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Slider keyboard seems to keep in the open state even when closed. I think it is hardware failure.


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Hi folks,

Been using my Pro1 for a couple of months now. Overall I'm happy and one of the minor annoying things was the screen orientation being a bit flaky.
This weekend though I realized something new was going on with the orientation that I could work not around and is a show stopper in terms of physical keyboard use.
It also doesn't go away with opening portrait-only apps or restarting the phone.
I'm afraid it's 100% reproducible rather than just flaky ­čśĘ

I was not able to find another thread so please point me there if there is one. I know there is at least one thread about the flaky auto-orient but this seems different.

I think I have a problem with the "sensor" that tells the OS if the slider keyboard is open or closed. And at the moment it seems to be always open.
These are the settings (and my preference!) on my phone:

Slider -> Landscape orientation lock = ON
Display -> Advanced -> Auto-rotate screen = ON
System -> Languages & input -> Physical keyboard -> Show virtual keyboard = OFF

But regardless if the keyboard is open or close:
- it remains in landscape
- no virtual keyboard shows

When I change to the following setting:

Slider -> Landscape orientation lock = OFF

Then regardless if the keyboard is open or close
- it does auto rotate
- no virtual keyboard shows

Something else linked to the slider keyboard state is the keyboard backlight. I have:

Slider -> Turn on backlight = ON

But it's hard to judge through the narrow crack if it is the backlight that goes on when I open the slider or if it is light from the screen leaking though the back.
┬áNow that I suspect the OS thinks the slider is always open I live with the thought that the backlight is also always on ­čĄö

Here is where I can use some help...

Before I ask F(x)tec for help or talk about warranty I thought if there is an easy fix maybe someone here knew.
Or maybe someone knows how to confirm the state of the slider keyboard open/close or active/in-active.
I'm not (really) a coder so I hoped maybe there is an app that shows the state directly.

Or maybe someone is confident that from my experience they can tell the phone hardware is broken.

Does someone know where the hardware for this "sensor" is? Is it something I could potentially repair myself?
But guess that will break the warranty. Still I'm interested as I could maybe just use the knowledge to rule things out.

Any help is appreciated,
Ben
 

Edited by BountyBandit
(2nd time of Landscape orientation lock was = ON and should have been OFF
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Thanks @Jacob_S I'm now taking a look at the FactoryKit and the hall sensors.
Like @EskeRahn describes I'm trying to use a magnet to get any reaction.

Until now with the keyboard opening/closing or with some magnets I get no reaction.
It should do something with the keyboard right?

That FactoryKit is very useful though. I could now confirm my mic doesn't work either.
 

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I'm experiencing a similar issue with my phone, which I'm pretty sure is a hardware issue and have been using a rotation control app as a workaround: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.crape.rotationcontrol

You will need to set it to use guard mode to fully override the keyboard sensor then enable the show virtual kb setting while in portrait mode.

My guess is that the Hall Effect sensor is on the same board as the USB-C port (seen here under the camera modules): https://twitter.com/chenliangchen/status/1176365898036391936/photo/2

See this thread for more info on what my phone is doing:

 

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thanks @SC╬ŤRECROW I've tried that app but I can't seem to get it automatically orienting to start with.
Also not sure where that

Quote

enable the show virtual kb setting while in portrait mode

is. Couldn't find it in that Rotation Control app. If it is separate from that it might still come in handy.
 

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24 minutes ago, BountyBandit said:

something small is loose in the phone

Just to make sure, please note that the side buttons as well as the small front support arm can rattle a bit, so try to put a finger on the arm of the opened Pro1, and 'shake' the phone, to make sure this arm is not what you are hearing. (that sound is easily remedied with a small piece of self adhesive rubber or felt in the 'groove' of the arm)

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14 hours ago, BountyBandit said:

Slider -> Landscape orientation lock = ON

Make sure this is always on, setting it to off breaks system keyboard status as explained there.

You may also be a victim of stuck screen rotation.

Try debugging your issues with Fx Service. If you can't get it to work you have probably a faulty sensor.

