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PageBotTM FAQ

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions



1: Which Kindle is best for use with PageBot?

A:  If the higher cost is acceptable, we recommend the Kindle DX Graphite. The additional weight of this larger Kindle is not often an issue for applications with PageBot, since the PageBot and Kindle are not usually held by the user. The large and very high contrast display of the Kindle DX Graphite enables the reading of many PDF documents in addition to the large library of Kindle format books. Also, the larger display is especially useful for folks with visual disabilities or aging eyes. With the Kindle DX, virtually all of the books in Amazon’s massive library can be conveniently read in large print format, or even super-large print format.

However, the Kindle 2 and Kindle 3 are also excellent devices for many types of reading with PageBot, and either might be preferred in applications where cost or portability is paramount.


2: What do I need to buy for a complete reading solution?

A:  You will of course need an Amazon Kindle. PageBot for Kindle DX works with all versions of the Kindle DX and PageBot for Kindle 2 works with all versions of the Kindle 2. Origin Instruments is developing a PageBot model specifically for the Kindle 3 and it is expected to be available in June 2011.

New Amazon Kindles are sold direct from Amazon’s online store and, in the United States, are also available from major retailers like Target and Staples. Factory-refurbished Kindles are sometimes available from Amazon’s online store. Previously owned Kindles are also routinely offered on both Amazon and eBay. Prices currently range from as low as $100.00 US for a used Kindle 2 up to $379.00 US for a new Kindle DX Graphite.

In addition to a Kindle and the corresponding PageBot product, you will also need an adaptive switch that the person who is reading can conveniently actuate. Some users will prefer to use two adaptive switches, so that the Next Page and Previous Page functions can be assigned to different switches. However, most users can conveniently access both the Next Page and Previous Page functions from a single switch.

PageBot accepts adaptive switches that have 3.5 mm mono or stereo connectors, and this style of connector has become a community standard in assistive technology. Thus PageBot is directly compatible with a wide variety of adaptive switches that can service the needs, abilities, and preferences of individual users. These can range from head switches to foot switches or large buttons, and also to advanced switches like sip/puff, eye blink, or proximity. At Origin Instruments, we manufacture a very reliable Sip/Puff Switch that is often an excellent solution for motor-disabled users who can drink from a straw. We also supply button switches that can provide a convenient interface for users who have at least some control of arms, hands, or fingers.  Many, many other types of adaptive switches are available from other vendors.

The button on a USB mouse can sometimes be a very cost-effective substitute for adaptive switch. Many types of USB mouse can be plugged directly into the USB port on the PageBot, and then the left and/or right mouse buttons can be used for paging. Several types of wireless USB mouse also work with PageBot, and these are sometimes excellent options when a remote switch is needed.

Every PageBot comes with an adjustable and highly adaptable mounting arm. This arm can be used as a stable prop for PageBot when in desktop use, or it can be used to clamp PageBot to a shelf, table top, or mounting rail. However, you may need to acquire additional stands or structures for mounting, depending on positioning requirements for the individual user. Our friends at Daedelus Technologies offer a variety of very rugged mounts, including rolling mounts and wheelchair mounts, that you might want to consider.

Finally, PageBot needs to be powered. PageBot is designed to operate from the recharge power adapter that is delivered with your Kindle. This adapter is also available separately from Amazon for about $20.00 if you need an extra one. Alternately, if you need to read on-the-go, or just far from a wall outlet, you can use a USB battery pack to power the PageBot. We often recommend the Tekkeon Model MP1550 battery pack and rechargeable NiMH batteries as a compact and cost effective power solution for portable reading.


3: Do you have a PageBot for the Kindle 1 or the Barnes & Noble Nook?

A:  No. At this time, only Amazon Kindle DX and Amazon Kindle 2 are supported. Support for Amazon Kindle 3 is expected for June 2011.


4: What is PageBot’s Keep Awake feature and how do I enable it?

