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Author Topic: Calcomp tablets for drawing?  (Read 643 times)
sinusoid
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« on: January 04, 2018, 02:36:13 PM »

These guys:
https://www.gtcocalcomp.com/

They've been making tablets since 1970's I think. Their tablet's main purpose is digitizing stuff into CAD drawings. Their current version of the tablets, the Drawingboard6 has been around for quite a few years now. They have a dedicated linux driver it seems (https://code.woboq.org/linux/linux/drivers/input/tablet/gtco.c.html but there are others available) and a line of tablets they call "graphic": https://www.gtcocalcomp.com/graphics-tablets

The specs on those things are pretty epic.
They have a wireless pen with a battery. I like that. I've used a Yiynova, and the feel and precision of the pen seems a lot nicer than that of Wacom (but both have sucky drivers).
Calcomp is delivering mission critical tools for the aerospace and oil industry. I... kind of like that (on one side it implies awesomeness, reliability and indestructibility, on the other - lots of cruft under the hood and backwards compatibility. Think Debian Stable).
And they sell enormous tablets that go for $3K on Ebay. By enormous, I mean like 42"x42".

So my question is: did anyone test these in drawing/realtime applications? Stylus sensitivity? Software compatibility? Did anyone test them in Linux?

I might have a short access to one of these during a contract job, so if you guys have some testing methodology/suggestions/bash scripts/whatever, fire away!
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DaBotz
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« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2018, 10:16:41 PM »

Some of us are pretty curious about the CalComps, though I fail to remember anybody ever having access to one (they reach, indeed, to truly epic sizes, but their intended mission usually imply more accuracy than responsiveness, which are usually competing specifics... to improve accuracy, often it is good to average the reading of the position /pressure values,  but it introduces lag as the position of the pen is determined at the end of the moving average).

It should be nice to know how is their accuracy/responsiveness, and if the driver has options like the length of the moving average window, or the coefficient of a geometric mean - (i.e. a way for the user to adjust the tablet's responsiveness-accuracy to their needs).

Linux Wacom driver has that option, and would be not for Lazy Nezumi (which allows to control precisely that),  I would probably have to go Linux-Gimp to use my drawing machines.

I would love to know if the Calcomps allow to modify such a parameter, and  have a reasonable responsiveness in their fastest mode.

I usually draw with anything between 10 to 400 ms of lag (smoothing on a moving window of 2 to 40 sampling values), depending on how stable I need my lines to be...

« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 10:27:52 PM by DaBotz » Logged

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