General Specifications

The dimensions (W x H x D) are 6.6 x 1.4 x 4.4 inch (168 x 35 x 112 mm). It weighs 0.99 lbs. (450 grams)

You can purchase the following accessories

  1. SD card – 8 GB
  2. Padded Carrying case
  3. Power Adapter
  4. USB-A to Micro USB-B Cable
  5. Spare Battery

It has the eight high-quality, Perkins-style keys and a space bar.

It has a Power on/off button, a cursor pad with four directional buttons and one select button for navigation, and two rocker type panning keys.

It has one Micro-B USB port (USB 2.0) with support for Serial, HID and Mass storage device classes.

The battery typically lasts 3 days with normal use.

The Orbit Reader 20 uses the SD Card for storing files for reading and editing

The Orbit Reader family of braille devices uses TrueBraille™ cells that are based on Orbit Research’s patented Tactuator™ technology and produce signage-quality braille.  The cells are electro-mechanical in nature and are different from the traditional piezoelectric cells that are used in most other braille devices.  Orbit’s TrueBraille cells offer several advantages over piezoelectric cells:

  1. The braille dots are prouder than the dots on piezoelectric cells – they are about a millimeter tall compared to about half a millimeter on the piezoelectric cells.
  2. The braille dots are completely rigid and don’t give when touched by the finger.  This gives the user a much higher “tactile contrast” making it much easier and less strenuous for the reader to read over extended periods of time.  This “signage-quality” braille is also extremely helpful for beginners as the taller and rigid dots make the braille much easier to sense.  It can be compared to a high-contrast visual font versus a faded and blurry font.  In contrast, the braille dots on piezoelectric cells easily give when touched, resulting in significantly lower tactile contrast. 
  3. The braille dots do not “fade” over time as is the case with piezoelectric cells.  They always remain rigid to the touch.
  4. Piezoelectric cells are prone to catastrophic failure if they come in contact with droplets of fluids such as water or beverages, requiring the entire display module to be replaced.  The TrueBraille cells, on the other hand, continue to function even when exposed to droplets of water.  If a beverage is spilt on them, just the affected dots need to be serviced and there is no danger of the entire module becoming unserviceable.

SD Card and File System

Orbit Reader 20Plus supports only FAT32 file system. SD cards should be formatted with the FAT32 file system only.

The Orbit Reader 20Plus supports SD cards with memory capacity ranging from 4 GB to 32 GB. 

The maximum length allowed for a file name and path is 255 characters.

When a file is created or edited, the Orbit Reader 20Plus displays current date and time. You can check time in file properties.

There is no limitation to the number of files that can be stored in a single directory of Orbit Reader 20Plus. However, the file sorting function is limited to the first 200 files found on an SD card.

The txt, brf and .brl file formats are supported in Stand-alone mode.

If it is not getting deleted, it is possible that there is a hidden file and that this can be checked with a computer.

When viewing braille books with BARD Mobile, you must use 8-dot braille for reading. To change the output, press space with G until you get to the eight-dot.

When you have an edit box, press Space + Dot 8 to enter the text. Also, Space + Dot 7 is for backspace. This is how the iPhone seems to interact with braille displays and edit boxes. You can press the right arrow button to get the send button from the edit box.

If you are typing fast on a braille display, there will be times when the remote device lags, slowing down your ability to input text quickly. Orbit Reader 20 has a Buffer mode that allows you to input text up to 255 characters and send them faster to a remote device, avoiding problems with the speed of input of translated braille.

Note: Buffering text works only when connected over Bluetooth.

To open an input field in the Buffer mode, press ’Select + Down Arrow’. Once open, a cursor indicates that you can start entering text. Press Dot 8 to send the entire block of text to an “edit text field” on the remote device. Note that nothing happens when you send a text with no edit box open. Press Select to cancel the action and exit the Buffer mode, without sending any text.

BRF is Formatted Braille Files, while BRL is unformatted. On the Orbit Reader, both files behave similarly.

