Posted by & filed under DIY Cintiq.

Firstly a little bit about the Dell 1503fp before we get into the stripped version.
Operating side-by-side with the Samsung 152T, this monitor is not very bright and the colours look muddy, the Samsung picture looked sharper, more contrasty and vivid. But if this means that I will have an operational unit then I will be happy with animating on that and using a second monitor for colours and things.

The stripping was very straight forward and much easier than the Samsung, most things came apart by undoing screws, only got to clicked-in things when I got to the metal cage protecting the LCD unit. I didn’t take any photos because this monitor has been stripped and documented by many other people.

The LCD panel in this monitor is a HannStar HSD150MX12, the date of manufacture of the monitor is 06/2002. The panel has one CCFL and the backlight slab is tappered just like Robcat’s, in fact I think that these are the exact same monitors just re badged. Which means that I have to be very careful with the row column drivers because two people have ended up with dead monitors because of the row/column drivers breaking away from the LCD unit. Comparing these connectors to the ones that I saw in the Samsung, the Dell ones look a bit cheaply made, so I will try to be as gentle as I can with them.

The controller to column driver cable is a normal ribbon type cable with enough room for me to be able to put the controller underneath a 9×12 tablet and the backlight cable is just long enough to reach around the other side.

There is a FFC connecting the column drivers to the row drivers. This is a 20pin 0.5 pitch FFC which is thankfully the same as what I used for the Samsung so I am happy that I didnt have to order another FFC kit.

The monitor has VGA and DVI inputs, although I don’t notice as much difference in the VGA to DVI picture quality as I did with the Samsung 152T. It has an external 12V power supply rated at 3Amps.

Trying Bhraaz’s Opening Gambit, which is placing the turned off LCD on the tablet to see if the tablet could read the pen through the unit, resulted in a fail. There is a piece of metal shielding at the back of the LCD unit which stops the pen from being read so you need to strip further and remove the cage and protective plastic casing to remove this shield.

Ok so it is completely stripped now and sitting on top of the UC-Logic PF1209, I turn on the monitor and straight away the computer starts receiving random click! :( I tried various things like removing the CCFL but the random clicking stays. Very disappointed by this result, so after fiddling around a bit more I decided that I would try putting my Wacom 6×8 (still in it’s case) under the LCD to see if that work.

After wrestling with Win XP to uninstall other tablet drivers and then reinstalling the new ones, I turned the unit on, no random clicking, no cursor flying to one side of the screen! I draw on the LCD and it shows up on the monitor just as I drew it, no crazy wiggles or bird droppings! I couldn’t believe it! It was working! :D

If I touch the pen on the screen and old it there, there is a tiny bit of a jitter but when I am drawing at speed I don’t notice it and the lines are almost the same as how I drew them (with a tiny bit of snaking), what’s more there is no shielding or earthing at all in this test, just put one thing on top of the other. I tried the test with drawing white on black and no noticeable difference.

I’m very happy about this, I just hope I will get the same result with a larger Wacom.

So here is my conclusion:

    1. Wacom technology is different to the other tablets, so if you get a non Wacom tablet with the same monitor as Drew’s chances are that it wont work. This has caused a lot of confusion because we have been trying to reproduce Drew’s results using non-Wacom tablets and different LCDs. So you can’t just grab any tablet and put it under any LCD to get a Cintiq.
    1. Drew has magically found a monitor which seems to run at the right frequency so that there is minimum interference with the Wacom tablets. I tried the Samsung 152T with the Wacom and that WAS intefering, so was Wei’s. There is something about the Dell 1503fp and other monitors which are the same but re badged (robcat’s IBM) that doesn’t stuff up the Wacoms.
    1. If you have a non Wacom tablet there are probably LCDs out there which wont interfere with the tablet but we haven’t found any yet. The easiest thing would be to open up a XPC-1700B and have a look, that has a UC-Logic module in it. Not so easy would be to keep buying LCDs and trying them one by one.

Now I have to wait for the 9×12 Wacom to do more tests.

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