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Author Topic: [Starting] The Begintiq - My first Cintiq build  (Read 1409 times)
DavidK
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« on: May 29, 2016, 11:16:06 AM »

I got into animating a few months ago, and want to step up my game hardware-wise. But as we all know, Cintiqs are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXPENSIVE. So that's when i started looking for alternatives, and eventually I came across a neat little site called Bongofish (Obviously Wink )..
Unfortunately, I don't have the best electronic skills (my knowledge basically goes as far as assembling a PC) but I'm gonna try building a Cintiq-style device anyway Grin
I haven't started building just yet, but I'll start as soon as i can  Smiley
If you guys have any tips or warnings, please tell me. Grin
-David
« Last Edit: May 29, 2016, 11:30:17 AM by DavidK » Logged

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DavidK
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 11:29:35 AM »

10 minutes later, and the worst pun enters my head. The build shall be called...
THE BEGINTIQ
...Get it? It's a portmaneau of beginner and Cintiq...  Yeah you get it  Tongue
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Ertew
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2016, 01:46:54 PM »

Plan A:
1. screen: LCD monitor (chose one with LED backlight) may or may not work with digitizer. Helpfully many peoples test different models and post on forum what model are working. Chose one of them
2. digitizer: If You not like to soldering, programming, etc. Start from Wacom USB tablet.
3. ergonomic mechanical case: this is only thing that You need to deal with.

Plan B:
1. screen: same as in plan A.
2. digitizer: Use an obsolete tablet with serial or ADB interface. These things are very cheap so You can buy bigger tablet and bigger screen in same price. You need to solder and program WaxBee converter as in plan C. That's not a problem for many peoples.
3. ergonomic mechanical case: same as plan A

Plan C:
1. screen: Complete screen from any tablet-PC or 2in1 laptop-tablet device. Need VGA/HDMI to LVDS converter and power supply.
2. digitizer: Build-in inside screen. Required WaxBee converter and soldering. Same as plan B
3. mechanical thing: LCD and digitizer are aligned and fixed inside one piece by manufacturer. Just a simple support that gives me good angle.


I doesn't like point 3 in plan A and B, so I chose plan C. For You, plan A should be the best option.
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DavidK
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 05:07:50 PM »

Thanks! Plan A does seem like the best option to me. I'll be sure to look for some good machtes around here  Grin
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DavidK
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« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2016, 01:50:31 PM »

After some measuring, looking for tablets, planning etc.. I found out there's not much room on my desk (should've thought about that) so I'm gonna have to get a tablet of about 14-15". I was also thinking about using it as a monitor when I'm not drawing on it, then have it extend towards me using one of those screen wall stand things...

Anyways, the Wacom I'm going to use is probably an Intuos A4 regular(Thanks Simtiq planner  Grin) and some 15" screen i haven't decided about yet.
So now I'm gonna look for a nice deal on Marktplaats (my country's equivalent of eBay) and then it's time to think about the screen!
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DavidK
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2016, 03:14:31 PM »

Got my hands on a nice Acer AL511. Has an external power supply, and should fit perfectly with an Intuos3 A4. Two problems:

  • The monitor didn't come with the power cable, so I'll have to look for one that works with it.
  • I can't find any cheap Intuos3's on Marktplaats (The Dutch version of eBay) so I need to look for that elsewhere, or wait for a good deal to pop up.

After a bit of trouble, I got the monitor open. Now to strip it.
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DavidK
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2016, 03:22:50 PM »

And then I remembered: I know the square root of jack-sh*t about monitors. Can anyone help me with the stripping process? The only part i recognize is an inverter, and I'm not even sure if it IS an inverter, could be a toaster for all i know. (Okay, not really a toaster, but you get the point)

I would upload some pictures, but I don't know how xD I feel so dumb...
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DaBotz
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2016, 08:55:38 AM »

OK... by the look of it, it is a classic CCFL twisted nematic screen, probably with two CCFL lamps.

The inverter is, usually, a separated oblong small board that is connected to the main board by a numnber of cables  and to one (at least - if I am right about the two lamps, in this case, two) pair of cables sticking out from one-two corners of the panel.

Usually the cables to the lamps have a teflon cover, so they can be recognized because of the slightly "squishy" feeling of that plastic, compared to the feel of most other cables.

Try to power it on... if you see a rose tint, [they tell me] the lamps are nearing the end of their life (I have a monitor like that).

To add a photo, click "Additional Options" , right below the post text area.
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Ertew
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« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2016, 03:49:30 PM »

[...]
Usually the cables to the lamps have a teflon cover, so they can be recognized because of the slightly "squishy" feeling of that plastic, compared to the feel of most other cables.
[...]
Usually CCFL cables have silicone or similar coating. Maybe some manufacturers use silicone, some teflon.


