Eeepc & touch panel

Tonight I’ll show you how to add a touch screen for less than 50 € to your precious. This may be an EeePC or another laptop or even an LCD screen, the possibilities are endless. The only challenge is:
– the ability to disassemble the entire case out of the computer. And when I say completely, you’ll see that I’m serious here soon!
– To have enough room in the case to house the controller. It is a small 52 * 23mm electronic card, a little less than 5mm thick. In an EeePC 1000H, it goes very well, as you’ll see.

Basically, if you are able to disassemble your machine without breaking anything, well let’s go!

The kit:
I bought mine on eBay, here: Visual Touch World. For Europe, allow between two to four weeks to receive your precious. They have many different models, regardless of your screen you should find what you need.

Once ordered, you should receive a nice black box with this in it:

On the left: the controller. It is no more than a small USB hub, slightly improved. It comes with a piece of copper tape, which I did not used. In the center the touch panel still covered and above, a small plastic tool that you will need to access the LCD panel.

Above all, I recommend you not to lose/mix the screws you remove from the case. There ales loads of them, so be methodical. My method:

Now we’re going to begin the disassembly. Once you’ve removed the battery and the power cord, we will have to open access door to the hard drive/RAM/WiFi card:

Beware not to lose the small plastic washer on each screw from the trap:

Once the trap removed, you will find the hard drive, wireless card and its two antennas and the RAM module. Remove the screws on both and gently pull out the RAM module. The antennas should pop out without forcing.

Once everything is removed, we will start to open the casing. Remove the following screws:

Now we will remove the keyboard. Be gentle to avoid damaging anything. Use a flat and thin plastic tool if possible. There are four tenons:

Gently lift the keyboard, you should find the connector. To disconnect it, push each side of the black part gently. Beware not to scratch the motherboard if you use a tool, this might make your computer completely unusable!

Remove these screws:

Remove the second connector (touchpad):

Then the fan and shortcut keys connectors:

You can now open the case by removing the upper side (the one that receives the keyboard). Take it easy, use the blue plastic tool if necessary. You should get this:

Some other connectors to remove (camera and its ground, microphones, speakers and fan, if you have not already done it):

Then the LCD connector and its ground

So we have left: two screws for the left hinge, 2+1 for the right one and two screws on the motherboard. Once removed you can remove the motherboard (mind the speakers connector). You should get this:

In red on the last image, the place where we will fit the controller.

Now, the screen. Remove the small rubber pads with a small screwdriver, remove screws:

Now we will go to the really tricky part, the opening of the casing of the screen. Here more than elsewhere GO GENTLY to avoid breaking everything!You should obtain this:

Now remove the screws that hold the screen, on the left:

Same on the right, you can now remove the LCD. You can also remove the two metallic rods on the screen’s sides. That is not compulsory thought.

At this point, clean the screen THOROUGHLY. Remember it is the last time that you have access to it! Once the touch screen is attached, it is very difficult to go back! Also, pay attention to not let dust, hair or anything, the screen should be absolutely perfect! If in doubt, here is a trick to get a clean room. Go into your bathroom, turn on the shower (cold water) and flush a few minutes. The water will absorb the dust in the air and, by convection, the air will be somewhat cleaner. Well, I did not need that, but when in doubt …

Now, get ready to place the touch screen, with its connector ON THE RIGHT. Peel off the protective film, the adhesive tapes protections and go, put it in place. Be careful!

Once properly positioned, rub the adhesive tape a bit with a piece of clothe. Reassemble the screen.

Still a delicate step, close the screen housing. Touch panel connector is very long, but the operation requires some adjustment.

Now, the controller board. It will fit here:

To stick it, I used double-sided tape, the one commonly used to stick mirrors. This type of double-face fits perfectly in shape and is very strong, which guarantees that the card does not wander into the PC (which might be annoying: D).

Cover it with a simple piece of tape to insulate it from the motherboard, we never know …

Now, replace the motherboard by passing wires through the hole nearby. For touch panel wire, I chose to pass from the top. See by yourself, the goal is that the assembly does not create extra thickness, annoyong when closing the case. Connect it all, tape it, make sure the screw holes are free:

Note for the touch panel connector: no matter which direction you insert it, the controller will handle it correctly after calibration.

Now reassemble everything carefuly! Follow this tutorial in the opposite direction, you will find everything you need.

Once everything is reassembled, turn on your computer. If it starts, good for you! Now install the driver that you will find here. Reboot, the utility is located in the taskbar near the clock. You will find everything you need to calibrate your screen. 4 points are are, but 9 points is good too;). For those like me that use, the driver under Ubuntu 10.04 + is not necessary. Perform the calibration on windows, it will be stored in the controller. So no need to calibrate Ubuntu.