A:  Since the Kindle power switch is inaccessible to many people with motor disabilities and since the Kindle often has very low power consumption even when left on, PageBot implements a special mode that can keep the Kindle from going to sleep after a period of non-use. This Keep Awake mode is enabled by default from the factory and it automatically performs a Next Page command followed immediately by a Previous Page command after a little less than nine minutes of non-use. This is rapid enough to keep the Kindle awake for all Kindle versions, and without losing your place in the book. The key disadvantage of the Keep Alive mode is that it makes a small amount of noise as the PageBot levers are actuated. You can disable the Keep Awake mode by setting switch 3 on the PageBot DIP Switch to OFF.

5:  How do I change the time I must hold the button in single switch mode for a previous page command?

A:  This period is controlled by switches 1 and 2 of the PageBot DIP Switch.

Switch 1

Switch 2

Operation

ON

ON

Two switch mode – one switch for Next Page, one switch for Previous Page

OFF

ON

Single switch mode – brief tap for Next Page,  hold 1.0 second for Previous Page

ON

OFF

Single switch mode – brief tap for Next Page,  hold 1.4 seconds for Previous Page

OFF

OFF

Single switch mode – brief tap for Next Page,  hold 2.0 seconds for Previous Page

6:  How do I connect a dual switch with a stereo cable?

A:  Plug it into either the NEXT or PREV jacks. Both connectors are stereo and can handle a dual switch. You change the sense of a dual switch by moving the cable between the NEXT and PREV jacks. For example, if you have the Origin Instruments Sip/Puff Switch connected to the NEXT jack and a Sip does a Next Page command and you would prefer to Puff then unplug the connector and plug it into the PREV jack. Now Sip will do a previous page and Puff will do a next page.

7:  How do I adjust the mount to make it a table top stand?

A :  It is very difficult to describe the many ways this universal clamp can be adjusted as a prop for PageBot. However, you can’t damage the clamp by unscrewing and manipulating it to any conceivable orientation. Look at the photographs on our web page and then loosen the pieces and have fun.

8:  How do I adjust the mount for attaching it to a table edge?

A:  See the answer about using the clamp for a table top stand. However, all you need to do is loosen the screw and slip the clamp over the table edge and tighten until it is held in place. Since the PageBot and Kindle are not very heavy there is no need for tightening the clamp more than a snug hand tight.

9:  How can I read outside using the Kindle charger?

A:  Of course you can use an extension cord, or better yet purchase one of our recommended USB battery packs and operate without the need of an AC Mains connection.

10:  How long will PageBot work on a battery pack?

A:  It depends on the selected battery pack and how often you turn pages. Of course the more capacity the pack has the longer it will last. You can refer to some of our recommended USB battery packs for estimated run times and usage scenarios.

11:  How do I know which USB battery packs will last longer?

A:  Most battery packs are rated in ampere-hours, or milliampere-hours and the rate at which current is pulled from the battery. In general, the more ampere-hours a battery can deliver the better for long run times. However, with longer run times comes larger and heavier batteries. Like most decisions, it is a tradeoff. In this case, you are trading off run time, size and weight, and cost.

12:  What is the difference between the PageBot for Kindle 2, Kindle 3 and Kindle DX?

A:  They are identical in operation and function. Primarily the differences are related to the different package sizes of each Kindle and locations and style of the Next and Previous Page buttons.

13:  What kind of adaptive switch is required for PageBot?

A:  Origin Instruments has a number of available switches. On our web page we have links to other manufacturers of adaptive switches. There are many companies that make a variety adaptive switches.

14:  Can I use any switch or is there something special about your adaptive switches?

A:  The referenced adaptive switches are certainly very reliable and are generally designed for the rough duty; however, any switch can be used. All you need is a normally open (NO) switch that closes, or shorts the two contacts on actuation.

15:  For the more technical users can you tell us more about the adaptive switch requirements?

A:  The PageBot has an internal computer that monitors the switch jacks and drives the button actuators. The adaptive switch events are commands to PageBot to turn the pages. The button actuators are not driven directly by the current flowing through the adaptive switches. Therefore an adaptive switch only needs to conduct a few milliamps. PageBot also “de-bounces” the adaptive switches to prevent multiple page turn events from the actuation of an electrically “noisy” switch.

