Hexiwear: damaged OLED while using the docking station

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My initial enthusiasm regarding the Hexiwear suddenly died today, as I managed to break the OLED display while I was trying to insert the Hexiwear into the docking station. One corner of the OLED display is now gone, and obviously the display is dead.

My damaged Hexiwear, with broken OLED screen

My damaged Hexiwear, with broken OLED screen

By reading the comments on the Hexiwear forum it looks I’m not the only one experiencing this issue. But the big question is why did this happen? Especially as I’m the kind of person that doesn’t break things…

Let’s take a look on the insides of the Hexiwear. Inside the hexagonal enclosure we will find a “sandwich” with OLED on one side, the battery in the middle and the main board on the opposite side. Double sided adhesive tape holds everything together. The PCB for the capacitive sensing buttons is held in position only by its connector, as shown in the pictures below (with the battery removed).

The problem is that everything inside the case is loose. There’s nothing to hold the main board into place while we press the Hexiwear onto the docking station connector. As such, part of the pressure exerted to insert the Hexiwear into the connector on the docking station is transferred to the OLED display, pushing it against the front cover. Unfortunately the OLED display was never designed to withstand those forces, and breaks easily. There’s nothing to do about this.

I broke mine. What to do?

So, if you manage to break your Hexiwear – welcome to the club! All you can do now is to replace the OLED display. The part number for the OLED display is PSP27801, manufactured by Shenzen Boxing World Technology Co.Ltd. I wasn’t able to find it on any of my current suppliers, so if you manage to get one please tell me where you got it from!

Mine’s not broken yet!

Then keep it that way! There’s a short video from MikroElektronika explaining how to correctly insert the Hexiwear into the docking station (I’ve also embedded it into this blog post). It’s only 90 seconds, so please watch it.

What’s next?

I don’t know what to do next. I’m tempted to throw it into the garbage bin, even if the rest of it still works (but without display). I’m not so inclined to buy a new Hexiwear either. As such, my Hexiwear adventure stops here…

UPDATE!!!

It looks that I took a wrong approach when I’ve inserted the Hexiwear into the docking station. As pointed out in the comment by Srdjan Misic, there’s a right way and a wrong way to insert it into the docking – and I took the wrong way. The video below explains the two possibilities:

In the mean time I’ve ordered another Hexiwear, and I will be more careful working with the new one.

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4 Comments

  1. Hi Teodor,
    Thanks for pointing this out. I’m sorry to hear you broke your Hexiwear. Our support team will be in touch with you to figure out a solution to resurrect your enthusiasm back from the dead

    We shipped 500+ Hexiwears so far. We got less than 10 cases – as far as I am aware of – of damaged units, some from transport, some from cases similar to yours.

    Today, we spent some time trying to replicate the scenario that caused your Hexiwear to break. We tried several ways of connecting Hexiwear to the Docking Station. And while we can’t cover all possibilities and use cases, we figured out the two most important ones:

    a) How to connect your Hexiwear to the Docking Station to eliminate the possibility of breaking it
    b) How to try connecting your Hexiwear to almost certainly damage it.

    Here’s a 90 second MUST WATCH video covering both a and b, to ensure that you keep your Hexiwear in one piece while using it with the Docking Station:

    https://vimeo.com/174541105

    If anyone had experiences similar to Teodor’s, please contact our support team at helpdesk.mikroe.com

    P.S. Keep up the great work with the blog!

    • Hi!

      You know that old saying “User error! Replace user and try again!” It looks that I did exactly as described on method b) in your video. I remember the front bezel popping out when I tried to insert in into the docking connection, and I think I did push harder on it. My mistake…

      In the mean time I ordered another Hexiwear, and I will be more careful with that.

    • Teodor Costachioiu on

      Hi Jonathan

      That video was embedded from the Hexiwear forum. It seems the source is no longer available, and unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of it.
      If it’s urgent, you can try to contact https://helpdesk.mikroe.com/, maybe they have a copy of it. I will also try to leave a message on the Hexiwear forum, maybe someone can help.

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