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1  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Re: The MadTastiq - Update - FINISHED!!!! on: February 04, 2008, 05:48:22 AM
Thanks Chems!

Hopefully everyone can keep the "tradition" alive! I actually hadn't used the MadTastiq for a couple of months until yesterday when I started a couple of new projects with it. I've also realised that height of the stand under the screen is a little too small for me. Let's say my old age is catching up with me! Therefore the next stage of this project will be to build an extension that fits under the existing stand, so that the screen stands up at a higher angle.

Hopefully I can post pictures of this work as soon as possible!

Thanks for the encouragement!

2  General Category / General Chat / Re: felt nibs for original intuos on: October 16, 2007, 05:46:00 AM
Hi Mecom

The only problem with plastic sheeting is that it's never transparent enough to see the screen through. I did think about using plastic perspex sheeting instead of glass, but my Wacom Graphire has this kind of plastic on it and after a few months it was covered in thin scratches.

3  General Category / General Chat / Re: felt nibs for original intuos on: October 15, 2007, 09:58:56 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Drew, you are truly a Yoda!
4  General Category / General Chat / felt nibs for original intuos on: October 15, 2007, 06:18:08 PM
After finishing my Mad-Tastiq I've noticed that the Intuos Pen nib on glass is not the same as using a pen on a tablet. I think the fact that I've got glass instead of plastic makes quite a difference to how the pen feels.

So I thought about ordering some felt nibs for my Intuos, as I've heard that the feel of these nibs is really nice.

My question is this:

are the felt nibs compatible (as in will they work) with my original Intuos pen? The model I have is the Intuos GD range, but on websites where I can order these nibs they tend to say that the nibs are compatible with Intuos 2 and 3 tablets.

Has anyone had any experience with these nibs and older Intuos tablets?

5  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Re: The MadTastiq - Update - FINISHED!!!! on: October 10, 2007, 06:58:53 AM
Hey Jooly

There was no forward planning on my part. My LCD Monitor case was URGLY! It wasn't flat, but was about 4 times thicker than my whole Mad-Tastic is now! Therefore the only solution was to use the Wacom case and deal with the gap!

6  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Re: The MadTastiq - Update - FINISHED!!!! on: October 09, 2007, 08:21:08 PM
Hey Nas,

I think the photos are back now, for some reason my links to my Picassa album got messed up. They should be back now though. I know what you mean about the buttons, but they are kind of strange. If I put them any lower in the case they stop working, so I have to have them sticking out of the case like that. But I've already thought about how to make them a little nicer, which might include building a surround for them.

Hey Drew!

I have to say, the box idea works really well, the angle is quite natural when your sitting at a desk and it can easily be raised with a book underneath it!

Anyhows, here's a video I made earlier today using my wife's digital photo camera!
7  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Update - The MadTastiq - Finished and Being Used!!!!! on: October 08, 2007, 08:41:54 PM
That's right.... Finished!!!!

Last night, I sat down to finish the Mad-Tastiq, only to get very critical about a lot of things, such as the fact that my pen was not tracking well at all, as well as a few niggles with the casing and so on. Therefore I removed the cover, and re-aligned the LCD screen, got the tracking back in sync and then put everything back together a little more solidly.

Today it was a simple case of putting the case on using the Drew's original spacer / washer idea of stacking enough of them between the cases. I used plastic washers as they give you a little more play when you tighten the screws.

So here are the photos.....

This is the finished Mad-Tastiq! The case fits on quite well, with some very very fine tuning of the position of the LCD screen under the hole in the front case.

You might be able to spot that the gap between the top and bottom case is now filled in with this great black plastic PVC I got from an Art shop. I just cut it with scissors and used double-sided tape to stick it in the gap. That did take a bit of time, but I think it's worth it.

I may extend the base in the future with some additional feet or legs, but I have to say working on the screen is quite nice, I have it at a rough angle that a technicians draft board would sit at.

Of course I will post a video showing how it is in action, need to get my hands first on a video recording device.... any forums out there that deal with home-made video recording devices? A big thanks to the support of you all and the tips and hints I've picked up on all the threads....

Here's a curious thing to leave you with though.... before I attached the case on permanently I had a pronounced jitter in the cursor which seems to have disappeared from the whole screen apart from the top 2cm......

