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Author Topic: newbie visions a tablet-pc IBM ThinkPad T60  (Read 7401 times)
pesakka
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« on: July 01, 2010, 03:26:53 AM »

Personal History X: Gets too easily excited, 3D/2D-enthusiast (lw, 3ds max, zb, photoshop-user) and absolutely bananas about diy-cintiqs, this site and the community here.

Seems there haven't been many tablet-pcs around. Yet I'm willing to make a go for a one even though I'm totally newbie with electronics, but I'm hoping my brother will help me out as he has been doing electronics repair. He has a steady hand and a good soldering iron plus other helpful tools.

I will be buying a new laptop sooner the better. The one I'm currently using is and old (and imo horrible) IBM ThinkPad T60 with 14.1 1024x768 screen and no working battery (have to plug it in to power it up). Resolution is probably too antique, but this'd be a test piece and if this works one day in the future, then I will try with bit more expensive materials.

Goal: Portable Tablet/Laptop with a rotating screen(like here: http://www.finalsense.com/news/it/notebook_pocketpc/fujitsu_p1610.htm and cintiq-like drawing capabilities.

Initial Thoughts: Seems older Wacoms are a way to go so I'll have to get myself one. Rotating screen will be problematic: Hinge itself won't be a problem with the tools I currently have at my disposal. But I will need to extend lots of cabling including the dreaded FFC. And on top of that I will need to make them able to handle the wear and tear caused by turning the screen numerous times.

Questions before disassembly of the laptop monitor and buying a bargain Intuos (or a cheaper alternative UsomethingSomething):

- Do you have an advice for hinge part of the cabling? (Before images/videos. e.g. Don't do it man!)
- Is it possible to reduce outside-screen wacom area e.g. by having a custom motherboard done so that wacom would rather add to thickness of the laptop instead of width and breadth? I'm all in for aesthetics.
- Any other advice for this type of horror before starting out or any questions?

When this (or a more basic project) gets started I'll be documenting everything I'm gonna do in next step along with photos/pictures and posting it on forums and wait a day or two for replies before I actually do anything (possible fatal to the machine).

-P.E.

p.s. Thanks for reading through that mess.
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pesakka
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« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2010, 03:35:19 AM »

Correction on model. It's R60. Screen thickness with white plastic back cover is 0,6 cm.



Default Position:


Spacing:

Would this mean spacing is: 24mm/40=0,6mm? The spacing of the port is same as spacing on the cable near the port.

I'm still waiting on good auctions on ebay on 9x12 intuoses. Those seem to be the best fit for the 15.1" screen. Darned US sellers don't like to ship abroad Smiley

- Pesakka

Edit: With all the screen bezels and covers on I tried Trust tablet behind the laptop. Pointer kept doing a circe in top right corner and closed all active windows. So as it's been previously stated several times, Trust probably won't work.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2010, 08:10:36 PM by pesakka » Logged
bernard
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 05:21:44 AM »

if you want to have a small portable thingy with relatively no case around the screen, then you have a problem with using the standard Wacom product tablets: they almost all have internal boards that extend well beyond the "active area" on all directions -- and I am talking inches here.

As (I think?) you suggested: I would not even think of building a Wacom board to mimic an existing one:  First reason, it is expensive enough just to get a single double-side PCB to be constructed and IMHO most likely it will not work right away:  reason:  this is RF/magnetic fields we are talking about here --- not to be taken with a grain of salt: even the chemistry of the traces and the other components will affect the result!  In short: don't go there.

BUT Wacom have been producing boards that are perfect for what you want -- they are OEM parts  http://www.wacom-components.com/products/penabled/lcdDigitizers/ -- and are inside a lot of... TabletPCs (the Wacom technology is called "Penabled").

So if you wanted to "go far" just for the aesthetics, then I suggest that you get your hand on a used TabletPC (of a size that you like -- which will be the first issue here -- they are all relatively small).  And work to interface that board (they are typically serial devices).  Be warned that this is not a won battle: AFAIK, nobody did this. Some of us are (very slowly) looking into it, but no recipe so far.
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pesakka
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 08:51:23 AM »

Oo, thanks for the reply.

Quote
if you want to have a small portable thingy with relatively no case around the screen

Well I do want it, but I do know I'm not getting it. At least not yet. What I was going to check out was that if I was able I'd moved parts that didn't need to be same plane with the active area to a different place and cut the mobo empty areas so that bezel would be a bit smaller. Although, I doubt I can do it currently with my skills. I'll have to consult my brother on this one.

