Can my Wacom Graphire pen be saved?
September 15, 2006 12:21 PM   Subscribe

Did I just bork my Wacom Graphire pen by getting it wet?

In a moment of utter stupidity, I picked up my Wacom Graphire pen and used it to stir a cup of tea. (Usually I use a chopstick for this purpose, but I just wasn't thinking and picked up the nearest long thin object.) Now the pen side doesn't work. The eraser side works fine. I took out the nib and shook the pen out, but nothing happened (no water came out, but it's still not working).

Did I fry the works, or should I just wait patiently for it to dry out? Should I spend the $40 on a new pen now so I'll have it on Monday, or will it come back to life?
posted by hsoltz to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Wait and see. Unless you absolutely have to have one on Monday. In that case buy one and then if the original one comes back to life you can have an extra one around in case other moments of stupidity arise.
posted by sulaine at 1:09 PM on September 15, 2006

have you tried letting it dry out?
posted by parmanparman at 1:09 PM on September 15, 2006

You might want to stir some water with it before letting it dry out - I'm not sure if tea is more of a danger than water, but it's not less of a danger. Coffee and soda are much more destructive to circuitry than water, and in those cases, you generally want to get the coffee/soda out, rather than leaving them to dry. You might want to get a second opinion as regards tea though.
posted by -harlequin- at 3:42 PM on September 15, 2006

You probably didn't fry it since virtually no electricity passes through the thing. However liquid definitely got in somewhere and is shorting something out.

Dry it out by wrapping it in paper towels and then putting it in a warm, dry place. (like the oven with the pilot light on, but don't bake it! Or on top of the refrigerator) and leave it for a day or two. If it still doesn't work you can try going after it with your vacuum cleaner as a last resort. It can pull the water out, but it can also pull the water into a new, harder to get place or pull components out of alignment.

If you use milk or sugar in your tea, I'd follow -harlequin-'s advice by stirring some water. However just plan tea shouldn't cause too much trouble.
posted by Ookseer at 2:06 AM on September 16, 2006

Ookseer's right on the first bit, the pen generates no power of its own and only becomes active when close to the tablet - it's a passive item and won't have burnt out.
(if you want to know how they work, it's interesting, but a divergence - there's a reason why Wacom are the field leaders, that's all I'm saying)

I'm probably too late to help here, but I'd disagree with wrapping it in anything: I believe the Graphire has an "eraser" tip at the top end. This is handy for drying if you prop it upright somewhere because it gives water escape routes draining at the bottom and evaporating at the top. Just leave it vertical over the weekend somewhere a bit open (even at the front of your desk, just somewhere there are air currents).

Good luck on Monday.
posted by NinjaTadpole at 6:50 AM on September 16, 2006

UPDATE: I left the pen upright in its holder for the weekend. This works just fine. Thanks for the suggestions!
posted by hsoltz at 7:31 AM on September 18, 2006 [1 favorite]

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