You can only copy and paste text if you are in the Editor. So, if you are just reading a book, this will not work.

So, for all the below, you must be in the Editor.

To copy and paste:

First, move to the point where you want to start copying. You can use any of the navigation commands, such as panning, cursor keys, Find command, etc.

Next, from the Context menu (Select key) choose Mark (M).

Orbit Reader 20 should say Mark set.

Now navigate to where you want to stop copying, again use any navigation commands.

Copy, Cut and Paste are all in the Context menu (Select key), so choose them as appropriate.

A copy will take a copy leaving the original intact. Cut will take a copy and delete it from the original. Paste will add the cotonto your current document.

If you have Word, you could save the RTF files as Word Docx files and then use Braille Blaster or, use WordPad and perhaps save as plain text.

The supported file format is TXT, BRF and BRL and BRA other than any other format of the file can open and the content will be in computer braille however any other format may not be understandable.

When connected to iPhone you can press space + Dots 2 3 or Space + Dots 5 6 (Rotor settings) to navigate characters, words, and lines. Once characters, word, or line is announced by Voiceover (rotor) you can press space + Dots 3 or Space + Dots 6 to navigate character by character, word by word, or line by line.

No, just transcribe it uncontracted. It uses the standard Latin alphabet. In UEB, use the sign for macron accent (dot 4,3,6) before any letters with a line above.

In the File Manager (that is when you’re **NOT** in the book press Space + P. You should get a message saying Protected or Unprotected.

There is no way to move between two files. You can close the current file by pressing dot 7. Then press up or down arrow to go to file which you would like to read and then press select key to open file to read.

To edit a file name, navigate to the file press Space + R and you will have a cursor at the end of the file extension.  Left arrow to the place you want to correct and make your correction then hit dot 8 and you will notice the cursor disappears.  The file is now renamed.

A maximum of 100 files within the same directory can be marked for cut, copy or delete operations.

Cut, copy and delete operations can be performed only on empty folders. If you try to perform these operations on a non-empty folder, the system shows an invalid action error message. 

Text files can be encoded in ANSI, UNICODE-LE16, UNICODE-BE16 or UTF8 formats. Other encoding formats are not supported. 

This error message indicates an internal error with the SD card, such as corrupt memory regions or a damaged card adapter or wrong file system.

There is no way to check the remaining space on the SD card through Orbit Reader 20Plus. However, you can check it by connecting your Orbit Reader 20 to your PC and go to mass storage mode by pressing command Space + Dots 5 7

It is not possible to rename a file with mixed characters from Unicode and ASCII.

Connect your Orbit Reader 20Plus to your PC using USB cable and invoke mass storage mode for the file transfers. Hotkey for the mass storage mode is Space + Dots 5 7.

Reader and Editor

Maximum of 5KB (approximately 5000 characters) of the file content can be copied at a time.

The maximum number of bookmarks that can be set, in a single file, is 100.

 The text formatting options from the Menu are applicable in the Reader only.

The Cut/Copy block operations can be performed only in Editor. To perform these operations in Reader mode, you should first open the file in Editor mode and perform the desired operation.

Assuming you are in edit mode, go to the spot you wish to begin your block.

Press the Select key and you will see E Exit on your display, arrow down to Mark and press Select again.

It should say Mark successful.

Go to the end of the block, press select again and arrow down to what you wish to do, cut copy, or paste.

When you remove the SD card, Editor application is terminated and edited data will be lost. It is highly recommended not to remove the SD card while editing any file.

The supported file format is TXT, BRF, BRL and BRA other than any other format of the file can open and the content will be in computer braille however any other format may not be understandable.

You can press space + Dots 2 3 or Space + Dots 5 6 (Rotor settings) to navigate characters, words, and lines. Once characters, word, or line is announced by Voiceover (rotor) you can press space + Dots 3 or Space + Dots 6 to navigate character by character, word by word, or line by line.

