Bongofish

Screen Tablet malarky => Build Logs => Topic started by: tirshea on August 27, 2010, 01:56:08 PM



Title: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on August 27, 2010, 01:56:08 PM
Hello everyone, here I will talk about my first attempt to build a DIY Cintiq.

Components :
- Intuos2 A4+ 12x12 : eBay 80€+17€ shipping
(http://a.imageshack.us/img824/6458/img0188v.th.jpg) (http://img824.imageshack.us/i/img0188v.jpg/)
- Serial to USB adapter : eBay 5€, no shipping
- Monitor : see below
- Accessories : nothing yet
- Casing : not yet chosen

Cost so far : 102€


Monitor Choice :

I have a few options at hand. I fetched a Philips 170S5 at work; which spec's are :
• 17" 5:4 / 13.27 x 10.62 in
• Pixels : 0,264 mm
• Brightness: 250 cd/m2
• Contrast : 450:1
• 16 ms
• 1280 x 1024 @ 75 Hz
• INTERNAL PSU

The internal PSU could be an issue here, I'll check the inside after the jitter tests.

I can also buy a Dell 1503FP for about 50€. Spec reminder :
• 15" 4:3 / 11.97 x 8.98 in
• Pixels : 0,297 mm
• Brightness: 200cd/m2
• Contrast : 300:1
• ?? ms
• 1024 x 768 @ 75 Hz
• EXTERNAL PSU

A classic, a bit lower specs but has been confirmed to work and have an external PSU.

I have a friend sending me a used laptop I can break into pieces, so a possible screen here as well, to be confirmed in the next couple days.

I spotted a monitor dumped in the street this morning, will check if it's still there when going home tonight

Pictures incoming...

TODO :
• testing the Philips screen for jitter
• confirm the laptop screen
• find a Dremel to borrow
• &c.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0
Post by: bernard on September 01, 2010, 08:06:09 AM
beware that serial wacom are not supported with recent Windows operating systems.  Even with a Serial to USB adapter (btw, you have to pick a brand that is known to work with Wacoms -- some of them do some sort of buffering which breaks the wacom protocol)


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0
Post by: tirshea on September 01, 2010, 11:11:43 AM
I'll try my best making it work on my PC, otherwise I can put it on my "old" laptop which can still run photoshop so it should be fine

As for the usb adapter, I didnt know I needed a special one. Let's hope I got lucky. If not, I only waster 5€ so it's no big deal

Anyway, can you point me to where I can find the 'working with wacom' usb adapter list ??


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0
Post by: tirshea on September 04, 2010, 07:09:20 PM
After more and more web crawling, I finally got it to work, here is what I did :

  • Grab an OLD version (http://www.wacom.com/downloads/driver-detail.php?id=149) of the drivers
  • And a NEW one (http://www.wacom.com/downloads/driver-detail.php?id=178). Note that this is NOT the latest version, which is intended.
  • Uninstall any remaining wacom drivers you have or this won't work, reboot as well.
  • Plug the Serial-to-USB adapter, install its drivers, check in the Device Manager that it is working and had its COM port number assigned, note it down
  • At this point my Wacom XD-1212-R was detected by Win7, but had the usual yellow warning / ! \, meaning it needed drivers
  • Install the NEW Wacom drivers, tablet still jad the warning sign in the Device Manager
  • Unzip the OLD drivers (yes it is a .exe but just a self-extracting ZIP) somewhere handy
  • In the Device Manager, click on the Tablet and "Update Driver", click through to specify a driver location, then browse to where you unzipped the old driver
  • Use the ".\WacomTablet_493-3\System32\Drivers\wtablet.inf" driver file, warning sign is gone \o/  but the tablet still wont work...
  • Now the trick, a registry tweak : Use Regedit and go to \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Tablet". If the "Tablet" key doesn't exist, create it.
  • In the \Tablet, create a value just like the screenshot, named "PnPTablets" with a value of ",COM?" where the ? is your serial-to-usb adapter COM port number you noted earlier
  • Here I needed a last reboot


When Win7 finished rebooting, I had a fully working serial Intuos2 XD-1212-R, with pen pressure, angle and everything. The Wacom control panel is fully operationnal as well.

So YES we can ! use a serial tablet on Win7. I'm using the x32 version but I have read feedback saying it works just the same on x64.

