The Black One (QVC & BPDN)

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Introduction to the Pandigital Novel
Beginners Guide
Pandigital Novel Hacking
Pandigital Novel Software
Pandigital Novel Hardware Modification
Pandigital Novel Version


The Black One


(Original text from Introduction to the Pandigital Novel: The Black One)

The Black Pandigital Novel (BPDN) was not a newer/better version of the PDN from a performance standpoint. It is harder to hack, and runs a less advanced version of the Android Operating System (1.5 "Cupcake" instead of the White's 2.0 "Eclair").

Strictly as an eReader, the Black PDN has some advantages, mostly in weight, feel and screen texture. Unfortunately overall responsiveness is inferior to the White PDN and as a hacked Android tablet development of the Black one has mostly been abandoned in favor of the more powerful/versatile White PDN.

NOTE that QVC sold a multi-colored version of the PDN, but except for the increase in size of the internal storage memory (not ram) to 4gb, it is basically the same device as the BPDN.

However, there are some options for BPDN owners to modify their device
Direct download link to OPJINN ver 1.2.0 for BPDN is here.

On October 9, 2010, Pandigital issued an Open Platform Kit for the Black PDN. polaris_update.dat No instructions come with the BPDN Open Platform solution, but changing the name of the extension from .dat to .zip reveals a recognizable Android Firmware-Update structure. Further discussion can be found here.

Uh oh...Can't flash stock ROM back to BPDN

QVC 4gb Model


Over the 2010 Christmas season, QVC (exclusively) sold what were essentially the orginal "black" PDN with a 4gb internal memory card (non-upgradable) in a variety of colors (blue, red, purple, etc.) which ran Android 1.5 (Cupcake) and have essentially identical (limited) capabilities as the original Black One.

QVC 2gb Model PRD07T20WBL7


In Late Winter of 2010 QVC again distributed a unique PDN, now re-branded as a "media tablet" without a dedicated book reader. This new black unit is essentially identical to the original White PDN with the addition of an upgradable 2gb internal micro SD memory card.

Note that this unit has Two Speakers on the bottom, not one on the upper right corner of the back. As the illustration above highlights, there are several obvious physical differences between this unit and the other black units. Removable cover, Power, volume, earphone, usb jack. It's easy to tell the differences once you know that there are indeed two kinds of black 7 inch units - which of course should in no way be confused with the black 9 inch device - which is ... bigger.

This is a White unit wearing a little black dress and unlike it's other 7 inch black cousins runs Android 2.0 (Eclair) and all the major altered roms and modified firmware developed for the White PDN. Confirmed in This Post by member doone. So, you may follow the WPDN boards for alternate FW compatible with your QVC Model #PRD07T20WBL7 BPDN. Please be sure to identify your model number if you request help on the WPDN boards, since this is not your ordinary BPDN. This post has links to the instructions for upgrading to alternate FW with the Android Market.

Official Firmware Upgrades

Instructions from the user guide Applies to Models R70E200 and PRD07T20WBL1

UPDATE FIRMWARE If the device has a low battery charge, you may not be able to perform a successful update. It is recommended that you connect the device to the power adapter before performing the firmware upgrade.

WARNING! Performing a firmware update resets all settings to factory defaults, and all your personalized data (email accounts, contacts, etc.) is deleted. Personal Notes, Bookmarks, Highlights, and reference to last read page are removed. The local media that you imported from SD card or copied from computer remains in the device

IMPORTANT: This firmware update procedure is only available for Windows PC users at this time. We recommend Mac users to locate a Windows PC that can be used for the firmware update at this time. Mac based update procedures will be available in future.

  1. Back up all your media files to your computer.
  2. On your computer, go to Pandigital PC Upgrader Application and follow the instructions carefully.
  3. Select the correct location and product model.
  4. Choose the “Update with Your PC” option.
  5. When prompted, you can either Save the program or Run it from the website. (The Run method may result in a slower process than saving & running the program directly from your computer).
  6. Follow the prompts in the Upgrader window to connect your device and install the firmware into your device.
  7. After the download is complete, turn the device off.
  8. Press the Volume + button plus slide the power key on simultaneously for 10 seconds until you see the upgrade text appear on the screen, and then release both buttons immediately.
  9. Reset the Date and Time and set up your Wi-Fi network again by following the initial setup instructions.
  10. You must re-download your B&N media to re-populate My Library.
  11. When you download the first book, you are prompted for your B&N login information.

Now your upgraded stock BPDN will look like this.


Installing Android Applications With ES file Explorer on the BPDN

There are many Android applications that can be found on the web. Just launch your web browser and do a search for “Android applications”. Purchased or free Android apps (apk files) that you have downloaded to your computer can be installed quickly & easily on your BPDN using the preinstalled ES File Explorer application.

  1. Copy the .apk files that you want to install onto an SD card.
  2. Insert SD card into your BPDN.
  3. Tap the ES File Explorer application icon.
  4. Locate the folder in your BPDN or on your SD card in which the .apk application files were saved.
  5. Tap on the .apk file then tap Install. The application is installed and the application icon is added to the Applications screen.
  6. Tap Open to launch now, or Done to return to the previous screen.