A file is automatically saved when you exit the Editor. A file is also automatically saved while editing or navigating approximately 1000 characters within the file.

Navigation by page’ will move the cursor to the next form feed character or 1000 characters, whichever comes first in the file. If the file has no form feed characters, the cursor will move approximately 1000 characters.

The ‘Filter dot 7’ function works only for BRF and BRL files. It has no impact if you are reading a text file.

  1. Copy file content from PDF and paste it into a text file.
  2. Save the text file with UTF-8 Encoding.

No, Orbit Reader 20 Plus or Orbit Reader 20 does not support dxb file format.

Yes, Orbit Reader 20 Plus supports text-to-braille and braille-to-text translation on board for English and over 40 other languages.

Steps to create a BRF file

  1. Choose the encoding option “ANSI” from the Menu
  2. Create a new file using the command (by pressing space + N keys)
  3. Type the content
  4. Save the file (By pressing Select)
  5. Rename the file by adding the extension ‘. BRF’

Steps to create a TXT file

  1. Choose appropriate encoding option from the Menu
  2. Create a new file using the command (by pressing space + N keys)
  3. Type the content
  4. Save the file (By pressing Select, Select)
  5. Rename the file by adding the extension ‘.TXT’

No, .brf file cannot be translated into .txt and only .txt file are readable on computer

Yes, space + dot 1,5 is the command to enable edit mode while reading a file in OR20 or OR20 plus.

By default the editor takes the first 20 characters of the text in the file as the filename. The newline character as whitespace and taking the characters from the next line.

Please follow this step to solve the issue.

1)Please try to create new file. Press space + N (dots 1,3,4,5)

2) Press dot8 and save file.

Then again open the same file and edit the text in that. And check what do you observe.

Note: once you write text in the file after close the file. Rename the file name according to your need. (For example, phone.txt). 

Yes, Orbit Reader 20Plus can support on-board translation using the localization feature. Please refer Orbit Reader 20Plus localization package available on our website at


Wake device from sleep mode and then try to establish connection between both the devices. Paring requests are accepted automatically when the pairing mode is set to “Just Works”. If it is set to “Confirm Code”, Orbit Reader 20Plus will not respond.

Four Bluetooth devices can be connected to the Orbit Reader 20Plus. However, only one Bluetooth device will be active at a time. In order to switch between connected devices, first put the currently connected host on standby (screen lock the phone) and then wake up the other host from standby (unlock the phone). The host will then connect to the Orbit Reader 20 automatically, provided it was paired already.

The default setting for Bluetooth is Auto in the Menu. That means If there is any screen reader activity running on the paired device, the Orbit Reader 20Plus automatically switches to Bluetooth Remote mode. If you do not want automatic Bluetooth connection switching, change the Bluetooth menu option to manual. To disable Bluetooth completely, select OFF.

The Orbit Reader 20Plus keys cannot be used to wake up a mobile from standby mode but can be used to enter a password to unlock the screen for iPhones. Android phones with Google’s Braille Back do not support this functionality.

This depends on the screen reader application running on your mobile phone.

Our observations are as follows:

For iPhones,

No notifications are shown for incoming calls. For phone messages, only notifications are received, and not the content of the messages. The display usually shows the contents of the screen.

For Android phones,

On receiving a call, the device displays contents of the screen. The content may vary depending on the mobile phone. The device may or may not display the number for an incoming call. The device does not display anything for incoming message notifications.

Note that iOS is paired through,                                                                 

Settings >General>Accessibility>Voiceover>Braille >Choose A Braille Display and not through Settings>Bluetooth>Devices.

Remote Mode

The Orbit Reader 20Plus works as an 18-cell device when it is emulated as Refreshabraille 18. The last two cells remain blank.

The Emulation mode can be changed only when there is no active screen reader connection. If the user attempts to change emulation during an active screen reader connection, the system will give an error message.

The Orbit Reader 20Plus resumes connection when you unlock the previously connected device from standby.

If the connection was lost when the Bluetooth device is active, then the connection needs to be re-established manually.