Got my hands on a nice Acer AL511. Has an external power supply, and should fit perfectly with an Intuos3 A4. Two problems:
I found some photos here:
http://www.elektroda.pl/rtvforum/topic3106415.html
and here:
http://www.electronicrepairguide.com/acer-monitor-repair.html
Can You approve that Your model look similar?

If You have the same model, You chose wrong monitor to play with. Why it's wrong? Because this model doesn't have inverter board. It have single HV board that includes mains input and inverter on single board. Any short circuit may be dangerous because You have mains voltage very close to other components and cannot separate it.
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DavidK
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2016, 09:23:28 AM »

That's bad.... I guess I'll have to look for another monitor.

15 minutes later...

I found a Dell 1503fp for 15 euros! I've read that the viewing angles and colors aren't all that great, but as long as it doesn't have any major problems, it's fine by me. I don't know what I'll do with the AL511, guess I'll put it back on Marktplaats...

I'll wait a few days before buying the Dell, so if there's anything wrong with it, please let me know...

Side note: I found an Intuos3 A4! Perfect size, good as new, 75 euros (That's 83,3 dollars). The seller is on holiday right now, but I can buy it on July 15th. Nice!
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Ertew
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2016, 09:52:58 PM »

Dell 1503fp is bad choice because:
1. CCFL backlight
2. Low resolution.


If You can accept this, this monitor should be OK for You because:
1. Separate, external power supply.
2. Separate CCFL inverter.
3. DVI and VGA input.
4. Electrical and mechanical documentation is available over internet, like here: http://www.eserviceinfo.com/downloadsm/35344/DELL_1503FP.html


P.S. check this:  Shocked
http://www.lcdparts.net/howto/Instruction/InstructionDetail.aspx?InstructionID=10
http://www.rainydaymagazine.com/RDM2008/Home/March/RDMHomeMar08W2.htm#DIYCintiqDell_LCD
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DavidK
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« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2016, 09:53:54 AM »

*Sigh*  Undecided Okay, let's recap..

The AL511 is BAAADDDDDD, 'cause it don't have no seperate inverter board.

The 1503fp is also a bad choice, but...

1. CCFL backlight. Now I decided to (finally) educate myself on the subject... Can I replace the backlight? I've read about this on the original Wax-Off log; can't I just take the whole CCFL thing out and replace it with something thinner? LED strips maybe? I'll have to look into that...

2. Low resolution... I could be wrong, but the 1503fp has the exact same resolution as the AL511. (1024x768, which is the res I'm going for)
It's also the same size, so the PPI should be the same. (Right?) And the colors and viewing angles aren't really big deals, I'll mainly be using it in one position, and I have 2 other monitors next to me to check the colors on if it is that bad.

And, like you said, there are sooooooooooo many manuals and guides on the internet about this monitor, so I'll actually know what I'm doing.

So if the CCFL problem can be fixed, then I guess the 1503fp is da monitr 5 me! (I need to take some time off of iFunny... Wink)

Update: I brought the AL511 back to the second-hand store i bought it, and got all my money back! Yay  Grin
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 05:40:52 PM by DavidK » Logged

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Ertew
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« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2016, 10:00:52 PM »

CCFL is a tiny glass tube. LEDs on special board are much bigger but fits in place in 99% of cases. Typical LED strip are even bigger than special board and almost never fit in place designed for CCFL.
But don't worry. You can easily buy kit for replace backlight with LED board and driver. Question is, do You have to buy it? IMO it's better to buy monitor with LED backlight or stay with CCFL, but that's Your choice.

Why CCFL? Because it's old technology. Old LCD = old (bad) image quality = cheap monitor.
In any comparison, when You use full power of backlight, LEDs are a little brighter and little cooler than CCFL. CCFL may produce more jitter than LED but IMO that's not a big problem for You.

Why not CCFL? First, LED backlight are new technology. Because of that, used monitors with LED backlight are relatively new = better image quality.
Second, when You dim backlight, CCFL works really bad (more interferences, poor efficiency, white balance changing) while LEDs are still good.



Resolution? 1024x768 isn't enough for me. Because of that, I named it low. If You can work on that resolution and bind keyboard shortcuts instead of using graphical toolbar, feel free to use any resolution You wish.
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DaBotz
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« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2016, 11:31:18 PM »

" If You can work on that resolution and bind keyboard shortcuts"

- My suggestion, try to bind shortcuts anyway... with a good macro program (Auto hotkey, HidMacros, Glovepie) , even a 10$ numeric pad gives some twenty rapid functions or more, which may be enough for most commonly used operations
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DavidK
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2016, 01:20:30 PM »

YAY! The Intuos has arrived. It's an Intuos3 A4 regular (PTZ-930, my precioussssss....) It's in a great condition and came with the drivers, drawing software, mouse and pen!

Unfortunately, the 1503fp I found has been sold, so I'll have to look for another one...  Undecided
I might get a newer high-res monitor, but it still has to fit my Wacom, so it needs to be 15'' and 4:3... Any suggestions?
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