Screen Tablet malarky => Build Logs => Topic started by: DaBotz on August 12, 2016, 08:58:02 AM

Title: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on August 12, 2016, 08:58:02 AM
This is a re/build of my old Gigantiq (that I later renamed UBiQ) with a new Monitor, a LG IPS224v, following a quite different design phylosophy.

The choice of the monitor was inspired by this thread,

LG IPS224v - IPS, LED... what can a bongoer wish for more?

In the first UBiQ, to reduce the interference of the integrated PSU/CCFL driver and the VGA to LVDS video board, I laid these on the same plane of the tablet/screen assembly.

In the end, UBiQ worked really well for a CCFL TN build.

In this new one, the monitor has a single video-board and the power unit is an external "brick", so I decided to "stack" the VGA-DVI-HDMI board BEHIND the
tablet-LCD assembly.


It was NOT a good idea - the board, at least with VGA, creates interferences above the power of absorption of the shield that I placed on it; so, with VGA, the top left corner becomes unusable.

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on August 12, 2016, 09:09:18 AM
Note: I am correcting some erroneous statements that I made, here and there. You'll recognize them for having been striked and a green phrase, following them, trying to correcting them.

The DVI board below the tablet was not my only mistake, but is the less simple to fix without building a new case (just, NO, I  am not going to do it) .
(Also, DVI works just fine; my problems with my 15" ex-laptop was a LCD controller issue, not a graphic board output one - better).

To keep the LCD reasonably sturdy, I left intact a perimeter frame, carving out the centre of the of the LCD backplate/back-light unit.  



Cutting out the unneeded part of the backplate.

I realize (now) that it may not be as straightforward as it seems to me , how to safely carve out the centre of the backplate without risking to damage the LED strip.

Usually, the less stressful way (without specific tools) to cut a metal piece is to drill a sequence of tightly spaced holes, having care of making 3-4 of them overlap on one side, so that you can slid in a metal saw and proceed to cut the thin joints left in the drilling phase. Then, you can patiently file away the points that are left.

Once I drilled-cut the side near the LED strip (carefully, slowly, with a 2mm drill point in a battery screwdriver , it took some 20'), I made four overlapping holes near a side, slid in the aforementioned metal saw (the arch allows to place the blade sideways) and proceeded to cut away the rest, trying to keep the saw-induced vibrations from reaching the LED strip (which I covered with a fairly weak paper tape, to keep metal residues from the saw operation from nearing any electrical connection.   


This make for a good mechanical assembly, however I now fear that the frame picks up interferences from the LED strip and carries them everywhere (OOPS) , so I will have to think about some way to rebuild it, possibly maintaining the possibility of moving the screen away for tablet replacement, or keep it like it is... that is, slightly more jittery than the old Gigantiq! (Crap!)
(UPDATE: further tests led me to believe that the LEDs have virtually no weight on the jitter, thoough the frame has a role... more on this later.).

So, I will have to open it up (If I can... more on this mistake later I can, it worked out well; the cover lid is kept by just four screws...   ) and cut out the non necessary parts  of the remaining back frame.

However, the light diffuser is some three mm "shorter" than the LCD, and is kept in position by inner flanges on the outer borders of the frame, that will have to be replaced by some clever trick (which is another one of the reasons I did not simply cut out the side of the plate with the LED strip and tossed the rest) ... when I will muster the courage to open it up and try.

About modding the LCD, I must add that it proved a bit more tricky than I expected.

As most LED screens, it is not really designed to be taken apart... as a result, when I took out the back frame, it carried with itself the light diffuser, so I had to manhandle much more layers then in in the GigantiQ, and as a result, I have a light bleed spot and some speckles of dust inside the layers (... mapporc).

Also, I have lost 2 to 3 about 4 mm in height (which appears enough to lower the jitter quite nucely) , due to a couple of mishaps, that I will rectify - tomorrow.  