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1 hour ago, BountyBandit said:

thanks @SC╬ŤRECROW I've tried that app but I can't seem to get it automatically orienting to start with.
Also not sure where that

is. Couldn't find it in that Rotation Control app. If it is separate from that it might still come in handy.
 

Sorry, I meant the setting you referred to in your original post, but turn it on:

System -> Languages & input -> Physical keyboard -> Show virtual keyboard = ON
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2 hours ago, EskeRahn said:

Just to make sure, please note that the side buttons as well as the small front support arm can rattle a bit, so try to put a finger on the arm of the opened Pro1, and 'shake' the phone, to make sure this arm is not what you are hearing. (that sound is easily remedied with a small piece of self adhesive rubber or felt in the 'groove' of the arm)

The SIM card tray also makes a sound when shaking the phone, so one also has to put a finger on there ­čśë

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7 hours ago, SC╬ŤRECROW said:

Sorry, I meant the setting you referred to in your original post, but turn it on:

System -> Languages & input -> Physical keyboard -> Show virtual keyboard = ON

Ah ok I see. But that would also give me a virtual keyboard in landscape orientation.
What would be nice if there is a way to enable the virtual keyboard only in portrait mode.
This would be enough for the virtual keyboard to do what I want without the hardware sensor.

But there would still be the backlight for the keyboard for which I have to choose between leaving them on so I can use them but drain the battery even when keyboard is closed. Hmm for turning them on the light sensor could be used. Would be a nice feature anyway.

And something I didn't tell yet is that the phone is in landscape when it is in the lockscreen. So I'm forced to landscape for my pin code when fingerprint doesn't work.
With that I think I might have found another fact which is; in the lockscreen the Landscape orientation lock is always on, regardless of its setting.

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8 hours ago, Slion said:

Make sure this is always on, setting it to off breaks system keyboard status as explained there.

You may also be a victim of stuck screen rotation.

Try debugging your issues with Fx Service. If you can't get it to work you have probably a faulty sensor.

Hi @Slion


Yes I'm definitely victim of the auto orientation getting stuck...

For instance it was just acting up and stuck in a way that when I enables standard auto-rotate it would switch to portrait and if I disabled it the orientation went to landscape. The opposite of what I expected as I think off should default to portrait.

...but on top of that the sensor is just broken. Or keyboard status as you call it.
But in my case it is the opposite; it is stuck in landscape rather than not going to landscape.

The two are related as they deal with orientation. The difference is that software/virtual keyboard that is only linked to the hardware keyboard status.

I appreciate your FX Service APK and I had actually already tried it. Mainly for the debug option of the keyboard status change.
But I wasn't able to figure out where to "read" this debug information. It might be that since there is no change I don't see anything ­čśë

thanx,
Ben

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1 hour ago, BountyBandit said:

What would be nice if there is a way to enable the virtual keyboard only in portrait mode.

You can actually implement that kind of feature by changing keyboard based on the orientation. For example Hacker's Keyboard has an option to enable virtual keyboard when the real keyboard is open. So you are able to use that keyboard portrait and then select different keyboard for landscape.

Just use MacroDroid (or similar) for the automation (orientation thing) and Keyboard Switch Assistant for the switch. I tested that feature earlier except that I changed keyboard app by typing key combination.

See more from here:

 

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4 minutes ago, FlyingAntero said:

You can actually implement that kind of feature by changing keyboard based on the orientation. For example Hacker's Keyboard has an option to enable virtual keyboard when the real keyboard is open. So you are able to use that keyboard portrait and then select different keyboard for landscape.

Just use MacroDroid (or similar) for the automation (orientation thing) and Keyboard Switch Assistant for the switch. I tested that feature earlier except that I changed keyboard app by typing key combination.

See more from here:

 

Thanks @FlyingAntero it might be useful in the long run but first I'm gonna try to get my hardware fixed if it is broken.

But I can see it is useful, even when this works again, to have a choice what virtual keyboard is opened and when.
I now ended up using SwiftKey mostly for automatic capitalization but I can imagine I want something different when I use the virtual keyboard.
I bet it can also sort out some other issues I have.


