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Author Topic: **Success** The MadTastiq - Update - FINISHED!!!!  (Read 33288 times)
madpsychot
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« on: July 16, 2007, 10:53:36 PM »

The bug well and truly gotten, I have over the last few months thought about building me one of these new-fangled tablet in a screen..... problem, no tablet or screen. So short of drawing over my existing monitors with Crayons I went about an eBay frenzy......

IF IT GIVES ANYONE WHO HASN'T STARTED THEIR OWN PROJECT HOPE.... ALL IMAGES IN THIS POST WERE EDITED USING MY CINTIQ SETUP, EVEN IN IT'S SHABBY UNFINISHED STATE.

WARNING - Still a work in Progress, but I'm sure some of my problems (and possible solutions) will help others......


The Hardware:

Monitor = Standard 15" TFT. Nothing special. Power Supply most definately not external.... (more on this later)
Tablet = Wacom A4 GD-0912-U. This is a thing of beauty, and cracking it open hurt me deep (or so says my therapist)
Computer = various Macs around my house.... not really important, just Mac people are very smug about these things...

The Procedure Thus Far

The monitor was taken apart. The LCD screen, plus entire enclosure was taken out. Early on I realised that the metal plate in the back of the enclosure was not going to work. Therefore: Took entire enclosure apart, took OUT the metal plate, and replaced the Acrylic screen, various plastic sheets, the two backlights and the LCD screen on top. Plugged it all in and tested to see if it was working.....



The Wacom was taken apart in just a minute, and the beauty that is an Intuos was revealed to me. The LCD Screen was then placed on top of the Wacom board to see if it was going to fit.



PROBLEM 1

The FFC cables that came with the monitor are no more than 4cm long. Therefore a quick order to www.diy-Beamer.com (Really a cool company, fast and very cost-efficient).

Now, I had two FFC cables, both with 0.5mm pitch, one with 30 pins, the other with 45 pins. The website only has cables of 50.  So I take a gamble and order a 30 pin and 50 pin. They arrive 2(!) days later. I'm glad the 30 pin fits without a hitch. I take the 50 pin cable, count off 5 pins and using a scalpel cut them off. I do the same at the other end (making sure I cut the 5 off the same side....) AMAZINGLY this works. But now:


PROBLEM 2

I keep getting weird purple interference on my screen, especially when there's anything red or purple on the screen. The only way I can get rid of this is to hold the 45 pin cable in my fingers. I'm still stumped a day or two later, when I realise that I am earthing the cable with my fingers. I only snipped off 5 pins from each end. There's still about 28cm of these 5 wires running down the length of the whole cable. THEY ARE ACTING LIKE ANTENNAS! So carefully I peel away these 5 pins all the down the cable.




PROBLEM 3

The control board for the LCD screen is connected with 4 BIG ribbon cables. Normally this control board sit BEHIND the LCD screen, in it's own little shield. Putting this controller behind the screen now just causes a big dead spot in the tracking of the tablet. Therefore it has to stay where it is. STICKING OUT A GOOD 5CM ON TOP OF THE WACOM BOARD. (this WILL be solved later, I promise)




Brainwave 1

As my monitor has an INTERNAL power supply, this will cause untold amount of interference, heat and general unhappiness. Therefore, I will take the internal power supply and turn it into an External Power Supply. This will leave the Invertor to stay inside the device and take everything else outside.


Unresolved Problem 1a

The invertor takes it's power from the power supply board. The connector used is a standard in most electronic devices:



but it's just one more thing I have to go out and hunt down from somewhere! If I can't find that connector, I will happily solder each pin into a multi cable of some kind and fashion my own power cable. I'm guessing a cable of 1 - 1.5meters from the Cintiq to the "new" Power Supply box should be sufficient. I would then place the Cintiq on a table top, and have the power supply box on the floor.



Unresolved Problem 1b

Moving the power supply out of the monitor now means I have to create power cables for my two back lights that will also run out of the Cintiq, 1.5 meters away into the External Power Supply. This in itself is not a problem, although that bundle of wires from the invertor, added to the wires from the backlights is really starting to look big and bulky.

