Bongofish

Screen Tablet malarky => Successful builds! => Topic started by: Rumi on December 31, 2006, 04:48:33 AM



Title: success ** Samtiq II ** amazing images on page 6
Post by: Rumi on December 31, 2006, 04:48:33 AM
Hi all,

I have started on my home-made Cintiq project which I am calling the Samtiq    ;D

My aim is to have a finished product which looks like this
(http://inklingstudio.typepad.com/my_weblog/images/gt_cintiq1.jpg)

Since I want to build the Samtiq into an animation desk I have decided that a 15" display size is the most suitable size. Any bigger and I will lose the functionality of being able to turn the animation disk to work at different angles. For a time I was considering a 12×18 tablet which was going cheap but that is just too big and would have been impractical for my purposes. So I have decided that 9×12 is the size that I will go with and a 15" LCD screen.

After much searching through LCDs on ebay, I have purchased the following LCD:
(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2006/12/samsung152t.jpg)
It is a 15″ Samsung SyncMaster 152T, which was the top of the range of the 15" Samsung monitors when it came out about 4 years ago. It only does 1024×768 which might be a problem but it will be good enough to start with. I have a Sharp UXGA 15" which can do atleast (1280×1024) but that needs to have a controller purchased for it so I am starting with the Samsung and if the project is useable I will look into getting the controller for the Sharp panel. This Samsung monitor does have FFC issues, I will find out how bad when I get it. The good thing is that it has an external power supply. The monitor should arrive next week, unfortunately it doesn’t have a power supply ( 14V 3 Amp ) so I will have to find that before I can get started.

On the tablet side of things I am looking for a 9×12, in the Wacom range the Intuos3 9×12 goes for AU$500-700, so I am considering different options, one of which is the following: http://www.uc-logic.com/products/products_pf1209.htm
This tablet has the same specs as the Intuos3 at a fraction of the price although I don't think the drivers will be as good as Wacom’s
There is a seller on ebay that’s selling this item, it is in the states and the shipping charges to OZ are a bit annoying but I might go that way if there is no other way.

On the topic of resolution what are the DIY-Cintiq graduates running at? 1024x768 or 1280x1024? How does that go with usability?

I am also posting my findings and my progress on my blog under the category "DIY Cintiq (http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/category/diy-cintiq/)" if anyone is interested.

Wish me luck! And all the best to all the other DIYers.



Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Drewid on December 31, 2006, 03:05:02 PM
1024 x 768 here.   

Probably worth getting a power supply with more amps, just in case.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on December 31, 2006, 11:57:15 PM
In case I want to convert it to LEDs later?


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Drewid on January 01, 2007, 02:50:37 PM
or to run the tablet from the same source (assuming it's not USB)
or to wire in a fan if you need it.


Title: Samtiq - Monitor Stripping
Post by: Rumi on January 13, 2007, 04:03:09 AM
I've been really busy lately, in order to support my DIY Cintiq habit I've had to take on some freelance work. But the game is finished now ( Happy Feet (http://www.glad.com.au/happyfeetgame/index.html) ) and I can get back to more important things.

The 14V power supply for the monitor arrived yesterday and I tested the monitor, it’s working fine so I started the task of stripping it. This monitor is a bit tricky to open up, I had to look for hidden screws and then pry open the plastic cover by sliding a flat-head screw driver around the case. Here is the monitor with the face removed:

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4418-2/_DSC7293.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=3475bcebf3800800553d85672f2828c0)

This monitor has an external power supply and a base which has the connectors for 14V DC input, VGA and DVI. These inputs are carried through the base and the stand and fed to the main monitor case. Again it was a matter of finding the screws to undo and prying open some plastic face coverings. All the above signals are fed to the monitor through one single connector which I had to carefully pry out. Once that was done the plastic back of the monitor was released.

There is some shielding which is easily removed via a couple of screws, once the shielding is off we are left with just the LCD, controller and inverter boards:
(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4422-2/_DSC7294.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=3475bcebf3800800553d85672f2828c0)

All the connectors on this monitor had a big dab of glue on them, once the glue was scrapped off the connectors could be removed and couple of screws undone to separate the LCD from the controller and inverter boards:
(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4426-2/_DSC7299.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=3475bcebf3800800553d85672f2828c0)

This is a close up of the controller and inverter boards:
(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4430-2/_DSC7306_caption.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=3475bcebf3800800553d85672f2828c0)

After removing the above circuit boards, things started getting a bit dicey. The LCD has a metal backing which I guess acts as the shielding but the wacom tablet cannot sense the pen through this shield so it had to go. The problem is that this metal shielding also hold things in place so I need to find some way of holding things together if I want to have a usable unit.

It took a while to strip the LCD, there are lots of metal tape and I had be careful with the LCD row/column circuit boards. I removed the backlight lamps by undoing the tiny screws on ones side and then sliding them out. That frees up some other parts but the plastic casing hang onto other parts with little tabs which need to be carefully pried open. I don’t like this prying open of plastic parts, it’s much nicer when there are screws that can be undone and the thing comes apart. Anyway this stage of the strip was pretty scary too easy to damage things. I was concentrating hard so I didnt take too many photos but here is what the LCD sheet looks like with the backlight module removed:
(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4434-2/_DSC7307_caption.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=3475bcebf3800800553d85672f2828c0)

As you can see in the image, there is a FFC (Flat Flexible Cable) connecting the Column driver circuit board to the Row driver circuit board. I counted the tiny connections a couple of times (and I mean TINY!) there are 20 of them and the pitch (which is the distance from one gap to the next) is 0.5mm. This is standard FFC but unfortunately the only place in Australia selling the components for making up an extension is RS and they have a minimum order of 5 or 10. So I am looking at getting this part from Lumenlab or DIY-Beamer.

So that’s where I am with the Samtiq, I will post more info as I get the parts.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Drewid on January 13, 2007, 12:44:37 PM
 ;D


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: wei803 on January 15, 2007, 02:57:07 AM
Rumi, I have the almost identical screen, mine was 152s, which is the VGA only model. Yet to open it, I think it will more or less look-a-like.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on January 15, 2007, 05:00:52 AM
Hello Wei,

When you go to strip it, it might save you some time to know that there is a little plastic face covering on the back of the monitor where the stand meets the monitor. Put a flat head screwdriver around it and pry it open. There you will see some screws and a cable going to a connector. You have to undo the screws and pull out the connector and that will free the monitor from stand.

Getting the controller and the inverter off is not too bad. I recommend you strip as far as the LCD, find out what FFC you will need and order that. Don't strip the backlight unit, it will just get dirty and collect dust while you are waiting for the FFC extension.

Good luck with it, I will keep an eye on your build log.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: wei803 on January 15, 2007, 05:33:09 AM
 ;D thanks for the advice!


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on January 25, 2007, 05:45:28 AM
After stripping the monitor as discussed in the last DIY Cintiq (http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/index.php?tag=diy-cintiq) post, I ordered the FFC extension cable from DIY-Beamer (http://diy-beamer.com/EN/store/comersus_listCategories.asp) and it arrived yesterday which was pretty quick considering DIY-Beamer is in Austria and I am in Australia. :)

I was a bit worried that I may have counted the tiny pins on the FFC incorrectly but it was ok, here are some photos of the FFC extension cable:
(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4482-1/Samtiq_FFC_ext3.jpg)

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4478-2/Samtiq_FFC_ext2.jpg)
I tested the stripped monitor with its original cable to make sure it still worked after all my fiddling around, and it was fine. I plugged in the new FFC extension and turned the monitor on.

