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Project: Macbook Tablet

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ulfses    0

I was looking for an answer to the powerbutton problem, and I came across this... great work :) Have you made use of the internal USB for the touch panel?

I have started to work on my own tablet with a slight different approach. Have a look!

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8jpc    0

@ulfses

Welcome to join the discussion here :) . I haven't try to make use of the internal usb ports yet...due to its final exam period right here.

But I planned to do that during the Christmas, where I got time and proper tools for it. Just because I hate the fact that the connection for the touch panel is sticky out.

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ulfses    0

thank you, thank you :)

It should be possible right? I was thinking about buying a keyboard cable, and split the leads off the cable, so if i mess it up - i wont destroy the logic board.

If it wont work, I will try to solder the touch panel to a very short usb plug i pulled of a non working flash drive and keep all the cables in the inside.

I also noticed two leads on the logic board next to the internal usb input, i tried to short circuit them - and it powered up. They seem a bit easier to reach if you just want a power button.

Just bought a G4 powerbook powerbutton from ebay that i will use. :)

I also plan to continue after Christmas due to exams - good luck!

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enigma-penguin    17

Wow ulfses, very very nice work man. Keep us updated on the progress I cannot wait to see the finished product. I like the way you're retaining the LCD back case and building up from there, you might be able to use a particle board covering to finish up that edging if the CF overlay proves to hard to handle (like the covering they put on desks and benches). An added tip I can add is that while testing your power button, activate the "restart on power failure" or "wake on lan" feature just in case something doesn't work and you need to restart it.

I'm certainly interested in how hot it ends up getting in full use, as in high use I end up hitting about 80c.

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ulfses    0

I surly will keep you updated.

Regarding the CF skinning, I'm not sure how it would look if i skinned the whole case and then cut all the holes for the I/O, apple on the back and such. I imagine that i will risk that the white from the plastic or the wood will be visible and ruin the whole thing. I intend to enlarge every little opening with about 1mm (they say the carbon fiber add 1mm) and do some serious tailoring to fit the fiber through all the small kinks.

I just had some quality time with the keyboard ribbon to figure out the leads on it. Not sure if it will be easier to manipulate - but i made a simple schematic.

IMG_2171.jpg

my soldering skills is far from perfect - so the idea was that maybe isolating the leads from the ribbon would be easier. At least as i mentioned earlier - i wont bork my logic board.

I also thought about using some very small wires - position them in the socket on the logic board and stuff it with some molding paste to keep them from moving, but i guess it would compromise the connectivity.

I also have a sleep switch on paper that i will try to make later - i will keep you posted. I would never have thought about it if you haven't mentioned it earlier in the thread, thanks for that!

Its all the small things that count ;)

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XCalvin    0

reminds me of the modbook i saw the otherday

link: website

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8jpc    0

for a macbook, hitting 80c during normal operation is actually is "normal" range. I have been thinking about how to reduce the heat of it though, apparent unclocking the cpu would help a bit.

i have also notice the wifi card gets up to 7xc when its at full load.

And for ulfses, the power pins on the board, i have found them earlier but never took the time and risk to solder a new button on it.

but i dont know if its just my hands are not stable enough or what ever, i cant use those pins for a power reset after the "4 language" message board comes up saying i have to restart my laptop.

i tried a lot but it just wont work.

by the way, are you keeping your dvd drive on your tablet there? and what is that small battery pack you have at the lower right side of the tablet ?

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ulfses    0

And for ulfses, the power pins on the board, i have found them earlier but never took the time and risk to solder a new button on it.

but i dont know if its just my hands are not stable enough or what ever, i cant use those pins for a power reset after the "4 language" message board comes up saying i have to restart my laptop.

i tried a lot but it just wont work.

by the way, are you keeping your dvd drive on your tablet there? and what is that small battery pack you have at the lower right side of the tablet ?

I did see your post a bit to late :) Have you tried to use the reset pins that are next to the ram-slot on the edge? Its probably safer to figure out a way to connect cables to the internal usb.

The battery pack is one one out of three thats in the macbook battery. The battery i had was long gone, so i pulled it apart to get an impression of how much space i needed. I will pull the packs out of the new battery as well.

I save some space and I can make room for the more easily.

I'm not keeping the dvd drive. No space and I never really use it.

Yesterday i made a switch for the sleep mechanism as well. It turned out great. :D

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Todd Kelman    0

Can't remember who gave the 3M link (and of course I'm too lazy to go back and figure it out), but that capactive screen looks promising. On 3M's touch screen drivers page, the Mac OS X link takes you offsite to a company called "Touch Base". The driver has been updated as recently as this November, which is also promising...

I've got a Mid '09 Macbook Air that I plan to tablet-ize, and all the info from this thread is much appreciated!

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ulfses    0

Can't remember who gave the 3M link (and of course I'm too lazy to go back and figure it out), but that capactive screen looks promising. On 3M's touch screen drivers page, the Mac OS X link takes you offsite to a company called "Touch Base". The driver has been updated as recently as this November, which is also promising...

I've got a Mid '09 Macbook Air that I plan to tablet-ize, and all the info from this thread is much appreciated!

yeah, it looked really nice. The only problem is the price really, i think its 200$+

found this - capacitive panels - but they dont have the 13" in stock.

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Todd Kelman    0

yeah, it looked really nice. The only problem is the price really, i think its 200$+

found this - capacitive panels - but they dont have the 13" in stock.

LG has a 13.3" touch screen in development with sensors actually "built into the display" (I can't find anywhere that specifies what exactly that means, other than they're not using a film overlay). Note that the press release is from February and touts a 2nd half of 2010 release - but it's still in development. Saw a more recent LG press release that touted the technology, but no firm release date. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a date & driver availability.