Quote
So if you wanted to "go far" just for the aesthetics, then I suggest that you get your hand on a used TabletPC

I've been checking on those. There haven't been a decent one on sale and shipping to Finland, yet, but it's only matter of time. First, though, I will get an Intuos and play around with that. I'm watching a few of these.

As for the aesthetics themselves there's nothing you can't pack in a case with some hard plastic, an old soldering iron, araldit glue (I'm not sure if it's araldit in english. very strong and drying time is controllable by cement), glue gun, micro grain sand paper and some acrylic paint. I will attempt to make the screen of my R60 work like ones on tablet-pc's. Some planning, aluminium reinforcement and an aluminium hinge should be enough. Of course I will have to plan cabling anew, extend cords etc.

- Pesakka
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bernard
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 09:24:18 AM »

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... and cut the mobo empty areas so that bezel would be a bit smaller. Although, I doubt I can do it currently with my skills. I'll have to consult my brother on this one.

From the Wacom PCBs I have seen, none have much space to freely cut. Yes -- around the active area you do have some (fairly simple) controlling circuits and like anything, it could be extended to a daughter board, but personally, I would not touch most of the "direct sensor controllers" with a ten-feet pole. (because of frequency/RF/magnetic fields-related tweaks they *probably* gone through when engineering these stuff).  It is not terribly high frequencies but still: I think it is not worth it.

TabletPCs: I am also looking at those (even new ones), and ... none I have seen have screens bigger than 12 inches or close(?) -- of course the resolution is pretty low most of the time too.  If you see models that are 14+ inches tell me.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2010, 06:52:15 AM by bernard » Logged
Wilcorp70
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2010, 12:39:45 AM »

Ok, now I dont know about whether ebay and Finland get along and what the computer component scene on there is like.  That being said, you can usually just get the digitizer/digitizer+screen combo for about $20.  You also don't have to reinvent the wheel with the hinge, if you type in tablet hinge in the computer section many times you can find this part for anywhere from $5-$10, with some simple structural reinforcement this should work.  There are only a few tablets with digitizers larger than 12" the m4 and m7 tecra or r10 from toshiba, the gateway m275 and m285, as well as the fujitsu t4020.  There are more but that should point you in the right direction.  Like Bernard said, this seems possible, but no one has bitten the bullet and tried it.  So more power to you, post frequently, if you run into problems perhaps we can help.
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setasai
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 02:33:28 AM »

if you want to have a small portable thingy with relatively no case around the screen, then you have a problem with using the standard Wacom product tablets: they almost all have internal boards that extend well beyond the "active area" on all directions -- and I am talking inches here.

As (I think?) you suggested: I would not even think of building a Wacom board to mimic an existing one:  First reason, it is expensive enough just to get a single double-side PCB to be constructed and IMHO most likely it will not work right away:  reason:  this is RF/magnetic fields we are talking about here --- not to be taken with a grain of salt: even the chemistry of the traces and the other components will affect the result!  In short: don't go there.

BUT Wacom have been producing boards that are perfect for what you want -- they are OEM parts  http://www.wacom-components.com/products/penabled/lcdDigitizers/ -- and are inside a lot of... TabletPCs (the Wacom technology is called "Penabled").

So if you wanted to "go far" just for the aesthetics, then I suggest that you get your hand on a used TabletPC (of a size that you like -- which will be the first issue here -- they are all relatively small).  And work to interface that board (they are typically serial devices).  Be warned that this is not a won battle: AFAIK, nobody did this. Some of us are (very slowly) looking into it, but no recipe so far.


I see the link to wacom-components.com but I never see any way to purchase any of it. Does anybody have a source for it? I would imagine it would require a reseller of somekind. I plan on doing the same except with more updated laptop parts and carbonfiber as the shell casing. Assuming it's possible that is.
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bernard
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« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2010, 03:28:45 AM »

as stated on the site, you need to send a request to get a quote.  A member is currently trying this. Follow the thread http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=1697.0
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pesakka
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« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2010, 06:20:31 PM »

Necroing my old topic again since I'm ready to roll again.  Huh

On to the questions. Those who have dabbled with Intuos2:

1. Is it possible to rotate canvas physically 180 degrees and then compensate it from intuos control panel change? Meaning I want to turn the tablet otherway around and still be able to draw normally.

