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Author Topic: Some inane questions from a total newb  (Read 1764 times)
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« on: June 24, 2012, 04:33:11 AM »

Hi everyone! I'm Miz Black Crow, I'm new, and I'm an idiot. (These things are important to know. The last more than the first two.)

I am the (not very) proud owner of an Intuos 3 A5 size (not the A5 Wide, apparently) PZT-630 , and a dead old HP Mini 1030NR (10.1", LED, WSVGA, glass NOT matte, 1024x753). While the body of the laptop is dead--for the stupidest reason ever, mainly that the charge port won't actually hold on to the cable and therefore will not charge--all hope isn't lost. Because I loves me some drawing, and I hate drawing on a Wacom, because the cognitive dissonance required for drawing in one place and looking at another is breaking my head.

Hence why my Wacom has been sitting unloved in a corner, and I lost the pen a long time ago. (Sidebar: Anybody have a spare pen for the Intuos 3 they'd like to sell cheap?)

So. A few (inane, probably-answered-and-i-just-didn't-get-it) questions.

  • Other than the basic components (pen, wacom, screen, scalpel, soldering iron, Dremel/file), WHAT do I need to make this work?
  • What in the hell is a controller, do I need one, and how do I know I'm getting the one I need?
  • What in the hell is an inverter, do I need one (I remember seeing something about LED screens not requiring one?), and how do I know I'm getting the one I need?
  • Is it actually possible just to sit a screen on top of a wacom, duct-tape it in place, connect it to a computer (drivers permitting) and have that *work*? If not, what do you have to do in addition?
  • I've overlaid the two on top of each other. The screen is wider, but shorter, than the Wacom. What will happen when I put these things together? I don't have the budget for a bigger Wacom or a bigger screen. Is this even worth doing without a perfect lining-up?

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for helping out a poor, confused newb who's never disassembled a laptop (or a Wacom) before.
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2012, 05:39:31 PM »

Either I pass a big hour writing a long post just for you or you spend hours reading by yourself.  (I'll try to answer specific questions anyways)

First you need a pen for your wacom (or another wacom).  Finding a pen is not that simple/cheap.  Often, the way to get a pen is to buy a used wacom that comes with a compatible pen.  There is a pen compatibility chart document somewhere in our wiki. I think that only intuos3 pens works with intuos3 boards.

I assume you understood that the main idea of building a "simtiq" is to physically put a LCD on top of a digitizer tablet sensor. That's all. There is no other "magic". 

For this to work, the LCD needs to be very thin and have no metal parts (metal parts blocks the signal for the digitizer).  So you cannot just put a full monitor with its case since it will most likely be too thick and have metal parts in the way. So the way we do this is to take out only the "LCD Panel component" which is inside a monitor or a laptop and put all the other "stuff" on the side. 

Now you need a functional digitizer (e.g. a wacom tablet) and a functional LCD.  I mean, for the LCD, functional to the point that you see a picture on the screen.

So there are many ways to have a working LCD.  You can take a working monitor apart, just keeping the guts. Or you can "build" a monitor out of spare parts. For example, you can get yourself the LCD panel 'alone' and then you need the "supporting electronics" around it to make it functional. This is what we call a controller -- some give it a more friendly name "monitor kit" -- essentially to turn a "bare LCD Panel" into a "fullly functional LCD Monitor". Where you can connect it to a wall outlet to power it up and connect to a computer with a standard VGA/DVI cable.   

Sometimes we take a broken laptop, remove the LCD Panel inside and toss out the rest. Then we buy those "monitor kits" (A.K.A. "LVDS Controller") -- and make it functional. (NJYTouch has a good selection and they have good prices).
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