Nothing.

I had marked the cable to make sure that I put it in the right way so I unplugged everything and double checked and then went to put the cable into the ZIF socket on the circuit board again when the tiny door of the ZIF socket flipped out. Arghhh.... they are called Zero Insertion Force because you need Zero force to break them! The problem is that the FFC extension cable has a plastic backing so that it is easier to insert, unfortunately this makes the cable a bit too thick and puts pressure on the ZIF door, hence the door popping out, it is not completely broken but it is a bit damaged.

So I started very gently separating the FFC from it's backing material using a very sharp scalpel. This went ok and now the cable fits very easily in the ZIF connector and with the door closed I get a good connection and monitor works with the new FFC extension put in.

Next problem involved a lot more time and patience. The cable connecting the controller board to the column driver circuit board was a very short bit of ribbon cable with two coils around it and some more shielding and lots of grounding. I need to extend the cable so that the LCD controller can sit behind the shielding for the wacom board hence minimizing interference.

So off I went to the local Dick Smith store for some cables, the rainbow ribbon cable seemed to be the closest thing to what I was looking for so I spent a couple of bucks on that and got started on soldering each one of the 40 odd tiny connectors. Here is a work in progress photo of the controller extension cable:

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4466-1/Samtiq_ext_cable1.jpg)

And the finished version:

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4470-1/Samtiq_ext_cable2.jpg)

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4462-1/Samtiq_ext_cable3.jpg)
There is no shielding around my extension cable and I have a feeling this is going to haunt me later on, but we'll see how it goes, I can add it later if there is a need.

After testing the cable pins a couple of times with a logic meter, I connected everything up to see if it worked. Again nothing happened after the first attempt but turning off and fiddling with the FFC connector fixed the problem. Here are some shots of the test:
(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4498-1/Samtiq_ext_cable_test_topview.jpg)

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4490-1/Samtiq_ext_cable_test_controller.jpg)

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4494-1/Samtiq_ext_cable_test_top_close.jpg)

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4486-1/Samtiq_ext_cable_test_caption.jpg)

Now the wait begins for the arrival of the tablet ...


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: ya3 on January 25, 2007, 07:05:43 AM
Yeah, those little flippy ZIF things are easy to break. I managed to break a big one on my controller board, so it comes off every time I un-clip it :P

I just ordered a 16-pin/0.5mm FFC extension from DIY-beamer to extend the same L-shaped FFC on mine. Besides your clumsiness with the ZIF thing, there weren't any other difficulties with it, were there?


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on January 25, 2007, 01:38:43 PM
Quote
Besides your clumsiness with the ZIF thing, there weren't any other difficulties with it, were there?

Wasn't so much clumsiness but the fact that the FFC extension cable from DIY-Beamer  has a bit of plastic(the blue part on the cable just before the socket in the first photo of my last post) at the end of it which makes it thicker and gives it more support (you will see what I mean when you get your kit in the mail). This is designed more for the sockets where you PULL out the door, insert the cable and then PUSH the door close. While the socket on my LCD is a FLIP open type where you place the cable and then flip the socket door close. The flip type socket on my LCD is designed for a pretty thin cable so the extra bit of plastic on the back of the FFC extension was too big for it and when I tried to close this FLIP type door one of the legs popped out of its place.

So that is why I had to use a scalpel to separate the bit of plastic backing from the cable, and now the FFC extension cable fits correctly in the FLIP type ZIF. I also had to put some tape at the back of the LCD FFC so that it was thicker and would fit better in the PULL type socket of the FFC extension.

Hope that's more clear now.

Other than that there were not many major problems. I tried putting my 6x8 wacom (still in the case) underneath this setup and it worked but it would lose the pen sometimes and would take a little bit of time to find it again. Also there was some funky jittering going on which is a bit of a worry but I will wait till the bigger tablet arrives so I can put the LCD straight onto the tablet circuit board before deciding if the jittering seriously affects usability.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on January 29, 2007, 11:14:04 PM
After a long wait the UC-Logic 1209 has arrived:

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4506-1/uc_logic_1209_tablet_001.jpg)

The first impressions of the tablet are that it is well made, not as nicely manufactured as the Wacom tablet but it is not super cheaply made either. The pen uses batteries inside it which I thought might make the pen feel strange but it actually makes the pen feel substantial and good to use. The tablet comes with Adobe Elements and trial versions of Photoshop and Painter plus the drivers and this is where the trouble starts.

The tablet is advertised as Mac compatible but the Mac drivers supplied with the tablet are too old and would not work on OS X 10.4.8. So I searched on the net and found some newer drivers but unfortunately these don't work 100% either. In Photoshop the tablet works and there is pressure sensitivity but randomly the  system stops responding and the CPU usage goes to 100% for 2 or 3 secs before the system catches up and the lines are drawn in Photoshop.  This is very disappointing. :(

To make sure the tablet actually works I tried it on a PC running Win XP. Again the drivers supplied in the box were too old and did weird things to the system but installing the new drivers from the net fixed that problem and the tablet works fine in Windows.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Drewid on January 30, 2007, 08:52:51 AM
I like how their pen stand is identical to one of the older Wacom stands.  Cheeky.

 ;D

Have you tried "Bhrazz's opening gambit" yet?


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on January 31, 2007, 12:37:00 PM
Oh yes, Bhrazz's opening gambit.... I'm getting checked already! 

I have had a little bit of time to do some tests and there have been some interesting things happening but I need time to do more tests to double check things.

First of all this tablet has a pen reading height of 25 mm above the tablet case. The sensor doesn't sit as deeply into the case as the Wacom but still that is an impressive reading.

Now the bad news is that the tablet gets a bad case of jitters when the operating LCD is placed on top of it. It starts randomly doing right and left click and other funky stuff. First I thought it must be the inverter so I tried various positions, having the controller/invert boards on a different plane did seem to help but in this configuration I still get jittering and random clicking/moving. So I started unplugging things to see what was causing the problem:

- disconnecting back lights had no effect
- disconnecting inverter board from main controller had no effect
- putting the controller about a meter away from the LCD/Tablet had no effect
- Rotating the row column drivers perpendicular didn't have very significant effect but could look into this some more
- unifying the grounds on the controller -> inverter -> column drivers -> row drivers didn't have any effect
- some shielding material with plastic backing came with the monitor, I tried putting this between the tablet and the column drivers, no effect
- removing the whole backlight slab/unit and letting the LCD sit on the sensor(with paper in between for insulation) made it worse!

It seems the actual LCD  is interfering with my tablet and not the backlight unit (or maybe that interferes as well but not as much). So I put the sensor back in its case and that actually helped a bit. All this time I was worried about things getting too thick but actually having the LCD too close to the sensor seems to cause some problems. Please note that these results are only for my tablet and my LCD, I think Wacoms use a different technology so I don't think we can uniformly apply rules between different tablets or even LCDs.

After this I thought maybe increasing the distance between the LCD and sensor might help even more but it wasn't to be... it helps a little but I still get the random clicking problem.

So now I am trying different monitor frequencies, resolutions, colour depths, so far without success. I have tried 60, 70, 72 and 75Hz, I will get the specs for this monitor so see what the range is and test them all.

A tip for other people doing tests, it's handy to have a second monitor connected and have the stripped LCD sitting on the tablet, then you can move and disconnect things and still assess the result by drawing and seeing the result on the second monitor.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Drewid on January 31, 2007, 12:43:43 PM
Here's a thought. It might be worth trying the LCD rotated 180 degrees and flipping it in the screen drivers (if you can).


