New Touchscreen Works! But…..

Good news… the new Microtouch touchscreen seems to work just fine on Ubuntu 11.10. I tested it on the desktop and got it working by creating and xorg.conf file by running the code below through the terminal. (This technique should work for most serial touchscreens, don’t try this for USB touchscreens)

sudo pico /etc/X11/xorg.conf

In modern versions of Ubuntu, this should bring up a blank xorg.conf file in your terminal (unless you’ve already created one of course). Then copy and paste the following into it.

Section "InputDevice"
Identifier "TouchScreen"
Driver "mutouch"
Option "Type" "finger"
Option "Device" "/dev/ttyS0"
Option "ScreenNo" "0"
Option "MinX" "0"
Option "MaxX" "16383"
Option "MinY" "0"
Option "MaxY" "16383"
Option "SendCoreEvents" "yes"
EndSection

Section “ServerLayout”
Identifier “X.org Configured”
InputDevice “touchscreen”
EndSection

The press Ctrl+O and hit enter to save it. You can then press CTRL+X to exit.

The part I’ve highlighted in red may vary depending on your system. ttyS0 refers to the serial port on my computer that the touchscreen controller is attached to. Your’s may be different, perhaps ttyS01.

One way to easily find the port number you need is to run this through the terminal while the touchscreen is connected :

cat /dev/ttyS0

Then touch the touchscreen. If it is the correct port, the terminal should output a load of garbage every time you touch the screen. If nothing happens then you have the wrong port. Try ttyS1 next, then ttyS2 etc…

On my laptop, because of the pcmicia serial port, my port number is actually ttyWCH0. The only way I know that is from the instructions for the pcmcia card.

After I rebooted, the touchscreen worked straight away.

Only problem is the touchscreen is firmly attached to the LCD screen and it would be quite difficult to remove it. But I quite like the screen. It is slightly bigger than the screen on the laptop and has a better resolution, so I think I’ll try to use it instead of the laptop’s LCD for the 15″ tablet project.

Now, there IS a problem with the LCD screen. The backlight is dead! I’ve tested it and it is definitely the inverter and not the CCFL bulbs in the screen. This is a pain, since I don’t know where to find a replacement inverter, so it looks like I’m in for another hack!

New Hack : Convert LCD Screen from CFL Backlight to LED Backlight.

I’ve ordered 50 ultra bright LEDs which should hopefully be bright enough. They should arrive before the end of the week and I’ll let you guys know how it works out, and I’ll post a How To as well if it’s successful.

 

UPDATE

I’ve taken out the old CCFL bulbs for the Microtouch monitor’s backlight, but there is only about 5mm x 5mm space to work with.  Ideally I was hoping for a bit more since this tiny space is going to make it very difficult to install a powerful LED array.

I’ve managed to find another cheap inverter (£5.99) which should be able to replace the old busted one, but it’s going to take a while to get here.  In the mean time I thought I could probably steal the inverter and CCFL bulb from the laptop’s monitor and retrofit it to the Microtouch monitor.  This could actually be an ideal solution if it weren’t for the fact that the Microtouch monitor uses two CCFL bulbs and the laptop only uses one, so not sure how bright it is going to be.  Will give it a go this weekend.

 

 

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