Livescribe 3 Pen Cartridge Rattle Noise Elimination Method

Livescribe 3 smartpen

If you bought a Livescribe 3 Pen, you may have noticed that the tip of the ink cartridge rattles or makes a noise as you write. The prior generation pens did not do this. The pen still functions but the sound bothers me and a few others.

Livescribe has posted a support article about this issue which is reproduced below.

  • “26022 – LIVESCRIBE 3 – Ink cartridge rattles
  • Brian
  • posted this on Oct 30 01:34
  • Issue / Question
  • 26022 – What can I do about the rattling sound my Livescribe 3 smartpen makes?
  • Solution / Answer
  • For the Livescribe 3 smartpen there may be a rattling sound when the pen is shaken or when the ink cartridge is put to paper. This is caused by the ink cartridge moving inside the pen. It is not a defect and does not impact the smartpen’s ability to track and capture handwriting.
  •  Additionally because the smartpen does not record audio directly (as this is done from the iOS device) the sound will not affect the quality of your audio recordings. “

Others have also commented on this and even suggested the tape as a fix.

Elevate Your Writing

For those not familiar with this electronic pen, a small camera built into the bottom of the pen digitally records the pen strokes on special paper.

Not Just Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart

This pen allows you to write and digitally retrieve your notes on a computer app or iPad app for the Livescribe 3 pen.

Intelligent Interior

The ink cartridge sits within a metal holder at the tip of the pen. There is a camera located in the bottom area of the pen. When you press down to write, you may hear the cartridge come into contact with the pen. This noise can be annoying and the slight vibration is transmitted to your fingers.

After putting up with it for some time, I called technical support and they acknowledged the sound, said it was normal and did not have any suggestions for a fix. Their concern was anything that would be inserted into the area where the cartridge sits could create a problem for the pen to work and function properly. That is a real concern and may make the pen not perform as expected.

Nonetheless, if you are willing to risk your investment, a small piece of satin scotch tape wrapped around the barrel of the tip worked for me. Your results may vary. This may not work for you and may damage your pen.

First, twist the middle portion of the pen which causes the ink tip to be extruded from the pen to write. Then, remove the ink cartridge by simply pinching the tip and pulling it out.

Livescribe 3 Cartridge Pen Fix
Tape Fix Drawing By Justin Kahn Using Livescribe 3 Pen

Next, tear off a small piece of Satin Scotch Tape about ½” or so in length. Attach the tape to the cartridge like a flag below where the ink cartridge angles to the tip. Then, wrap the tape around the cartridge. You will only need it to go around about 1-2 times to create enough “bumper.”

Then, drop the cartridge back into the pen barrel. The tape should not be so thick as to prevent the cartridge from being loaded back into place. If it is, you used too much tape and try again. If there is sufficient room, then gently push the cartridge into the barrel into place.  If you had your pen in the “on” position with the middle ring rotated to eject the cartridge, then, the pen tip should be sticking out normally after you finish locking the tip into place.

Rotate the center ring to retract the cartridge to turn your pen off. Rotate the ring to turn the pen on and off a couple of more times to make sure the cartridge easily moves within the chamber to allow you to write.

Voila! After this fix, I drew the above using the “modified” cartridge. I have enjoyed using the repaired pen.


9 thoughts on “Livescribe 3 Pen Cartridge Rattle Noise Elimination Method

  1. I was just about to send my Livescribe 3 back until I found this post. I’ll give the tape a try and see if it helps. I like everything else about the product, but the noise is very distracting. Thanks for sharing!

  2. You are awesome for posting this! My self-diagnosed OCD kept me from using this pen because of the rattle in class. I was looking for some DIY fix and will definitely do this. THANK YOU,

  3. This is why I haven’t upgraded from my Sky Wifi. The rattle would prove distracting in company meetings. Has Livescribe ever bothered to fix this problem?

    1. Still not fixed as of today … bad design, who wants a pen that rattles. Justin, thanks for posting.

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