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on January 31, 2007, 12:58:28 PM
Just tried that, no luck.  :(


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Drewid on January 31, 2007, 02:53:18 PM
Shield all the cables?


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: wei803 on January 31, 2007, 04:44:01 PM
Looks like we're having the same problem Rumi.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on January 31, 2007, 09:29:35 PM
Drew: I tried putting all the cables away from the tablet without much improvement. I actually think that the interference is being caused by the transparent little wires which are sandwiched in the Liquid Crystal unit for carrying the signal to each pixel. I am not sure why some LCDs would cause more interference than others but then we all seem to have different tablets anyway so it is hard to compare. I might email the UC-Logic people and ask them what types of LCDs they recommend with their sensors, because they do sell modules separately. That might help in the search for better LCD's.

Wei: Yes we seem to be having the same problem (same monitor)but you have the Wacom, do you get the random clicking problem as well?


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: wei803 on February 01, 2007, 04:48:09 AM
I get random left & right click as I mentioned on another thread whenever my pointer move near to the LCD circuit.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on February 01, 2007, 08:59:03 AM
I was very excited when I started getting something on the screen but then I  noticed the random clicking and the jittering... oh well back to the drawing board :)


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: wei803 on February 02, 2007, 05:55:14 AM
Don't give up! There's still some hope.
Worse come to worse, we can keep the LCD for DIY HD projector project in the future  ;D


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Drewid on February 02, 2007, 07:16:40 AM
Or mod a PC case and use it instead of a window


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on February 04, 2007, 08:43:01 AM
After carrying out a lot of tests on the Samtiq and finding problems with the jittering I started to shield various parts of the unit to see if that remedied the problem. Here is the extension cable which runs from the controller to the column drivers on the LCD. I have wrapped aluminum foil around the cable and in this shot I am part way through wrapping it with electric tape:

[img width=800 ]http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4515-1/shielded_controller_cable.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=454665f3677fc0d501ec0f3bb87b9469[/img]
Here is a close up, I used a bit of the ribbon cable as earth:

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4519-1/shielded_controller_cable_closeup.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=454665f3677fc0d501ec0f3bb87b9469)
It was a bit tricky to shield the row and column drivers so I decided to wrap aluminum foil around the tablet instead. This is ok in my case because the tablet reading height is 25mm and I can leave the tablet in its case.

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4527-1/tablet_foil_wrap.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=454665f3677fc0d501ec0f3bb87b9469)
Once I had covered all the non-active area of the tablet, I wrapped a layer of tracing paper over the top to insulate the LCD from the aluminum foil:

(http://www.rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4523-1/tablet_tracing_paper_wrap.jpg?g2_GALLERYSID=454665f3677fc0d501ec0f3bb87b9469)
With these tests I decided to use the DVI input of the monitor and I think that helps, I dont have any jittering problems at all. The tablet seems to work great except when the pen is lifted off the surface to a height close to its reading limit. In this situation the tablet will sometimes register false clicks, they seem to occur close to the middle of the screen but not the same spots all the time. This is very annoying and seriously affects usability, I did a lot of tests without much success, here are some of my findings:


 
  • lower refresh rates seem to help, but not a huge difference. Min tried was 60Hz
  • shielding and moving the controller/inverter did not seem to make any difference
  • unplugging both backlights tubes didnt make much difference
  • shielding the row/ column drivers don’t seem to make much difference
  • grounding the shields on the tablet, controller cable didn’t make much difference
  • wrapping foil around the pen except the tip, disables the pen! :)
  • filling the background in photoshop with black made the inteference worse!



This last point indicates that it is actually the liquid crystal unit which is intefering with my tablet (wacoms may be different). To display black the LCD has to supply power to a bunch of pixels so that they stop light passing through, this voltage is interfering with the tablet.

I am very close with this project but yet so far.... everything is working except when the pen is lifted. I am wondering if UC-Logic uses a special pen for their tablet modules which is not as prone to the inteference from the LCD. Or maybe they specify to the developers what LCDs are suitable for use with their modules. I would love to get some more info about this.
In the meantime I might have to keep sliding my hand across the LCD, and not work on any thing with lots of black in it!  ;)


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: wei803 on February 04, 2007, 09:16:12 AM
I gonna give that a try!


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Drewid on February 04, 2007, 02:37:39 PM
Do you think the extra height given by removing the case might help?


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: DonShole on February 04, 2007, 03:46:56 PM
Hi Rumi, have you tried adjusting the pens click sensitivity from lighter to heavier? this may reduce/stop the random clicks.


Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on February 04, 2007, 09:32:54 PM
Drew: I might have to try that, but I am not looking forward to unwrapping everything. Maybe what I will do is remove the backlight slab instead and test that way. Although the problem that I am having is that when the pen is lifted to a height where it is almost losing it, it gets confused and thinks the pen has been clicked and it paints these bird droppings on my screen (and I thought bird droppings were meant to bring you luck!) So I would think that decreasing the case height would only mean that the bird droppings will occur at a different pen height. But at this stage I am willing to try anything.

So Drew, do you get more interference when you work on a black photoshop image? What about random clicking?

Don: Yes I tried that but the drivers are a bit funny and after doing adjustments  sometimes I lose pressure sensitivity and I need to reboot so I havent done that many tests. I will try that today see how it goes. I am doing these tests on a PC running Win XP, I couldn't make the tablet work on the Mac (driver problems), but I did get it to work on Linux using the TabletWizard open source drivers (yay for open source!).



Title: Re: Introducing the "Samtiq" by Rumi!
Post by: Rumi on February 05, 2007, 10:22:22 AM
Ok I tried decreasing the distance between the LCD and the tablet to see if it improved my random clicking problem byt removing the backlight slab. It actually made the random clicking worse. Please note that this is only for my tablet, other tablets like Wacoms use different technology so decreasing the distance may actually help.

I also tried what Don suggested, increasing the hardness of the pen doesn't decrease the random clicks but it does make them less noticeable because they are more faint.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 08, 2007, 06:58:03 AM
Alright I tested as much as I could with the Samsung 152T and now I am going to try something else, so I put the Samsung back together. Here is the result of UNstripping:

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4531-1/unstrip.jpg)

It is harder to put the thing back together than stripping it! Specially because I had extended the controller cable and wrapped all this aluminum and electrical tape around it so it wouldn't fit any more. I had to get rid of all the alu wrapping so that the cable was thin enough to close the case. Phew.... I am glad that is back together and there were a couple of times when I thought I had stuffed the monitor, I plugged it in to check and was getting nothing. I was convinced that I had finally killed the poor bugger but then I realized that the computer had gone asleep so that's why there was no display! :)

Ok so now I start with "Samtiq II, the return of the jitters" or maybe "Samtiq II, the jitterminator" :)
I have decided to go with the monitor that Drew has used for his build the Dell 1503fp. Here it is:
(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4535-1/_DSC7342.jpg)
Unfortunately as soon as I bought it these messages started appearing about jitter problems with the 1503fp! Lucky aren't I? Anyway the strip will begin soon. I just hope that the FFC is a 20pin 0.5pitch so I can use my extension from the Samsung.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: wei803 on February 08, 2007, 08:30:43 AM
All I can say is... goodluck mate!


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Switz on February 08, 2007, 09:51:45 PM
There are two versions of the Dell 1503fp (possibly more)

The one drew has (two 40 pin .5 pitch ffc)

or

Mine (1 20 pin .5 pitch)



You better hope you have mine (we all know its better anyway ;))


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 10, 2007, 04:39:29 AM
Firstly a little bit about the Dell 1503fp before we get into the stripped version.
Operating side-by-side with the Samsung 152T, this monitor is not very bright and the colours look muddy, the Samsung picture looked sharper, more contrasty and vivid. But if this means that I will have an operational unit then I will be happy with animating on that and using a second monitor for colours and things.

