« Past Projects: Computer Vision with OpenCV | Main | Hacking the Amazon Kindle DX, Part 2: Qt and Sudoku »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Yes it would but the e-ink makes a big difference. The combo I'm thinking of would give back the joy of reading (and doing something) to those who can not even turn a book page without help. It would be relatively easy to do on tablet/pc but reading on lcd is rubbish. And also such a hack/mod for Kindle would turn a lot of attention to BCI tech, to locked-in patients, and of course to the creators of the mod.


@Neurogadget: Why not use an iPad and the Kindle app for iPad? Wouldn't the XWave work directly with that?


Hi Darron, thanks for the answer. Unfortunately I'm not a technical person, so what I understand is that the hacked-in bluetooth can not do the job. However it would be great to find a way to connect a neuro-headset to an ebook reader, that could potentially cheer up the everyday life of tens of thousands of paralysed people or patients who suffer from locked-in syndrome. Do you think it's possible somehow? Know anyone who could do the trick? The neuro-headset has an SDK, the Kindle has a KDK, so why would it be impossible? :)


@Neurogadget: Very likely not as described. The bluetooth module is acting in a serial port mode... probably not compatible with the headsets. However, you could use a small microcontroller with an ADC to simulate the microphone port the one set usually uses. I'd do some kind of passthrough to allow a replaced console to pass through the microcontroller, else you'd lose the console and have to find some other way to interact with the unit.


sorry, Darron of course


Hi Darren,
Is it possible, at least in theory, to connect an external hardware device to a Kindle ebook reader and control via this device? The device I'm thinking of would be a mobile brain-computer interface such as a MindWave or a PLX Xwave (http://bit.ly/nbo9aV).



@Kuba Radzikowski: I don't have the bluetooth module currently to check... but looking at the schematic on Sparkfun's web site, it looks clear that I changed where one end of R4 connects to. Change the connection on R4 which is currently tied to VCC to go to 3.3V instead. You'd also need to do this with R8 if you use RTS, which I didn't.

Kuba Radzikowski

Hi, how did you modify the Bluetooth Mate to pull TX up to the regulated 3.3V rail instead of the 4V input?


@Zachary Rubin: Nothing usable. I now just use a TouchPad for viewing schematics and datasheets while soldering... which was my entire point for having a Kindle. My wife used the Kindle for a bit, but now she's using an iPad.

Zachary Rubin

Hey awesome hack - nice job!
I also up a DX for mostly datasheet / reference book usage but the lack of pdf ToC support does make it nearly useless for this... were you ever able to get a better pdf reader running under qt?

Rob Hamersma

Great project!

I'm currently trying to design a remote pushbutton/microcontroller interface for the Kindle DX (graphite) for my dad who is a quadriplegic. DO you know if it would it be possible to send simple commands to the serial port to navigate the Kindle? I'm just looking for next/previous page commands for now. Thanks!

Account Deleted

It is my first time see your post, it's a very nice introdcution, I learnt much from your essay. and I think that some components can be find on http://www.seekic.com and http://www.chinaicmart.com


Successfully built bluetooth module into Kindle Global Wireless (Kindle2). Thanks for your great work and sharing information. http://hondamarlboro.blog112.fc2.com/blog-entry-48.html


How small are the contacts? You could try some plastic mount with Pogo Pins. You can get anything made in plastic these days using rapid prototyping (Redeye RPM, etc)... if you actually need anything more complex than a little plastic rectangle with holes drilled in it.

There's also a chance the Linux Input API would let you push keystrokes in to the system, but I'm not sure if the Kindle framework would use it.

Mark Felling

I am disabled and provide adaptations for disabled individuals who have limited or no use of their hands and arms. I have had quite a few requests from individuals who would like to have the Kindle on one of our mounts on their bed or wheelchair, but have no way to push the buttons that move the page forward or back. I dissected a Kindle 2 but the contact points for the buttons are too small to solder to for external SPST switch connections. Does anyone know if there would be a way to use this Bluetooth connection or any other method to tell the Kindle to move forward or back a page?


Hi darron,
you can check the actual current via console:
gasgauge-info -l
with and without BT and unplugged usb (loading current)


The current usage is not measured (my Fluke meter's current mode fuse is blown at the moment), it's from the RN-41 datasheet. Standby/idle usage is 25ma, connected (low power sniff) is 8ma. The Bluetooth Mate board probably uses a little bit more (regulator, etc)

Reducing the scanning interval like Bernhard said would help, but it's not in master mode.

Account Deleted

Your module must be working in SPP devA and is inquiring all the time. A SPP devB (slave) should be able to reduce the current to several mA by just waiting for connection.


Looking here: http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Kindle-2/624/1 You can see that the Kindle 2 still has the same 4 big pads for the serial port under the gray bezel. So, it's doable. The problem is making room for the Bluetooth module somewhere. There -may- be room for it in pretty much the same place I put it on the DX, if you cut out some of the white plastic.

A Facebook User

any way we can do this with the regular kindle 2?


I found some additional info:
S2 is a mini pci-e slot, pinout at http://www.allpinouts.org/index.php/PCI_Express_Card_and_PCI_Express_Mini_Card (with USB! and simcard pins).
There are a lot of WIFI cards for mini pci-e out there (notebooks) - so it's just to handle the driver and settings (and the antenna! :(
Good pictures of open DX can be found here:


@darron: sorry - no the J3 is just for simcard, but when you read the specs of the UMTS modul it say's it has a USB 2.0, so there should be USB pins on J2.
I think the simcard pins are connected to J2 too. So if the module doesn't support a sim they might be used for nothing.
But I would be pretty happy if I could exchange the sim to a local provider with cheap internet package and browse all the internet on my international DX.
At the moment only amazon and wikipedia is allowed.


@kindx: So, the simcard socket is the USB2 connection? There are pads on the US DX for a sim card, but I wasn't brave enough to do too much with it. I saw the SD card pads, even soldered on a connector I happened to have lying around... before I noticed all I/O pins on it are shorted. There are probably resistors pulling them all to some common point to avoid floating some microcontroller inputs, since it's unpopulated. I never removed the top of the box shield, so I didn't explore much further.


Congratulations, great work!
The international version of kindle dx has a anydata DTP-600W module (J2) for UMTS/GPRS/EGPRS and a simcard in a socket beside (J3).
There is a USB2 on it - so there should be a WIFI solution too!
Did you mention the empty P1 connector, I'm pretty sure it's for SD-card.


Okay, thanks! I may try the scanning interval change. I saw that, but I didn't want any problems making a connection if I got it wrong. The power usage is high enough to be worth figuring it out, though. The blink interval is new to me, so that's cool. I'll do that. I thought about removing the power led, but it's really the disconnected state that is active 99% of the time.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)