I could try to find the 12V of power from the invertor connection, but I really don't fancy blowing the thing up trying to route power from the LCD screen.


Brainwave 2

Then it hits me:

IF I can get the power supply out of the device and into it's own box, and IF I can sort out the backlight wiring problem, and IF I can sort out that ALIEN connector between invertor and power supply, I can actually isolate the invertor in it's own little enclosure and use that enclosure to create a tilt in the Cintiq for me..... Allow me to illustrate.....
[/b]



Isn't it funny how these things work perfectly in your head when you think them up?

Anyhowdydoody, that's what I'm up to now, I wish I had a perfect working model this very moment. What I can say is that my setup tracks amazingly well, the cursor deviates maybe 2mm from left till right, and not at all from up till down. Once the setup is more permanent and secure I can tweak the driver options and get it spot on.


I will be back with updates when I have them, and I hope this has given some people some ideas and help. God knows I could have used some help in the last few days....




MAJOR UPDATE!!!!!
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 09:17:13 AM by Drewid » Logged
Drewid
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2007, 01:36:51 PM »

How cool is that.  Good start there.  Thanks for posting rather than just lurking.

Extending the backlight cables may require particular cable seeing as they are high voltage, (possibly).
« Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 01:40:15 PM by Drewid » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2007, 02:33:58 PM »

Like my build when I first started loads of problems. Dont worry you will solve them in the end!
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Drewid
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« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2007, 11:46:59 PM »

And good call on that FFC cable antenna problem. I'd never have thought of that.
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madpsychot
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 08:15:52 AM »

OK, I've been toying for days with the idea of making the power supply external. But something about that connector just kept bugging the heck out of me. So grudgingly I put the monitor back together and went to my second choice monitor, my trusted but slightly broken Samsung syncmaster. Broken in the sense that the LCD screen works perfectly, just the casing and foot was damaged.



You may see that I have already removed the Invertor and placed it outside the power supply box. The LCD controller is separate as is the Power Supply.



I've been trying very hard NOT to electrocute myself, mainly because I love life, and a close second I really want this project to work.... the invertor board is now sitting outside the power supply unit. All the parts are removable, but annoyingly, the power supply and controller are fixed firmly to a metal plate that houses the power supply plug and the VGA port.



Brainwave 2?

I've been thinking hard about the arrangement of my components. I basically need to remove the power supply from it's housing, and place it inside it's own brick. This will then sit on the floor away from the screen. The controller and invertor will also be taken out of the housing, and placed in their own "mini" brick. This mini brick will then be placed in a hole that I make in the back case of the Intuos.



The idea is that I will isolate and shield the controller and invertor, place them in the mini brick, shield that, and then glue it into the hole I make in the back case. I see two VERY big advantages to doing this. FIRSTLY, they will not sit under the Wacom sensor, so less direct interference. SECONDLY, they will create the tilt I want to have for the finished screen, kind of leaning upwards rather than standing upright.

New PROBLEM 1

A big problem is how to get the power from the Power Brick to the mini-Brick. The only connection between the two is a 7-wire ribbon cable (thank god it's not a FFC!). Quite simply, I need to extend that 7 wire cable to about 1.5 meters or so.



Those of you with a keen eye wiil notice there are way more than 7 wires in this cable. That's what happens when you pull out the wrong cable to take a photo of. Ask yourself, am I really going to pull out the correct wire, take a photo of it, upload it, edit it and then re-edit this post? NOT ON YOUR NELLY. Not when the connectors are near identical.

I am a bit worried about this extension, because I haven't come across too many 7 core wires that are as thick as these wires.....


BLATANT ADVERTISING (with Advice)

On the subject of holes, and cutting and shaping. I went out to buy a dremel yesterday. This was because I was trying to remove the ribs on the underside of the front cover of the Wacom. I attempted this using a sharp knife and sharp chisel. After half an hour of hard labour, and progress of about 6 cm I went out to my local DIY mega-market and bought a Dremel copy. (Sorry Dremel). It was a very cheap 20 euro. I thought a tool like this will have some uses outside of a Cintiq project.