There are some simple ways to do this. They are as follows:

  1. Lock the screen of the phone and unlock.
  2. For Android, go to Settings >Accessibility >Brailleback >Setting and click on the status or turn off the Brailleback and turn it on again.
  3. For iOS, go to Settings >General >Accessibility >Voiceover > Braille and double-click on the name of the braille device, or turn off the voice-over and turn it on again.
  4. If nothing works, unpair the braille device and pair it back.

When the Emulation mode is changed, the “connected device list” will not show that change unless Orbit Reader 20Plus unpair and pair with the host. However, there is no disturbance in the current work.

If the Android device is in standby, then there is a chance that it may connect to the Orbit Reader 20Plus in the wrong emulation mode when wake-up the phone. Here, you can disconnect (forget) the Orbit Reader 20Plus and pair it again.

To enable input mode to enter or input text when Orbit 20 plus is connected with JAWS.Press Space + Dots 1-2-3-4-5-6

Refer to the table below for details.

# Connection mode Supported Channels Screen Reader Latest Version verified
1 Orbit Reader 20 Plus USB HID/Bluetooth 2017.2
2 Refreshabraille18 Emulation Bluetooth 2017.2 or earlier
1 Orbit Reader 20 Plus USB HID/ Bluetooth JAWS 2018.1803.24
2 Refreshabraille18 Emulation USB HID/ Bluetooth 18.0.2945
1 Orbit Reader 20 Plus USB HID/USB Serial/Bluetooth Not released yet
2 Refreshabraille18 Emulation USB Serial/Bluetooth and earlier
System Access
1 Orbit Reader 20 Plus USB HID 3.7.88
2 Refreshabraille18 Emulation USB HID/ 3.6.136
Voiceover (Mac)
1 Orbit Reader 20 Plus USB HID/Bluetooth Mac OS-10.12.1 sierra
2 Refresh braille Emulation Bluetooth Mac OS 9 and earlier
Voiceover (iOS)
1 Orbit Reader 20 Plus Bluetooth iOS10.3.2
2 Refreshabraille18 Emulation Bluetooth iOS9 and earlier  
1 Refreshabraille18 Emulation Bluetooth 0.95.1-Prod or earlier
Windows Narrator
1 Refreshabraille18 Emulation USB Serial/Bluetooth Windows10
1 Orbit Reader 20 Plus Bluetooth 5.5
2 Refreshabraille18 Emulation Bluetooth 5.5
ChromeVox (Chromebook)
1 Orbit Reader 20 Plus HID 61.0.3163.120
2 Refreshabraille18 Emulation HID 61.0.3163.120
Voiceview (Amazon Tablet)
1 Orbit Reader 20 Plus Bluetooth
2 Refreshabraille18 Emulation Bluetooth

You might have enabled a status cell on the right-hand side. You can turn it off in Braille settings.

Actually, if you are a grade 2 user, there are different settings.

Go into the braille settings under Voiceover, select the Braille table, and add English US, which is the grade 2 table, not in UEB.

Make sure that is selected, and you could even go and delete the UEB table now, but you don’t need to.

Then, under input and output, select contracted braille, so you will see your text as grade 2.

Also, when writing texts, you won’t have the issue with some signs being interpreted as computer braille.

Then, update your iPhone to 15.6.  This fixes some Apple braille issues that may resolve some of the problems you are having.

You can only have one selected at a time. There is also an option in the rotor settings to have braille tables as a rotor item; then you can switch tables on the fly and see if one works better for you.

The following issues have been noted while working with Android-

  • Automatic switching does not happen. The Orbit Reader 20 has a feature wherein, if USB and Bluetooth both are active at the same time, Bluetooth takes over the connection and in the event of the phone being locked the USB mode automatically gets activated.
  • When you type text messages on the Android device, it does not get displayed on the device.
  • It is not possible to enter the ‘screen unlock’ password of the phone from the Braille keypad of the device.
  • While using the Brailleback, you cannot type with Grade – 2.