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on August 12, 2016, 08:29:12 PM
A test drawing diagonal lines.


I used the Drivers test to get a quantitative feel of the jitter... at the moment, the jitter appears to be about twice that of the old GigantiQ, both in width and frequency of movement ( a mess).

I tried to see how it goes without glass ( 3mm less height), and it is much more akin to the Gigantiq (in its current form) , that way.

Tomorrow I will try to redress my mistakes (eliminate the unneeded rest of LCD perimeter frame, replace the right and left support bracket with more flush plastic pieces, redress the holes in the right bar to get back the couple of MM some of the height that I lost in the build, reroute the LED extension so that they do not pass through the tablet active area (though it does not seem to be an issue, really, from the drawing test) and make things so that the LCD is squeezed against the glass, closing the assembly ( it hovers a bit down, now)..  

Fingers crossed and let's hope that these steps will improve matters.

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on August 15, 2016, 11:52:39 AM
I am going very diacronic, with this one.
Back at the building log ( I tend to build all in a frenzy, so , sorry about the mess).

The monitor has enough cables length, internally, to be able to make some tests with the Intuos 2 12x12 that I  acquired recently (and that now sits into the old build, "ad interim" till I decide whetjher or not to try a 17" Build).


To be honest, if the monitor had not the TCON boared at the bottom, I's simply reworked the first UBIQ case (but I also had a Intuos 2 12x12 quite cheap... ah, Hubris).

Extending the 6 individual cables that power the LED strip has proved very straightforward - I used my trick, using the coat from a 1.5 square mm cable as protections over the soldered joints (lots of flux, and everything worked like a charm at the first try) .

The black coats come from a house wiring, 1.5 sqmm cable; Carve it out, slide it over the cut smaller wire, clean out the wire, solder, cover the joint by sliding the bigger, black coat over it; if on does all well, the covers are kept in place simply by mechanical friction... it beats fighting with tape, and needs less space than the mammut connector used by the build that inspired this.

(With some hindsight and a couple more hours spent in ebay, f course, if one has access to thermo-strictive sheaths and a hot-air gun, that is the way to make a much better job on these joints)

As I was already soldering six cables (twelve joints) , I added two more to replace the monitor original red LED on the buttons board, with a green led at the centre of the case top border (right above where the Intuos status led was going to be)...

I rather have green leds, to tell me that a screen is on; Alas, in standby it flickers slowly... I'd preferred a two colours led, myself. With a pulsating orange for stand by...

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on August 15, 2016, 12:05:40 PM
In my habitual design, I keep the LCD and Tablet on a top shelf, and the video adapter (and CCFL/LED drivers) in a smaller, separated shelf "below" - all attached to the same "central" plate (plywood in the Cabinetiq and GigantiQ, low carbon steel in the Mini-Q) .

This time I didn't want to go with that, so I designed a case in which the DVI-LVDS was going to reside below a thin "separator"...


It was a bit of a massive pain in the ass, really, and does not really allow for much changes of heart... it looks marginally better, though.

The DVI board is inside a small "box", made with a steel plane and wide copper tape ( which was not really enough to shield the interferences from it, in VGA mode. ).


As I said, keeping the backplane borders maent that the re-assembled LCD, once added a support for the TCON board, is relatively stable/sturdy, so I could make a "dry test" before adding the Intuos 2 extracted from the old Gigantiq.

By the power of RaspBerry, everything worked (installing the Intuos on the Raspberry is another unworthy hassle, though... maybe with a Raspberry 2 and his 4 cores ARM, GIMP can actually be used; It takes it a second, to my Raspberry B, to draw a line... anyway, I just wanted some system to check things)

Note: the green light is the Monitor status led - I should have done the same with the other builds.

It seemed all kosher, so it was time to open up the old GigantiQ and move the Intuos 2 12x18 to its new place...

