the wheel: want to display something nicely? you can both repurpose the browser that's available on 99'9% of android devices or wrap something fast on top of system webview.

Prototying an app on e-ink android is faster than building Qt sources for that platform (and adapting qpa plugins for IO). And Qt is pretty much the **only** thing that could make the app as powerful and easy to program as it can be with android frameworks.
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#8  Slople 10-25-2020, 04:38 PM
There is one more argument for Android:

The perfect paragliding app for Android is already there and is the de-facto standard in competition flying: https://xctrack.org

So I'm still looking for a suitable e-ink-color device
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#9  bazz2004 10-27-2020, 08:43 AM
Slopie - "So I'm still looking for a suitable e-ink-color device"

I recently bought an Ectaco language learning tablet (colour lcd) and am puzzled that the company appears to be still in business. I am always dubious when reading GoodEreader articles and reviews but you might be interested to read the bit about Ectaco's disastrous ereader colour screen adventure.

https://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-readers/top-5-most-forgotten-e-readers

Apart from some suspect reviews saying it was the greatest thing since sliced bread customers were underwhelmed and the project flopped. Whether or not the Ectaco colour reader had a serial port or not I couldn't say. Probably not.
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#10  Slople 10-28-2020, 04:56 AM
@bazz2004, I'm not sure I get what you wanted to tell me. So there is apparently a bad colour-lcd (not even e-ink) device out there?

Let me get the facts straight of what I'm looking for:

From most to least important:

1. e-ink display with perfect sunlight readability between 4" and 7"
2. Android >= 9
3. hackable serial port on the PCB
4. colour e-ink (or similar) display
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