The stripping was very straight forward and much easier than the Samsung, most things came apart by undoing screws, only got to clicked-in things when I got to the metal cage protecting the LCD unit. I didn't take any photos because this monitor has been stripped and documented by many other people.

The LCD panel in this monitor is a HannStar HSD150MX12, the date of manufacture of the monitor is 06/2002. The panel has one CCFL and the backlight slab is tappered just like Robcat's, in fact I think that these are the exact same monitors just re badged. Which means that I have to be very careful with the row column drivers because two people have ended up with dead monitors because of the row/column drivers breaking away from the LCD unit. Comparing these connectors to the ones that I saw in the Samsung, the Dell ones look a bit cheaply made, so I will try to be as gentle as I can with them.

The controller to column driver cable is a normal ribbon type cable with enough room for me to be able to put the controller underneath a 9x12 tablet and the backlight cable is just long enough to reach around the other side.

There is a FFC connecting the column drivers to the row drivers. This is a 20pin 0.5 pitch FFC which is thankfully the same as what I used for the Samsung so I am happy that I didnt have to order another FFC kit.

The monitor has VGA and DVI inputs, although I don't notice as much difference in the VGA to DVI picture quality as I did with the Samsung 152T. It has an external 12V power supply  rated at 3Amps.

Trying Bhraaz's Opening Gambit, which is placing the turned off LCD on the tablet to see if the tablet could read the pen through the unit, resulted in a fail. There is a piece of metal shielding at the back of the LCD unit which stops the pen from being read so you need to strip further and remove the cage and protective plastic casing to remove this shield.

Ok so it is completely stripped now and sitting on top of the UC-Logic PF1209, I turn on the monitor and straight away the computer starts receiving random click!  :(  I tried various things like removing the CCFL but the random clicking stays. Very disappointed by this result, so after fiddling around a bit more I decided that I would try putting my Wacom 6x8 (still in it's case) under the LCD to see if that work.

After wrestling with Win XP to uninstall other tablet drivers and then reinstalling the new ones, I turned the unit on, no random clicking, no cursor flying to one side of the screen! I draw on the LCD and it shows up on the monitor just as I drew it, no crazy wiggles or bird droppings! I couldn't believe it! It was working!  :D

If I touch the pen on the screen and old it there, there is a tiny bit of a jitter but when I am drawing at speed I don't notice it and the lines are almost the same as how I drew them (with a tiny bit of snaking), what's more there is no shielding or earthing at all in this test, just put one thing on top of the other. I tried the test with drawing white on black and no noticeable difference.

I'm very happy about this, I just hope I will get the same result with a larger Wacom.

So here is my conclusion:
  • Wacom technology is different to the other tablets, so if you get a non Wacom tablet with the same monitor as Drew's chances are that it wont work. This has caused a lot of confusion because we have been trying to reproduce Drew's results using non-Wacom tablets and different LCDs. So you can't just grab any tablet and put it under any LCD to get a Cintiq.
  • Drew has magically found a monitor which seems to run at the right frequency so that there is minimum interference with the Wacom tablets. I tried the Samsung 152T with the Wacom and that WAS intefering, so was Wei's. There is something about the Dell 1503fp and other monitors which are the same but re badged (robcat's IBM) that doesn't stuff up the Wacoms.
  • If you have a non Wacom tablet there are probably LCDs out there which wont interfere with the tablet but we haven't found any yet. The easiest thing would be to open up a XPC-1700B and have a look, that has a UC-Logic module in it. Not so easy would be to keep buying LCDs and trying them one by one.

Now I have to wait for the 9x12 Wacom to do more tests.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: DonShole on February 10, 2007, 09:29:22 AM
Interesting observations.  I got a 15" packard Bell monitor L15CX(25 ms response rate) - the actual lcd is a samsung - LTM150XH-L01 seems to be the serial number.  Putting the stripped monitor (with CCFLs in place) on top of an unstripped genius 5x4 wizardpen gave me random right clicks but no jitters.  Disabling the pen right-click stopped the random clicking.  I'm waiting on a 12 x 9 nisis tablet, so still holding my breath.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Drewid on February 10, 2007, 10:46:34 AM
Now that's interesting The LCD from my dell wasn't a HannStar, I know dell change LCDs between different revisions of the same monitor. I'll see If I can dig out the screen make and number.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 11, 2007, 10:21:38 AM
@DonShole

I believe the Genius tablet is a re-badged UC-Logic tablet so that's why we both have this random clicking problem. Not sure about the nisis tablet.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: DonShole on February 11, 2007, 10:31:11 AM
From my research, it would seem that nisis, aiptek, adesso and trust all use the same sensor boards.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: kubi on February 11, 2007, 01:42:43 PM
i add to nisis, aiptek, adesso : medion and trust


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: DonShole on February 12, 2007, 09:31:18 AM
Hi Rumi,

What is the name of the connector you have used in your diy extension with the ribbon cable and where did you find it?
Thanks

Don


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 12, 2007, 09:39:27 AM
Hello DonShole,

The original cable connecting the controller card to the column drivers was too short so I cut it and added the ribbon cable in between the original connectors. There was a fair bit of work involved in soldering each little wire and it's good to have a multimeter so that you can check to see if the correct wires have been joined.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: wei803 on February 13, 2007, 02:00:03 AM
If you don't have the meter, just cut and join one by one. Do not cut all of them and start scramble which is which.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Switz on February 13, 2007, 04:24:08 AM
Same one as mine.

Which cables did you extend?  Edge connectors to Driver board or board to inverter?


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 13, 2007, 05:15:36 AM
I extended the edge connector to controller, which was more work but the controller and the inverter on my LCD were secured to a board as one module and I thought I would keep them together.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Switz on February 13, 2007, 08:43:32 PM
ok, I am thinking about extending my controller to inverter because I can get my controller behind the tablet without extending


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 19, 2007, 05:35:29 AM
Ok Bongofishians, here is the report I just posted on my blog:

After waiting for an eternity for the computer retailer to get its act together, my Wacom Intuos3 has finally arrived! This is a beautiful piece of equipment:
(http://www.wacom.com.au/price/intuos3/img/PTZ-930(9x12).jpg)

The Dell 1503fp that I stripped before (see previous posts) had been sitting in the corner collecting dust and now it was time to fire it up again to see if it would work with the new tablet. As I mentioned before the 1503fp was working with the Wacom Intuos2 6x8 with a little bit of jittering but since this tablet is smaller than the screen area for the project to be usable I really needed 9x12 tablet since I am using a 15" display.

I placed the new Wacom still in the case under the stripped monitor and after checking that there was nothing touching or shorting any part of the monitor circuits, I plugged everything in, and IT WORKS!! Even better than the smaller Intuos2, there seems to be no jitter!

Next step was to strip the new Wacom and place the LCD directly onto the sensor and calculate how much room I have to play with when deciding on a protective glass or acrylic layer for the LCD.

