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Author Topic: wei's iTab- complete  (Read 77340 times)
wei803
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« on: May 23, 2008, 04:21:36 AM »

The first attempt was done last year, one year has passed and I'll keep my words as never gave up on this project. This thread will mark my 2nd attempt to build a Cintiq. Things are still at early planning stage but one thing for sure the project has already begun after my purchase of the 9x12 Intuos 3 (again, since I've sold my first one) over the last weekend.

The last attempt failed due to the LCD panel causing too much of interference to the tablet. Mouse pointer become jiterring non-stop & random mouse click.


My plan for this round will be using laptop LCD panel. My research show me that:
- Take less power (might not bother much for now, but when I convert it to a tablet mac it does)
- Slimmer (also easier to break, ouch)
- Using single CCFL (yeah, less cable, less things to shield)
- No need FCC extension (funny that I only see a horizontal circuit sticking out of the LCD, no vertical one)
- External power ready
- Cables are already long enough
- No need for take apart (component come in individual parts, ie driver board, panel, lcd control buttons, power supply)

I've tested with a 12" LCD from an iBook, it works nicely with very minor/ close to no jittering, without any extra shielding. Best thing of it, the video cable and circuit was on top of the tablet when I did the test. A good start indeed. Further study show that the laptop panel are usually using good quality LVDS cable which are already shielded. Where by normal LCD monitor uses PVC/rubber protected cable.

But 12" is rather small, since I already got the intuos, my goal will be a 15" LCD like most of us. I have a choice of what type of LCD panel to use:
- UXGA (1600x1200pixels) superb screen with very fine pixels, but, will it be too small to work on? Someone have used such screen do enlighten me.
- SXGA+ (1400 x 1050pixels) cheaper, a more comfortable size to read & work on?
Dell website have a nice explanation on this.

Now let's say I go with SXGA+ LCD panel, then I need to get matching driver board as well. Already found the source for the board on lumenlab forum, which come with DVI, VGA & RCA video-in. Good enough. I've also specifically not to pick Samsung panel, due to the last failure. I'll go with LG panel, same one used on iBook & PowerBook. But this is still a gamble, like some of us proven that at higher resolution, the greater the interference. So wish me luck.

I'm in the midst of funding to get the panel + driver. (Yeah, another poor designer here). Should be able to make the purchase sometime next week.

If things ended up well, you should see a convertible DIY Cintiq/Mac Tablet in the next few months.

While waiting for the money to fall from the sky (yeah right). I have some idea brewing in my mind...
Stage1 - the cintiq
- I will try to keep the Intuos3 casing as it is, I think it's good enough.
- The LCD driver board, will have to stick at the back of the intuos. To protect it, I plan to use aluminium sheet (more on this later).
Here's a rough idea, sizes are not to scale:


Stage2 - the mac tablet
I might be able to pick up a 1st gen MacBook with a dead screen. Planning to integrate on to the back of the Cintiq. Might also want to power the LCD driver board with the MacBook (will go in details later, if I'm able to get the macbook).

Stage3 - the cosmetic
The last part should be tidy up here and there, spray paint. While waiting for stage1 & 2 take place, I've come up with some draft logo Smiley


------------------------------

29 May
Made up my mine and ordered the UXGA panel with DVI + VGA driver board. Now waiting for salary to pay for it. Item should arrive in 2 weeks. That should be sometime mid June.

Meanwhile have engage a company in US that provide metal furnishing about getting the customize Aluminium panel. Will see how it goes and hope it won't cost me my arm & leg.

Alternately, I might recycle the casing of 15" Apple Cinema Display. But need to look for one that's cheap enough.

------------------------------

30 May
The helpful seller sent me a photo of the LCD panel and driver board. Looks exactly what I wish it will be. BOE HV150UX1-101 UXGA panel no need for FCC extension. DVI + VGA LVDS board that's in small form factor. External power. All cables are long enough for the project!


------------------------------

3 June
Found a fabricator for aluminium sheets, been lias with them for pass 3 days to get the drawing done correctly. The aluminium sheet will be my back cover where the LCD driver board located.

------------------------------

5 June
Received the LCD panel kit yesterday. Excellent screen. Initial test still give me some jumping mouse pointer and random click. Will do further test today if I have time.

------------------------------

7 June
Screen test very successful, I get close to no jump. But when the pointer get too close to the CCFL & LVDS random click appear. I can still improve the shielding. Already cut a hole on the inner plastic of the Intuos. Next is to cut a hole for the Intuos faceplate. The thickness of the LCD panel fit just nice! Here's some shots of LCD test.





