Posted by & filed under DIY Cintiq.

After stripping the monitor as discussed in the last DIY Cintiq post, I ordered the FFC extension cable from DIY-Beamer and it arrived yesterday which was pretty quick considering DIY-Beamer is in Austria and I am in Australia. :)

I was a bit worried that I may have counted the tiny pins on the FFC incorrectly but it was ok, here are some photos of the FFC extension cable:

Samtiq_FFC_ext3
Samtiq_FFC_ext2

I tested the stripped monitor with its original cable to make sure it still worked after all my fiddling around, and it was fine. I plugged in the new FFC extension and turned the monitor on.

Nothing.

I had marked the cable to make sure that I put it in the right way so I unplugged everything and double checked and then went to put the cable into the ZIF socket on the circuit board again when the tiny door of the ZIF socket flipped out. Arghhh…. they are called Zero Insertion Force because you need Zero force to break them! The problem is that the FFC extension cable has a plastic backing so that it is easier to insert, unfortunately this makes the cable a bit too thick and puts pressure on the ZIF door, hence the door popping out, it is not completely broken but it is a bit damaged.

So I started very gently separating the FFC from it’s backing material using a very sharp scalpel. This went ok and now the cable fits very easily in the ZIF connector and with the door closed I get a good connection and monitor works with the new FFC extension put in.

Next problem involved a lot more time and patience. The cable connecting the controller board to the column driver circuit board was a very short bit of ribbon cable with two coils around it and some more shielding and lots of grounding. I need to extend the cable so that the LCD controller can sit behind the shielding for the wacom board hence minimizing interference.

So off I went to the local Dick Smith store for some cables, the rainbow ribbon cable seemed to be the closest thing to what I was looking for so I spent a couple of bucks on that and got started on soldering each one of the 40 odd tiny connectors. Here is a work in progress photo of the controller extension cable:

Samtiq_ext_cable1

And the finished version:

Samtiq_ext_cable2
Samtiq_ext_cable3

There is no shielding around my extension cable and I have a feeling this is going to haunt me later on, but we’ll see how it goes, I can add it later if there is a need.

After testing the cable pins a couple of times with a logic meter, I connected everything up to see if it worked. Again nothing happened after the first attempt but turning off and fiddling with the FFC connector fixed the problem. Here are some shots of the test:

Samtiq_ext_cable_test_topview
Samtiq_ext_cable_test_caption

I’m now waiting for the tablet to arrive so I can do some testing for interference.

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