Since I'm planning this on laptop I need to make the under-screen-portion of the tablet be as small as possible. Otherwise the tablet hits a table surface, unless I put the laptop on tall legs.

2. How much is there empty space is there between sensors and the plastic cover on front and on backside of the Intuos2 tablet?

- Pesakka
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bernard
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« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2010, 06:31:15 PM »

Welcome back!

1. Rotation: Good question, I do not know about the Intuos2 enough to answer that. But I have a bit of info: Is your intuos a Serial board or USB?  If Serial, you will have a solution once I finish my serial-USB bridge project(can't make promises as to when this will occur, this is a pure hobby) -- But I will be able to remap coordinates.

2. The sensor board is typically very close to the front.  The sensor board has a few millimeters of "padding" behind + an important metal backsheet that you have to keep, then some more space for a circuit board and the plastic re-enforcements bezels.

You have to understand that the sensor boards of all the wacom tablets can have like a good inch "outside" the active area (top, bottom, left, right) -- if not more!   This makes it very cumbersome if you just plan to stick that onto a laptop!  Alternatives are the Wacom sensors meant for Tablet PCs.

What is the model of the Intuos2 you are asking for?  There are many sizes out there.
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pesakka
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« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2010, 07:15:40 PM »

It's USB. Which suits me fine. Yup, I saw serial-USB bridge project. It'll become very handy for any Intuos1.

An inch would be just fine. Two would be problematic (The front side of Intuos2 seems to be roundish and very wide at ~3 inches on 9x12)

I need to replace the hinges anyway with a strong tablet-pc hinge. I've just to find one first.

http://preview.tinyurl.com/32wfmpw 9x12 Intuos2 is best bargain atm. There is an Intuos3 with 120 dollars, but it still has days left and already 17 bids.

I have understood that no one here has succesfully used a tablet pc sensor on different laptop it was ment to be used. Plus they don't come at 15" screen size.
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bernard
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« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2010, 07:41:27 PM »

The tablet sensor thingy was done by Undersampled, but it was not using the standard Wacom drivers and thus it won't work in Photoshop.

The serial-usb bridge would -- in theory -- usable with serial Tablet PCs (once it is implemented).  Some Tablet PCs are known to be serial AND USB -- one is trying to find out the pin out.  We are no there yet.

The size of the tablet PC sensor would be the limiting factor indeed. Difficult to find big sensors.

I said one inch -- but that was from the top of my head. Look for Intuos2 in this forum and try to find pictures of 9x12 sensor boards.  I have a Intuos2 12x18 at home -- I can measure that if you want.  I have non-intuos2 9x12 boards (I think) I might try to measure that as well.
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pesakka
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2010, 08:00:53 PM »

Quote
I said one inch -- but that was from the top of my head. Look for Intuos2 in this forum and try to find pictures of 9x12 sensor boards.  I have a Intuos2 12x18 at home -- I can measure that if you want.  I have non-intuos2 9x12 boards (I think) I might try to measure that as well.

Thanks for the offer. No need for you to bother, though. Just asking if someone would have an Intuos2 opened currently. I'll search through threads which have Intuos2's pictures and paste my calculations here later.
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pesakka
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2010, 06:36:07 PM »

Yay. Got serial Intuos1 GD-1212 for $34. Bad news it's missing a pen, but I'm getting one from ebay for about same price. The shipping costs are high, though ($60 for the tablet and around $15 for the pen).

My laptop doesn't have a serial port so I will be using an adapter. A Local shop sold one brand for 25 Euros and another for almost 30 Euros. After searching five minutes I got a better deal from my favourite web shop Deal Extreme (no shipping costs) for $3.07 http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.24512.

Now the tablet will be bigger vertically than my laptop screen. I plan to map keys to that part of the tablet if it's possible. I will have to modify my laptop's shell. A lot. I may go for hardwoord case. Don't know yet though. First I'll just have to wait for the tablet and pen to arrive <3 And get them to work ofc.

- Pesakka
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bernard
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2010, 06:43:34 PM »

3$ is a good price for a serial adapter -- although you have to know that some do not work "well" with Wacoms (this is what Wacom is claiming) -- something about buffering the bytes. What operating system are you using (XP 32bit?)  -- not all OS works well with serial boards.

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