How to make a simple pen leash for the Ugee P50S tablet pen

How to make a ‘pen leash’ for the Ugee P50S tablet pen:

After my recent problems with damaged pens for the Ugee 1910b tablet monitor, I purchased a new pen. It solved all the problems I’d had with the old pens, and so I wanted to ensure the new pen could not fall on the floor and be damaged. To do this I made a simple but effective “pen leash” or “pen necklace”. Here’s how to do the same.

1. Take the long cap from the top of the popular Crayola Mini-Marker. These are widely and very cheaply available for kids in budget stationary shops and large supermarkets, and you can probably also get them via eBay. Its cap has a perfect snug grip on the top of a Ugee P50S. Snug and firm, but easy to remove.

2. No need to drill holes in the cap for a chain. Find an old long bootlace, of the Doctor Martens or hiking boot type, with the usual crimped tubular plastic-covered lace-ends. These small lace-ends can be jammed very snugly and firmly into the ventilation slots in the top of the Crayola pen cap.

3. The cap fits and grips firmly onto the end of the Ugee P50S. But not so firmly you’ll never get it off again to charge the pen (the USB cable’s charging hole connector is at the top of the pen).

IMPORTANT: To detach the cap once it’s on firmly, hold the top bit of the pen marked “Ugee”, then gently pull the cap off. Do not hold the main pen body while doing this, because the detachable top part of the pen can itself be pulled off in this way.

4. You now have a simple ‘pen leash’ which you can hang around your neck, and which will prevent your pen from being dropped. Dropped either through fumbling, or being put down and then rolling or being brushed off the desk.

The balance of the pen in the hand is only minimally affected, due to the lightness of the cap and lace. The softness of the lace means that it won’t cause wear-damage on your tablet or cause an annoying rattling noise like a metal chain would. If, after a while, the lace becomes grubby then it can be easily replaced.

Since the pens come in a pack of multiple colours, as do boot laces, you can have various colour combinations to suit your taste.

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Novel uses for old drawing technology – use it to repair your Babyliss men’s shaver

I wasn’t quite sure which of my blogs to put this post on, but since it involves a novel use for a steel pen-nib it may as well go here. About two years ago I visited the excellent Birmingham Pen Museum (Birmingham, England) and came away with a couple of free vintage steel pen-nibs which they press out by the hundreds. Being a digital kind of guy, the nibs went into the “might be useful one day” drawer in the kitchen. Today was the day a nib came in handy — to repair a ‘dead’ shaving tool.

nibs

About four years ago I had purchased a Babyliss Cordless Rechargeable 8 In 1 shaver and trimmer set, on a half-price offer. It’s been great value and does what it claims — provided that the battery is well charged. But there comes a time comes when that rechargeable battery gets very weak over a period of about 18 months. Then it eventually will no longer take any charge. That time arrived this week.

baymen

It’s a well-sealed unit so I thought I was going to have the buy a new one. But then I looked at the back of the unit and saw some tiny deep screw-holes. I discovered that the battery can be replaced, unofficially, at least if you have the version that’s pictured above. Here’s how I did it:

1. Take a long thin cross-head screwdriver, of the sort used for fine work on PCs. Gently unloose the three screws at the back of the shaver. You may not even need to get them all the way out, in order to take off the back cover.

2. Inside is a sealed twin battery pack, of two makers’ own AAA cells. Your aim is to get that pack loose while leaving enough of its two metal connector tabs remaining connected to the board. It’s not that tricky to do, it just needs precise fingers, patience and some gentle wiggling and bending of the battery pack.

3. Then get two good AAA batteries, and connect them against the remains of those metal connector tabs, using the same fit and polarity. Obviously you can’t solder the tabs back onto the battery ends, but get the battery ends connecting by pressing against the metal tabs. Then wedge the batteries into their best possible connection with a couple of blobs of Blutack either side. You may find it easier to first strap the batteries together with a bit of tape.

4. Now the tricky part. You need to slot in another metal connector across the top of those batteries, to make the electrical circuit. For this I used an old-fashioned pure steel ink pen-nib, of the sort you can get in a little packet from any art supply shop. It was perfect in bend, size and fit. Some other pure steel or metal strip might also work. Metal conducting tape, perhaps? Or perhaps some bit of wire from an old cable you no longer need, divested of its plastic sheath.

5. Turn on the motor and ensure it works (did you fit the +/- ends of the batteries correctly?). Then carefully re-seal the case and ensure the motor keeps running all the same time. Case sealed? Give it a little shake, and see if the motor stops running. If it does, you need to try fitting and packing again. If the motor is still running, you’re good to go. I was pleased to see that the previous problems with getting the shaver heads moving were gone, now that I once again had powerful batteries running the show. It might even be possible to fit two AAA rechargables and have them charge up like the maker’s own batteries used to? But that’s just a guess.

I hope this may be useful to others in the same situation. Incidentally, a squirt of WD40 inside the cutter heads every six months can keep the heads moving freely.