LiveScribe Pulse Pen Borked

I'd nearly forgotten I had one of these. If you're not familiar with these amazing pens go take a look at their website: However, since I'd forgotten it for several months, it's battery has naturally drained. This wouldn't be so bad, except that it's now refusing to accept a charge. So I started some testing:

  1. While undocked it refuses to respond to input: It won't power on; pressing and holding the power button for 10+ seconds to get it to hard reset doesn't do anything; it doesn't respond to being touched to a NavPlus icon.
  2. Upon docking into the cradle it displays the LiveScribe logo, then displays "Starting..." followed by showing a screen containing a battery symbol with an exclamation mark inside, with a plug symbol and a flashing lightning symbol beside it.
  3. It will retain the above screen for between 5 and 15 minutes, I'm not exactly sure - didn't have the patience to time it, when it switches to a screen showing the following text: "Charging error"

While on the dock I can power the unit off and on, however it doesn't connect to my LiveScribe Desktop installation, so I can't verify its firmware version. I know I updated it a while ago, so I suspect that it is version 2.4.3, but I'm not sure. It may be as old as version 2.2, but not any older. I've contacted LiveScribe support, as I can't find any hint of anyone else having ever seen the "Charge error" screen, even after a good long Google search.


All good things come to an end

As time goes by, so does tech.  After over a year sitting unused on the dock, plugged into the computer, the pen now doesn't do much.  It has served its purpose, even for other members of the family as they went through college, and it's probably time to ley it to rest in the eWaste system.

It was an amazing way to take notes during lectures - when the professor gave permission of course!  I definietly reduced the amount of paper I used, as I simply wrote an annotated outline of what what being talked about.  Much faster than my previous system of trying to document everything I thought might be useful and missing the real critical parts!  I do know that if I ever have to keep track of the goings on in a meeting or lecture situation in the furute, this is the class of tech that's by far the best I've met; it is even better than a simple audio or even a video recording due to the ability to jump around the recording via my own notes!


Ok, so LiveScribe came though.  The new cradle trick didn't work. (It is interesting to note though that each cradle has a different set of voltages at the pins...)  Since that didn't work, the pen wouldn't hold a charge, they shipped me a replacement pen with a prepaid return envelope.  Nice

At least on the new cradle I could connect the pen to the computer and make sure I got al the pages off, and cleared the memory.  Turns out that there is a special submenu hidden in the Tools menu: the customer support menu.  It is only accessible by holding down the Control key (same key on both Windows and Mac,) before clicking on the Tools menu.  So I made sure to use that menu to "Reset and Erase" the smartpen before I returned it.

Over-all, the story is good.  While I've lost having the pages in my book accessible by pen, at least I have the copies on my computer.  I also now have a newer pen, of the same older model though.  This time it won't be left off the dock for a few months!

LiveScribe Responded

Looks like they'll be trying the "new cradle" trick.  I have my doubts about this actually working, as I don't think it's the cradle that has the problem.  I've kept very good care of it, and now that I've dusted it off, it looks like new.  Barring the ink on the NavPlus.  Even the cable is good: no kinks, twists, or other common cable issues.

When the new cradle comes in, I'll report the results!