There are some screws on the back of the Wacom and a single plastic tab which needs to be pressed before the back will work free a little then I had to carefully peel off the metallic ground tape that was stuck to the back cover and then I could move the back cover away, the USB lead still goes through it so it can not yet be completely removed.
(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4540-1/wacom_back_cover.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4544-1/wacom_inside_back_cover.jpg)
With the back cover out of the way I started pulling at the actual sensor but it is stuck with a seriously strong double-sided tape. This tape it just too strong I think, I was bending the circuit board and it still wouldn't budge, I would probably break the board or maybe damage the components if I kept bending it. So first I pulled back the circuit board a little bit until I could see the FFC cables which connect the sensor board to the touch strip which is a new feature of the Intuos3 tablet. I open the ZIF socket and pulled the tiny FFC cable out of the socket using a pair of tweezers. I couldn't do the same for the other side because the ZIF socket is out of reach.

I grabbed the ever handy Utility Knife and extended the blade to maximum, then as I pushed the circuit board away from the plastic casing, I slid the blade of the knife in and carefully cut the foam-double-sided tape. And then the other side but this time being even more careful because the FFC was still connected to it's socket on this side.

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4548-1/wacom_front_cover.jpg)
That was the most painful part of the whole process, finally everything came apart.

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4552-1/wacom_sensor.jpg)
Testing the LCD with the stripped Wacom showed a little bit of interference on the LCD. So I put the LCD back into its plastic cage which increases the thickness but it is very convenient because it holds all the guts of the LCD together and also compensates for the tapering of the backlight slab. I tested the unit again this time with a thick stack of paper on top of it. I kept removing paper until the pen started to be read by the sensor again. The thickness of the paper was 10mm so if I use a 2mm piece of glass to protect the LCD from pressure and straches, I still have 8mm of space before the pen stops being read.

The intuos3 tablets have a number of customizable buttons and 1 touchstrip on each side. The first problem is that the row column drivers get in the way of these buttons a little bit, the solution for me was to turn the table sensor 180 degrees and then use the drivers to flip the orientation. This works very well and helps put the row column drivers away from most of the Wacom logic.

The next problem is with the buttons, after placing the LCD on top of the Wacom and building an enclosure around it, plastic buttons will not reach the circuit board and whats more these plastic buttons seems to be partly build into the Wacom case which would mean that I would have to damage the Wacom case to get them. It might be better if I could find different button to replace the Wacom ones.

Now that the I have proof of concept I have started to think about building the enclosure. 


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Switz on February 19, 2007, 05:41:02 AM
I was gonna flip my tablet :(

Nice though :)


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 19, 2007, 05:48:24 AM
@switz:   Yeah the flipping function in the Wacom drivers is great! Plus there is dual monitor support.  :)


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Tanassi on February 19, 2007, 09:49:28 AM
Hi Rumi,

beautiful strip! i have a little question, because i'm thinking to use an Intuos III series for a new larger project.
are the touchstrip and buttons easily detacheable from the enclosure, or are they built in? thanks.

... Vince

edit: a little more question: what's the reading height (proximity distance)? Wacom declares 6mm on Intuos III series, but it seems to me so lowww, considering the intuos I series has a declared value of 9mm but i've measured on my 12*12" 14mm! only to have confirm.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 19, 2007, 12:27:04 PM
@Tanassi

Thanks, and congratulations to you with your build, I have been reading your build log with interest.


The buttons on the Intuos3 have these plastic arms on them which act as springs. The other side of the button has a little tab which grabs the case so that the spring doesnt pull the button completely out. There are no screws, there are some plastic rivets which might be holding them together, but it is not obvious how they can be removed.The switches on the circuit board are just normal switches so if I can find some kit switches which reach deep enough then I will be able to us them instead.

The touchstrip looks like it can be removed but I haven't stripped it yet, I don't know how things are held together on this , they may be using more of that evil double-sided foam or something. The FFC on the touch strip is long enough to mount it an inch or so above the sensor.

With the reading height, my LCD unit is about 12mm high with it's plastic case, I put a stack of papers on top of the LCD which was 10mm and the pen was just being read. So pen reading height of around 22mm.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Chems on February 19, 2007, 03:27:20 PM
Awesome, Im using an Intuos3 as well, waiting for mine to turn up as well.

So is there enough space to pack your screen into the same casing and lock it all back up again?!


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 19, 2007, 08:55:02 PM
@Chems

In regards to fitting the screen in the original wacom casing,  the Intuos3 is very slim compared to the older UD tablets, I dont think there is enough room for the LCD let alone the controller card and inverter boards. I think if you go the intuos3 way you will have to build an enclosure from scratch or adapt another case to suit.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Switz on February 19, 2007, 09:10:35 PM
You can always cut open the case so some are hanging out, I am going to have my driver board falling out the back (attached of course)


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Chems on February 19, 2007, 09:20:13 PM
The wacom site says 1.3 cm. My LCD with all the boards is about 1.5cm in heights, so yeah something will need to be done. Hmmmm.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 24, 2007, 11:43:13 PM
Here are some of the thumbnails and doodles I did while trying to figure out what would be the best way to build an eclosure for my home-made Cintiq.
(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4556-1/Samtiq_plan01.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4648-2/Samtiq_plan02.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4564-1/Samtiq_plan03.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4649-2/Samtiq_plan04.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4572-1/Samtiq_plan05.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4650-2/Samtiq_plan06.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4651-2/Samtiq_plan07.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4584-1/Samtiq_plan08.jpg)
I decided to use MDF to build the enclosure because it is easy to work with and will give pretty accurate rebates when a router is used.

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4588-1/Samtiq_template.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4592-1/Samtiq_cut_mdf2.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4596-1/Samtiq_cutout1.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4600-1/Samtiq_cutout2.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4604-1/Samtiq_cutout3.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4608-1/Samtiq_rebate_for_LCD.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4612-1/Samtiq_rebate_for_circuits.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4616-1/Samtiq_LCD_holder.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4620-1/Samtiq_wacom_holder_rebate.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4624-1/Samtiq_wacom_holder.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4628-1/Samtiq_wacom_holder2.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4652-2/Samtiq_wacom_holder3.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4636-1/Samtiq_back.jpg)
Notice the finger bolts on the photo above, they actually allow the wacom sensor to be moved slightly for calibration puposes.

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4640-1/Samtiq_wacom_in_place.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4644-1/Samtiq_front.jpg)

So the top is half way there I think, still have to get some 2mm glass and also some type of ply wood which is 2mm thick for surrounding the glass. The glass also needs to be painted on the back so the circuit boards wont be visible, and of course the whole thing has to be cut into a disk so it can be rotated. Then there is the issue with the base, I want something which I can change the height of and at the same time stable enough so there wont be any chance of things accidentally falling down.

Now I am going to plug everything back in after doing all this fiddling to make sure I didn't break anything in the process, fingers crossed.



Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Switz on February 25, 2007, 12:50:32 AM
This looks sweet!

Hope it works!


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Drewid on February 25, 2007, 10:45:50 PM
I am massively impressed with this whole enterprise. It's going to be fantastic.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Guthwulf on February 26, 2007, 01:07:37 AM
Nice build mate looks like its coming along great.  Just about ready to post up my build log but couldn't resist after seeing your lcd.  And hoping you can answer a question for me.  I'm using a Samsung 570s for my screen which is fitted with a Toshiba panel identical to your Hannstar panel right down to the plastic frame and fixings.  I'm fitting it over the ol wacom favorite the UD1212-R which arrived this morning from germany.

Have you had any issues with the either panel driver pcb's interfering with the sensor panel below.  I've run a basic overlay on the panel test, but i thought i'd ask before i started attacking things with the dremel :)

Cheers

Guthy



Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on February 26, 2007, 10:44:24 AM
As I mentioned in the last post I was going to test the whole build to see if it still worked after all the carpentry measurements. I screwed the LCD into the MDF board and was happy and thought everything was fixed now and easier to work with. So I flipped the build over to start working on the tablet side and that's when the guts of the LCD fell on the floor!

