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Author Topic: Help identifying pinout on tablet pc digitizer  (Read 70737 times)
farinasa
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« on: November 05, 2010, 05:22:09 AM »

Hey Guys,

I have a mystery digitizer from a tablet pc and have some questions about interfacing it because it was not shipped with a cable (I just assumed it used an FFC).  I bought it on ebay and the seller listed it as USB, but had absolutely no other information.  The model number is SU-13W02E-03A and there is basically no information on the web about this model.  The SU5E-13W01AS-00X is listed on www.wacom-components.com as being UART and USB.  The board I have has a 14 pin connector.  9 serial + 5 USB?  I don't recognize the connector on the sensor board.  It's a 14 pin, 1.0 mm pitch connector, but it doesn't seem to be a Zero Insertion Force connector, because I can't find any way to snap a cable in place.  I'm willing to solder directly to the pins if I really can't come up with a connector.  The pins seem to be round but I can't get a good view of them.  I tried prying the chip from the board but chickened out when it gave good resistance.  Pics follow.


* board.JPG (434.41 KB, 1728x1152 - viewed 897 times.)

* tag.jpg (242.35 KB, 1402x695 - viewed 742 times.)

* chip.JPG (491.86 KB, 1704x906 - viewed 1202 times.)

* connector.jpg (172.54 KB, 1098x582 - viewed 1036 times.)

* pins.JPG (75.22 KB, 928x319 - viewed 894 times.)
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bernard
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« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2010, 10:25:23 AM »

Is that just me or you have 4 of these boards?

Not sure what you are trying to "pry" -- but this is not a FFC connection and other than the little "clips" on the side, I do not think anything moves in there.

Might be worthwhile to look harder for the datasheet or some sort of specification for this part and maybe find the matting connector type and ordering it from an electronic supplier -- like digikey, mouser, etc.  

An alternative would be to solder directly onto the board (we see the connections at least on one side) ** or "plug" little wires directly inside the connector (if these are holes?) -- you can get "wire wrap" wire that is very thin quite easily from local electronic parts shops or online. (like 30AWG)

Have you looked at Undersampled build thread?  I am not sure how many pins his tabletpc device had.  He mainly dealt with another connector but worth looking it up.  (it was serial).

you might try to email Wacom and ask what is the matting connector type (and maybe also the spec about it!) for this component.  I have a feeling this should be quite standard for Wacom components. I will pull mine and check if I have something comparable.

EDIT: more info and links on this topic can be found here: http://wiki.bongofish.co.uk/doku.php?id=bongofish:penenabled
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 09:49:35 PM by bernard » Logged
parism_s
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 02:09:14 PM »

Don't solder directly to the pins. Buy a used digitizer cable from another tablet PC. All wacom tablet PC sensor boards seem to have the same 14pin interface.

Here is one from HP tx2000:
http://www.pchub.com/uph/laptop/72-38419-9092/HP-Pavilion-tx2000-Series-Various-Item.html?
and from Gateway E-155C / C-5815:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Gateway-B1795050G00004-C-5815-C-1517c-Digitizer-Cable-/360311440923?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53e43c461b

You can find some info about the pinout at Undersampled build thread Undersampled build thread. However different wacom boards may have different pinouts.

Your board seems to be the board from the Axiotron modbook as this seller on ebay sells it and also sells the axiotron's wacom pens. So it must be a kind of usb interface just like the above hp tx2000 and gigabyte e-155c are(info from the linux wacom driver mailing list archives).

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bernard
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 06:44:54 PM »

Welcome to the forum parism_s!

Hum, if this is really the same component as the modbook -- maybe you can email these guys and ask for cable(s) information and pin assignments?

Well, 2$US is a good price! (pchub.com)  Even for a "try-it-and-too-bad-if-it's-wrong".

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Wilcorp70
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« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2010, 08:08:29 AM »

Based on my previous research into the modbook for the serial tablet conversion, this is definitely it.  The modbook people are kind of tightlipped, a little like Apple themselves.  I am extremely interested in interfacing this exact digitizer though (possibly on a Mac, like the modbook), so keep to it, I know I will be following the progress with bated breath.  All of Wacom's current offerings list usb and uart as their connections, only the most recent of tablets use the usb interface though. 
~Will
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farinasa
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2010, 11:26:57 PM »

Thanks for the replies.

Is that just me or you have 4 of these boards?

Yes, actually I have 5.  The only way he would sell me any is if he sold me multiples.... Want one?  lol


Not sure what you are trying to "pry" -- but this is not a FFC connection and other than the little "clips" on the side, I do not think anything moves in there.

I was trying to pry the wafer from the sensor board.  I read another discussion on this site where someone had successfully done so.  I wanted to get a better look at the pins, but I know now what type of connector it is.


