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Author Topic: Experimenting with the HP 2710p Tablet PC digitizer (SU-12W18A-01X)  (Read 56872 times)
ThrowingChicken
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« on: August 13, 2013, 11:21:13 PM »

A few years ago I picked up a used HP 2710p Tablet PC after seeing the contestants on Project Runway use it for their designs.  I had never used a Cintiq or tablet PC before so I had no idea what worlds a penenabled display was about to open for me; Now using my old Graphire feels like the most awkward thing in the world.  

But as much as I love using the tablet to draw, the laptop's hardware is a little lacking.  It's not unusual to have to wait 15 minutes to open or save Photoshop files, and you can expect to sit back and wait for a change in zoom or location to process.  Meanwhile I have a perfectly capable, easily & cheaply upgradable desktop going to waste.

So that is what brings me here!  I needed to replace my display assembly so I negotiated to get a couple of whole assemblies for cheap; I am using the old one for the experimentation process, and the other is being reserved for the final build.  

I do not know a whole lot about this stuff, just what I have been reading here for the past few days, most notably Trashie's thread, so I am very much in favor of hearing anyone's thoughts on this.  Even if nothing comes of it hopefully whatever info I find can be added to the Wiki, which is lacking info on this particular tablet.  


Here is the disassembled assembly.  The circuitry had foil shielding over it that I had to peal off.  


Digitizer label.  I tried contacting Wacom to see if they could offer up any info on it.  The US office pointed me to the Japanese office, who I have yet to hear anything back from.  In the meantime the US office contacted me a second time telling me they asked around and discovered they are now allowed to share any information about it due to agreements with HP.  I don't expect to ever hear from the JP office, but who knows.  


Panel label.  Before purchasing the assemblies I searched Google to try and find out if I could obtain a controller board for the panel, my results telling me it was a Samsung panel, which the controller board people said they could support.  Well now that I have mine cracked open, it clearly isn't a Samsung.  The initial controller shop could not support this 40pin LVDS connector, so what I thought was going to be the easiest part of the conversion suddenly put the whole project in jeopardy.  After a few days of emailing I found a seller that claims their M.NT68676.2A controller kit will work.  I am still hesitant about it, but they say they are certain.  I have not yet cracked open the assembly I am saving for the final build, but with my luck I'm half expecting to do so and find out it's actually Samsung or something else.  


The Wacom board.  As expected from Trashie's build, the ZD1 is not there.  On the plus side the connector is 14 pin and others have seem to have luck with them.


The original cable.  It splits off to the left for the digitizer and to the right for the LCD.  


The covering on the cable pealed back.  Already we are seeing some differences from Trashie's tablet.


The pin layout is different, for better or worse that remains to be seen, but it does rule out me being able to just follow his build.  As you can see there are two groups of wires, on the left we have wires coming from 5 & 6, and on the right we have a group of five coming from pins 9-13 (perhaps the four USB lines?).  Then to confound things even more...


You peal back the covering even more to find out the wires from pins 5 & 6 don't even go anywhere!  At first I thought I tore them by accident, nope, nor were they ever connected to each other like a jumper cable.  I did notice that the fabric sleeve has what looks to be copper wire woven into it; are these likely some sort of ground lines?  Like I said, I don't know too much about this stuff so please let me know what you think.  


The rest of these are just close ups for the board.  Here is the connector.  





So what do you all think?  Does this look like a simple USB + diode job or something much different?  

Thanks for looking, and again, advice is appreciated.  

« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 05:11:09 AM by ThrowingChicken » Logged
bernard
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« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2013, 02:41:13 AM »

Welcome!

LCD: you tried njytouch?

Penenabled: you saw our wiki page?http://wiki.bongofish.co.uk/doku.php?id=bongofish:penenabled This is most likely a serial (ISDV4) board. WaxBee with a Teensy with a 3.3v regulator is probably your best bet.

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ThrowingChicken
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« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2013, 03:24:11 AM »

Thanks for having me, I'm excited to see what comes of this and what I learn.

LCD:  Njytouch said they couldn't do it.  Fibica and Notebookaid said they can support it.  The Fibica controller seems to be the way to go, their controller has more options and is far cheaper than the one Notebookaid offers. 

Wiki:  Yes that is the one I am referring to.  I couldn't find this particular tablet while searching the forum either so hopefully it helps someone. 

Serial:  Darn, I was kind of hoping it would be as simple as Trashie's, but if it's doable as serial then I'm up for trying to make it work.  Do you have any recommendations for build threads or tutorials that will help me better understand where I need to go from here?

Thanks! 