Arghhhh no! So close.... I was so upset! The plastic case of the LCD was screwed into the wood and so was the column drivers and I got a bit too confident and when I flipped the board the LCD layer came out from under the plastic covering and dangled from the column drivers, the backlight slab and all the sheets spilled on the floor. They all got mixed up so I am not even sure if I got the order of the thin sheets right but I put them back in trying to brush off as much dust and dog hair off them as I could.

I put everything back as well as I could and plugged it in and it still worked! I couldn't believe it! After seeing the LCD screen dangling like that, I thought that's the end of that, start looking for another monitor. I can't believe my luck!

But that wasn't all, after putting the tablet in its place and testing, the pen was being read very badly and a closer inspection showed that the tablet was sitting maybe a bit too low. So I had to take everything out again and what I did was put the padding and the metal shield underneath the tablet and added some washers to bring the screws to the same level. It was either the extra height or the shielding which fixed the problem, the pen is being read properly now.

Next issue was calibration, I had to take the build apart again and make the slots for the tablet bolts bigger so that the tablet could be moved more to the top and calibrated more accurately. And that's where I am at with the build.

Today was the first day of my animation course so I am going to be pretty busy from now on but I am hoping to get some time to do more work on it this weekend. Was good at school, they have a variety of animation tables and I had a closer look at what they have done to support the top and hopefully I can use some of the designs.

@Guthwulf With the panel driver pcb, I didnt notice any intefernce. I am putting the wacom sensor rotated 180 degrees and then using the drivers to flip things.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: dynam1c on February 26, 2007, 02:25:20 PM
 ;D

Nice one Rumi...

Lucky git !! Glad that nothing screwed up too bad, and the build is still going strong.

Have fun with your animation course and keep the great updates coming.



Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: bubbaflamm on March 05, 2007, 07:42:14 AM
so how is the spinning table going to work?  I love the idea, but can't figure out how you could keep the vga and usb cables from getting twisted, and maybe even breaking free.  are you just going for a limited rotation of the table?


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 05, 2007, 08:48:02 AM
@bubbaflamm
Funny you should ask, as I was about to post some photos. I have organized the cables to fit from the top with a slack for 90 degrees of rotation each side, it's not perfect but it works and I don't need to spin the thing around that much anyway.

I didn't take that many photos while I was building the stand as my animation course has started and I have very little time so I was in a hurry. Anyway I am using a "lazy suzan" bearings for turning the animation disk. Originally I was going to build an enclosure but not only is that a lot of work and takes up more room but is is heavier as well so I think this has been a good solution. Only problem so far has been that it is a bit high on a normal desk so I am using it while sitting on a stool.

I had to extend the inverter to controller cables but that was ok (practice from the last build). I am in the process of ordering a circular piece of glass (3mm) with holes drilled in it. This will be the working surface of the disk. I am going to paint the underside black except for the LCD area of course and that would be about it I think.
Ok here are some shots:
(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4653-1/Samtiq_stand1.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4657-1/Samtiq_stand2.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4661-1/Samtiq_stand3.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4665-1/Samtiq_stand4.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4669-1/Samtiq_test_drive1.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4677-1/Samtiq_test_drive2.jpg)


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: dynam1c on March 05, 2007, 12:49:21 PM
now thats one big animation disk :d but looks sweet non the less


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: naspc on March 05, 2007, 02:44:27 PM
now thats one hell of a build!


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: artmach1 on March 05, 2007, 05:38:04 PM
samtastiq!


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 05, 2007, 09:42:15 PM
 ;D


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Drewid on March 05, 2007, 10:27:21 PM
That's amazing. :o

Much kudos  :D


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Switz on March 08, 2007, 05:33:19 AM
Do you think it was the tablet that was causing the jitter, not the syncmaster?  I dont think you had to buy a new lcd.  If you are willing to sell your syncmaster, I would buy it possibly.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: nobodylikeJAP on March 08, 2007, 06:54:40 AM
Check out ebay, type in~touchscreen panel kit~ and tell me if you think using the panel to make a touchscreen is better


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 08, 2007, 08:45:11 AM
@switz I did try the Samsung Syncmaster with a 6x8 wacom and there were problems with it. Wei also had problems with the Syncmaster and the intuos3. There is a small amount of jittering with the Dell by it is useable and I haven't shielded anything either.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Drewid on March 08, 2007, 09:16:59 AM
Jap.  sorry m8, but no. too many issues with them.  Not for serious pro quality artwork.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: naspc on March 12, 2007, 12:12:00 PM
hey rumi, quick question when you freed the wacom board from the front covering,  how did you cut the l shape sticky tape?  did you go in form the side
or the top?  and also the fcc cable how did you free it?  did you just pull?  ok so it wasn't just one quick question sue me!

oh rumi love the build!


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 12, 2007, 01:04:56 PM
Hi naspc, with the double sided L shaped tape I slid the blade in from the side and carefully cut it as I was pulling the board apart. Just be careful not to scratch, damage or cut the nearby FFC. I could undo one FFC before cutting the L shaped tape but I couldnt get to the connector on the other side, so I did that side last.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: naspc on March 12, 2007, 10:13:38 PM
how did you exactly undo the fcc? can barely even see the damn thing!
that tape is sure string.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 12, 2007, 11:03:46 PM
Yeah the tape is ridiculously strong, they must be confident that they never have to do any repairs on these units!
The FFC has a pull type door, I could only get to one but that is enough to free one side then you can more easily work on the other side where you leave the FFC plugged in, cut the tape and then the board will be free and you will have more room to get to the FFC door.
 To open the little FCC connector door use a sharp object to carefully push one side of the door away from the connector, then do a little bit on the other side,  the FFC will then be free.

Take it slow and it will  be fine, by the way I put on a anti-static strap every time I go near any of the components.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 13, 2007, 07:18:12 AM
Here is an update on the Samtiq:


After a lot of discussions with the glass shop about how 2mm glass is too thin and very easily broken, I ordered a circular piece of 3mm glass to be used for the working surface of the Samtiq. The glass has 3 holes drilled in it and bolts into the wood underneath it and then the little metal knobs screw ontop of that to hide the bolts.

I started by placing the glass on top of the Samtiq and marking where the screen was going to be. I then masked off the underside of the glass and started painting the glass black. Oh I made a Samtiq logo stencil and painted that orange before going over it with black. Need to wait for the logo to dry completely before starting with the black, which I didnt do and so I had to do a bit of a fix up later. Anyway it will look really messy painting the back of the glass but when you turn it around you get this even smooth colour (just like they used to paint animation cells). I had to do 4 or 5 coats of the black to make sure all the holes were filled. Here is a shot of me painting the glass:
(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4685-1/Samtiq_glass_paint.jpg)
Then I just marked where the bolts were going to be and drilled the wood and that was it. I am happy with the look of the unit now. Since I have the protective glass I can now use full pressure without worrying about damaging the LCD, although the glass is a bit too smooth and doesnt have the grip feel of paper but I hear that the felt nibs from wacom help with that. Here are more shots of the unit:
(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4689-1/Samtiq_glass1.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4693-1/Samtiq_glass2.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4697-1/Samtiq_glass3.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4701-1/Samtiq_glass4.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/4705-1/Samtiq_glass5.jpg)


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Tanassi on March 13, 2007, 08:46:57 AM
WWWOOOWWW!