I will also test the monitor I have for the infamous jitter test :)

Screenshots to help :

My Serial-USB adapter is a Channel+ brand, part number is U232-P9
(http://a.imageshack.us/img441/7524/img0191zp.th.jpg) (http://img441.imageshack.us/i/img0191zp.jpg/)

Wacom Control Panel (in french)
(http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/520/wacomcontrolpanel.png)

Registry tweak, note that the Tablet key is indeed different from the Wacom key
(http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/9914/wacomregedit.png)


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: cellofaan on September 05, 2010, 10:59:36 AM
You are KING!
Someone should link this in the useful links forum, or create a special topic for it.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: Wilcorp70 on September 05, 2010, 11:53:37 PM
@Bernard, Do you think that this trick could be used to help with the driver issues interfacing the tablet pc digitizer?  I know this is a different kind of port, but hacking the registry to read that there is a tablet there and then giving it the address might get the computer to install the tablet pc drivers.  Just a thought, and it couldn't hurt to try it.

~Will


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 06, 2010, 01:28:44 AM
Great job tirshea!  :)

Sounds like a breakthrough. Well, that registry trick was a known one but your driver update trick is quite a gem! :)  Thanks for putting all that time in finding out the magic recipe.

I personally still have my doubts with Windows 64 bits - which would be the killer solution. I will surely try it myself.

Would have to check what is so different between the driver files that makes the magic (INF files are just text files). Why did you not intentionaly use the most recent driver again?

-----------

For the tabletPC:

It might be possible to use those drivers with the tabletPC Wacom sensors - would have to try it. Your trick could help there greatly.

We did not find the magic recipe to install the tabletPC drivers, UnderSampled seems to say that the installers (and potentially the driver code) looks for "ACPI" devices with a special id. (ACPI = devices on the motherboard).  (I wonder if there might be ways to trick that ACPI list to add a "virtual" serial port. Anyway, that discussion should go into the other thread that talks about it.) If we find a way, we might be able to use the TabletPC drivers with Ultrapads.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 06, 2010, 09:18:51 AM
I originally found someone talking about installing the old drivers, copy somewhere a file that was installed, then uninstall the whole thing. Then install last drivers (6.05-7 at the time) and replace a file with the file you saved earlier, or something like that, which didn't work on Win7.

Then I found this registry thing but it didn't work after installing the latest version, I thought "why not try with that 6.05-7 version" and for some mystical reason it worked.

Now I am facing an unexpected issue : after rebooting the PC, the tablet stopped working. But it came back after uninstalling/reinstalling the 6.05-7 drivers...

I am quite puzzled about this, any ideas ?

I have tried rebooting a few times, always the same un-re-install is needed. It is working smoothly afterwards though...


Regardless, I moved on to the monitor stripping step:

I had this Philips 170S5, which will be the first try.
(http://a.imageshack.us/img824/3139/img0192k.th.jpg) (http://img824.imageshack.us/i/img0192k.jpg/)

The grey plastic was removed easily, showing the button line, easily disconnected thus should be easily put to use later.
(http://a.imageshack.us/img824/6568/img0193k.th.jpg) (http://img824.imageshack.us/i/img0193k.jpg/)

Back view
(http://a.imageshack.us/img824/9336/img0194nn.th.jpg) (http://img824.imageshack.us/i/img0194nn.jpg/)

Zoom on the ID
(http://a.imageshack.us/img824/2372/img0195a.th.jpg) (http://img824.imageshack.us/i/img0195a.jpg/)

Removed the back plastic and alu to unveil the PSU in brown and the VGA controller in green
(http://a.imageshack.us/img824/2372/img0197kc.th.jpg) (http://img824.imageshack.us/i/img0197kc.jpg/)

We can see that under the PCB is another shielding, which I removed to finally get access to the screen and light diffusion.
(http://a.imageshack.us/img6/8648/imagezmd.th.jpg) (http://img6.imageshack.us/i/imagezmd.jpg/)
(http://a.imageshack.us/img203/4568/imagehyg.th.jpg) (http://img203.imageshack.us/i/imagehyg.jpg/)

The only problem would be the light diffusion board which is a whopping 8mm thick O.O

I tried putting in + the screen on the tablet and it worked, now I need to manage to plug everything for a live test...


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 06, 2010, 01:00:40 PM
Post-stripping screen test : it's still working !

(http://a.imageshack.us/img697/8426/imageopv.jpg)

Image flickers a bit but it should be because of unstable connection due to somewhat chaotic setup :D

I should be able to put both the PSU and the VGA controller under the sensor board with proper shielding. Might even reuse the screen casing for those.

1 hour later...

Here is what it leads to :
(http://a.imageshack.us/img811/7371/imagebyv.jpg)
I've put the PSU and the VGA controller back in their casing, everything on top. Checked the connections, image is now stable. There is little to no jitter at all so far.