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bernard
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 03:54:29 AM »

According to which pins are connected, it looks like serial ( refer to the wiki page 14pin pinout table). There seem to be variants between boards, but nothing major enough to have the USB elsewhere. It seems boards are either serial or USB. Nobody was succesful in trying to use the board differently than how it was connected. Some people dtruggled to "enable" the digitizer to make it spit out its data.

If you are willing to try it, I think you should get the material for Waxbee and we can try it out. (Unless you already have some other equipment that can interface a UART at 3.3v or  access to an oscilloscope. (You can construct one with a sound card btw.)
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ThrowingChicken
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 04:12:19 AM »

Sure, I already have the panels might as well go for it.  I will need some guidance though.  

Presumably to interface I am going to need the Teensy loaded with Waxbee anyway, right?  I don't have the other equipment so that seems the way to go.  This is the first time I've heard of Teensy and Waxbee.  Looking at Teensy I see there are three different types;  does it matter which one I get?  I see the new 3.0 version is already 3.3v, is that the way to go, is that irrelevant for this use or am I potentially boxing myself into a corner with the lower voltage?

Also, what do I make of pins 5-6?   

Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 04:38:18 AM by ThrowingChicken » Logged
bernard
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 03:33:27 PM »

Teensy: You have to get exactly the same part. It's the Teensy 2.0 (not the ++) along with its 1$ 3.3v regulator. The newer Teensy 3.0 is great but it is a completely different beast.

We had varying success interfacing those digitizers. Some tinkering might be required. Is your tablet can still function? (I mean if you carefully reconnect all the parts and make sure there are no short circuit?)

I forgot to ask: can you solder? Do you have a multimeter?
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ThrowingChicken
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 05:20:16 PM »

The Teensy 2.0 and the regulator are added to my cart.  Is there anything else I might need from this particular vendor? 

My tablet assembly functioned when I removed it from from the laptop (I replaced it just because a couple of areas had some slight calibration issues but it works otherwise), and the one I am saving for the final build was tested as well.  I can hook it back up if need be, though I'd like to avoid having to take the laptop apart again if possible. 

I can solder and I have a basic multimeter (like Harbor Freight basic). 
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bernard
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 04:26:44 AM »

Teensy: u are all set.

We will keep tearing apart the laptop as a last resort only.  Grin

Think how you are going to connect those pins to the digitizer. If you do not want to destroy your cable and cannot find another one, then you'll have to solder directly on the board. Using a bare connector tend to be difficult to use without a special 4K$ crimping tool.
To solder in dense areas, you can get yourself a roll of thin wire (28..30-ish gauge). Those are easy to find if you get the wire-wrap ones. Hot glue is great to secure those easy to break thin wires.
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ThrowingChicken
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 05:33:39 AM »

Alright, all ordered.  Will probably be here sometime early next week.

In the meantime, anything you can tell me about what I'd need to do once it gets here?  What pins on the Wacom need to go to what pins on the Teensy? 

I don't have a problem cutting up the original cable.  If I end up having to open the laptop back up I'll have to solder the lines back together so I can hook it up but I'm sure it will be fine. 

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bernard
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 05:57:23 PM »

The tinkering is about which lines needs to be activated to enable the digitizer. Probing it with a multimeter while in use is a good way to know.
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ThrowingChicken
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2013, 12:17:31 AM »

Well in that case, since I'll have a few days before the Teensy gets here, maybe I will open the laptop back up and put the assembly back in there to see if I can get some readings. 
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ThrowingChicken
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« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2013, 03:19:39 AM »

Am I correct in believe I can use DGND to find the ground pins? 
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ThrowingChicken
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« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2013, 05:36:25 AM »

Alright, so I hooked the assembly back up to the laptop and these are the results, hopefully it formats right:

               Pin: 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14
             Wired: G               X   X           X    X    X    X    X    G
Voltage when still: 0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0  4v   4v    0   4v   4v    0
  Voltage with pen:                    4v          3v
(no change unless noted)

And to note again, the wires coming from pins 5 and 6 do not go anywhere, the wires are cut after about 2 inches even though power is coming from 6 when a pen is on it.  

Does this tell us anything?  
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 07:03:20 AM by ThrowingChicken » Logged
bernard
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« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 03:14:01 PM »

Yay! I assume you did that after it was working - I mean the mouse cursor could move when moving the pen. In other words the digitizer was turned on.

This will help us.

One thing here: it would be good that you connect the pin 8 - this is to send commands to the digitizer. (Not absolutely necessary but might help to diagnose or discover the max x/y values and the correct baud rate).


EDIT: pin 8 is not the good one -- it is pin 10 and it already have a wire (yay!)
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 05:40:08 AM by bernard » Logged
kaikaisushi
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« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2013, 04:39:20 PM »

awesome Shocked
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