Rumi... it's totally cool!!! ;D

... Vince

btw: do you use PAP (plastic animation paper) for your animations? how do you feel it? i would like to use it for rough animatics.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 13, 2007, 08:58:35 AM
Thanks Vince! :)
And thanks to Drew and everyone in the forum!

I think PAP is great and I am looking to purchase it. As a matter of fact I was about to transfer the money when I found out that the license will be tied to a specific machine, so I have been running around like a headless chicken trying to install windows xp on a dell laptop that doesn't have a working internal CD and these old Dell's cannt boot up from an external USB. It's been a nightmare, I almost got the install going across the net using PXE and tftp but not quite, wasted a lot of precious time on this. Anyway now I have purchased a second hand CD module from ebay and have to wait for it to arrive and then I can purchase PAP. I think it will be a great tool for my animation course.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Tanassi on March 13, 2007, 09:12:44 AM
i'm happy for you man!
will you show up any moviie of you using it?
... Vince


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Drewid on March 13, 2007, 09:23:38 AM
Rumi,  that's got to be one of the most impressive builds I've seen.  Words fail me, it's just very very lovely.

Stick a pic in the gallery thread please


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: naspc on March 13, 2007, 01:03:59 PM
thanks for the advice.

Man that is one hell of a build, great job!


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Switz on March 13, 2007, 05:48:11 PM
Rumi,  that's got to be one of the most impressive builds I've seen.  Words fail me, it's just very very lovely.

Stick a pic in the gallery thread please
Considering we have had like 3 builds lol, thats not much to say,

But yes, I have to say

THAT IS FUCKING SICK

You should make me one
(for free of course  :D)


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: greenuns on March 13, 2007, 07:04:25 PM
 :o :o :o :o :o
simply amazing


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Drewid on March 13, 2007, 10:01:26 PM
I'm going to say it again, that's an amazing piece of work sir. When I was talking about impressive builds I wasn't meaning just tablets.

I was worried for a while back there with the earlier jittery results we were getting and the various breakages, but not only have you produced a working Samtiq, it's a beautifully finished and wonderfully practical working Samtiq.  Thank you for sharing your build with us all.

I sincerely hope it serves you well through your animation course.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Switz on March 13, 2007, 10:33:48 PM
PAP is free btw

http://www.plasticanimationpaper.dk/


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: dynam1c on March 13, 2007, 10:40:16 PM
Rumi my man that is just too sweet.. you have done the revolution proud !

You are now grand poobaa !

I dont envy you at all.. I just hate you with a vengance for being so much better then me at this moment in time :P

But thats one damn ass reflective piece of art, I mean shit you could come your hair brush your teeth do your tie in that ! Its a damn mirror, which will come in handy when you want to animate facial expressions.. ! Trust me !

but yeh your great nice one, now post it in the completed builds topic and draw us a funky pic using it..

wacom = 0
US LOT = 12000 (rumis build is worth the extra 11998)



Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Chems on March 13, 2007, 11:44:32 PM
Wow thats awesome. Great work man, super proud.


Now make a 21inch version and ebay the bad boy.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Messyhair on March 14, 2007, 06:16:04 AM
Very nice, looks like I need to get myself some tools and get started....



Mess


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Jthomasc on March 14, 2007, 04:27:50 PM
Rumi,

Lovely result, very much along the lines of what I would like to achieve. I have a traditional animation desk from Disney and I would like to gear my build to fit in the standard acme disc hole already in the desk.

The thing I notice about your build and what I would ask is the diameter of the final disc, looking at your photos it seems quite large. Much larger than would allow for my desk. This seems to be derived from your having that bit of the monitor cards laying flat above the lcd itself along with the ffc running flat off to the left as well.

I wonder do you think it would be possible to build so as that bit could rest more at 90 degress, swept back from the monitor? Since the goal is not to make it as thin as possible but rather control the overall size of the disc.

Was it an issue of interference/shielding to have it configured like this?

Many thanks,
J.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: DonShole on March 14, 2007, 06:39:47 PM
 8) Allow me to add my congratulations - Excellent build !


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: dynam1c on March 15, 2007, 01:28:24 AM
JthomasC - I use a traditional animation desk, and I can understand what you getting at, however you have to remember that the PCB boards for the tablet are larger then the LCD screen therefore you have to accomodate it all in one round disc meaning a muchlarger diameter then a standard animation desk.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Jthomasc on March 15, 2007, 03:01:16 AM
As long as the resulting diameter does not make it so that the overlapping part of the disc is larger than the distance from the bottom of the inset hole to the pencil rest then it doesnt matter if it's larger than a traditional disc. I intend on making a base that fits in the hole now and then the rest of the disc may lay outside the hole on the desk itself.

It just seems to me from studying the photos that there are bits he lays flat, and therefore increasing the radius, that may not necessarily have to be laying flat. If they do then perhaps I am out of luck but as it is my 9x12 wacom in it's case could do a full 360 on the desk without issue, and I can't imagine that the 15" monitor has a bigger footprint, some of these builds use wacom cases to get it done they would work attached to a base on my desk, I guess I am just hoping I can fashion a case that would lay on a base within the hole and still turn if just a small degree for comfort.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 15, 2007, 09:40:54 AM
Hi Jthomasc,

The diameter for the glass top is 605mm. The longest side of the Wacom sensor PCB is 425mm and for my calculations I assumed I was fitting a 425mm x 425mm into a circle. The diamater of this circle would 600mm. But the sensor is not square so the circle is actually a little bit bigger than is needed but not that much.

You are right that controller board and inverter boards can be mounted vertically but they are just filling space which would otherwise be empty because we are fitting a rectangle inside a circle, there is wastes space around the rectangle. As dynam1c has already mentioned, the limiting factor in terms of size is the wacom sensor and not the LCD controller placement.

What is the largest diameter that your animation desk can accept?


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Jthomasc on March 15, 2007, 02:29:58 PM
That is a good question, I'll have to make some measurements.
So 600mm is what you figure is the smallest diameter the board would fit. Do you remember the measurement of the short side off hand?
Once I get into my build I can get these but I am waiting until I have all I think I may need to rip into any of the components.
This is good information thanks so much for the reply, I'll toss up the measurements once I get home from work.

Thanks again.
J.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Jthomasc on March 15, 2007, 07:45:19 PM
Man, I feel silly now, I went back and looked at those great sketches you did and they have all the measurements on them.
sheesh. Goes to show you need to really read everything before you start posting.

Anyway, just using the measurements you have there on the sketches with the width and height of the wacom board being 439.5mm by 304mm, if my only concern is accomidating the board I should be able to have my disc with a diameter right around 570mm that should allow a sufficent area for the board to reside, now once we start adding in all the other bits and pieces I havent been exposed to yet then we'll see how close to that I can stay. Still need to measure my desk to see if it will allow for a disc of even that size.

**Edit**
I just saw on a subsquent sketch you changed the measurements to 425mm by 300mm which matches your response to my earlier question.
At those dimensions just accounting for the board I should be able to use a disc with a diameter closer to 534.5mm, chipping away at it hehehe.
*******

Great diagrams, thanks again for these great build logs.

J.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 15, 2007, 09:54:56 PM
Hi Jthomasc,

The design changed a bit, so some of the diagrams that I did are not exactly how things were done in the final build. I also estimated the size originally because I hadn't received the tablet yet and just worked from the stats provided by wacom hence the 2 different figures for the wacom board.

