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Author Topic: Starting out - To begin at the beginning.  (Read 30468 times)
Drewid
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« on: January 27, 2007, 12:10:57 PM »

Hello and welcome to the show.   

So you want to have a go and build a screen tablet?

Before you start there are some things you should know.  This sort of fiddling can get addictive, and obsessive, it can eat time, and it's a whole heap of fun.
Things may get broken, You ought to be prepared that anything you take apart may never work again. Grin   That's life.

What Monitor / tablet to use?   Well the least risky proposition is the combination I used, a Wacom UD-1212 and a Dell 1503FP screen. This is known to work, but that's down to dumb luck rather than any knowledge skill on my part. The group is very young, so we're still in the process of finding out what works and what doesn't, and what to do about it.

IMPORTANT:
Before you start stripping anything try "Bhrazz's opening gambit."  http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=142.0
You also ought to know about handling electronic stuffs:   http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=83.0
Soldering is also a useful skill to aquire, though not essential.  http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=122.0

When I was a kid learning to ride a motorbike you weren't consideresd a "biker" till you'd had your first crash. I'm thinking we need to be applying the same rule here.   Breaking things seem to be an inevitable part of the building process. There are some notes of fragile things to watch out for here:
http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=95.0 
http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=74.0

Jittering,  lots of monitors seem to suffer from this, a few don't.  My original tablet didn't, dumb luck again.
This seems to be caused by the inverter that drives the tube backlights tha are used in most monitors, and this is why there is so much interest in alternative forms of backlight such as LED or EL film.     It might be curable by rotating or shielding the inverter,  frankly we're still finding out.

If you are still determined to have a go read some of the build logs, there's some real inspirational stuff going on.   Cool

Have fun - break stuff responsibly.  Wink

Cheers
-Drew

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Games work site:  Drewnorthcott.co.uk
Personal site: Bongofish.co.uk
Switz
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2007, 07:19:13 PM »

Some good shit right there Drew.

 Grin
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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
Drewid
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« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2007, 09:24:14 AM »

WARNING!!!

Inverters drive high voltage lamps.  Don't touch them when they are on and make sure they are covered

They really really hurt.


LOTS[/color]
[/size]
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naspc
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« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2007, 01:34:24 PM »

how long do you have to wait to touch the inverter after you turn it off and unplugged it?
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dynam1c
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« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2007, 01:56:21 PM »

Thank You Drew..

But honestly what kinda idiot would touch an uncovered Invert.. !

@naspc - Once you turned off the monitor and just to make sure taken the psu out you can dance on the inverter if you like (I dont recommend it)
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naspc
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« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2007, 02:18:24 PM »

ah man why didn't you tell me earlier? the urge was just to great........... Undecided
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Chems
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2007, 01:18:50 PM »

I touched my inverter! And Damn it hurt, but it wasnt that bad. And it was an accident I was practising drawing with my screen in naked mode!
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buildorbust
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2011, 05:21:46 AM »

Ok, I'm new here and just starting out. Can someone explain to me - if you use a desktop monitor for this why do you need to tear everything apart?

Is it absolutely necessary or is it just something that people are doing to have something that looks prettier than a wacom duct-taped to the back of a desktop monitor?

If you decide to use a desktop monitor, besides the monitor and the tablet themselves, what exact parts do you need to make a build? I think it's insane that there's no sticky that has a plain list of the parts as needed for use with a laptop vs. as needed for a desktop.

Is a separate control board and power supply necessary regardless or is that only for laptops - unless the monitor is being controlled via USB which brings up another question. Do these need to connect to the computer via USB and video cable or just USB and which are connecting to what?

What's stopping you from putting them together in a simpler manner that doesn't require extreme care to avoid damaging things? (for example, just plugging the monitor into the video card, wacom to usb, and have them stuck together instead of torn apart and reassembled)
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StickyNavels
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2011, 08:46:39 AM »

I'm all shades of green when it comes to this, but:

Nearly all desktop monitors have metal shielding in the back, as well as wires and such running across. This will interfere with your tablet's sensor, even block the signals completely.

This is also the reason you'll want to find a monitor with external power, or the EM interference with cause a lot of bother.

You'll also need to find a panel with edge-lit backlighting. Shouldn't be too difficult; most thin, standard-issue LCD monitors are edge-lit, as it's a cheap solution. IIRC, only a few panels use full-array backlighting - (mostly TVs actually)the problem with those is, again, interference and perhaps added thickness and more heat.