Firmware Upgrade

If you are using firmware upgrade utility version v00.00.12 or an earlier version, Install VC++ redistributable from here and run it again.

For Utility version v001.00.13 and onwards, these dll files are merged with the main application and no installations are required.

Reset the device (press dot 8 + right lower pan key) and follow again the upgrade procedure.

Basically there is two methods to upgrade your device.

First with Windows computer and second with the SD card. With Mac Computer you cannot upgrade using the Mac Computer but you can transfer only .bin file in SD card and that way you can upgrade your device.


Yes. You can configure language in profile option and then you can switch between the profile. Note: You need to add language from Add language option under the Menu before configuring language in profile.

You can switch to profile 3 for computer braille.

These are the possible reason for the error

  1. Make sure you have latest localization file and latest firmware version installed on your Orbit Reader 20 plus. In case version of localization file and firmware version of your SD card does not match, it shows the localization error.
  2. Make sure that localization file name is not changed. Some of the operating systems remove the full stop (.) from the beginning of the file name when you download the file to your PC. The full stop (.) is required to detect the language in OR-20 Plus.

No, you cannot edit the localization file available on our website. Please contact us our tech support team for more help.

The maximum length of a system message that the Orbit Reader 20 supports is 20 characters.

In Orbit Reader 20 Plus, profile 2 is for contracted braille (grade 2). To read the file (contracted braille) in other profile apart from profile 2, need to set grade 2 in RW option. To read file in UEB grade 2, loc.file of UEB language should be present within local folder in device & also need to configure in RW option in any profile.

Yes. You can edit grade 1 & grade 2 file (contracted braille).

There are approximately 50 language files on SD card (in locale folder). Yes, language files can be set on all profiles.

Note: – Apart from available languages, for any other languages, need contact Orbit Research.

We post localization files that we receive on our website here.

We encourage you to share your localization files with others. You can send us your files via email at

Calendar, Clock, Alarm and Calculator

Press select + up-arrow and press down arrow until you get to Alarm 1 or 2. Press Right arrow and press select, then up or down to either turn it on or off and then right arrow through your options and use up or down to adjust any of the settings

Press Space+dots1,4,8. The same command closes the calendar.

Press Space+dots1,4,7 and the same command closes the calculator.

No it does not have speech output, but it just blinks the cell up and down.

To jump in the specific date you can press the Space + g (dots 1,2,4,5)

If you face this issue, please upgrade your device with the latest firmware and it will resolve your issue.

In the menu, above Clock Settings, you have Time Format. You can use this to switch between 12-hour format and 24-hour format.

The calendar entries stored in flash (internal memory). Right now, the entries are stored up to 20.

Yes you can set a new appointment and you can also View, Edit, modify and delete an appointment.

Please inform customer to change the profile 3 computer braille.

You can press Space + dots 2 3 4 5 to check date and time

There are four basic functions of the calculator (Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and division)

Yes, you can store the memory of the calculation. Please follow the below command to help you to store the memory

M+ (Memory Plus) Space + Up arrow
M- (Memory minus) Space + Down arrow
MR (Memory recall) Space + Left arrow
MC (Memory clear) Space + Right arrow
History navigation Space + Panning key

It uses BODMAS (Brackets, Orders, Division/Multiplication, Addition/Subtraction) operator precedence.


Follow the below-mentioned steps to keep your Orbit Reader 20Plus clean:

Due to exposure to natural elements such as dust and oils, the Orbit Reader 20Plus should be cleaned periodically. The following are some tips to keep your Orbit Reader 20Plus clean:

  • Cleaning should be performed with the unit switched off and with all pins in the down position.
    • Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft tip attachment to remove dust from the pin area.
    • Use a lint-free cloth to wipe the cells.
    • The cloth may be moistened with water.
    • Avoid using the following:
             1. Paper towels, cotton swabs or materials that can release fibers
             2. Alcohol or ammonia-based cleaners
               3. Canned or compressed air.