There is no regret in buying one of these tools. Firstly they are cool. They make a cool noise. And as long as you don't stick it up your nose and switch it on they are quite safe.

ADVICE..... even if you but a cheap knock off, try to buy authentic Dremel attachments, like grinders and blades. The ones that came with my machine were awful. They broke and wore out even though I was working on soft plastic.




Anyway, my actual life is now getting in the way of this project. The next update will be in a few days where hopefully I have pictures of all the holes in all the cases, the power supply in it's own brick and the controller and invertor in theirs.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 09:58:07 AM by madpsychot » Logged
Drewid
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« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2007, 01:09:33 PM »

 Grin
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2007, 03:42:19 AM »

Hey madpsychot,
you don't know me, but I was away, if you stay for a while on this forum, you will lol

I must say, that I am very impressed with this build log.  You have made a very detailed post and have added a lot to our knowledge about the diy-cintiq.

I am really excited to see where this build log is going

I use macs too!
niceeee
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Made that, not my best, but I love it.  Firefoxy lol
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madpsychot
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« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2007, 09:50:29 AM »

Well bongo-folks, it's been too long. After a long holiday in Sweden (absolutely gorgeous by the way) and way too many visitors in my house I am finally able to get back to PROJECT MAD-TASTIQ!

I had made a lot progress before leaving, but didn't have time to get the photos or a post up. In my last post, I had got to the stage of thinking about getting the power supply into it's own housing, and the rest of the electronics into it's own box.

So here the story continues......


The Power Supply



Firstly I Dremelled the Power Supply away from the VGA and invertor board. This would have been close to impossible without the Dremel, and it was also really good in cleaning up the edges. From my local Electronic Store I had picked up a very cool aluminium (English spelling!) box. I thought this would be good for heat dissipation and for shielding.




The power supply fit beautifully in the box. It was secured at one end using nuts and bolts that held the metal chasis of the power supply to the end of the box. Using the Dremel I cut out a hole that would allow the plug to attach to the power supply. Notice also the WAY over the TOP wire I used to connect the power brick to the invertor. This wire is INDUSTRIAL but I thought better too fat than too thin (for the sake of resistance). I also came up with a good trick to keep the wire from being yanked out. Using  two cable ties I secured them on the INSIDE of the brick so that they would stop the wire from being ripped out.



The finished brick (in my opinion) looks really quite professional, apart from the massive wire coming out of it. The idea is that this power brick will sit WELL away from the screen on the floor. The long wire is to make sure that no matter which table I sit on, the brick can sit on the floor far away.

The VGA Disaster of 2007!!!!

Using the same box technique for the VGA board, I had to again drill some holes to secure it to it's box. While Dremelling a hole into the VGA back plate I had a mental moment. Rule number 1: Make sure there is nothing in the way of the hole you're drilling. So what do I do? Drill straight through a capacitor only to have it look back at me from the table top!



The Gods were smiling because I managed to make a clean break. This was repaired quite easily using two extension wires and a soldering iron. It did teach me to go a little slower and to think first and Dremel second.



In the end, the result of having the VGA board and the invertor in their own box worked out really REALLY well, as it also makes a nice stand for the screen.




Now for the list of things to do:

1: Make holes in the Wacom base to feed wires from invertor to the backlights (should be easy)
2: Get a thin piece of glass to fit over the LCD screen, and fix it in place (should be easy once I get the glass cut to size)
3: Dremel a hole in the front panel of the Wacom to show the screen (should be Dremel-tastically fun!)
4: Make a hole and fix the LCD Control Panel to the front panel of the Wacom (this will be a pain in the backside, I can tell)
5: Fix front panel to back panel of Wacom, using spacers, bits of plastic, insulation tape and whatever else I can get my hands on!
6: Use my Mad-Tastiq to create beautiful pieces of art!!!!! (That really remains to be seen!)