I was going to build an animation desk like you have and I even bought the wood an everything but in the last minute I decided it would be easier to just make a stand and rotate the disk via a "lazy susan" as suggested by Tannassi in his designs. But since you have the desk already it would be good if you can fit it all in. The disk will get a bit more heavier than the traditional animation disk so it might not be as easy to turn and who knows mounting the controller vertically may help with inteference. The Samtig does have a very slight bit of jitter which becomes noticeable when I draw a very slow line, I tried the shielding but the extra metal around the sensor seemed to make things worse so I got rid of it. It is not that much of a bother really because I work pretty rough and quickly when animating and then clean it up later maybe with a vector based program (Flash), I am still testing out this workflow.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Jthomasc on March 16, 2007, 12:24:23 AM
That's cool, I'm not sure if I will end up with the parts vertical or horizontal. I worry about jitter but I guess we'll jump off that cliff when we get to it.
I bought some materials for the build of the housing today, so far with the monitor + shipping and this wood and all I am right at $125 US.

I measured my desk the surface is 609.6 mm tall and the hole is right on center with that and is 419.1mm in diameter if I can keep the diameter of my disc at or under 584.2mm then I don't believe I will have any issues with fit as far as the overlapping disc, just have to see if I can get all the bits that make it work off the back of that disc into a box 325mm wide by 250mm high. If I can do that then I'm cool.

My monitor should be here by Monday next, I'll try and start my build log shortly thereafter.
If you ever decide you want to build your desk, and are interested let me know and I'll measure up the one I have here for you.

(http://www.flipandroll.com/_images/desk.jpg)

Thanks again.
J.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 16, 2007, 03:41:35 AM
That's a nice desk!
Plenty of room for the computer and extra monitor and keyboard.
I think you will be fine with fitting the wacom into 584mm.

One thing about the Dell 1503 is that it doesn't have the greatest viewing angle so I found that I had to have the screen at a pretty steep angle in order to see everything clearly but your desk looks like it is sitting at a steep angle anyway so should be fine.

Good luck with the build.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Messyhair on March 16, 2007, 07:31:24 PM
Hey jthomasc, can you measure that table for me? i'm looking to build something just like that....


mess


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: dynam1c on March 16, 2007, 10:14:07 PM
Rumi just a quick question dude.

How stiff is the lazy susan? does it jsut spin around loosely or have some type of grip to make it abit stiff.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on March 16, 2007, 10:46:27 PM
Hi Dynam1c, the lazy susan is pretty smooth, too smooth actually. I stuffed some cloth between the two surfaces so that it doesnt spin as easily. The cables come out from the top and help keep the disk in the same position too. I was a bit concerned originally about the lazy susan not being able to take the weight of everything but it has been fine so far.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on July 03, 2007, 01:45:54 PM
Hi all,

Good to see the forum is going strong. Sorry for my absence but the animation course that I am doing is pretty full on and has been taking up all my time. I am on holidays right now and I am catching up with things again.

Just wanted to drop by and show you my minor project animation that I did using the Samtiq, it worked great and combined with PAP I  forget that I am using a computer.

Here is the link to the article: http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/the-blind-caterpillar-final_2007_07

If you are interested in the development of the film, here is the whole thread: http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/category/minor-project/


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: robcat2075 on July 03, 2007, 05:23:17 PM
Hey, your short looked wonderful!  I saw several Cal Arts "Final Projects" a few weeks ago and they didnt' look as good as yours does.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on July 04, 2007, 12:55:10 AM
Hi Rob,

Thanks! Good to see you here and a great job on building your brilliant idea with the reflection onto glass!


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Drewid on July 04, 2007, 08:17:45 PM
Hi Rumi, good work there, nice weight and timing on that little fella.


Title: Re: Samtiq II
Post by: Rumi on July 05, 2007, 02:26:42 PM
Hi Drew, thanks man, that little fella wouldn't be there if it wasn't for your DIY project!


Title: Re: success ** Samtiq II ** amazing images on page 6
Post by: Monarch on February 04, 2008, 08:41:40 PM
Hi Rumi!
I saw your beautiful build on Bongofish and I am currently undertaking the build myself as a memorial to my deceased father who was a professional tinkerer. I have been using a number of your photos for reference and had a few questions. If you have a spare moment I would love it if you could help me out.

1.) Have you had any heat problems that you\\â??ve noticed since finishing the build? If so, how did you handle it?

2.) While there are several wonderful pictures of the finished Samtiq here on Bongofish there are not any photos taken of the rear of the Samtiq after it was finished. I have an idea how everything comes out the rear from your sketches but I would love to see photos if you could spare the time.

3.) Where did you end up hooking all of the on/off switches and monitor adjustment buttons? I would love to see how you attached those.

I check your build everyday because it is a constant source of inspiration for what I want to do.

Thanks for a wonderful build and documenting it so well.


 


Title: Re: success ** Samtiq II ** amazing images on page 6
Post by: Rumi on February 17, 2008, 06:50:02 AM
Hi Monarch,

In regards to my build I did have some heat issues actually, on a couple of days when the temperature was around 40 degrees C I started getting a lot of random clicks so much so that I couldn't use it any more. I put a big fan behind the unit and tried to keep it cool, which seemed to help.

The back end of the Samtiq is not very pretty, and it's hard to take photos of it. But here are a couple of the better photos I took today:

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/6224-1/_DSC7706.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/6220-1/_DSC7705.jpg)

(http://rumi.studio2pi.com.au/gallery2/d/6228-1/_DSC7708.jpg)

With the controls for the monitor, I was thinking about mounting them on the back but I never ended up doing it. I just connected the controls a couple of times to adjust things and then took them off and left things as they were.

I am glad that my build has helped you, I am thinking about making a bigger one (12x18) but still looking for a suitable monitor. Time has been very short lately but I hope to get back into it at some stage, it's great some of the new ideas that are coming up.





Title: Re: success ** Samtiq II ** amazing images on page 6
Post by: Switz on February 17, 2008, 08:59:04 AM
Wow.  Some nice pictures there.
Thats interesting that you only left the monitor buttons on for a bit, then took off.  Power on/off switch?

We need a video of the sliding in action!!!


Title: Re: success ** Samtiq II ** amazing images on page 6
Post by: Dom on June 28, 2008, 01:53:56 PM
nice wood-job


Title: Re: success ** Samtiq II ** amazing images on page 6
Post by: dave_ua on August 06, 2008, 03:24:01 AM
Hey there! I wandered here off the internets and was quite surprised to find such a wonderful community here.
Heh, got me daydreaming about one of those samtiqs myself. Just a quick question, how does samtiq compare to a regular Intuos3 tablet in terms of functionality? Like do all the features work, pressure sensitivity and all that through the monitor and glass?



Title: Re: success ** Samtiq II ** amazing images on page 6
Post by: Drewid on August 06, 2008, 01:36:37 PM
The short answer is yes.
The long answer is yeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssss.

The longest answer is :   You lose a little overhead in terms of how far you can lift the pen before the tablet loses track, pressure sensitivity and tilt are all in the pen so they still work as well as the vanilla tablet.


Title: Re: success ** Samtiq II ** amazing images on page 6
Post by: dave_ua on August 06, 2008, 11:22:29 PM
ok thanks, and how does 1212 DIY compares to intuos one?


Title: Re: success ** Samtiq II ** amazing images on page 6
Post by: Drewid on August 08, 2008, 07:56:11 AM
Only by the differences in the tablets themselves.  The 1212 has less levels of pressure sensitivity and a lower granular resolution.  But I've used manmy different Wacoms at work and I'd be hard pressed to tell the difference.   The biggest obvious difference is with the later intuos where you get the extra  user-programmable buttons and sliders.