Speaking of price - I'm just in this for the fun. If the panel alone costs $200-$300, so be it...

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ulfses    0

I have been looking for news about 13.3" capacitive panels every other week since this summer, and it seems like there is not a very big market - yet.

I agree that a price over 200$ dont justify such a project. Maybe a 8wire resistive screen would be cheaper - I believe they support multitouch with the correct drivers. Im gonna try ubuntu's new netbook edition with the resistive panel i bought and see if it will recognize gestures. That would be nice.

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xthakila    0

I have used the 3m touch screen been having some issues getting the calibration right. I am going to try a new driver today hopefully that fixes the problem.

I also need to figure out a little problem I am having with charging. I think it might be my charger but no way to know for sure...

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xthakila    0

solved all the issues my capacitive touch screen and the charging ones. It is now in perfect working condition and highly highly responsive. Now I just need a driver set that is a full version and not restricted to a 100 mouse clicks or finger touches...

touch screen was $150

let me know if you guys want to know where to get the screen

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enigma-penguin    17

Very nice man, hopefully you can find a decent driver! You should post up some pics of your progress! I'm really looking forward to seeing how you've gone after reading your message earlier :)

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Todd Kelman    0

touch screen was $150

let me know if you guys want to know where to get the screen

That would be much appreciated...

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beardduke    0

Dear Enigma Penguin,

Would you up for explaining your project a bit more for Wired Magazine in the UK? If so, please DM me.

All the best.

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MacGeek83    0

I think I'm going to toy with the idea again of doing this to either a MacBook or Mac Book Air ..... anyone see any articles of someone attempting this with a MacBook Air .... so far still can't find anything.

Thanks again "enigma-penguin", this was an awesome project to read up on!!

:cool:

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Hephaestus35    0

Don't know if there's any interest left in this thread, but thanks a million to Matt for posting all the information and photos, it helped me immensely with my project: a touchscreen MacBook. My version is not a tablet, (yet) but simply an A1181 type white MacBook with a resistive touchscreen overlay incorporated into the screen. I found the best way to do this was to take the plastic bezel cover and cut out the material to exactly fit around the glass. This way the overlay does not add any thickness.

The donor MacBook is a collection of parts. I repair MacBooks as a side job so parts are always available to me. The heart is an early 2009 MacBook. 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo with a 1066 MHz bus. Altough the RAM is only 667 MHz, there is 4 GB. The HDD is only 80 GB for now (7200 RPM), although an SSD may be in the future. I do have room for a second HDD (keep reading) and this Logic Board has a second SATA connector on it which can be adapted to fit a HDD. Besides that it has all the stuff a MacBook should, plus the stuff Apple doesn't give you anymore like optical audio in/out, FW400, and ethernet.

The MacBook doesn't look that different on the outside, apart from the visible green border around the touchscreen. The weight is about the same, the DVD drive was removed to make room for some other stuff, but the overlay has a substantial piece of glass. I could not find a thin version in the right size.

It's not without some bugs right now, The removal of the DVD drive was not by choice, although I won't miss it. I needed the extra space to fit the touchscreen controller. I tried fitting it every other place but there wasn't room. With the DVD drive gone I had a lot of extra space to work with, so I decided to put in a USB hub. This would compensate for the loss of one USB port on the left for the touchscreen. (For the tablet version I will probably use the keyboard bus.) Now the MacBook has one USB port on the left, and 3 on the right. I discovered that the USB ports on the left are not the same. The back port next to the FW400 is actually connected to a hub internally. Connecting this to another hub just doesn't work. Currently the front USB port is connected to wires running under the logic board to the 4 port hub on the right. One port is used by the touchscreen and three are available. Power for the hub is provided only by the USB port, and the power for the touchscreen is borrowed from the fan. I did this because I want all the power possible available to devices on those ports. This project required throwing out all the included connectors and soldering everything to save space.

The next step is finding an elegant way to disconnect or deactivate the internal keyboard on command, so as to eliminate accidental trackpad input when drawing. Also, cleaning it up cosmetically on the left side USB ports. If I build another version it will be a full tablet.

post-410626-0-85706300-1314780435.jpg

post-410626-0-56948300-1314780475.jpg

post-410626-0-33111800-1314780484.jpg

post-410626-0-85463800-1314780496.jpg

post-410626-0-05554900-1314780507.jpg

post-410626-0-49316200-1314780517.jpg

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.Neo    1,834

I honestly don't see the appeal in having a vertical touch screen; there's just nothing practical about it, not to mention it's pretty much pointless for any serious amount of work you'd be doing on a Wacom tablet for example. It's still neat you took the time to make your own mod, although it would have been much cooler if you invested more in the overall fit-'n'-finish.

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Hephaestus35    0

I honestly don't see the appeal in having a vertical touch screen; there's just nothing practical about it, not to mention it's pretty much pointless for any serious amount of work you'd be doing on a Wacom tablet for example. It's still neat you took the time to make your own mod, although it would have been much cooler if you invested more in the overall fit-'n'-finish.

Its a pet project. It's not done either. If it stays a laptop I'll clean up the USB or find a different solution. If it evolves to a tablet, I won't need them anyway and I'll replace the bottom case.

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.Neo    1,834

Not sure how things are with laptops, but maybe you can look into getting an alternate case (a non-Apple one)? Depending on the price of course.

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enigma-penguin    17

Excellent to see how far you have gone with the project so far, I know it's probably going to be a long road to making it a tablet if you ever really do want that in the end. I must admit that it's nice to see people doing projects and doing more with their macs, keep us up to date on what you decide on!

Honestly man, keep up the good work :)

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Richard C.    288

Great work man, awesome project!

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ElvenDescendan    0

But how did you use a 16:9 screen on a 16:10 display?

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