To be honest I started to appreciate the BlackBerry PRIV's keyboard simplicity once I struggled with setting up the Pro1. Or actually any other (N97mini, XperiaPro, GalaxySRelay) keyboard phone I had. Now with the Pro1 I'm forced to think about keyboard layouts and picking a virtual keyboard. And I'm still struggling but that's off topic and I will start other threads once the hardware keyboard plays nice and my microphone works so I can make phone calls again ­čśą

cheers,
Ben

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6 hours ago, BountyBandit said:

But I wasn't able to figure out where to "read" this debug information. It might be that since there is no change I don't see anything ­čśë

Once enabled it comes up as a Toast message but yeah with broken sensor or the slider orientation lock setting disabled you just would not get anything...

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  • 4 weeks later...

A short update..


Did a factory reset two times and the problems remained. Because the microphone * was broken, and I couldn't use the phone to make calls, the Pro1 is now send back to F(x)tec to let them have a look. And hopefully they can resolve the issue.

The problem with the slider keyboard state is likely some hardware problem with the magnets that are behind the display. I'll post another update here just for the record.

Cheers,
Ben

* i've read somewhere here on the forum the Pro1 should even have 2 mics but I've inspected all my video's and it only ever recorded the left channel.

 

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25 minutes ago, BountyBandit said:

* i've read somewhere here on the forum the Pro1 should even have 2 mics but I've inspected all my video's and it only ever recorded the left channel.

Yes, it seems to be used for noise handling only, not stereo.

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28 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

Yes, it seems to be used for noise handling only, not stereo.

Yes, however, it would be good if it would be possible to use it as the left hand side microphone or at least the main microphone should be converted to also have the right side wave - just because I always have to modify the audio channel as the right one is muted and that's way it is a bit uncomfortable especially if you would like to show the video to someone...

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I received a Pro 1 back from a customer with the exact same issues:
Microphone issues and non-working hall-sensor.

I completely disassembled it. The good news: The hall sensor (and probably also the microphone, didn't check) is sitting together with the USB port on an extra PCB which is connected to the mainboard.

That's an awesome design - as it means that you can even fix ripped out USB ports easily by simply replacing that small extra PCB!

Now... we just need to get hold of the PCBs.

I've contacted the team a week ago, as I want to stack them so I can offer replacement parts as well as offer a replacement service as well.
Still waiting for a reply (they're probably busy now), but if these small PCBs can be bought, it's a very simple repair :)

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1 hour ago, EvilDragon said:

That's an awesome design - as it means that you can even fix ripped out USB ports easily by simply replacing that small extra PCB!

This was a serious design decision of F(x)tec, they told about it earlier.
I hope they can supply that PCB easily (as it is not a complicated thing) as it would be good to have some replacement boards in case something will broke.

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  • 3 months later...

A late update with my device suffering this issue...I fixed it after tightening a loose screw.

I dissembled my phone looking for any loose connectors, specifically the flex cable to the USB sub board, but the screw circled in red was loose with maybe 1mm of movement between the screwhead and PCB. (thanks to @gelraen.ua for the photo, I forgot to take photos haha)

Capture2.JPG.9c78b91f3948a5ebf08ae18a6c716de0.JPG

The FCC teardown photo below shows some contacts on the underside of this PCB. So my theory - without knowledge of the schematics or circuit diagrams - is that a lack of contact against the metal midframe caused the Hall Effect sensor to malfunction.

Capture.JPG.6110a1c0655adfffcdc4d9794c9383d3.JPG

I'm pleased to report that the problem is resolved and my phone is fully functional after tightening that single screw, no other connectors appeared to be loose. Also really happy with how repairable the design of the Pro1 is, would be even better if we could get a spare parts store.

Hopefully this info will be helpful to anyone else having this issue, but definitely RMA the phone if it's feasible. Shipping time between UK and Australia + RMA time would be too long for me, so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

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  • 5 months later...

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