N.B. The online version of the manual at https://bristolbraille.org/support-Home.htm is updated periodically and may be newer than the print or BRF copy that came with your Canute. These versions will not contradict each other, but there may be more in-depth information or clarifications in the online version.
This copy is revision no.: 2023-06-06
(For screen-reader users see the version without Braille dot pattern guides: Canute 360 User Manual Dotless.)
Thank you for purchasing Canute 360 from Bristol Braille Technology, the world’s first multi-line Braille e-reader.
Canute 360 features a nine-line display, with each line comprised of 40 cells of Braille. Canute 360 is compatible with .BRF and .PEF file formats and can display Braille text, mathematics, music, or any other six-dot braille code.
With Canute 360, you can read files in Braille, as well as insert, edit, and navigate to bookmarks.
Bristol Braille Technology is a not for profit community interest company. Your purchase will allow us to continue to invest in and develop new Braille products to benefit the wider blind community.
Inside the box
You will find the following included within the shipping box:
- 1x Canute 360 Braille e-reader
- 1x corded 19V power supply
- 1x print user manual (this document)
- 1x Braille quick start guide
Please let your distributor know if any of these items are missing or damaged.
Within this user manual, where text displayed in Braille by Canute 360 is referenced, it is rendered in all capitals inside quotation marks and followed by a representation of the Braille, for example, “VIEW LIBRARY MENU” (
⠧⠊⠑⠺ ⠇⠊⠃⠗⠁⠗⠽ ⠍⠑⠝⠥).
Please note that most Braille examples in this manual are represented in grade one English Braille. These will change depending on the language and code selection in the system menu.
Before using this information and the product it supports, be sure to read and understand the important safety information at the end of this doccument
Your Canute 360 should be placed flat on the table in front of you. The three large control buttons on the front panel of the unit (labelled “BACK” (
⠃⠁⠉⠅) ; “MENU” (
⠍⠢⠥) and “FORWARD” (
⠿⠺⠜⠙) should be facing towards you.
Your Canute 360 has a nine-line, 360 cell Braille display on its top surface.
At the top left-hand corner of the top surface, you will find a circular button, labelled “H” (
⠓). Directly beneath this button, you will find nine triangular buttons, labelled “1” (
⠼⠁) through “9” (
⠼⠊), and one square button labelled “0” (
⠼⠚). At the top right-hand corner of the top surface, you will find a “BBT CANUTE 360” (
⠄⠄⠃⠃⠞ ⠄⠉⠁⠝⠥⠞⠑ ⠼⠉⠋⠚) label.
In the centre of the top surface, beneath the final line of the Braille display you will find “BACK” (
⠃⠁⠉⠅); “MENU” (
⠍⠢⠥) and “FORWARD” (
⠿⠺⠜⠙) labels. On the front surface of Canute 360, you will find the back, menu and forward navigation buttons.
On the left side panel, you will find several peripheral ports. From the front, you will find an HDMI port and a 3.5mm audio-out jack (the audio jack is not currently supported). The SD card slot is at the bottom of the left side panel, in the centre. Towards the rear of the left side panel, you will find two standard USB ports and a USB-B port.
At the right-hand side of the rear panel, you will find the power on/off button, which is proud of the surface. Immediately to the left of the power on/off button is the power socket.
There are no controls or sockets on the right-hand side panel of your Canute 360.
During operation, your Canute 360 will make a quiet ticking noise. This is perfectly normal.
Your Canute 360 does not contain any user-serviceable parts. The base panel and side plates should only be opened or removed by a qualified service engineer.
When your Canute first arrives please leave it to reach normal room temperature for several hours (or overnight if possible) before turning it on for the first time. Skipping this step will not damage your Canute but may result in errors on the display on first use. This is necessary due to frequently very cold conditions during transit.