Voila! A short video:

  • Nicely done!

    I like the idea of using a ruled out piece of paper for the hardware tracking as well.

  • Super! Another way to keep track of fasteners in disassembly projects which I’ve found highly are using those small plastic containers with pre-divided or customizable sections i.e 8×8 bead/craft storage boxes. (if you have to take a break from the project, everything is secured by a lid and storage ready with no need to worry about losing track of which pile of screws belong together.)

  • Great job and nice build. Good to see that it is an easy retrofit, not counting the precision work.

    So Merci Beaucoup mon ami!

    • deadbird

      Thanks!

  • Gil

    Is this resistive or capacitive?

    • deadbird

      Resistive, but VisualTouchWorld (see link ate the beginning of the article) sells both.

  • Thanks for your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will come back very soon. I want to encourage you to continue your great work, have a nice afternoon!

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    • deadbird

      Thanks for republishing!

  • It is a good tutorial. I just have a laptop but it will not change.
    Interesting idea anyway.

  • nut

    Good idea even better tutorial..
    Bravo.

  • Great tutorial! I would NEVER have the balls (ok, so I don’t have them to begin with) to take my computer apart – good job!

  • Awsome site! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more. I am bookmarking your feeds also

  • Достаточно интересная и познавательная тема

    • deadbird

      Thanks! Google helped a lot translating your comment 😉

  • Great blog post. Keep up the hard work.

  • Nice blog post. Keep up the good work.

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  • can dis work on any laptop?

    • deadbird

      I thnk so. The only limitations are:
      – the space needed to set the controller in place
      – your skills
      Opening an EeePC, which is a very well designed computer, is quite simple, but it is rarely the case.

  • Tam

    Hi there – sorry not sure about one thing. How do I know where to connect it to on my laptop’s mother board? (Attempting this mod on a very old Packard Bell, no a netbook)

    • deadbird

      I depends on your motherboard. you can easily spot an USB port on it, solder wires to it and connect it to the controller. Send me a hi-res picture of your mobo if you need help.

  • Sushant

    Can you do this to a macbook ?

    • deadbird

      I wouldn’t even try. Check http://www.ifixit.com and its teardown guides, you’ll see by yourself that everything in a macbook fits very well and that there is only a very few space left for hacks. Furthermore, I don’t think there is a mac driver for this touch controller.

  • Andi Oesman

    Impressive dear madame! very good and merci..

  • Arch

    Nice Information.
    Does this work on a netbook ?

    • deadbird

      If you have enough room within the case of the computer to fit the controller, you can do it on almost any computer.

  • Juan

    is it multi-touch?

    • deadbird

      No.

  • LlamaLover

    I want to do this but I’m not sure where the wires are going. Is there a USB cable that protrudes out of the case or are there just wires connected directly to the motherboard?

    • For those of you asking about a USB cable protruding out of the case, yes, unless you know what you are doing and can confidently solder the correct cables (After cutting and stripping the provided USB cable) to the solder points on any USB port on the motherboard. For those of you who do not know what you are doing when it comes to USB pin-outs, but are willing to give it a try, this link will help you out: http://pinouts.ru/Slots/USB_pinout.shtml

      • deadbird

        Might be needed in some case, but trust me: not here 😉

  • bree

    um so i broke my screen its a gate way nv55s14u will this method work?

    • deadbird

      No. If your display’s broken, then this is completely useless.

  • Aner

    there is a way for doing it to a 705ei compaq?

    • deadbird

      Maybe! Check eBay to find a touch panel that fit your display and see if there is enough place left to fit the controller board in the casing.

  • Great tut! I’ll be doing this. Just one question, is the controller connected to the motherboard? Does it derrive power from the screen itself?

    • oh, sorry, disregard, i see you have it connected to a usb port. 😛

  • ee

    Thank you for this amazing tutorial… Would it work on the Windows 8 OS?

    • I think so! The only thing to check is the driver compatibility 😉

  • Does this support the HP Pavillion dv6-6154tx?

    • This is a very frequently asked question, with the same answer every time: you need to try and see if you can fit the controller board under your MB. Good luck!

  • branko

    Thank you deadbird for posting this,
    I aim to do the same for some old HP laptop (i see on ebay that even linux is supported ) , i’ll find a away to put controler inside …. But what i need is to be able to write notes on the PDF that I’m reading … so drawing with some pen is essential. Can you confirm that drawing on pdf works ? I use Open source software Xournal .
    Thanx

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