Pebble Screen Problems (and Repair?)

We use one of the original design Pebble watches for Benjamin.    There is a known issue with them that users called ‘Screen Tearing’.    It is an issue with a poor connection between the main board in the watch and the ribbon cable connecting it to the screen.

Benjamin’s watch has been doing this for some time  – the image on the screen gets lines across it and gets difficult to read.    It can usually be corrected by squeezing the watch as though you are trying to press the back cover on more firmly.   It has got much worse over the last week or so and the screen stopped working altogether and the ‘squeezing’ solution stopped working.    This would not be a problem because OpenSeizureDetector works fine without the screen – in fact not updating the screen probably helps with battery life.

The problem is that Benjamin rather likes to look at the display on his watch, and he can tell if it is not right and complains to us, and expects us to fix it for him, which is quite exhausting as anyone who knows Benjamin appreciates!  So I decided to take the risk of repairing it…….

Watch back with one of the Torx screws remove

The back cover is held on with four very small Torx T6 screws.   If you remove those, you can prise off the back cover of the watch (you can get a finger nail or very small screwdriver between the back cover and the side of the case).  It takes a bit of pressure because it is a close fit to make it watertight:

Starting to prise the back cover away from the main case.
Watch back removed – indicating vibration motor, which may be attached to the back cover.

The back cover might not come all the way off, because the vibration motor is glued to the back cover.  But in my case the vibration motor detached from the back cover, which made it easier to see what we are doing:

Indicating the ribbon cable that causes the screen tearing problem





I rolled up a small piece of tissue paper and stuffed it in the gap between the ribbon cable and the case – used a small flat bladed screwdriver to push it into the gap.    Added another piece of rolled tissue on top so the top of the ribbon cable is pushed down when the cover is replaced.

Rolled up a small piece of tissue paper and stuffed it between the ribbon cable and the case
Added another piece of rolled tissue paper on top of the ribbon cable so the watch back will press on it when it is reassembled.







Reassembled the back (watch out for a small (0.5mm diameter) rubber O ring coming out of the groove in the back cover), and it seems to work – Phew!

Screen working nicely after the repair – that was a relief!

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