You can also download Android applications directly from websites, and then quickly and easily install them on your BPDN.

  1. Tap the Browser application icon to launch the Internet browser.
  2. Enter the desired website URL, and tap the download link for the application you want to install on your BPDN.
  3. After the download is complete, touch & hold on the download file (in the Download history screen) tap Open, tap Install.

Stock FW

Original Black Firmware

Polaris.dat Open Platform


"QVC" Version

Unofficial Community Developed Altered Firmware

Naming Conventions for Flashing BPDN Firmware (via Fred)

Some possible BPDN update software names that maybe needed or tried to get updates to install. Try these in the following order placing the update on the internal memory card. (Found this to work best and not to have an external SD Card in the BPDN external slot when flashing. (Use an external SD Card only if has just an update file on it.)

The first thing to try is always the polaris_update.dat and if you have not reflashed your unit or have not updated to PD OP software this seems to work well. (The power on and up(+) volume keys should be held for approximately 7 seconds (count to 7 holding the keys both down at the same time) and then RELEASED and the device allowed to go into flash operation). This process takes as much as 10 seconds to began. If the flash operation starts but then stops renaming the .dat file is most likely needed.






If these do not work it may be necessary for you to try different combinations of the above to get the updates to flash. ie:



Also try changing the date at the end of name to 20110215 to see if this helps. Have been successful in flashing 11 out of 12 BPDN units to date using these various names. (One unit is stuck on the 07/30 software and have yet to figure out how to reflash with any of these combos.)

Once you have found the correct flash combo suggest you leave the flashed file on the internal memory partition so you then can remember the naming convention when doing future flashes. (Renaming the update extension to something other then .dat is highly recommended as well, use .rom as an example.) It appears once the secret for your BPDN updating is determined it will reflash with that name. It was not been determined that other naming changes would be required for future flashing efforts.

Following are some observations regarding the BPDN devices:

1. The QVC units (Red, Blue, Purple, & Black Cases) with 4gb of Internal memory will be split with 512mb of hidden/not accessible and 3.5gb available memory for your data. These units appear to use the S64N_SLSB_PDUI_PD_ naming once you have updated to a OP software and try to re flash with another version.

2. The Canadian units seem to use the S64N_SLST_KOBO_PD or BB naming but only one of these has been updated, it is not known if there is other combinations required or not.

3. Most US units use the S64N_SLST_KOBO_BB or PD renaming conventions but you may need to try many different combos on some units to get a reflash to work.

4. The ending number appears to be necessary but it was not determined if the actual number is critical. ie: 20101123, 20110106, 20100930, 20110103 have all seemed to work.

5. The US and Canadian BPDN's with 2gb of internal memory get split into a 512mb hidden (not accessible) partition and a 1.5gb partition for user data.

6. The updated BPDN's reboot after the USB cable is removed and should do so before you try to reflash again or make any other changes to the device software. You should be able to access the PD_Novel internal partition by attaching your usb cable. After you install a OP version of the software you will be able to access and use adb. Earlier (pre OP) software did not have adb access without applying some mod.

If this guide doesn't get your reflash installed and working please get someone to help you with the updating. Once you have successfully reflashed your device with OEM OP updates you can THEN consider applying some of the Slatedroid mods. Many of the available market apps require at least some modding to get to work correctly (rooting, busybox, or changes to sdk value). Most new apps are being written for Android version 2.0 or higher and these units (all) have Android version 1.5 installed. The mods currently available have been developed to enable the device to function as through it had the Android 1.6 version installed only.

Market on the QVC/BPDN

Frenzee Mod

Please read the Developers thread and study the first post for updates, instructions and warnings

Frenzee v.2
  • Added apps (Astro File Manager, BusyBox)
  • Cleaned up apps
  • Fixed Launcher, now rotates home screen
Frenzee v.1
  • Based off Open Platform Kit
  • Working Market "Buggy"
  • Google Apps (Gmail, Google Talk, Google Maps)
  • Other Useful Applications (Youtube)

Terminander's Other Market Mod

Please read the Developers thread and study the first post for updates, instructions and warnings

  • Disabled SetupWizard, so no special tricks needed.
  • At first Boot you will get the option to run SDKSetup or SeupWizard, run SDKSetup.
  • Added slimman_101 B&N fix
  • Modified the build.prop so it thinks it is Android 1.6 and SDK 4. (more market apps, not all 1.6 apps will work.)
  • More of the original Novel apps and less of the HTC files.

Other How To Guides, Advancements and Developments

Port 9 inch Black PDN 2.0 to 7 inch FAIL!!! (Not so much fail anymore)

Easy market hack for BPDN - E-Reader help? Well, sorta easy.

BPDN - Android Open Platform Kit: No Hacks Needed walk-through


Tested Working Apps

Discussion Thread - List of apps compatible w/ Android 1.5 OP BPDN
Original Apps pre-installed on QVC 7" Multi-colored PDNs. (Do Not Flash, unzip and install like normal apps)
1.5 OS compatable Direct download at Megaupload.
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