8  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Re: The MadTastiq on: October 06, 2007, 11:55:26 PM
That's actually not a bad idea Drewid, I think a rigid frame around the perimeter of the Intuos might just do the trick. It is a lot of cutting, but it would give some real strength and stability to the whole thing....

A great idea! Thanks for the Brainwave!
9  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Re: The MadTastiq on: October 06, 2007, 08:41:14 PM
Thanks guys!

It's coming along nicely and I can see the home straight now. Just need a way to get the bottom attached to the top case, and I really don't want to use sellotape! I'm actually using the Mad-Tastiq and I have to say it's a great little device to use! I was also thinking about spraying the thing black and seeing how it would look, but to be honest, I quite like the natural look of the Intuos!

Anyhows, I'll get to it tomorrow and see how I can finish the project off.

10  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Almost there!!!!! on: October 06, 2007, 03:15:08 PM
Dear all

After huge delays, and huge periods of time where I have not been able to work on my project, I'd like to get back to work now, and finish this thing already!

So here goes.... unfortunately, I didn't have a camera for a lot of this progress, but hopefully I can talk through what I did with the few photos I have now.

I had been thinking long and hard about mounting the LCD monitor to the actual Wacom. I didn't want to tape it to the circuit board so I decided on a series of small blocks, held in place by good quality duct tape. I figured as long as I used enough block I could hold the screen in place. The following picture shows what I did.

Added to this, I've been reading the threads about jitter, and I have to say my mouse cursor jitters by a few millimeters here and there. Nothing manic, but enough to notice. I therefore used the Baking paper / Aluminium Foil combo. I ran a wire out of my Invertor box connected to one of the grounds on the VGA circuit board. This I connected to the Foil around the Monitor circuit. It helps a little, but I'm still trying things to get the jitter down.

Using a hole I made in the bottom of the Intuos case, I fed all the wires (8 x Backlight wires, the LCD buttons cable, the LCD ribbon cable plus ground wire) through, and then screwed the box to the bottom case. This means I have a permanent base on the bottom of the Intuos. All the wires were connected to their correct components and then I tested to see if the monitor and intuos were still working well together.

Next I had to tackle the front enclosure, cut out a hole for the screen, and then cut out a hole(s) for the LCD monitor buttons. Using my Dremel I cut out a rough hole for the screen and buttons. Then using a combination scalpel, stanley knife, brute force, sandpaper, and lots of swearing I fashioned the following:

The Dremel part was done in mere minutes. After hours (and I do mean lots of hours) of carving, filing, and sanding, I ended up with a hole for the screen that I was happy with. What I had not anticipated was how long those two bloody holes for the buttons would take. But eventually I managed to get the buttons through without having to force them or bend them into place. The result looks ok, but I think I could have done a better job with those particular holes.

Where does that leave me?

The top case fits over the bottom really well. It's going to take a tweak here and there to get it to fit to the bottom

I have a  space between the covers, which I was hoping I could solve with spacers and screws, but for some reason the screws and the holes are not lining up from the bottom to the top case. So I have decided to stop here for now, and take a break! I'll return to the problem tomorrow some time, and see if I can find some kind of elegant solution to yet another problem.

In use the tablet and screen work together perfectly. The jitter is small, and in normal handstrokes (my handstrokes anyway) the jitter doesn't cause any real problems for me. Only if I run my hand slowly with the pen can you tell there's a jitter. But all the same I would love to get rid of it altogether. The power supply and other circuits are away from the LCD and tablet themselves, so I think the jitter is a combination of the LCD circuit and the LCD screen itself.

Anyway, my next post will definitely be a "I've finished" post, I hope it's tomorrow or the day after.

11  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Re: The MadTastiq on: September 29, 2007, 08:12:43 AM
Hey Nas

Shame about your monitor, hopefully your next one will be easy to take apart and rewire!
12  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Re: The MadTastiq on: September 27, 2007, 05:07:25 PM
Hey Paintiq!

Thanks for the encouragement! Basically, my monitor is Samsung SyncMaster 17" monitor. In this monitor the Power Supply board, the Backlight Inverter and the LCD controller were three separate circuit boards. The Power Supply and the LCD controller were connected together by a long metal plate. There was no way to take this metal plate off because they were actually soldered INTO the circuit boards.