Of course if I want to be able to fold the header/column cables behind the sensor board, the screen has to be in the corner for now.

Which leads to the next issue:
(http://a.imageshack.us/img832/8274/penshift.png)

What you see is the position difference between the pen and the cursor. the bottom right of a line is where the pen is, top left is where the cursor shows.

Since the screen is the the top left corner of the sensor board, it makes sense that there is a difference.

But depending on where the pen is, the difference varies. I think it is because of the resolution differences between the screen and the tablet, but I need tips on this one.

Now that I think about it, it could also come from the sensor mapping in the Wacom control panel. It would work better if the screen was better positionned on the sensor boards, which can only be achieved by getting longer cables, what do you all think ?

Side view :
(http://a.imageshack.us/img202/4241/imageaww.th.jpg) (http://img202.imageshack.us/i/imageaww.jpg/)

Bottom view :
(http://a.imageshack.us/img228/8884/imagehec.th.jpg) (http://img228.imageshack.us/i/imagehec.jpg/)



Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 07, 2010, 03:01:08 AM
The difference is varying, but consistently on the X and Y axis. Which is expected since you do not seem to have done any mapping.  You need to do a precise mapping between the screen and the tablet. This is a must for virtually all builds (unless the active area perfectly match the LCD screen).


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 07, 2010, 10:32:45 AM
So the next step would be to order longer cables in order to be able to better position the screen on the sensor board, then work a bit on the mapping.

I know DIY Beamer is selling the FFCs I need. Just want to be sure before I order.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 07, 2010, 01:55:48 PM
If the lcd screen is covered entirely by the sensor active area, then you do not need to physically reposition the screen (would be for cosmetic reasons only) (?)


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 07, 2010, 02:52:07 PM
well, as it is, the screen is not covered by the sensor board since I had to position it in the top left corner to fold the column/lines controllers.

So it has roughly 4 to 5 cm on left and on top which aren't covered.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 13, 2010, 09:46:31 AM
Update : Ordered on DIY-Beamer the two FFC I need, 1 x 30pin 1.0mm pitch and 1 x 30pin 0.5mm pitch

Nothing more to do now until they arrive...


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 13, 2010, 03:15:56 PM
You only needed new cables or did you also need the little "PCB" with the connectors on it to "extend" the cable?


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 13, 2010, 03:58:18 PM
I only needed longer cables :)


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 13, 2010, 05:46:16 PM
back to your rebooting issue: 

Maybe this is only a registry thingy (when you install, sometimes stuff are setup to run on the next boot to finish installation): what you could try is to track down registry changes between the time it works and when it doesn't. (not sure how, but I am sure there are some tools out there that could do it).  Maybe we could just hack our way by manually fixing it. 

In the registry you see entries named "runonce" which essentially means run on the next boot and delete self afterwards.

It could also be files that are modified on disk -- maybe doing a backup + diff of the relevant directories(?).  Or simpler, just a plain directory of all files before and after and compare that list instead of the contents of the file.

Also, comparing the list of processes that is running might be of interest.  Again, there might be tools to track some of these things -- for example, http://sourceforge.net/projects/regshot/


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 20, 2010, 05:38:39 PM
I finally received my cables but...

I ordered two 30pin, one 1.0mm and one 0.5mm pitch, each of 300mm length.

I got 4 cables of 150mm -.-

I don't know if I am stupid or wut but to me, 2x150mm is not the same as 300mm...

Trying to figure a way to manage it with 150mm cables but fuck, I feel like dumb with double the cables I wont use...


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 20, 2010, 08:07:15 PM
ok, so return them, it's their fault, no?



Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 21, 2010, 11:51:12 AM
Well, I will if I don't find a wa to make it work with the 150mm cables.

and if I do, I will return the "bonus" cables...


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: cellofaan on September 22, 2010, 08:44:56 AM
DIY-beamer is very friendly. if you send them an email about it, they might just send you some 300mm for free, without having to return the 150mm ones.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 22, 2010, 12:33:56 PM
That's very nice of them!  :)


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 23, 2010, 08:10:11 PM
Okay I finally managed to make the light powering cables longer, they both still work \o/

But...

For some reason I have lost the screen, just no image pops when I plug it in. It DOES flicker when I do, say, turn on/off the dual screen in drivers, bur it's milky-flicker-milky.