16:  Can I read my Kindle horizontally with PageBot?

A:  Yes, the only caveat is, do not mount it such that the button actuators touch anything. The actuators have been optimized to minimize power consumption and only have sufficient force to drive the Kindle buttons. They will not be damaged if something prevents them from moving, but any interference will likely prevent them from actuating the Kindle buttons.

17:  Can PageBot be damaged if the button actuators are blocked?

A:  No.

18:  Is PageBot water proof?

A:  No. PageBot is an electronic device and it is not water proof or water resistant. Most of it’s metal pieces are corrosion resistant, but if left in a wet environment it will corrode and the electronics will degrade. It can be used outdoors, but is should not be left outside or allowed to get wet. PageBot should be treated like any other piece of personal consumer electronics.

19:  Why does PageBot not always properly actuate the Kindle’s Next and Previous page buttons?

A:  It’s likely that your Kindle is not properly positioned in PageBot. Reposition the Kindle such that it is firmly against the bracket pads under the button actuators and the slide clip is fully engaged and finger tight. It is important that Kindle is held firmly in the proper position.

20:  How do I clean PageBot?

A:  It can be cleaned with any mild household cleaning agent or a damp cloth using soap and water. However, do not immerse PageBot or soak any of its components. PageBot should be treated like any other piece of personal consumer electronics.

21:  Can I access Kindle’s multi-selector button?

A:  Other parts of Kindle cannot be cost effectively accessed with the mechanical method we are using for the Next and Previous buttons. PageBot allows a person to read a book opened by an assistant with only an adaptive switch. More complete access to Kindle awaits better electronic access by Amazon to the hardware. However, software versions of the Kindle reader running on Windows or Macintosh computers with their complete access may be a better option.

22:  Which version of PageBot should I get if I have limited vision?

A:  There are several considerations to this question depending on your specific circumstances. Kindle has the capability to enlarge the text size. Since Kindle DX has a larger screen it can display the largest text. Therefore, you should consider purchasing the larger Kindle DX and PageBot for Kindle DX.

23:  What if the Kindle DX text is still too small for my limited vision?

A:  You should consider using the Kindle software running on a Windows or Macintosh PC. Since a typical PC has a larger screen it can display larger and more text than the smaller Kindles.

24:  Why should I use PageBot instead of Kindle software running on a PC?

A:  PageBot is for those that do not have an adequate computer and access method, or who prefer to read without the complexity of a PC. Finally, reading outdoors in bright sunlight or in remote locations (limited AC Mains power) is more difficult with a PC.

25:  Can I use Kindle’s text-to-speech capability with PageBot?

A:  The Kindles have a built-in text-to-speech capability that can augment your ability to recognize text while reading. When enabled by the copyright holder, the text-to-speech capability will automatically page forward through the book as it reads. PageBot will not interfere with, nor provide access to enable or disable text-to-speech.

26:  Will PageBot reduce Kindle runtime?

A:  If the PageBot’s keep awake function is enabled and Kindle is left unattended PageBot will keep the Kindle awake until its battery is discharged. In this scenario, PageBot will discharge Kindle at the same rate as being read at a rate of one page every ten minutes. However, when PageBot is being used to read the Kindle it will have no additional effect on battery life.

27:  Can I use my PageBot while charging my Kindle?

A:  Yes, but it will require an additional Kindle recharger, other USB power supply, or USB battery pack.

 

How to Purchase

PageBot and adaptive swtches are available today from our PageBot Store

Amazon Kindle and useful accessories are available from our Amazon aStore

Amazon Kindle

Amazon's Kindle is the leading ereader for electronic books. Kindle is available in several versions.

Complete information at Amazon.com

Affiliations

Assistive Technology Industry Association


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Origin Instruments Corporation
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Email: support@orin.com
Voice: 972-606-8740
FAX: 972-606-8741

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