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Hardware Thread, IWB Pens - What you're really holding and paying a lot of money for... in Technical; ...
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    Cue
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    IWB Pens - What you're really holding and paying a lot of money for...

    So I always heard from teachers and such at the school I once went to about having to be careful with those interactive white board pens, because they're very expensive and such (seriously, how much do people pay for these things? I see Promethean pens for £12 a piece on one site).

    Well, in reality, you'd be shocked to see what's inside them, part of a little project I'm doing involving a standard pen from the guys you all know and...love(?) includes completely taking apart one of the things, so I thought I'd share my findings with you guys, someone's bound to find it interesting. I managed to get hold of a dead pen to experiment with, whether it's still dead when I'm finished with it is left to be discovered, might actually work when I'm done, that'd be pretty nice.

    Step 1: Removing that excess plastic tail:

    Maybe that's where most of the money is, in the excess plastic that only serves as a bit of comfort and to make the pen look a lot bigger than the innards?

    And you find this...

    Not much to it, I must say...

    Step B: A bit of plastic mutilation later and you find this bit under the other side of the ring, that red button is the barrel, as an FYI. Lots of lovely pink wire coil there, no doubt it's coated in pink stuff to scare people away, or perhaps to make it not move one inch unless you unravel it (and boy do you regret it...)


    Under the tape there seemed to be some sort of brown thing, it looked suspiciously like chocolate from my point of view, unfortunately the camera wasn't very good, so it's rather blurry. It wouldn't surprise me if it was chocolate though.


    The unravelling...


    At this point, I'm starting to regret what I'd done.

    Moreso here.


    The remains of the shell:


    What was left (had to remove the barrel button to get it out of the shell, not that I need that button)


    And of course, the mess.


    I'll keep you guys posted as I work on this, I decided to take a break from untangling that horrible length of wire without breaking anything (either wire or the contact with the board, I'm not that proficient in soldering...). Hopefully I can get this into a glove, with the coil in the index finger of the glove (without cooking the finger, of course).

    But yeah, your highly expensive IWB Pens are essentially a coil of wire in a plastic shell, always nice to know isn't it?
    Last edited by Cue; 13th August 2010 at 11:32 PM.

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    Dos_Box (14th August 2010)

  3. #2

    john's Avatar
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    Interesting All I will say is that pen you've got was discontinued, unfortunately, a long time ago and doesn't seem to work with there latest boards (I have a couple here at home as I love them but don't seem to like newer boards )

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    Cue
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    Well, where I got them from is still using a fairly old board, not sure how old it is though, but if the new pens are anything like the old ones I could probably just take the little board out of this circuit and replace it with the new one.

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    The new ones are much fatter pens thus have more room for electronics and goodies inside them (and easier to hold they claimed!)

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    Cue
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    I doubt they've changed their formula much, they didn't really have much reason to, but for the hover system to work they have to use the electromagnetic technology, so it'll still have the coil either way.

    To put it another way, can you unscrew the tail end to expose the electronics?
    Last edited by Cue; 15th August 2010 at 10:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cue View Post
    I doubt they've changed their formula much, they didn't really have much reason to, but for the hover system to work they have to use the electromagnetic technology, so it'll still have the coil either way.

    To put it another way, can you unscrew the tail end to expose the electronics?
    You can take them to bits, I had problems with them falling to bits too much They are similar electronically to your photos above from the nice black pens.

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    Cue
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    Quote Originally Posted by john View Post
    You can take them to bits
    Then no pen is safe.

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    They have more technology than smartboard pens. They are just a lump of plastic and expensive for what you get.

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    The smartboard works in different way. The board has has two thins layers and when those two lays touch then it makes contact and it knows that you have touched the board at that point etc.

    Pen is just an aide to helping you use the board.

    Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by russdev View Post
    The smartboard works in different way. The board has has two thins layers and when those two lays touch then it makes contact and it knows that you have touched the board at that point etc.

    Pen is just an aide to helping you use the board.

    Russell
    The point i am getting is that there is nothing in them and they are still expensive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    The point i am getting is that there is nothing in them and they are still expensive.
    What, £12 expensive? I think that's reasonable, especially if you've had to replace a remote control for a Promethean-branded projector at £80 each....

    Now that IS a rip off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timzim View Post
    What, £12 expensive? I think that's reasonable, especially if you've had to replace a remote control for a Promethean-branded projector at £80 each....

    Now that IS a rip off.
    for a lump of pure plastic it is. each board also have 4 pens.

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    Cue
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    Quote Originally Posted by timzim View Post
    What, £12 expensive? I think that's reasonable, especially if you've had to replace a remote control for a Promethean-branded projector at £80 each....

    Now that IS a rip off.
    PDA with an IR port goes a long way these days I found. =P

    They never used to be £12, from what I hear they used to be around £30-40?

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    I got a full set the other week for £10 for all 4 and a board rubber and holder thingy, it pays to shop around the net

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    well you think £12 is expensive try the ones we needed to replace for Hitachi Cambridge boards Hitachi Cambridge Board Projection Pen (STARPROJ) - dabs.com £105 with discount



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