Then the screen goes into sleep, just like if it wasn't plugged

Maybe the FFCs from diy-beamer aren't working but I doubt so...

heeaallpp pl0x :)


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 23, 2010, 10:48:08 PM
My wild guess: A power issue.  The regulator might be jerking off because something is drawing too much current and eventually gives up and shuts down -- that is often because of a short circuit.  Clean up everything (can be as stupid as a metal residue) and "giggle the cables".  :S

Try disconnecting the backlight and try to see if the image still works (observe the leds to see if they behave the same since you might not be able to see anything on the screen without a backlight of some sort.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 24, 2010, 05:45:03 PM
Well, it looks exactly the same. The screen does not display anything.

It goes into sleep mode only after I disable the dual monitor option. If it stay on, the screen stays on as well, displaying a nice full screen of nothingness.

Either the VGA controller somehow fried, or I broke the FFC plug on top of the headers controller. It feels like the lcd panel is not receiving any data.

I cannot figure something else, since all other connectors are basic lever-type FFC plugs, which can hardly be messed with.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 24, 2010, 06:23:28 PM
Do you correctly see the OSD menus on the screen?


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 24, 2010, 06:33:53 PM
No, I don't see anything.

I'm searching the house for that damn' multimeter to test everything on the VGA controller since it looks like we are getting down to test every single pin in and out...


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 24, 2010, 06:56:58 PM
Sorry if I make you repeat things, I just want to make sure I follow you:

I assume you tried reconnecting everything like it was before (not using any new cables from DIY or anything).

With the backlight connected, does it stay "up" (when you feed a signal in)? If not, did you say that you tried without connecting the backlight(s)?  If you do so, put a powerful light through the back to see if any image is being generated on the LCD matrix.

So the only thing you ever see on the screen is a "quick flash" of white when you start feeding a VGA signal from your PC/laptop or you stop it. If you bring the OSD up (like you press the monitor buttons -- and you then shut off the VGA signal -- (seeing the milky/flash of white) -- do you see the OSD appearing at that split-second moment?

You can try unpluging stuff et re-plugging then (especially FFCs) -- if any conductive dirt went in or something broke or is loose (I know this is unlikely, but one of the forum member had an issue that was fixed that way).  FFC ZIF (zero insertion force) connectors can break -- some of these have a very low rated insertion count (like less than 10 (!) -- pads can be lifted connectors inside could be screwed up, etc.  Continuity tester (beep) with sharp tip probes can help here -- also check for cross connections.  Often you have a master clock or some other very important signals in there.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 24, 2010, 08:19:09 PM
Yes I tried with the old cables.

Power on, dual screen on.. the screen is milky all over the panel. Seconds later I can see faint columns in shades appearing, aligned with the flexible header-PCB on top.

When I disable the dual screen, it goes on sleep. Will wake up if I enable dual screen again.

Note that the ghost columns are sometime changing.

I couldn't see the OSD at any given moment.

I cleaned and checked the FFCs and the ZIF plugs, seems OK. Just that one plug on top of the column header isn't ZIF, it could be the source of my problems but I need a continuity tester to be sure.



Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: bernard on September 26, 2010, 03:14:57 AM
hey tirshea, I was re-reading your post about your registry hack -- and I just realized that you mentioned (with a nice picture) that "tablet" is a different key from "Wacom" -- what is the difference between those two keys again?


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on September 26, 2010, 09:36:59 AM
IIRC, the 'tablet' key is a legacy of the vintage serial drivers while new ones use 'wacom' key...

But this is from what I've read, don't know much more than that.

Meanwhile, I'm getting a multimeter on Wenesday, will keep you posted.


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: Drewid on September 30, 2010, 07:07:27 AM
I've had that fail after reboot thing even on an otherwise solid XP driver.   I've copied off a couple of posts about the win7 thing into a thread in the knowledge section. (I didn't want to split the topic).


Title: Re: Shan'Tiq v0 (serial tablet on win7)
Post by: tirshea on October 03, 2010, 09:42:46 AM
Driver wise :

So when I reboot, the pen doesn't seem to work, as in "cursor won't move'", but I noticed something in the Wacom control panel.

The pen pressure is detected in the driver, and when I activate mouse mode, it's working. If I go back to pen mode, cursor wont move again.

Really weird...


As for the build, I still had no image after multiple trys, then I decided to put everything back on top on the screen like my first pictures, so I could use the original FFC.

This I did... then the VGA controller fried :D With smoke and burn smell, it has to be done for.

My guess is that there was a shortcircuit in the FFC ZIF plugs, be it either on the controller or the screen PCB.

I'm in the process to get another screen on ebay, gonna go for the same one since it had great specs, perfect size, and 0 jitter so far...