------------------------------

9 June
Success success success!!!


Manage to done almost everything today. But still alot to tidy up. But very happy with the result.
The bottom temporary setup, where the LVDS driver board located.


I'm re-using the Intuos clear case. Use thinner to wipe away the silver/gray paint coat and I get a strong and nice "window" for the LCD. No need for cutting a hole nor headache for protection sheet.


Here's another shot:


Next should be tidy things up when the aluminium back cover arrive.

------------------------------

11 June
Further test was done with various Mac with different configurations:
- Mac Pro, Full res 1600x1200 give fast random mouse jumping in 0.5cm radius, not very usable. Acceptable at 1280x1024. Still some slow and small jumping.
- iBook G4, only support VGA at 1024x768, but very good result, but no screen rotation, I need 180 degree rotation. Close to non mouse jumping.
- MacBook, similar result as Mac Pro but better result. I can still use it with full 1600x1200 resolution.

Next, I've decided to call this project iTab (Wei DIY Tablet).



Planning for the stand.
------------------------------

15 June
repainted the cover today after the failed attemp to wipe the wacom logo:


here's how it looks like when all paint are clean off:


spray painted to black. done a lousy hand-drawn logo:


and lastly, preparing the macbook:


------------------------------

16 June

Stage one are more or less complete. Stage two involve planning to house the MacBook together. Here's what to be done:
- Holding the MacBook, facing the keyboard side to the aluminium plate (better heat transfer?), but I wont be able to access to the keyboard & trackpad (which I don't need). But I still need the power button...
- Power botton relocation, this is a bit tricky. Anyone with a powerbook scrap wanna donate the power button?
- Extending the ports. I will allow the CD-ROM slot facing out. Where all the ports facing inside, which I need to extend to allow access to them (network jack, firewire, USB). Might need to DIY, but no worry.
- Infra port, this is a hell of pain. Anyone know if I can reflect the infra red signal? Let say I use a clear tube to redirect the infra signal to the hidden receptor? Else I might live without it.
- iSight camera & microphone. Have already tested this, need to reroute to the front side. And drill a hole on the clear case.

------------------------------

18 June
Just done my shopping for some final parts. Adapters, cables, grille for the last part of the project. Hopefully will received them in 2-3 weeks. I've also decided to remove the combodrive and replace with a 2nd internal harddrive. In this way, I can let the CD-ROM side facing inward.

------------------------------

19 June
Aluminium back casing arrived at airport 11am today according to USPS tracking system. Hope to received it this week. Else it will be next week.

------------------------------

20 June
Wow, this is really fast, the item was cleared from airport custom should be on its way to my house. High hope to get it today or tmmr.

With some adjustment to Wacom driver, I manage to reduce to jitter to very minor. Only obvious when pointer near the bottom & side of the screen.

------------------------------

21 June
Here's roughly how my current jittering at 1280x1024 resolution:


Drilled a small hole for iSight camera. I get blurry images under the thick acrylic case.


------------------------------

25 June
The aluminium plate arrive on Monday, done a very rough tape test. I'll let the photos tell the story.

Front view:


Back view:

The air vent holes is off. I'm not sure what went wrong during the production, the holes should be in equal size. I've notify the fabricator. Waiting for their reply. I've re-use the 4 rubber strip from the intuos.

The stand:

Supposed to be a vertical wall vase hanger from ikea. It's cheap and hey it's aluminium Wink I've bend it a bit to make it fit my iTab.

Using the stand:

This stand is not really portable, should stay on my desk. Have an idea to fit in another stand at the back of iTab.

The logo:

Brush the logo on with masking film + sand paper.



The MacBook:

Temporary held with masking tapes. Will re-position it later. If I keep the ports part facing out like this, I will get the Mini-DVI to DVI adapter & firewire exposed, not very nice. Will have to go back to initial idea where the CD-ROM slot face out, ports face in. When facing in, I will have to extend some of other ports that's not connected internally, like the ethernet, sound, mic, USB & firewire. (note, I'm stealing 12V from the FireWire port, have to do some modding there).

------------------------------

26 June
Tried to reposition the MacBook lastnight, doesn't work. Sad Oh well...
Installed a Seagate 7200.2 200GB drive into the MacBook, very speedy indeed.

------------------------------

27 June
Installing & tuning softwares:


------------------------------

7 July
Aluminium grille sheet arrived today.

------------------------------

8 July
Finally it's done.



Optical drive bay facing out.