Place Canute 360 on a flat surface, with the three large control buttons on the front panel facing towards you. Insert the power supply into the socket towards the right of the rear panel of Canute 360, and briefly press the small on/off button located immediately to the right of the power socket once to turn the unit on.
Canute 360 will take around 50 seconds to turn on. During this time the top line of the display will raise and lower momentarily several times. You will then hear, feel, and see each of the nine lines of Braille clearing any previous content one at a time.
On the front edge of Canute 360 are three large control buttons. These are labelled “BACK” (
⠃⠁⠉⠅); “MENU” (
⠍⠢⠥), and “FOWARD” (
⠿⠺⠜⠙) in Braille on the top of the reading surface.
Directly to the left of each line of Braille is a triangular line select button. These are labelled with numbers one through to nine in Braille; corresponding to the adjacent line on the display.
Immediately above the first triangular line select button is a circular “help” button. This is labelled “H” (
⠓) in Braille. You can press this button at any time to bring up a help file for the page you are currently viewing.
Immediately below the last triangular line select button is a square button, labelled “0” (
⠚) in Braille.
Getting files onto your Canute 360
Your Canute 360 is compatible with both *.BRF (Braille Ready Format) and *.PEF (Portable Embosser Format) files. For best results, we recommend using a *.BRF file, formatted for a page length of nine lines, and a width of 40 characters per page.
Translating print files into Braille
A number of software packages and online services can translate a print document into a Braille file, which can be read on your Canute.
The latest version of Duxbury DBT ™ includes a “Canute 360” preset to ensure correct formatting. To use Duxbury DBT ™ you will need to purchase a licence from Duxbury systems. You can find more information at https://www.duxburysystems.com.
You can also use a number of free software packages to translate print documents into BRF format. BrailleBlaster™ from the American Printing House for the blind is a free programme for preparing documents to be read on Canute 360. Braille Blaster is available for Windows, Mac and Linux users. You should ensure that Braille output is set to produce a document with nine lines per page, with a line width of 40 characters. You can find more information, and download Braille Blaster from https://www.brailleblaster.org
RoboBraille™ is a free online translator from Sensus in Denmark which can translate a print document or webpage into a BRF Braille document to be read on Canute 360. To use RoboBraille™, navigate to www.robobraille.org in your preferred web browser. Select “file” from the “Source” menu to translate a file on your computer. Select “URL” to translate a website.
To translate a file, click on “choose file”, and select the file using your file browser. Then click on “upload” to prepare your file for translation.
To translate a webpage, enter the URL into the text field after selecting the “URL” option, then click on “fetch and upload” to prepare the webpage for translation. Please note that in order to work with robobraille a webpage URL must end in a file format (eg: www.example.com/example.htm). A webpage ending in a top-level domain (e.g. www.example.com) will return an error message.
Select “Braille” from the “select output format” menu.
From the “Specify Braille options” menu, you can select your preferred language and Braille code settings. Select “Canute 360” from the “Target Format” menu to ensure your file is correctly formatted for your Canute 360.
Finally, enter your email address in the “Enter email address and submit request” form. Click “Submit” to confirm your choices. You will receive a BRF file formatted for Canute 360 in your email inbox within a few hours.
Bristol Braille Technology cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy or performance of any third party Braille translation service.
Transferring Braille files to Canute 360 with an SD card
To get a file onto Canute 360, you will need an SD card. Your Canute should always have an SD card in it as that is your personal library and where Canute saves its current page and system options like language. SD cards can be either SD or SDHC, but not SDXC or SDUC. They should be formatted to FAT32, but not FAT16, exFAT or any other format.
Copy and paste the file onto the SD card. Do not use folders, simply copy and paste files directly onto the SD card. Support for folders is coming in a future firmware upgrade.
Insert the SD card back into the SD card slot towards the centre of the bottom of the left side panel. Turn Canute 360 on, navigate to the library menu, and the file will appear in the library menu. Files are arranged in the menu first numerically, and then alphabetically.