Might be worthwhile to look harder for the datasheet or some sort of specification for this part and maybe find the matting connector type and ordering it from an electronic supplier -- like digikey, mouser, etc. 

I've looked for weeks and cannot find anything at all.  Very frustrating.

Have you looked at Undersampled build thread?  I am not sure how many pins his tabletpc device had.  He mainly dealt with another connector but worth looking it up.  (it was serial).

you might try to email Wacom and ask what is the matting connector type (and maybe also the spec about it!) for this component.  I have a feeling this should be quite standard for Wacom components. I will pull mine and check if I have something comparable.

I've studied it for a while now.  I actually have the same tablet pc that he is working on, but when I saw the driver trouble he was having, decided to look for a USB board.  The 13.3 inch size was a bonus because that is the size I'm looking for.  I will try to email Wacom, but from what I see around the web, they aren't spilling anything.  I appreciate your help bernard, you seem to be very active in this community and I'm thankful for how you helped undersampled, as that thread alone has taught me a lot.

parism_s:

Thank you for that link.  I agree that it seems to be the modbook digitizer.  I will probably try to get a used cable just to see if it works.  I found a forum post on another site where a guy with a TX2000 had USB trouble.  None of the ports worked and his digitizer quit working which lead people to believe his USB controller had failed.  Does this indicate that the tx2000 digitizer is USB?  You also seem to be right about the digitizers all using the same 14 pin connector, but how do you tell the difference between USB and Serial?  Undersampled mentioned that his board worked fine while accidentally giving it 5v, but he was convinced that it was serial.  Could it be possible for the board to accept both voltages?

Wilcorp70:

Are you saying that the modbook digitizer is indeed serial and not usb?  I also thought that only the newest ones would use USB but the linux wacom driver has an update for USB tablet pc support from 2008.  Also, the tx2000 I believe was for sale during 2008 and was also USB (according to thread I mentioned above).

Am I way off base here?

I think I'll order a cable, probably from the tx2000 and just try it as bernard said, but I'll still need to come up with a pinout to be able to convert it to a usb plug.  Thanks again.
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Wilcorp70
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« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2010, 04:54:16 AM »

You'll have to forgive me, when I think of new tablets I think of ones that aren't just small updates to previous models so 2008 is completely correct, the 13.3 inch usb digitizer was first used on the Asus R1E and the modbook as far as I know, I think it was a response to the R1 that got the linux guys working on the usb part of the driver.  The modbook does use usb, they even advertise it in the more technical circles, however, I believe that all the digitizers that wacom comes out with now have both uart and usb capabilities on the same board. 

~Will
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bernard
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2010, 06:03:38 AM »

On that note, I am working on an ADB -> USB (and later on a serial->USB) bridge for Wacom tablets using a hardware solution. The idea is to use the more recent USB-based Wacom drivers with ADB or serial Wacoms. Ambidextrose is helping out and he has a TabletPC too, so this will be definitely not too far in the list. Nothing is finished yet but there is good hope.

(long) thread: http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=1738.0
« Last Edit: November 08, 2010, 04:10:42 PM by bernard » Logged
farinasa
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2010, 03:54:58 AM »

Bernard, let me know if I can help out in any way.  

I've ordered the cable and need some assistance determining the pinout.  I'm pretty sure the green and white wires on the left are the two usb data wires because they are twisted  and shielded.  Left of the green and white wires are brown and black wires, with red and orange to the right.  The Black, brown, green, white, red are consistent with a USB plug, but the orange throws me off.  Then, on the far right are another black and another red.  They are a bit thicker, which makes me think that these might supply the power, except that they are nowhere near the green and white.  I have also seen pin outs list the usb data cables as green and yellow, which could indicate the wires on the right are the usb wires, but they are out of order and the data cables are not twisted.  I also noticed the green paint on the one side and wondered if this indicated the first pin, but on the opposite connector, the opposite side is painted.  Any ideas?


* cable.jpg (276.21 KB, 1021x1065 - viewed 757 times.)
« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 04:43:09 AM by farinasa » Logged
bernard
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2010, 08:12:14 AM »

Good analysis so far.  Your connector there only has 10 pins used out of 14.

Am I right or did you ordered this cable separately, I mean, how do you know this wire is compatible with your Wacom?

One thing to look at is the wacom controller board -- Wacom often have been very informative directly on the PCB. In particular, the test points names and sometimes the connector pin outs.

For example, I have a SU-017-X01  (from a Compaq/HP tc1100 tablet) for which I have no clue what is the pinout (yet). I am looking just now and, after lifting a white "barcode" sticker I see a lot of markings.

There are only 10 pins to that wacom board.  There is also a 14 pin for the tablet, but in addition to the wacom signals, it also feeds the inverter (backlight) and some Ni-MH battery pack that is fitted in the front case.
 

* wacom SU-017-X01.JPG (116.06 KB. 1200x1001 - viewed 1031 times.)


