Fossil Abacus

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Fossil Abacus
Abacus outer front.jpg
Participants Petraea
Status Production
Niche Electronics
Purpose Fun
Tool No
Tool category

Fossil Abacus

Abacus_outer_front.jpg {{#if:No | [[Tool Owner::{{{ProjectParticipants}}} | }} {{#if:No | [[Tool Cost:: | }}

Abacus outer front.jpg

I recently had the pleasure of repairing an AU5005 Fossil Abacus watch with Palm OS. I took some photos.

The Fossil Abacus is probably noted as being the progenitor of all current wearable devices, dating back to somewhere in the region of 2003. It has a 160x160 greyscale LCD screen capable of four bit grey resolution per pixel and, amazingly, a touchscreen, albeit a resistive one. The quality of this screen is really not bad when compared to modern equipment, but suffers badly in low light conditions. Thankfully, by pressing and holding the BACK button, one can enable a (very squeaky!) backlight that also inverts all the colours.

Abacus profile.jpg
Abacus back.jpg

This fella comes with an incredibly tiny stylus hidden in the buckle on the back of the watch strap. Apparently, Fossil never made any spares of these, so seeing one of these alone is pretty rare. Given the resistive touchscreen is not very useful without a pixel-sized prodding device, I'd imagine a lot of watches got abandoned by losing one of these.

Abacus stylus bottom.jpg
Abacus stylus top.jpg

In order to repair the watch, I had to open the watch completely up. Who can resist taking photos of such a classic?

Abacus top side.jpg
USB Mini
The rear of the watch.
The inside of the watch under the screen.
The rear of the screen.

Repair was simply replacing the battery by desoldering the old one and replacing it with a brand new LIR3048 off eBay. Point of note: Without power in the system to begin with, adding a new battery merely appears to turn on the backlight and do nothing else. I found that the watch required having 5V applied through its USB micro connector before it would accept the new battery and operate normally.

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