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Author Topic: LapEasel 15" A4 Intuos2 HD Tablet Laptop  (Read 5982 times)
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« on: June 05, 2012, 05:39:23 AM »

Hey everybody, just wanted to share a few pics of my successful build. It began as my old 17" Dell 9200 laptop from college, top of the line in its day. Much of my video editing and 3D animation was made on this machine, and it functions well as a basic portable workstation.

The donor tablet was an Intuos2. I was sorry to discard the funky purplish case, but once opened I found the circuit board to be almost the exact width of the laptop. That meant that I could actually carry this in a top-loading case. Ebay brought me a 15" HD Samsung panel from a Dell 8600 that plugged right into the LVDS cable leading from my the laptop's video card and proved 100% plug and play.

More ebay trolling gave me several rolls of premium quality silver coated rip-stop tape, which not only shields, but holds everything together and forms the hinges. The manufacturer made this tape for grounding/shielding flexible areas in laptops, and it is meant to take physical stress without deteriorating. The wireless antenna is patched into this tape, which takes place of the metallic coating that lined the original screen cover. Some creative use of flat fiberglass (a piece of a sail batten, if you know what that is. Aluminum from the hardware store works just as well.), pop-rivets, industrial velcro, and some patience led to the finished example you see below.

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The screen was easy to place and adhere to the circuit board, which was first covered in a layer of electrical tape. Surprisingly, the inverter caused no interference when wrapped and taped to the back of the tablet's metal shield at around a 45 degree angle, I didn't even have to extend the ccfl wires.

Depending on the screen angle, the laptop itself can cause a tiny bit of jitter around the edges, but it is so minor that no tools are difficult to select. The only exception is when the screen is completely flat, facing up. Even then, jitter is rare. In any other position, the actual drawing area is perfectly smooth when drawing/clicking, and only jitters a tiny bit when you hold the pen about 10mm from the screen (navigating).

Thanks to the width of the circuit board, I'm able to fold the machine flat and slip it into my Tom Bihn top-loading case (pictured in bg). Of course, the extra height sticks out of the top, but the flaps that previously closed stay up and protect the sides. I usually just cover the top with a folded t-shirt. The battery still works well, and I have myself an actual lap easel and portable animation station!

I'll try to update with more pics explaining the construction. Sorry I didn't photograph the build, but it was pretty simple to explain. I'll try to answer any questions.

Primarily, I use Maya, Corel Painter, Adobe Suite and Mudbox. It's a little slow with Mudbox, thinking of trying Zbrush. Future plans are to finally get an LVDS controller to use it with more powerful computers. Although, I also have an Intuos3, so another project may take the place of that...

Thanks to everyone here for the inspiration and information, keep on building!
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 03:14:18 PM »

Great stuff.   Using tape is cool. It's quick to construct and keeps to cost down.

That 45 degree angle for the inverter is a *great* idea -- indeed antennas and waves have a direction and this makes a whole lot of sense. The tablet's antennas are vertical and horizontal. Never angled.

If we had a wiki page to list ideas to fight interference/jitter. This would be a good addition.
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