Using USB sticks, more than one SD card, and hot-swapping
You can also use a standard USB memory stick to get files onto Canute 360. You will still need an SD card, or bookmarks and current page will not be saved. Memory sticks should only be used for quickly supplementing your library with new files.
To do this copy and paste the file onto the memory stick, and insert it into a USB port on the left side panel of Canute 360.
You can also hot-swap between various SD cards and memory sticks, which is especially useful if more than one person is using the Canute.
Make sure the page is not refreshing before you swap. After you swap leave your Canute for about ten seconds; it will do a full reset and return to the last page visited on that SD card. Remember that your system information, bookmarks and current page are not stored on the Canute itself, so will be swapped with the SD card and/or memory stick.
On your SD card you may notice two types of files called “canute.book_name.brf.txt” (where “book_name” is the filename of your book) and “canute_state.txt”. The former is also found on memory sticks.
These files are used for storing system information, bookmarks and page information. You should not delete these files, or you will delete any bookmarks stored within them. However you can edit the “canute.book_name.brf.txt” file in a PC text editor like Notepad++ to add or remove bookmarks manually.
Choosing a book from the library
Canute 360 is designed with an easy to use Braille user interface. To select a file to read on Canute 360, navigate to the library menu.
First, press the large menu button in the centre of the front edge below the reading surface. The main menu will load, one line of Braille at a time, from top to bottom. The entire page will take around 10 seconds to display.
As with all menus on Canute 360, options are selected using the triangular line select buttons. To select an item from a menu, press the triangular line select button immediately to the left of that line of Braille.
On the main menu, “VIEW LIBRARY MENU” (
⠧⠊⠑⠺ ⠇⠊⠃⠗⠁⠗⠽ ⠍⠑⠝⠥) is displayed towards the bottom of the reading surface. Press the line select button immediately to the left of the menu option to select it. The library menu will load, one line of Braille at a time, from top to bottom. The entire page will take around 10 seconds to display.
The library menu will display a list of all the recognised braille files on the SD card or USB stick.
To select a file, press the line select button to the left of the file you want to read.
If more than 8 files are present on to the SD card or USB stick, the required file may be on the next page of the library menu. Press the large forward button to the right of centre on the front panel to advance the library menu one page.
Press the large back button to the left of centre on the front panel to move back one page in the library menu.
Once a file is selected, it will load one line at a time, taking around 10 seconds to load the whole page.
To return from the library menu to the book you were reading, press either the large menu button or line select button one.
There are two files built into the library menu which will always appear. One is for service engineers to use while cleaning and testing, and the other contains information about Bristol Braille Technology.
Moving within a file
To move within a file, use the three large control buttons on the front panel of Canute 360.
Press the large forward button to the right of centre on the front panel to move forward one page within a file.
Press the large back button to the left of centre to move back one page within a file, similar to turning the pages in a physical book.
In the unlikely event you notice any errors in the Braille, or dots out of place, you can refresh the Braille display by pressing and holding the square “0” (
⠚) button for a couple of seconds. The display will reset after around 20 seconds.
From the main menu, you can insert a bookmark at the current page, return to a bookmark that was previously placed within a file, or navigate to a given page within a book.
To navigate to the main menu, press the large menu button. While any menu on Canute 360, pressing the menu button again will return you to the last page you were reading.
As with all menus on Canute 360, to select an item from the main menu, press the triangular line select button immediately to the left of the menu item on the reading surface.
To navigate to a page within the file, press the line select button immediately to the left of “GO TO PAGE” (
⠛⠕ ⠞⠕ ⠏⠁⠛⠑) on the reading surface. A help page will appear on the reading surface. To enter a page number, use the triangular line select keys and the square zero button located to the left of the reading surface.
To go to page 20, for example, press button number two, followed by the zero button. You will hear, feel, and see one line of Braille click up and down to confirm the selection, then press the forward button to navigate to the selected page. Alternatively, press the back button to undo your selection.