I should get my act together now and put some effort into my list of things to do. Most probably I'll have a finished product in the next few weeks. Till then......
« Last Edit: August 31, 2007, 10:00:25 AM by madpsychot » Logged
Drewid
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« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2007, 01:51:11 PM »

That PSU is a thing of beauty, and well done on the rest.
I'm really looking forward to seeing this coming together.
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madpsychot
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« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2007, 02:19:55 PM »

Thanks for that Drewid, actually that was my biggest problem so far, because of the 7 wire connector that connects the power supply to the rest of the circuits. It was a bit of a gamble using such a long wire which is so fat, but it doesn't seem to have affected the screen in any way.

What I'm still trying to figure out is how to get the invertor and VGA board shielded from each other to put into the black box that will sit under the wacom board. I have bought some copper plate, but I think that may be a little over the top for this. I could do a plastic and aluminium foil job that Chem did on his build.... I'll have to try it and see.
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2007, 02:18:21 AM »

thats very nice!

good job
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Made that, not my best, but I love it.  Firefoxy lol
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paintiq
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2007, 04:01:21 PM »

hey mad u rule!

i have in internal power supply almost exactly like the orange one u have! it connects the same way too!

how the hell did u make it external? can you be specific on which wires u used, etc. and how u got the backlight things extended?

if thats even what you did, i found it all a little hard to follow xD (i'm slow)
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madpsychot
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2007, 05:07:25 PM »

Hey Paintiq!

Thanks for the encouragement! Basically, my monitor is Samsung SyncMaster 17" monitor. In this monitor the Power Supply board, the Backlight Inverter and the LCD controller were three separate circuit boards. The Power Supply and the LCD controller were connected together by a long metal plate. There was no way to take this metal plate off because they were actually soldered INTO the circuit boards.

I therefore cut the metal plate in between the two, making two separate circuit boards. The Backlight Inverter was already separate so I didn't have to do anything to it.




Now if you look carefully at the next picture, you'll see in between the Power Supply and the LCD controller there is a cable made of 7 wires. My idea was to take these 7 wires, and extend them as long as I could. This way the Power Supply would sit on the floor, and my extension cable would go from the Power Supply all the way to my LCD controller.



So what I did was go to my local electronic store and buy a shielded cable with 7 wires in it. (I live in The Netherlands or Holland as most people call it and these stores are quite hard to find). The wire I ended up with was HUGE, more like the kind of power cables you find connected to power drills or industrial machines. I was thinking that it's better to use big FAT wires than thin ones when you're connecting power to them.

Now if you look at the next photo, you'll see my big FAT cable (black) connected to the 7 wires that come out of the Power Supply circuit board. The join is covered in yellow plastic electrical tape.




What I did was cut the 7 cable ribbon cable from the power supply cable, and solder those 7 wires to my 7-wire cable. I labelled each cable with numbers to make sure that I was connecting the correct cable. The following diagram shows what I did:



I was quite lucky, because the cable I bought had 7 different coloured wires inside it, which make it easy to solder each wire to the correct power cable. This is very important as getting your wires crossed will most probably damage your LCD screen. I also used good strong solder joints, as I know from experience the one place you NEVER take short cuts is Power Supplies!

For the Backlight wires: I have two cables per backlight. So in total I have 4 separate cables to extend. I simply cut the wires, stripped them, and extended them with (believe it or not) with speaker cables. I'm still not happy about this, so later I will replace the speaker cables with better quality power cables. I was thinking the Red and Black power cables you can get for car stereos and amplifiers would be good.




I hope that helps you out a little Paintiq, if not let me know and I'll see what other help I can give you! Good luck, with your effort.   I should hopefully sit down this weekend and do some work on the cover, and possibly even be close to finishing the project!
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Nas`
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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2007, 04:19:45 AM »

(this is paintiq, i dlted the old account n made this one because well....meh *shrugs*)

thanks alot man! unfort i broke my monitor so >.<''.

still this is really awesome (especially the bit about the speaker cables to extend the backlights lmao), because thats one of the biggest problems i had.

I'll probly still needa do that even with the next monitor i get which will be... in a while xD.

but seriously man thanx n grats on how u got everything to fit so smooth.
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madpsychot
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2007, 08:12:43 AM »

Hey Nas

Shame about your monitor, hopefully your next one will be easy to take apart and rewire!
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