Orbit Reader 20Plus presents a text dialog or input field called an Edit Box when you want to find text or rename a file. The Edit Box permits only one line of text. Press Space + F to begin a search or press Space + R to rename a file. The only limitation is, the Cut/Copy operations cannot be performed on a single line edit box.

You can put your Orbit Reader 20Plus into sleep mode by tapping the power key once when it is in Stand-alone mode.

The command is to hold Dots 7 8 for two seconds or more. Pressing and holding these same keys again, unlocks the keys. You can also unlock the keys by turning the device off and then on again.

You can press Space with WH. or Space + dots 1 5 6. that’s the equivalent of doing the 2-finger double tap on your phone.

 Please follow the below steps to connect your PC using NVDA 

Uninstall Narrator drivers by the below steps,

  1. Press the Windows logo key + I to open Settings.
  2. Select Apps, choose Apps & features and then select Optional features.
  3. Select Accessibility – Braille support, and then choose Uninstall.

If you want your OR20-Plus to be re-connected to Windows Narrator then you can re-install these drivers using these steps, but be aware you cannot use Jaws or NVDA if you reinstall the Narrator braille.

  1. Press the Windows logo key + Ctrl + N to open Narrator settings.
  2. Under Use braille, select Download, and install braille. (This will take

           some time. Windows will also ask if you’re sure that you want to allow        

           Windows to make changes to your PC.)

  1. When download and installation are complete, select Enable braille.
  2. Next, add your braille display. Select Add a braille display and then

           choose your braille display manufacturer and connection type USB.

Please follow the below steps to uninstall the Windows Narrator driver for a moment.

Uninstall Narrator drivers by below steps,

  1. Press the Windows logo key + Ito open Settings.
  2. Select Apps, choose Apps & features and then select Optional features.
  3. Select Accessibility – Braille support, and then choose Uninstall.

If you want your OR20-Plus to be re-connected to Windows Narrator then you can re-install these drivers using these steps,

And install again by following steps,

  1. Press the Windows logo key + Ctrl +to open Narrator settings.
  2. Under Use braille, select Download, and install braille. (This will take some time. Windows will also ask if you’re sure that you want to allow Windows to make changes to your PC.)
  3. When download and installation are complete, select Enable braille.
  4. Next, add your braille display. Select Add a braille displayand then choose your braille display manufacturer and connection type USB.

Right pan down + dot 8 = System reset

Select + power button 5 times = Factory reset

You can email us the details at  You can also post your queries on our forums available on our website here.

Orbit Research warrants the Orbit Reader hardware product against defects in materials and workmanship under Normal use for a period of ONE (1) YEAR from the purchase date, by the original purchaser (“Warranty Period”). If a hardware defect arises and a valid claim is received by the Orbit Research, within the Warranty Period, at its option and to the extent permitted by law, the defective hardware will be repaired or replaced. Extended one-year warranty can be purchased within 60 days for $195.00 at the purchase time of the Orbit Reader 20Plus by the original purchaser.

For technical support, you may contact your local distributor of OR 20Plus. You can email the details at

Or post your queries on our website here.

Suspend Braille is a script designed to help reduce wear and tear on braille displays. It allows the user to temporarily freeze the display, preventing unnecessary movement of the pins while they are not actively using it.

Braille displays work by moving small pins up and down to create braille characters. When the user is navigating quickly through a document or application, the pins can move rapidly and frequently, causing wear and tear on the display over time.

Suspend Braille allows the user to press a hot key to freeze the display in place. The pins will not move until the user presses the hot key again or uses a “sayLine” command (Space + dots 1,4) to force an update.

Suspend Braille should work with most braille displays, as it is designed to work with standard screen reading software. However, some displays may require additional configuration to work properly.

To install and use Suspend Braille, download the .zip file from the provided link download and read the enclosed html file for installation and usage instructions. The script can be incorporated into your default scripts so that it is available no matter where you are focused.