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Author Topic: CabinetiQ  (Read 8089 times)
DaBotz
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« on: June 19, 2013, 03:35:10 PM »

OK, first of all, this has been based upon the TabletMod assembly specs for the Intuos 4 L...

As such, there is not much to say about the tech side, it went pretty smooth.

I just had to ground the metalstrip on the back of the CCFL on the LCD panel, when I got rid of the top and bottom of the panel frame... no more surprises.

I decided to call it CabinetiQ because, more than anything else, it has been an exercise in cabinet making. With a hand saw, a drill and a cutter.

I passed through the TabletMod site, watched a couple of times the video tutorial for the Intuos L and finally decided to go with an enclosure, after having seen that there was a possibility for making something working without touching the tablet.

I bought the actual drawings (because, anyway, I was going to use the expertise behind them, so I could as well pay for it), went to Ponoko, and saw the price they would have charged for cutting the acrylic sheets and send them to me...

+200$ ? A bit too much for my taste.

Also, adding that money to the screen and controller, and the cost of the Intuos, I could have almost bought a Yinova MSP19U, ot the last Huion GT190... which may or may not be terrific, but are ready to go.

More, I'm not a fan of drawing over acrylic... it scratches fast enough for my tastes.

The idea of having the lcd controller  in the middle of the build, and its case structurally responsible for holding the weight of all when mounted on a stand wasn't exactly to my taste either. I seldom trust anything that much.

Finally, I wasn't in the mood for buying a stand like the Ergotrton either, given also the fact that I seldom tilt sheets even when I draw on paper, and never at all since I started using tablets.

So, I scratched my big head,fired up Sketchup, and come out with an alternative casing and stand... whose cost is in the 40 Euros range (ten euros of wood, 5 for the 2mm thick glass, five for the knob to close the stand joint, a whoppy ten euros for a spray paint can and let's say ten for some other residual stuff that was laying around).

Here is the finished product of my efforts

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]

I'm quite happy of the "stand", as it works relatively well, though it is simple enough.

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ] [ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]

It has a long screw that close together a series of alternated plywood arms, creating a stack of friction surfaces... it is solid enough for me and my habit of drawing leaning on the table (one of the reasons I added some cm on the right of  the tablet is to have a place for my elbow to rest ).

The knob is actually a dress hook (originally designed to be attached to a wall with a screw), and the tube spacer between the two sections of the stand is a 1/2" water pipe.

As for the controller board and the inverter, they are attached upside down on the top back of the plywood panel holding the tablet and the lcd, and are covered by a removable protection.

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]

I left the control buttons on the left, where the Intuos 4 hotkeys are, and used a plastic cylinder to carry the light of the led on the top. It works fairly well with the red light signalling stand-by, but a lot worse with the green light (The moment I find a 8mm wide, 4 cm long clear transparent bar of metacrylate or policarbonate, I will switch the hastily made light guide I used).

As buttons, I used those wood pins that are usually meant to hold together different pieces of wood.

They works quite well.

Jittering is almost absent when the shielding is NOT grounded, completely uncontrollable otherwise... so, though present, I left the shielding ungrounded for the time being (probably, it is just that the ground dispersal is yet another crappily made part of this house, and has an impedance way above the ideal 0 Ohm... the previous owner was a sailor that built the house bit by bit in the spare time, trying to save money literally  on everything. It shows, from a roof where I dare not to step to water pipes that break down more often than a Yugo.)

Thanks to all of you for every little tip you posted in this forum as, though I didn't have to use almost any, they helped me decide to build the thing.

As of now, I'm pretty happy with it.

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]

Thanks for everything, pals.

_DB

« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 12:17:22 AM by DaBotz » Logged

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Aerendraca
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« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2013, 07:53:12 PM »

Hi DaBotz,

Good job, and nice drawings! Are you pleased with how it works? Is there anything you would want to improve?
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DaBotz
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2013, 10:51:01 PM »

Hi DaBotz,

Good job, and nice drawings! Are you pleased with how it works? Is there anything you would want to improve?

Thanks for the reply.

I shall say... if I had any idea of a good IPS led monitor with 24 bit color definition, that does not fight with the tablet, I would probably think about switching it, as the AUO colors aren't very exciting (but I use a LG Philips 22" in mirroring for the color works).

To be honest, the AUO BW154etc. narrow viewing angle has the indirect bonus of forcing me to keep the thing at 90º with my sightline, which is the only way to keep my astygmatism in check . So, I'm pretty ambivalent about it and I'm not going to play with it for the time being.

