PenFriend Audio Labeler Instruction Manual

Accessible Devices would like to express our appreciation to Independent Living for making this manual available to us.

PenFriend Voice Labeling System

ILA Item Number: 756610
Please retain these instructions for future reference.


1. General description
A. Items supplied with the PenFriend
B. Orientation
C Controls and other features
2. Getting started
A. Turning on the pen
B. PenFriend storage box and audio instruction hot spots
c. Volume
D. Recording
E. Listening to your recording
F. Battery insertion and removal
G. Lanyard
H. Additional label packs
I. Volunteer support
3. Advanced Features
A. Mode button
B. Backup
4. Terms and conditions of sale
A. Product regulations
B. Keep up-to-date with new products from Independent Living Aids

1. General description

Discover the easy way to label items around your home using your own voice. The handy PenFriend provides unique labels for you to identify items such as food, letters, CDs and medicines.
The PenFriend audio labeller enables you to easily record, and re-record information using this versatile, pocket-sized, easy-to-use product. Simply allocate one of the coded self-adhesive labels and record and store your message on the PenFriend, to instantly playback the recordings hold the PenFriend over the label - no computer required.

A. Items supplied with the PenFriend

1 PenFriend labelling pen
127 mixed size labels (small round, large round, large square)
1 USB cable
1 2.5 MM to 3.5 mm conversion cable
1 neck lanyard
2 AAA batteries
1 storage box

B. Orientation

Turn the PenFriend so that the pointed end is downwards and the buttons face you. Keep the device in this position for correct identification of the controls and other features in accordance with the information below.

C. Controls and other features

PenFriend's loudspeaker is in the very top protruding section of the device.
On the front of your PenFriend there are four buttons. Starting from the top, thickest end they are:
The power on/off button
The toggled volume switch - press the top part to increase the volume and bottom part to decrease
The mode button;
The Microphone; situated below the Mode button
The bottom button, closest to the pointed end of the pen, is the record button.

On the left-hand side towards the top there is a rubberised flap with a slight protrusion at the top, which is used to pull it open. Under this are three sockets.
From the top down they are:
the external Microphone jack
USB Cable Connection
Headphone jack

In the packaging there is a small cable to enable the use of standard microphones and headphones in the top socket.

On the back surface of the PenFriend is the battery compartment (see section "2, F Battery insertion and removal.")
On the back side of the Penfriend, on the top, their is a hole which only holds a recessed screw and is not used.
On the back of the pen at the top there is a nodule containing two holes side by side that can be used to attach the supplied lanyard (see section 2 G for instructions on how to attach the lanyard). The nodule protrudes from the unit slightly, which ensures the unit does not roll when put down on a flat surface.

2. Getting started

A. Turning on the pen

To start the pen, press and hold the power button for two to three seconds - this is the button nearest the top of the device. You will hear an audible beep. To switch off, press the same button until you hear a chime. If you do not use the pen for more than three minutes it will automatically switch off to conserve battery power, and this is also indicated by a chime.

B. PenFriend storage box and audio instruction hot spots

PenFriend comes in a re-usable plastic box. We recommend that you keep the box, since it will neatly hold any new set of labels, etc, that you may buy in the future.

Audio instruction hot spots

If you would prefer to listen to the operating instructions, the packaging also includes audio instructions preloaded on to 11 “hotspots”, five of which are small round indentations on the outer-face of the cardboard packaging and six of which are small raised circles on the back of the cardboard packaging. Switch your PenFriend on and touch these “hotspots” to hear audio instructions.

Four of the indented “hotspots” are on the front of the packaging, down the right-hand side as it faces you (below the cut out for the lanyard nodule). From top to bottom they contain information on:

The fifth indented “hotspot” is in the middle of the left side of the packaging and contains information about the contents of the box.

To access the raised circular hot spots on the back of the cardboard packaging, have the outer-face of the packaging towards you with the indented hot spots on the right-hand side and the raised section at the bottom, in which the PenFriend sits facing upwards. Pick it up and turn over, lengthways away from you, so the raised section is now at the top on the underside.

The six raised hot spots are located on the right-hand side and from top to bottom they contain information on:
Saving files
General information
Package contents and other uses for your PenFriend.

Note From Accessible Devices: The packaging being described above is the cardboard insert in the bottom of the plastic box. It serves to hold the PenFriend in place. To locate the second set of hot spots remove the insert and flip it over. These hot spots are located directly below those on top. In fact they're back to back.

C. Volume

The second button from the top is volume up/down. The upper part of the button increases the volume and the lower part decreases it. Click repeatedly until you reach the desired volume. When you switch the pen off the volume settings will return to the level you previously set.

D. Recording

The fourth button, which is nearest to the pointed end of your PenFriend, allows you to make voice recordings to be associated with the supplied self-adhesive labels.

Press and hold down the record button, and with the pen in an upright position, briefly touch any PenFriend label. You will hear a beep or bell sound, and then you can start recording your voice. Remember to keep holding the record button down while you speak. When you have finished, release the record button and your recording is automatically saved on to your PenFriend. To play it back at any time, just briefly touch the label with the point of the PenFriend, again with the device in an upright position. This is best explained by making a practice recording - either use the practice label situated on the top right-hand side of the cardboard packaging (above the cut out for the lanyard nodule) or any of the supplied labels. Each time you power on the PenFriend it automatically starts in the correct mode for recording or finding labels.

Having powered on, select a label from those supplied. Press the record button and keep it held down, then with the pen in an upright position briefly touch the label with the point, and when you hear a beep, speak a message to be associated with that label. Release the button when you have finished speaking.

Once you have heard the beep you no longer have to keep the PenFriend touching the label, but remember to keep the record button pressed until you have finished speaking.

