Brand new Focus 40 blue tried to bathe in mug of water, help, help!

Braille on Apple Products

Dear Braille users:
this past Thursday, thanks to one of our state's adaptive technology access programs, I became the proud owner of a Focus 40 Blue braille display. Last night, as I was working with it and my iPhone, the display slid from my lap, right into a mug of water I had near my foot. Only a small part of it got wet, not even up to the dot 8 key, but that seems to have been more than enough to make it stop working altogether. I dried it as best I could, then turned it upside down overnight. It had just reported a low battery before it slipped, so tonight, I plugged it in, using the charger. I've tried turning the display on several times. I tried putting it into diagnostic mode. Of course, I've tried making sure the charger is propperly connected, and nothing has brought it back to life.
I'm all too aware of how this mess could have been prevented. I always have icewater near at hand, but the computer is on the opposite side of my chair. The idea of the braille display being narrow enough to fall into that mug never occurred to me, but I've learned my lesson.
Can any of you offer any suggestions or ideas as to how I can bring this display back from the dead? I'm feeling sick as I try to imagine how much sending it in for repair would cost. Is there any chance it might start to work on its own, if I were to leave it upside down for another day or so perhaps? Or should I face the fact that my new toy is going to have to go back for the kind of CPR only Freedom Scientiffic can give it? I'll try anything, short of voiding the warranty. I'm praying for a miracle here!



Submitted by Jessica Brown on Monday, November 10, 2014

Hi. I would say if the battery is removable, take it out over night. Also wrap the whole display up in about 4 or more layers of paper towel and leave it like that over night so the paper can soake up the water from inside the display. Also, if the battery is able to come out, put that in its own separate paper towel. If you can't take out the battery, just wrap the display in paper towel anyhow and leave it upsidedown overnight. Good luck.

Submitted by Paul on Monday, November 10, 2014

If the braille display didn't short circuit when it first took a dive (I'm assuming it was powered at the time), it probably short circuited when you attempted to charge it the following night.

Many electronic devices can survive exposure to fresh water, but as far as I know, that isn't true of electronics that have power going through them when they get wet.

I would strongly suggest getting a water bottle if you can't keep your water on a table instead of at your feet or if you're particularly accident prone when it comes to water and electronic devices.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Monday, November 10, 2014

If you have a blow dryer on hand, I would try this as a drying option. Caution! Use only the cool air setting. Also, remove the battery and leave the compartment open. I would do at least one hour for the unit and the battery.

Remember, since this is a new unit, perhaps the warrantee may cover any damage, should this become necessary.


Submitted by Siobhan on Monday, November 10, 2014

Hi. Ouch, that has to hurt so much, you watching it fall in like that. Hope you can get it to work. My first gen one has a few dots stuck, not bad enough to send in, but I'm rubbish at cleaning them to get them back up. Tried isopropal alcohol didn't seem to work, os if anyone has any advice tips let me know would love to start using it again.

Submitted by Roxann Pollard on Monday, November 10, 2014

I forgot to mention that packing it into rice just might fix the problem. Make sure the entire unit and battery are really covered with the rice. Leave overnight. Don't worry, the rice should just shake right off.

Submitted by DPinWI on Monday, November 10, 2014

It may be an obvious suggestion, but have you called Freedom Scientific? It is quite possible they have seen this before, and have a solution

Unfortunately, most warranties don't cover accidental damage of any kind. Some manufacturers even go so far as to make it possible to tell that water has entered the device to stop people making a warranty claim for a fault caused by water damage. In any case, if this product is a Freedom Scientific product, I highly doubt that the warranty would cover water damage as this would no doubt reduce the profit to be made on unlucky blind users.

Submitted by DPinWI on Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Such an assumption of non warranty coverage does not preclude the fact that Freedom Scientific may be able to offer remediation suggestions. It is worth contacting them for their advice. At this point, there is only an up side potential.