I therefore cut the metal plate in between the two, making two separate circuit boards. The Backlight Inverter was already separate so I didn't have to do anything to it.

Now if you look carefully at the next picture, you'll see in between the Power Supply and the LCD controller there is a cable made of 7 wires. My idea was to take these 7 wires, and extend them as long as I could. This way the Power Supply would sit on the floor, and my extension cable would go from the Power Supply all the way to my LCD controller.

So what I did was go to my local electronic store and buy a shielded cable with 7 wires in it. (I live in The Netherlands or Holland as most people call it and these stores are quite hard to find). The wire I ended up with was HUGE, more like the kind of power cables you find connected to power drills or industrial machines. I was thinking that it's better to use big FAT wires than thin ones when you're connecting power to them.

Now if you look at the next photo, you'll see my big FAT cable (black) connected to the 7 wires that come out of the Power Supply circuit board. The join is covered in yellow plastic electrical tape.

What I did was cut the 7 cable ribbon cable from the power supply cable, and solder those 7 wires to my 7-wire cable. I labelled each cable with numbers to make sure that I was connecting the correct cable. The following diagram shows what I did:

I was quite lucky, because the cable I bought had 7 different coloured wires inside it, which make it easy to solder each wire to the correct power cable. This is very important as getting your wires crossed will most probably damage your LCD screen. I also used good strong solder joints, as I know from experience the one place you NEVER take short cuts is Power Supplies!

For the Backlight wires: I have two cables per backlight. So in total I have 4 separate cables to extend. I simply cut the wires, stripped them, and extended them with (believe it or not) with speaker cables. I'm still not happy about this, so later I will replace the speaker cables with better quality power cables. I was thinking the Red and Black power cables you can get for car stereos and amplifiers would be good.

I hope that helps you out a little Paintiq, if not let me know and I'll see what other help I can give you! Good luck, with your effort.   I should hopefully sit down this weekend and do some work on the cover, and possibly even be close to finishing the project!
13  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Re: The MadTastiq on: August 31, 2007, 02:19:55 PM
Thanks for that Drewid, actually that was my biggest problem so far, because of the 7 wire connector that connects the power supply to the rest of the circuits. It was a bit of a gamble using such a long wire which is so fat, but it doesn't seem to have affected the screen in any way.

What I'm still trying to figure out is how to get the invertor and VGA board shielded from each other to put into the black box that will sit under the wacom board. I have bought some copper plate, but I think that may be a little over the top for this. I could do a plastic and aluminium foil job that Chem did on his build.... I'll have to try it and see.
14  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / Back to the REAL WORLD!!! on: August 31, 2007, 09:50:29 AM
Well bongo-folks, it's been too long. After a long holiday in Sweden (absolutely gorgeous by the way) and way too many visitors in my house I am finally able to get back to PROJECT MAD-TASTIQ!

I had made a lot progress before leaving, but didn't have time to get the photos or a post up. In my last post, I had got to the stage of thinking about getting the power supply into it's own housing, and the rest of the electronics into it's own box.

So here the story continues......

The Power Supply

Firstly I Dremelled the Power Supply away from the VGA and invertor board. This would have been close to impossible without the Dremel, and it was also really good in cleaning up the edges. From my local Electronic Store I had picked up a very cool aluminium (English spelling!) box. I thought this would be good for heat dissipation and for shielding.

The power supply fit beautifully in the box. It was secured at one end using nuts and bolts that held the metal chasis of the power supply to the end of the box. Using the Dremel I cut out a hole that would allow the plug to attach to the power supply. Notice also the WAY over the TOP wire I used to connect the power brick to the invertor. This wire is INDUSTRIAL but I thought better too fat than too thin (for the sake of resistance). I also came up with a good trick to keep the wire from being yanked out. Using  two cable ties I secured them on the INSIDE of the brick so that they would stop the wire from being ripped out.

The finished brick (in my opinion) looks really quite professional, apart from the massive wire coming out of it. The idea is that this power brick will sit WELL away from the screen on the floor. The long wire is to make sure that no matter which table I sit on, the brick can sit on the floor far away.

The VGA Disaster of 2007!!!!

Using the same box technique for the VGA board, I had to again drill some holes to secure it to it's box. While Dremelling a hole into the VGA back plate I had a mental moment. Rule number 1: Make sure there is nothing in the way of the hole you're drilling. So what do I do? Drill straight through a capacitor only to have it look back at me from the table top!