To place a new bookmark at the current page in a file or return to a bookmark previously placed within a file, first navigate to the in-book menu by pressing the large menu button on the front panel of Canute 360.
To insert a bookmark, press the line select button immediately to the left of “INSERT BOOKMARK AT CURRENT PAGE” (
⠊⠝⠎⠑⠗⠞ ⠃⠕⠕⠅⠍⠁⠗⠅ ⠁⠞ ⠉⠥⠗⠗⠑⠝⠞ ⠏⠁⠛⠑)
A bookmark will be inserted at the current page. NB there is currently no feedback when a bookmark is inserted, this will be fixed in a later software release.
To retrieve a bookmark, press the line select button immediately to the left of “CHOOSE FROM EXISTING BOOKMARKS” (
⠉⠓⠕⠕⠎⠑ ⠋⠗⠕⠍ ⠑⠭⠊⠎⠞⠊⠝⠛ ⠃⠕⠕⠅⠍⠁⠗⠅⠎).
A list of bookmarks in a file will display on the reading surface. Use the triangular line select buttons to select a bookmark. Canute 360 will then display the selected page in the book.
From the bookmark menu, it is also possible to select “START OF BOOK” (
⠎⠁⠗⠞ ⠕⠋ ⠃⠕⠕⠅) or “END OF BOOK” (
⠑⠝⠙ ⠕⠋ ⠃⠕⠕⠅) to navigate to the beginning or end of a book using the line select button immediately to the left of these options.
Changing language or Braille code
You can change the system language or Braille code (for example to switch between contracted and un-contracted Braille) from the system menu. Please note this will only change the language and code within the menus, help file, and manuals; not the language or code in any books on Canute 360.
To access the system menu, first access the main menu by pressing the large menu button in the centre of the front edge of Canute 360. Then, press the line select button immediately to the left of “VIEW SYSTEM MENU” (
⠧⠊⠑⠺ ⠎⠽⠎⠞⠑⠍ ⠍⠑⠝⠥) to access the system menu. Press the line select button immediately to the left of “SELECT LANGUAGE AND CODE” (
⠎⠑⠇⠑⠉⠞ ⠇⠁⠝⠛⠥⠁⠛⠑ ⠁⠝⠙ ⠉⠕⠙⠑) to access the language selection menu. You can then select a language or Braille code using the triangular line select button immediately to the left of your chosen language or code. Press the forward button once to confirm your selection.
You can view text displayed by Canute in both print and Braille using a standard computer monitor. Simply plug your monitor into the HDMI port towards the front of the left side panel. The print representation will display in a green font, and the Braille will display below in a white font. The print representation is in Braille ASCII (it doesn’t back translate the text; it is meant for sighted Braille readers).
Canute as a display
Canute 360 can be used as a display when plugged into a PC with the USB-B port. Currently this is supported by BRLTTY and Duxberry DBT. Please see our section on the website about using the Canute 360 with a PC.
To safely turn off your Canute 360, press the power button located to the right of the power socket on the back panel. You will hear, see and feel each line of the display reset, and drop down into the display. After a few seconds the top line of the display will refresh to show “PLEASE WAIT…” (
⠠⠏⠇⠑⠁⠎⠑ ⠺⠁⠊⠞⠲⠲⠲), and the other 8 lines will lower. After around ten seconds, the first line will also lower. It is now safe to remove the power supply from Canute 360.
Caring for your Canute 360
Your Canute 360 does not contain any user serviceable parts. The base panel and side plates should only be opened or removed by a qualified service engineer.
You can clean the front and sides of your Canute 360 using a damp, but not wet, lint-free cloth. Bristol Braille Technology recommends cleaning your Canute 360 at least once a month. You should only attempt to clean your Canute 360 when it is turned off, with the power disconnected. Do not attempt to clean any mechanical parts of the Braille display yourself.