Sometimes I feel a fleeting urge to get the glass to the vendor and get it cut a half cm... hopefully, this time the guy will cut it STRAIGHT (as in, at 90º - actually, it fall short 1º... how did it manage to do so with a rule in hand,escapes me)... but this is really a minor issue.

What I really feel the lack of is some more hotkeys, or of a knob able to replace the touchring.

I used to draw with the  keyboard right beside the touch ring, as I use quite my share of keyboard shortcuts and the touch ring suits me pretty well when I start scratching hundred of black lines of variable weight (my way of shading).

The distance that now there is between them is a little bothersome.

I'm not sure if I'm going to build a knob to place aside the keyboard, using a mouse (fun), strip some poor usb keyboard (less fun) or use the same auxiliary numeric keypad that I use with the Graphire 4  on my laptop, for GIMP (this, it may actually work - slightly boring)...

With a little of auto-hotkey magic, those 12 euros worth of numeric keypad should be able to give 28 hotkeys - 18 under numlock, and another ten without - much to the shame of the poor Intuos and its miserable 8.

Without tinkering with hardware, too... only,  I do not really know where to place it in my build.

Bah... first, let's draw. Then the crave for what I really need will manifest itself.

In the meanwhile, I'm probably going to Cintiquize the Graphire.

I didn't find a way to get the Huion H610 to work properly in ubuntu (I tried to install and configure the wizardpen driver, but it just "almost" work) , so Graphire will be.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2013, 12:57:47 AM by DaBotz » Logged

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Aerendraca
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2013, 07:41:54 AM »

Well I think that you can be proud of a project well completed, some people don't make it that far (myself included - for the moment  Grin ). You'll have to upload some drawing to the 'Gallery of Cool' once you've had a good old play with the CabinetiQ!
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DaBotz
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2013, 12:20:48 PM »

...You'll have to upload some drawing to the 'Gallery of Cool' once you've had a good old play with the CabinetiQ!

I'll sure do.

In the meanwhile, if someone likes this and has an Intuos 4 L, here is the original mock-up of the thing, with the stand.

It is a little cahotic, and isn't exactly the finished enclosure, but the general dimensions are respected, and it contains a mock-up of the nyjtouch buttons, controller (it was a B.NTA92C, originally, but was programmed uncorrectly and I decided to switch to a R.RM3251 when Nyjtouch sent  me the replacement) and inventer boards too, so can be useful for someone planning to battle against those. I'm sorry for the "chaos", but I was learning to use sketchup while I made this, so I slipped a little on the grouping - components.


CabinetiQ.v3.skp(1.2 MB) http://ubuntuone.com/66VL043furSPT8qSOLsMKc

Ubuntu one will probably tell your browser to open the file as it was text (probably, it abuses the mime content-type to enforce a "safe" behaviour on the receiver).

Save the file on your pc and then you'll may open it with Sketchup.

As it can be seen, before cutting any wood I made a couiple of different versions of the enclosure (more like five or six), and went back to draw the stand when I understood that I needed it to be a lot more vertical than I thought.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2014, 04:09:40 PM by DaBotz » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2013, 05:06:54 AM »

Great stuff DaBotz! Shame on the glass cut of not being straight.

Note: Link shows a page that says "Could not locate object" for me.
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DaBotz
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2013, 02:50:17 PM »

Great stuff DaBotz! Shame on the glass cut of not being straight.

Note: Link shows a page that says "Could not locate object" for me.

Grrrrnnn... I reu-ploaded and republished the file, now the link is http://ubuntuone.com/2utXeCulkgkl2eZtI664Wz

I hope it works and keep working this time.

The link,I mean.
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DaBotz
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2013, 09:53:27 PM »

The first change I had to make was an unforeseen one: the stand I had made was too low, so I ended having neck problems after a couple of hours of drawing.

I aimed for an height-adjustable implementation of the first version I made, and ended up producing this moloch:

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]

The end result is a little harder to convince to change position than I originally planned, but so far it seems to work well.

As I have done before, I used sketchup to preview the final result.

Here is a link to the file:



http://ubuntuone.com/2Gk0w8RIFH2N923imJP2f5

I know, I know... this is way more complex than it was needed, and the legth of the various arms should be tweaked a little...
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 10:09:46 PM by DaBotz » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2013, 08:03:40 PM »

Update: I finally cured, a little, my urge for more hotkeys by the use of HIDMacros, a couple of  of mouses, a touchpad and a keyboard.

HIDMacros is a small windows program that allows you to associate a macros (i.e. an arbitrary sequence of keys) to keys and wheels of different keyboards and mouses, distinguishing between any different mouse/keyboard attached to the PC.