The Gods were smiling because I managed to make a clean break. This was repaired quite easily using two extension wires and a soldering iron. It did teach me to go a little slower and to think first and Dremel second.

In the end, the result of having the VGA board and the invertor in their own box worked out really REALLY well, as it also makes a nice stand for the screen.

Now for the list of things to do:

1: Make holes in the Wacom base to feed wires from invertor to the backlights (should be easy)
2: Get a thin piece of glass to fit over the LCD screen, and fix it in place (should be easy once I get the glass cut to size)
3: Dremel a hole in the front panel of the Wacom to show the screen (should be Dremel-tastically fun!)
4: Make a hole and fix the LCD Control Panel to the front panel of the Wacom (this will be a pain in the backside, I can tell)
5: Fix front panel to back panel of Wacom, using spacers, bits of plastic, insulation tape and whatever else I can get my hands on!
6: Use my Mad-Tastiq to create beautiful pieces of art!!!!! (That really remains to be seen!)

I should get my act together now and put some effort into my list of things to do. Most probably I'll have a finished product in the next few weeks. Till then......
15  Screen Tablet malarky / Successful builds! / The MadTastiq - MAJOR UPDATE on: July 18, 2007, 08:15:52 AM
OK, I've been toying for days with the idea of making the power supply external. But something about that connector just kept bugging the heck out of me. So grudgingly I put the monitor back together and went to my second choice monitor, my trusted but slightly broken Samsung syncmaster. Broken in the sense that the LCD screen works perfectly, just the casing and foot was damaged.

You may see that I have already removed the Invertor and placed it outside the power supply box. The LCD controller is separate as is the Power Supply.

I've been trying very hard NOT to electrocute myself, mainly because I love life, and a close second I really want this project to work.... the invertor board is now sitting outside the power supply unit. All the parts are removable, but annoyingly, the power supply and controller are fixed firmly to a metal plate that houses the power supply plug and the VGA port.

Brainwave 2?

I've been thinking hard about the arrangement of my components. I basically need to remove the power supply from it's housing, and place it inside it's own brick. This will then sit on the floor away from the screen. The controller and invertor will also be taken out of the housing, and placed in their own "mini" brick. This mini brick will then be placed in a hole that I make in the back case of the Intuos.

The idea is that I will isolate and shield the controller and invertor, place them in the mini brick, shield that, and then glue it into the hole I make in the back case. I see two VERY big advantages to doing this. FIRSTLY, they will not sit under the Wacom sensor, so less direct interference. SECONDLY, they will create the tilt I want to have for the finished screen, kind of leaning upwards rather than standing upright.


A big problem is how to get the power from the Power Brick to the mini-Brick. The only connection between the two is a 7-wire ribbon cable (thank god it's not a FFC!). Quite simply, I need to extend that 7 wire cable to about 1.5 meters or so.

Those of you with a keen eye wiil notice there are way more than 7 wires in this cable. That's what happens when you pull out the wrong cable to take a photo of. Ask yourself, am I really going to pull out the correct wire, take a photo of it, upload it, edit it and then re-edit this post? NOT ON YOUR NELLY. Not when the connectors are near identical.

I am a bit worried about this extension, because I haven't come across too many 7 core wires that are as thick as these wires.....


On the subject of holes, and cutting and shaping. I went out to buy a dremel yesterday. This was because I was trying to remove the ribs on the underside of the front cover of the Wacom. I attempted this using a sharp knife and sharp chisel. After half an hour of hard labour, and progress of about 6 cm I went out to my local DIY mega-market and bought a Dremel copy. (Sorry Dremel). It was a very cheap 20 euro. I thought a tool like this will have some uses outside of a Cintiq project.

There is no regret in buying one of these tools. Firstly they are cool. They make a cool noise. And as long as you don't stick it up your nose and switch it on they are quite safe.

ADVICE..... even if you but a cheap knock off, try to buy authentic Dremel attachments, like grinders and blades. The ones that came with my machine were awful. They broke and wore out even though I was working on soft plastic.

Anyway, my actual life is now getting in the way of this project. The next update will be in a few days where hopefully I have pictures of all the holes in all the cases, the power supply in it's own brick and the controller and invertor in theirs.
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