26023 - LIVESCRIBE 3 - Testing the smartpen optics / force sensing relay (FSR)

How do I know if the infrared light in my Livescribe 3 smartpen is working?

This test is only for Livescribe 3 smartpens that do not respond to the control buttons on the Livescribe notebook paper ("Device Pairing", "record", "pause", "stop", etc.).

To test your smartpen and make sure it is recording your ink strokes: 

  1. If connected, unplug the smartpen from the USB cable.
  2. Turn on the pen by twisting the power ring (if not already on).
  3. After the LED turns on, wait 5 seconds.
  4. Turn your smartpen upside down with the tip facing you.
  5. Press down on the pen tip ink cartridge with your finger.  Each time you press on the tip, the force sensing relay (FSR) should activate a dim red light which will appear on one side of the smartpen's lens (the light is very faint - you may need to test the smartpen in a darker environment to see the red light).  If the light turns on and off when the tip is pressed and released then there is not an issue with the smartpen FSR.

If you don't see the red light or the light is on and will not turn off: 

  1. Remove the ink cartridge and inspect it.  If the cartridge appears bent, replace it with another cartridge.  If there is anything on the cartridge, clean it off and place it back in the smartpen.  NOTE:  If you have wrapped tape around any part of your ink cartridge to reduce the movement or sound of the cartridge while using it, this can cause the Force Sensing Relay to get stuck in the "on" position.  Remove the tape and ANY residue from the ink cartridge to allow normal movement of the cartridge and prevent problems with the FSR.
  2. Try the light test again.
  3. If the light does not come on, turn the pen off by twisting the center power ring.
  4. Look at the LED on the smartpen clip.  If the LED is still on no matter what position the power ring is in then this may be a firmware issue.  
  5. Take the capacitive tip off of the top of the pen.  
  6. Next to the USB connector is a small hole containing a button that can be used to hard reset the smartpen (this will not affect data already stored on the pen).  
  7. Using a pin or the end of a staple, push on the recessed button and release.   The pen should make a single beep.  
  8. Try turning off the pen and the LED should turn off as well.  If it does then turn the pen on again and try the light test once more.  

If after several attempts you don't see the light, or the light stays on even after you stop pressing on the pen tip but you have already hard reset the pen, then there is a problem with the smartpen optics/FSR and you will need to let us know.

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