Can you take a shot of the wacom controller board?
Do you have a multimeter?

« Last Edit: November 16, 2010, 08:27:22 AM by bernard » Logged
bernard
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2010, 11:00:24 AM »

Just a thought here: If the wacom board can both have the USB and UART (serial) interface, the TabletPCs would normally only connect one of the interface at a time, no?  Thus the cables found on ebay would either connect the serial signals OR the USB signals -- I wouldn't understand why both be connected!

USB has indeed only 4 connections -- and only really 2 data pins + 5v power+ground.  Serial ports are different, and we saw from the undersampled thread that we have a full suite of serial signals, (from memory, I recall the following: DTR,RTS,CTS,RX,TX,GND) -- 6 signals essentially (not counting power here).

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random-jimmy
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2010, 07:42:53 AM »

From looking at the PCB, I would say that the green and white wires are USB +/- (especially considering the shielding as this is part of the USB spec), and that the green and yellow wires are the UART/serial wires (since I think that green and yellow are also the colours used for this sort of thing). The serial part of the digitiser would not need any of the handshaking connections usually found with ye-olde serial connectors as bernard suggested (it just connects the two data pins and that is it).

In terms of finding which serial pin is which, either see if Google can help, or hook a multimeter up to the board once it is powered and measure the resistance to ground and voltage on each pin, and post this back. If a pin has a high voltage (either 3.3V or 5V) then I would say it is the TX from the controller.

As far as the two random wires in the middle are concerned, I would bet that they serve some random purpose - the most likely being enable to allow the tablet function to be disabled, and also a status LED of some sort to indicate whether or not if the tablet is enabled or disabled.


Oh, hi again everyone, sorry for the absence - it seems university (and uni life) is much, much busier than I had at first anticipated.
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bernard
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2010, 08:56:06 PM »

Well, hello back random-jimmy!!  thanks for jumping in!
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farinasa
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2010, 07:12:45 AM »

I did buy the cable seperately, but I'm pretty sure it's right.  I don't know for sure, but the connector fits.  I was also confused as to how or why the tablet would connect to both, but it looks like the wires match pretty closely.

The connector has a red and black on one end, presumably for power from usb, and green and white for data from usb.  In addition, the other wires match up with all the serial wires excluding the "hand shaking" connections as jimmy said.  The colors even match up (see picture). 

I started searching around and found that the wacom driver commonly installs these devices:

- Wacom Virtual Hid Driver
- Wacom USB Pen

Often times along with others such as mice and virtual keyboards.  Could this virtual hid driver be for the extra serial connections?  If so, what does it do?  Could it work with just the usb connection?  Does any of this information even sound correct?

Also, bernard, I have a board similar to yours (SU-017-B01).  The PCB has VER 2.0 stamped on it.  I don't have a multimeter, but I think it's time to acquire one and I included a picture of the PCB in my first post.

Thanks and let me know what you think.


* serial colors.jpg (29.66 KB, 431x223 - viewed 1090 times.)
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bernard
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2010, 09:27:17 AM »

multimeter

You'll want:
- digital
- DC voltmeter
- a continuity tester (beep)

- DC Amps reading could be nice to see how much power is drawn
- Ohmmeter might come handy for reverse engineering

... but most decent multimeters have all that anyways.    Smiley


A multimeter can be found for quite a bargain -- and I am not even talking about ebay deals here. But speaking of ebay, let me take a look anyway...

There is one darn cheap multimeter that appears to be sold by a lot of folks on ebay -- it is not "auto-ranging" (as in you have to pick the "range" yourself -- that is not really a big deal -- it just throws you back 20 years ago when most digital multimeters were like that -- but it appears to do the job "more or less" (I saw inaccurate readings when compared with other multimeters -- this page actually shows the uni-t that I talk about in the paragraph below). Offered from 1.50$ to 12$US depending who is selling Smiley -- colors and shape varies. I see black, yellow and some sort of glowing blue -- My guess: it is all the same device inside since they all have the same features and the text almost seems "copied" from one Ad to the other. http://cgi.ebay.com/New-LCD-digital-voltmeter-ammeter-Ohm-multimeter-544-/280544204866?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4151bcd842#ht_3374wt_960

For a compact model, I would go with that UNI-T ebay deal -- It's a brand I trust (I have a Uni-T Clamp meter myself and I like every bit), it appears to be quite compact, it is "auto-ranging", has data hold and even has capacitance testing (that is quite a rare feature for a multi-meter) -- you might never use that, but I would Smiley  12$ http://cgi.ebay.com/UNI-T-UT10A-Modern-Pocket-Size-Digital-Multimeters-/260685364289?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3cb20efc41#ht_2114wt_902   The only downside is that the leads seems "attached" to the tester (instead of being separate) -- but I guess this is to keep the thing very compact.

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