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on August 15, 2016, 12:32:49 PM
Finally, I was ready to open up the GigantiQ, place its Intuos 2 12x18 inside the new build, and place the 12x12 inside the old Gigantiq (it still works well).

As final finish, I was a tiny little bit angry that everybody (in youtube, facebook and other places, not here) continued to criticize my over-use of duct-tape, so I went for something a bit more complex...

The lid is made by two thick plywood supports, screwed to threaded bolt-holes on the sides of the case, to which I glued a fairly oversized piece of glass ( I wanted more space, to lay down my elbows).

 Final Assembly (needs some finishing - )

With the big plate, the buttons remain a bit "hidden".

However, I think about having a smaller lid, to be able to pack this up and carry it around, if needed, and that position would be about perfect, in that case.
Hubris, thy name is... Dabotz.

The new and the old one... the left twelve inches of the old GigantiQ are still Cintiqized; If I find a cheap XD-1218-r, I may try revive it fully with a wax-bee machine (i.e. one that can cheat at being an Intos4 L...)

Let's see if I can fix a bit the jitter, now.

In the "initial build, I made some mistakes...

I didn't use my usual, foam-springy back to push the top of the LCD against the back of the glass (it loses 3 mm, that I will recover). :-\

The steel "brackets" that I made are too thick, the bolt holes are too high, and I lose at least another mm (more like 2 mm) this way.
The TCON board however does produce an interference that is carried around by the steel mounting brackets at the side of the LDC and from it to the internal perimether frame; However, the cure for that is just to remove the steel brackets and replace them with plastic ones... less rigid, but I already had to rework the bracket to get back the 4 mm (!) of reading height that I managed to lose in the assembly);

I wonder whether should I do the same with "Gigantiq"; I may get rid of its current, "side-bands" jitter. .

In the end, Gigantiq design, with all its "rusticity", is still a bit better.

As a screen, however, the LG IPS224v is a better screen than the HP LE2201 in the old build, but not as incredibly better as I hoped.

The LG allows more headway to move around a more constant colours, but in its "right spot" the HP is still quite a good screen.  

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on August 17, 2016, 10:29:17 PM
OK, fixing my mistakes..

Step Zero: dismount the machine (AGH - no photo)

Step one: raising the Tablet so that the LCD is in contact with the glass. I used foam (i.e. an under-dish foamy thingy).


Step 2: replacing the inox brackets with plastic ones.

The old bracket is the one in my hand; the new one is already attached to the screen, securing the TCON board to the frame

Step 3: Placing all back together


Note that I had some issues, trying to steer the led power lines, so  that I finally eliminated one corner of the location frame (now that the brackets are plastic,it was all too easy done)...

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on August 17, 2016, 10:42:39 PM
Step 4: Re-tuning the pen


Popping out the pen's buttons... I apply a moderate pressure to the blade, and twist the blade so that it acts as a small lever and forces the button piece to go up; the forces we are talking about, by the way, are in the order of 200-300 grams (about half a pound) - if you use more, something may break, I think; as I did it some times, the piece has now a small indent, where I lay the blade, which makes it even easier to remove the buttons cap.

I tuned the pen to educe jitter in the first UBiQ; Apparently, I had to retune it a bit, to work  best with the new LCD.  Essentially, I undid the last tune-in.

OK, with this, I finally reduced the jitter to about a pixel in the drawing area... not as good as I hoped - the jitter is "faster" than the one in "GigantiQ", though comparable or inferior in amplitude, so it feels not really better - but usable enough for me.  

Oddly enough, the new build feels a bit slower in pen response... No idea why, or if it is even true.

Still, I wonder what I did wrong... If I did anything wrong.

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on August 23, 2016, 11:43:55 AM
Test drawing video, (

The sluggishness was, really, Lazy Nezumi... in the settings I  normally use with G...Q  I had switched off pointer and line overlay, which really slows down the pen movement.

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on October 08, 2016, 12:38:40 AM
Video using the thing -  half an hour of me drawing faces.