The ports side. All port you see here are extended or repositioned. I've extended the FireWire and stealing the +12V from it to power the LCD panel. One USB port are connected to the intuos internally and another one was extended. Yet to do the headphone jack and ethernet port. Will live without them at the moment.


The back, clearly showing the grille in place. The tape you see at the upper right and lower left are the power-on button for both MacBook and LCD. Will tidy them up once I get the idea what to put as button.


OSX and iSight in action.


And one last photo to conclude this project!

Remarks
- I still get jittering when the iTab run hot. Air-conditioned room FTW.
- I get 2 horizontal black line because I accidentally presured the LCD circuit, have to live with that.
- In order to get constant 12v from firewire I need to keep the magsafe adapter connected and powering the macbook.
- Airport get weaker signal due to covered by the aluminium plate.
- There's some dirt & minor scratches inside the frornt cover. Visible on bright background.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 02:09:44 AM by wei803 » Logged
Switz
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2008, 12:26:41 PM »

Nice.

You Should make it Apple.com.

I always found Mac.com to be awkward for some reason :\
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Made that, not my best, but I love it.  Firefoxy lol
It's all fun and games till someone loses a testicle.   Cheesy
AndreZX
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2008, 03:48:48 PM »

I really love the logo, but after one of my classmates made the remark now I can't see anything but a phallic object when I look at that bone-pen.  Roll Eyes

Can't wait to see this one progess.

Cheers,
Andy

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Drewid
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« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2008, 08:39:32 PM »

Have a look a Ambidextroseseses build log.  He has a lot of LCD specs in there.
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wei803
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2008, 03:29:07 AM »

Thanks for the input guys. Anyway, the logo is just to kill time, will ignore it at the moment.
Panel will ship to me by today if things goes well.
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wei803
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« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 10:25:00 AM »

All parts except the back aluminium plate received. Build begin!
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Drewid
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« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 02:54:57 PM »

Looking good. Good shielding makes a real difference.    SO what flavour of mac is it in there?   I really like the idea of a self contained drawing device.
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Claymonkey
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« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 04:11:45 PM »

Look awesome. I hope to come back from vacation to a completed build Wink

What LVDS controller is that? I would LOVE to have DVI.
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Switz
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2008, 02:09:52 AM »

Sorry to inform you.  Rumors have been going around that Apple is dropping .mac (not necessarily Mac.com, but...)
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Made that, not my best, but I love it.  Firefoxy lol
It's all fun and games till someone loses a testicle.   Cheesy
wei803
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2008, 04:23:00 AM »

guys, let's put the Mac thing aside ok? I'm going to remove the image. let's focus back on wacom.  Wink

drew, I've got the MacBook. The screen was dead, it's just nice to be fitted behind the intuos. But the whole thing will be super heavy.

claymonkey, I've took this photo to show you the board:

It's really small, only at 10.5cm X 5.5cm. Come with DVI, VGA, backlit inverter (separate board), control strip. Support rotation (90, 180, -90). Powered by a 12V external brick.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2008, 04:54:09 AM by wei803 » Logged
wei803
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« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2008, 05:16:05 AM »

The alloy furnishing company just informed me the back casing will ship by friday.
It will be 1-2 weeks before arriving.
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Switz
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« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2008, 04:13:46 PM »

THAT IS SO SEXY
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Made that, not my best, but I love it.  Firefoxy lol
It's all fun and games till someone loses a testicle.   Cheesy
Chems
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« Reply #12 on: June 12, 2008, 01:23:00 AM »

Thats what I hoped for my build to be like, I should never have cut the hole out on my build Sad

Super Work!
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wei803
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« Reply #13 on: June 12, 2008, 03:03:54 AM »

Thanks guys. It was a gamble for me. I never know it will works. I was lucky as well because the top most gray "drawing sheet" was only stick-on with double-sided tapes. My first Intuos 3 was glued with super glue right in the middle. And I'm not sure is it possible to clean the glue stain for the old one.

I've tried many liquid before a success. I've tried alcohol, spirits, liquor, nail polish remover (thinner), petrol. Only thinner works. I will take some photos later, the cleaning wasn't very nice, there's still some stain & scratches visible, but not very visible once the screen turn on. Those that would like to try my method, just be sure you do not scratch that part when taking the Intuos3 apart.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2008, 03:07:14 AM by wei803 » Logged
DonShole
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« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2008, 06:18:11 AM »

Congrats Wei, nice build. Grin
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EZ CINTIQ. How to build a DIY Cintiq, it's  easier than a DIY PC! www.tabletmod.com
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