Even if all of the above weren't an issue, you'd have to find an incredibly thin monitor as the tablet's sensor range is about 9mm - maybe plus a few millimeters if you've disassembled the tablet.

As for which parts you need to salvage - it depends! Is it a LED panel, or a CCFL one?

I think the reason there's no sticky covering all this is because there's a such a wide arrange of possible panels and solutions available. There's very little in the way of a standardized process.

If you want to know which methods *do* work, you'll want to check out the "Successfull Builds" sub-forum and look for something that resembles what you want to achieve.



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buildorbust
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2011, 01:47:46 PM »

Does the external controller board play any role for a desktop monitor, or is that only for laptops that don't already have one (and a power supply)?
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Pesho
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2011, 03:19:12 PM »

The controller board is only needed when using laptop screens. It takes the VGA/DVI signal from your PC and sends it to the LCD panel through an LVDS cable. Desktop monitors come with a controller board inside the casing, but in laptops the controller is usually integrated in the motherboard, so the LCD panel can't be used on its own. That's why if you are using a laptop LCD, you will need to buy a controller board kit from eBay etc.

The power supply for the controller board kits is any AC adapter that can output 12V, 4A DC. Universal notebook adapters are the best for this case.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 03:22:00 PM by Pesho » Logged
buildorbust
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2011, 03:28:12 PM »

Thank you! For a clear answer to what should be spelled out. Having not owned a Cintiq, I wasn't sure if the board was needed to control synchronization between the tablet and monitor or if it was just for power and output. Now that this is answered, it greatly simplifies the rest.

So basically, I just need to disassemble both the tablet and monitor very carefully, match them up correctly, build a case, and ground?

If I'm using a desktop monitor, the only part where I would actually need to be soldering would be to ground everything or if I broke something during the assembly/disassembly right?
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Pesho
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2011, 03:46:23 PM »

Actually, the Cintiqs are a little different, because the controller board is literally a seperate thing from the tablet, and it serves a double function:

- It keeps the tablet itself light and thin
- It combines the monitor signal and the tablet's USB signal to a cable with a proprietary plug. This way if something breaks, you can only get a spare from Wacom. On DIY cintiqs you have 3 cables coming out of the tablet - power supply, USB cable from the tablet and the VGA/DVI cable. It may actually do synchronization, but there is no info on this...

Quote
So basically, I just need to disassemble both the tablet and monitor very carefully, match them up correctly, build a case, and ground?

Yes, this is the ideal case. But monitors are very different on the inside, so there are some issues which you may or may not run into, it all depends on how it's designed. Internal power supply for example is one of those possible issues, so you should look for one with an external adapter. Another potential problem affects desktop and laptop LCD's alike, especially in older monitors. It's when you can't unfold the two circuit boards in the back (they interfere with the tablet signal), because they are joined with a cable (in brown here):



You can only fix it by getting a longer cable. But they aren't easy to find and are different for each monitor!

« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 03:58:49 PM by Pesho » Logged
buildorbust
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2011, 04:46:08 PM »

I'm looking at doing a build like this: http://forum.bongofish.co.uk/index.php?topic=1967.0

but with a Intuos4 instead of 3. If I need extenders, where's the best place currently to get them? I thought I read somewhere here that people were having trouble with diy-beamers.

I'm thinking of building a poor-man's wood case by hand for this and slot it for a pane of hardened glass up front. Will that be ok for ventilation? (Assuming I'll have to cut some air holes). Is that the cheapest way to go?

Rik! complained about LED heat. Would that be as big an issue in a wood case vs. just open like he presently has his?
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Pesho
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2011, 05:16:50 PM »

I dont know how hot LED's get, but the operating temperature for standard CCFL bulb LCD screen is around 50 degrees Celsius (according to my monitor's datasheet anyway). That is pretty hot to the touch, but not enough to melt plastic or burn wood. If it really bugs you, you can use a thin ceramic tile or some sort of heatsink under the lamp but that probably won't be necessary.

I have not had to use any extenders for my project, so i can't tell you anything about that...

Glass is a great surface because it's cheap, thin, rigid, and doesn't scratch up like plexiglass does. I use regular 2mm thick glass with a clear protective film on one side to prevent any injuries in case it's shattered.
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