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: Aerendraca on November 02, 2016, 02:19:49 PM
DaBotz I think you have an addiction! Could be worse though.

Another excellent build, nice job!

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on November 06, 2016, 05:50:19 PM
I do have an addiction... there are currently, on sale in ebay, an XD-1218-r (in Germany)  and a Philips 21.5" USB monitor (in Spain, no less! USB powered and controlled, LED but no IPS... temptation nonetheless) , and  it needed a considerable effort on my part not to buy both (and a teensy) to start building a USB only, re-firmware-able 21.5" machine...  

But, logically, from where I stand now, the only way to improve is going for the real thing (The 27" QHD) or make another 40" 4K (thewoodguy docet).

As a horrible side note, I brought back to life the Cabinetiq and, no... I do not like at all the feeling and the pressure response of the Intuos 4 grip pen.  

For me, those 2048 pressure levels are not worth the Intuos 2's 1024 ( or the 2048 of the Huion H610... a pity I didn't manage to Cintiqize that, but it lead me to "discover" the Intuos 2 and to my current line-up).

For the moment, my Simtiq days should be over.... simply because the stuff I have now works well enough for me.

My thanks to all the bongofishers - I couldn't have done these without you.

The Magnificent Three (Cintiqs)  and their environment.


Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on February 27, 2017, 04:32:49 AM
Fast update...

Elegant as it was, the big glass panel and its overhangs proved too fragile. After I broke it a second time, I decided to limit the glass area to the bare minimum... and brought back the duct tape. In turn, it got me to recuperate some more tenth of mm, which helps - maybe more by the reduction of parallax than an improvement of the pen precision (though, I feel this has improved, too).

I left open the areas of the perimeter frame where the flanges reach to it.

The resulting chimney effect - I never draw keeping it ,ore horizontal than 45ยบ - seems to  be enough to cool down a bit the thing.

Given how much I use it (being very steady, it makes faster ), if I ever were to rebuild the case, I would directly integrate the 9.7" Miniq on the right, so that both screens are under the same glass... given the fact that its digitiser and the screen, together, are some 7 mm thick whereas the main panel is 10 mm. it would be easy to overlap them and get the two screens at some 5 cm of distance ( not less, alas), the God of E.M.I permitting it (or a judicious use of shielding... I think that in his case it could help).

As a final note...

"In truth I shall say: a better screen and a nicer pen feel better than a newer digitizer."

I should try to lay my hands on an Intuos 4 "classic pen", but one hundred bucks is a bit too much for a curiosity.

For now, I still feel that the design had progressed (the Intuos 4 is very beautiful, with its OLED labels for the buttons) but user experience - for me - did so much, much less.

Final note: Wacom Driver 6.1.7-3 handle both the Intuos 2 and the Intuos 4 handsomely, if anybody else has a mixed bag Intuoses.

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on April 04, 2017, 09:32:59 PM
Another small update.

In the end, I found myself with the driver "losing" button 2 of the spens (independent from the stylus and tablet, as I have 3 different stylus and an aerograph, and three Intuos 2... an none worked).

Turns out, there is a Wacom Virtual HID driver that had to be disabled (it got me, also, rid of the "second circles" shown when I retract the pen point from the screen).

Done tha, everything went back to normal.

Title: Re: Here comes UBiQ 2
Post by: DaBotz on May 09, 2017, 09:58:16 PM
As a side note, things to consider whether using or not the Intuos 2 case:


On top is the UBiQ2, below is the original Intuos 2 case.

Consider that, in building the UBiQ I added 14 mm ( 1/2 inch) on both width and length, simply because I wanted to add some threaded bolts so that it was possible to encase it in a light table, should I ever build another one.

In other words, a plywood-made case is at worst as big as the Intuos 2 case, or smaller... and it took an hour to mount and glue it.

Modding the Intuos case for the UBiQ 3 required some four days... and it does not feel anywhere near as sturdy.