As a result, I attached a keyboard on the side, a numeric keypad on top, stripped a mouse of its wheel, and concocted some addictions to the whole set-up.

I'm still messing around it, and trying to get what configuration works better for me...   
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2013, 08:29:08 PM »

Oh my!  having a keyboard rotated 90 degrees is a good idea!   Doesn't the "angle" of each key feel weird?
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DaBotz
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« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2013, 10:21:04 PM »

A little, initially, because I had to "read" the keys. In and by themselves, the keys are pretty symmetric, so it doesn't change much the feeling they give when pressed.

Things have improved when I started placing "stickers" on the keys as I "occupied" them, so that I was seeing vertical icons and script on the keys I use... I took a photo of the keyboard, and used it to create a keys mask.

When my keys usage will be reasonably completed and stable (I'm still tweaking it a lot), I'll get it printed on good paper, and I will attach it with a better glue than the easily removable vinyl one I use now (it's a wood glue, that doesn't really hold on the key's plastic, so it is really easy to peel a sticker off and move it around).

Right now it looks like - more or less, some keys have "disappeared", like the brush mode - this:

[ Attachment: You are not allowed to view attachments ]

It is not all wine and roses, of course

Some keys are not usable:
 Alt, Tab  and F10 per HIDMacros guidelines
 Shift - because it gets annoying if you push it more than three times in a row
 Ctrl is better left alone because it can be useful for some composed macros
 the "windows" key, because nothing can stop Windows from screwing around when it is pressed

but the other keys can be used as anyone wants... it's way cheaper than to buy a programmable keyboard (i.e. HIDMacros is freeware so, if you already have a spare keyboard, like I did...)

Note: if you are a professional, it may still be worth buying a programmable keyboard ... there are some hidden issues in the way HIDMacros produces its magic, the biggest problem for me being that my PS Elements pretends the use of "+" from the numeric pad in some cases - keycode 107 -, and HM send the keycode for the "+" on the main keyboard - keycode 187; then again, a professional may also use a programmable power knob instead of stripping a poor mouse of its third wheel, for the separated zoom knob, or have a full fledged Photoshop with programmable shortcuts...

I still have to revise where to leave the zoom knob, also. I will probably move it a couple of inches upward.

Finally, I'm always tweaking the disposition of some shortcuts, but in all I'm pretty happy.


In reality, the biggest hassle are... the Intuos4's keys!!!

They are too hard to push, as they are thought to avoid being pressed accidentally on an horizontal setup, and this makes using them almost painful, sometimes.

Mostly it is when I have to push "shift" and move the touch ring (it changes the brush blending mode) or the zoom knob (to change the lazynezumi setting; it is one of the reasons to move the knob two inches up).

« Last Edit: November 05, 2013, 10:39:53 PM by DaBotz » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2013, 11:07:58 PM »

Awesome!   For HIDMacros, there really no way to tell it to send the + from the numeric keypad? (can't you hardcode a keycode?)
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DaBotz
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2013, 12:05:20 AM »

Hmm, I contacted the guy who wrote it, Petr Medek.

Apparently, it can't, for now...

Internally, HiDMacros is converting the characters in the command sequence into streams of keycodes, and flush them as keyboard keys, so it should be relatively easy to do.

The main problem is that it would mean adding a syntax to the parser he uses to read the commands, which is a little less banal, and Petr works on HIDMacros in his spare time.

Unfortunately , I'm not good with C# (the language, if I am not badly mistaken, in which HidMacros is written) or I would have proposed a collaboration - Petr doesn't share the code for the HIDMacros "magic", but for just an accessory class such as that, maybe...
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2013, 12:25:58 AM »

C# is quite easy (done that a lot a while back). If I can see the piece of code to add the syntax, I can probably help you. This can be done privately as well (through email)

« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 05:37:03 PM by bernard » Logged
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2013, 07:03:02 AM »

Looking at the HIDMacro executable, this isn't a .NET application (unless it is heavily obfuscated which I doubt). So it is most likely not C#.

I am not sure why Petr Medek didn't tell you about all available keycodes -- there is one to do exactly what you want! (??) (The complete list is very easy to spot when looking at the binary).

HIDMacros supports special keys using a special syntax.  "NUMPLUS" is one such code and is mapped to keycode 107.  I think you just have to enter {NUMPLUS} in the key sequence (if I read the documentation correctly).

Keycodes not in the documentation:

NUMPLUS
NUMMINUS
NUMMULTIPLY
NUMDIVIDE
NUMDECIMAL
Fn keys up to F24
NUM0 ... NUM9

« Last Edit: November 07, 2013, 05:38:34 PM by bernard » Logged
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