When making your recording, bring the pen about 30cm or 12 inches from your mouth. The microphone is in the small hole with a tactile surround between the mode and record buttons. You may need to experiment to find the right distance for you.

Remember the sequence for recording labels: Press and hold record, touch, beep, speak, release.

E. Listening to your recording

Without pressing any of the buttons and with PenFriend in an upright position, touch the label with the point and your message will be played back. If you have recorded a long message and wish to stop the playback, briefly press the record button. This will stop the message but will not delete any of the recording.

Each time you power on the PenFriend it automatically starts in the correct mode for making recordings or playing back messages that you have already recorded. Having powered on, to hear any label you have recorded, simply touch it with the tip of the PenFriend.

Re-using labels

You can practice the recording procedure either by reusing the same label (all the labels are reusable) or with other supplied labels. If you reuse the label, the previous recording will automatically be deleted from the PenFriend's memory when you make the new recording.

Recording length

There is no limit to the length of individual recordings, so they can be used for short messages as well as long. The internal memory is 1GB which allows up to 70 hours of recording.

F. Battery insertion and removal

PenFriend comes with two AAA batteries installed. Replacement batteries are available from Independent Living Aids (Item Number 272610). Please note: ILA does not guarantee batteries.

Your recordings will not be affected when replacing the batteries.

Removing the battery cover

When you need to change the batteries first locate the battery cover on the rear surface of the unit. Working your way up from the nib of the pen, you will come across three small tactile lines, followed by a semi-circular recess, above this is the battery cover. Insert your thumb into the recess and gently push and lift up to remove the cover.

Inserting new batteries

Remove the spent batteries and insert the new ones, taking care that the terminals are the correct way round. Feel for the spring in the battery compartment, since this will indicate where the negative terminal, or flat end of the battery, should be positioned.

If you insert the batteries the wrong way round, no damage will be done but the pen will not start.

Replacing the battery cover

Replace the battery cover, by inserting the small nodule at the top of the cover into the hole at the top of the battery compartment then push the cover down, you will hear a click when it is in place.

Automatic shut down

To save on battery life, your PenFriend switches off if not in use after three minutes. It will give an audible tone to notify you. If you use headphones (via the uppermost of the three sockets under the flap on the left-hand side of PenFriend), then battery life is maximized, by not using the speaker.

Batteries low warning

PenFriend has an audible battery low alert. This is a different audible tone than you hear when the unit powers down when not in use for three minutes.

G. Lanyard

To affix the neck lanyard, which is included in the pack, thread the lanyard through the two small holes at the top rear of the pen. This is the protruding block that also stops the pen from rolling when put on a flat surface. Insert the end of the lanyard in one side and hook out using a ballpoint pen or similar.

H. Additional label packs

There are additional packs of labels available separately from the sample labels supplied with your PenFriend. Each pack is unique and Pack A (ILA Item Number 756611) has 380 additional labels with Pack B (ILA Item Number 756612) containing another 380 labels. This means that if you have the first pack (Pack A) you will need to purchase the next pack (Pack B) in sequence to continue with your labelling. Further additional packs (C, D, etc) will be introduced into the range.

I. Technical support

If you require technical assistance when using your PenFriend for the first time, please contact our Technical Support team at:
Phone: (800) 537-2118-x3817

3. Advanced Features

A. Mode button

The third button down is the Mode button, which is used to switch the pen between different functions.

Recording mode

When you first power on the pen it is in the recording mode. In this setting you can record, store and play back voice recordings to be used in the PenFriend's labelling function. This is fully explained in section 3 A.

Print setting

After switch on, if you press and hold the Mode button for two seconds, you will hear two beeps to confirm that you have moved to the “print” setting. This setting allows you to listen to pre-recorded information from RNIB which is currently in development. It is not being used currently.

MP3 setting

If you then press and hold the mode button again, you will hear three beeps. Now you are in the MP3 setting. In this mode the PenFriend functions as an MP3 player and you can listen to your own music, which you can transfer to the pen using the USB port and a computer. If there is no MP3 content on the PenFriend it will chime and automatically go back to record mode. Pressing and holding the mode button again will take the PenFriend back to the recording setting, with a single confirmatory beep.

Note: If at any time you are uncertain which mode the PenFriend is currently set to, simply press and hold the mode button, remembering for each press and hold, that one beep indicates the recording/labelling mode, two beeps the print/information mode and three beeps the MP3 mode.

B. Backup

If you have access to a computer you can backup your recordings. To do so, connect the PenFriend to the computer using the USB cable supplied. Your computer will show that a new drive called PenFriend has been detected. Open the drive and you will find three folders listed:

To make a backup of your recordings, copy the REC folder and paste it in to a new folder, for example c:\penfriend. To restore the recordings from your computer to the PenFriend simply copy the REC folder back to the PenFriend drive. Always remember to copy files and not to move them.

4. Terms and conditions of sale

All goods are guaranteed against faults for 12 months from date of invoice. Faults should be notified to ILA prior to return, who will issue a return authorization number (RMA).

Goods can be returned as “unsuitable” within 60 days from the date of purchase, as follows:
1. Customer must contact ILA to obtain a return authorization number (RMA).
2. Items must be returned in original packaging and condition.
3. Goods must be marked “Returns” and must show the authorization number.
4. Goods lost in transit will only be refunded on proof of postage.

Where goods are sold to organizations who resell, the guarantee will commence from the date of original purchase from ILA.

For assistance on this product please contact:
Independent Living Aids LLC
200 Robbins Lane,
Jericho, NY 11753
Phone: (800) 537-2118

Updated on ... July 27, 2016