If you store your Canute 360 inside the shipping box, you may notice a powdery white residue building up on the front and side panels. This is normal, does not affect operation, and can be removed by wiping with a damp (but not wet) lint-free cloth.
Updating your Canute software
From time to time, Bristol Braille Technology may make available software updates for Canute 360 to fix any issues; improve performance, or add additional features.
Each update will come with installation instructions. To install an update, you will require an empty USB stick or FAT32 formatted SD card. SD cards can be either SD or SDHC, but not SDXC or SDUC. Most smaller capacity SD cards will be FAT32 format. For full installation instructions, consult the readme document packaged with your software update.
Important Safety Information
CAUTION: before using this manual please read and understand all the related safety information for this product.
Service and Support
Your Canute 360 does not contain any user serviceable parts. The base panel and side plates should only be opened or removed by a qualified service engineer. Do not attempt to service your Canute 360 yourself unless instructed to do so by the customer support centre. Only use a service provider who is approved by Bristol Braille Technology.
Power cords and power adapters
Use only the power cords and power adapters supplied by Bristol Braille Technology. Never wrap a power cord around a power adapter or other object. Doing so can stress the cord in ways that can cause the cord to fray, crack, or crimp. This can present a safety hazard. Always route power cords so that they will not be walked on, tripped over, or pinched by objects. Protect power cord and power adapters from liquids. Do not use any power adapter that shows corrosion at the ac input pins or shows signs of overheating (such as deformed plastic) at the ac input or anywhere on the power adapter.
Heat and product ventilation
You Canute 360 and it’s power adapter can generate heat while in use. This is perfectly normal. Your Canute 360 is a desktop device and should always be placed on a desk or table. You should never place your Canute 360 on a bed, sofa, carpet or other flexible surface. To avoid the risk of injury, you should never leave your Canute 360 in contact with your lap or any other body parts during operation. You should always turn off your Canute 360 and disconnect the power adapter when not in use.
Your Canute 360 is designed to work best at temperatures between 10°C and 25°C (50°F-80°F) with humidity ranging between 35% and 80%. If your Canute 360 is stored or transported in temperatures less than 10°C (50°F), you should allow the temperature of your Canute 360 to rise slowly to between 10°C and 25°C (50°F-80°F) before use. This process could take up to two hours.
Failure to allow your device to rise to an optimal operating temperature before use could result in irreparable damage to your Canute 360.
Do not place any beverages on top of or beside your Canute 360. If liquid is spilled on the Canute, a short circuit or other damage might occur. Do not eat or smoke over your Canute. Any particles that fall into your Canute 360 may damage the internal mechanism.
The Canute has internal thermal management. If it goes above a certain temperature, judged sub-optimal for the mechanism (approximately the same as when the display is hot to the touch), it will pause all operation until the temperature falls. Simply allow it to cool down and it will restart, where it left off, of its own accord.
Your Canute 360 is designed to work under the following electrical conditions:
Input voltage: minimum 100V(ac) maximum 240V(ac), input frequency between 50Hz and 60Hz
Noises during start-up and operation
When first turned on Canute 360 will make a louder than usual noise as it performs a reset of the display. It will go through this twice before starting up, taking about a minute in total.
Once on and being used the Canute 360 will make a gentler ‘line setting’ noise for every line on the display that is being changed.
When your Canute 360 is left on and is not being used it will make a gentle ‘ticking’ noise.
For technical support, in the first instance contact your distributor.
To report a bug, or contact the team, please email email@example.com.
For more support information, please visit www.bristolbraille.co.uk/support
Notes on versions and copyright
The main manual is stored in the website. All copyright belongs to Bristol Braille Technology CIC.
Canutes are sent out with print manuals which are updated less frequently but include images explaining use of the Canute. These images are copyright Techno-Vision Systems.
The “dotless manual” is generated from the main manual after being run through a simple regular expression to filter out the Unicode Braille characters in brackets:
sed 's/ (.*