Our simple and easy-to-use RNIB PenFriend 3 enables you to record your own audio labels for a wide range of items in and around the home, at school and work. When you need to identify the item, simply place the PenFriend on to the label and it will play back your recording! It can also be used as an MP3 music player and Talking Book player.
The four tactile operating buttons are yellow to provide a high contrast against the black casing of the RNIB PenFriend. Each label holds a message up to one hour long and you can record new messages on to any label to reuse them where possible. Instructions on how to get started with your PenFriend are built into the packaging and are announced in a German female voice; simply switch on the device and touch one of the tactile instruction hot-spots on the packaging.
The PenFriend 3 measures 25mm by about 20mm at its widest point and is 150mm long, the tip is about 10mm in diameter.
Please buy extra label packs in sequence to ensure you don't have duplicate labels; they are individually numbered. If you have two with identical numbers both labels will read out the newest recording attached to that number.
Use your audio labeller to:
- Label food items – including freezer food, with use-by dates, cooking instructions and dietary information.
- Identify your shopping – label items as you place them into your basket, so you know what they are when you get home.
- Place audible notes on medicine packaging and cosmetics.
- Organise household paperwork and personal documents.
- Identify your film and music collections.
- Label your clothing – washing instructions, colours, coordinating items of clothing and accessories.
- Organise your gardening seed packets and potting tools.
- Listen to music – you can store approximately 1,000 songs in MP3 format.
- Listen to Talking Books – you can save one book at a time.
Get the most out of your RNIB PenFriend with our hints and tips guide.
Items supplied with your RNIB PenFriend inside a plastic storage box:
- One RNIB PenFriend 3 audio labeller; 8GB internal memory stores up to 250 hours of recordings. Memory is expandable by SD card up to 16GB.
- 127 mixed-size labels in orange and yellow; small round, large round, large square.
- 10 magnetic labels.
- One keyfob; with four recording spots.
- One lanyard.
- 'Getting started' audio instruction card in German; with 15 ideas for using your RNIB PenFriend 3.
- Two AAA batteries already inserted; replacement batteries are available: standard (BAT03) or rechargeable (BAT08).
RNIB Technology Grant Scheme
The RNIB PenFriend is available to apply for through the RNIB Technology Grant Scheme. Other items include video magnifiers, the Orbit Reader 20, kitchen equipment, clocks and watches, phones and DAISY players. For further information visit rnib.org.uk/grants or call 0303 123 9999.
File management software
If you’ve access to a Windows-based computer, you can backup and manage your recordings using File Explorer or the free Label Manager software which can be downloaded from penfriendlabeller.com/penfriend-manager. Label Manager offers two access options:
- Audio Interface, which is the Jaws-ready simple backup system.
- Graphic Interface for which you may require sighted assistance.
Most of the utility functions, such as backups/restore, can be done on both interfaces. Use the Graphics Interface or File Explorer for loading music and Talking Books.
Convert your original RNIB PenFriend recordings to use on your RNIB PenFriend 3
If you're replacing your original RNIB PenFriend or PenFriend 2 with an RNIB PenFriend 3 you can transfer all your recordings from your old pen to your new one. This means you can still listen to all your recordings from the same labels. Download the PenFriend Tool Transfer Wizard on a Windows-based computer. Save the programme to your hard disk and then select the setup.exe file to install the Wizard and run the programme by selecting the PenFriend Transfer Wizard icon on your desktop. Connect your original PenFriend with the USB cable and follow the instructions. The transfer takes about five minutes to complete and afterwards you can continue to use your original PenFriend as well as your new PenFriend 3.
Accessories to order separately
Available from RNIB:
- RNIB PenFriend white labels (DL77-82, DL88-89, DL117)
- RNIB PenFriend coloured labels (DL112-113)
- RNIB PenFriend laundry labels (DL96-98, DL118)
Not available from RNIB:
- USB cable, Male A to mini USB
- SD card, if you wish to expand memory. File backup and using an SD card: If you’ve access to a Windows-based computer you can back up and manage your recordings with the free Label Manager software. You’ll need a USB cable (not included) to access the Label Manager. Changing the SD card to expand memory requires a computer. Sighted assistance may be required for the process of removing or replacing the SD card.
Downloadable product instructions:
Standard delivery times
For items we keep in stock at our warehouse, we make every effort to deliver your order within five working days. However if you've not received your goods within seven working days please contact our Helpline on 0303 123 9999 who will be able to help you.
Covid-19 measures: our warehouse and special order suppliers are still operating and dispatching orders at this time. However, please be aware that Royal Mail and couriers are under increased pressure and their delivery timescales may be extended. Your order may take a few extra days to reach you.
We work with partners to deliver products on our behalf. We will pass on your contact information to be able to deliver the product effectively. Whilst delivery is usually within seven days, it may take up to six weeks.
Articles for the Blind scheme
Most of our products and some publications in large print (16 point and above) can be sent by freepost under Royal Mail's "Articles for the Blind" scheme.
However, the Articles for the Blind scheme offers no guarantees of delivery or insurance for valuable items. Therefore we have to use alternative delivery methods, such as courier and Royal Mail services, for higher value orders.
Where a product incurs a delivery charge this is highlighted in the product details and will be added to your order at checkout.
When we send your products, the package will include a "dispatch note" with details of the contents. It is really important to check this against the actual contents of the package and alert us immediately (within seven working days of receiving the order) about any discrepancies.
If you find this product is unsuitable for your needs, or is faulty, then follow our returns instructions to ensure we deal with your enquiry efficiently. Some products cannot be returned. More information can be found in product description where applicable.
Special order products are non-returnable unless faulty. We kindly ask our customers to ensure that any faulty products being returned are packaged securely for stable transit, or the warranty may be voided. Where possible, please use the original packaging. These include specially ordered items that are not part of our standard range. This also includes personalised items, including computer packages, as well as special order canes, walking sticks and more.
- Additional Information