electrónica, DIY y más...

Wacom digitizer conversion: from HP TX2500 laptop to USB tablet (part 1)

With the closure due to COVID19, I've been looking at things I have accumulated over the years. One of them is a Wacom Bamboo Connect tablet, of which I do not have the special stylus. Looking compatible ones, prices start from CLP$35000 and up (roughly USD$45). Ugh.

I also found an HP Pavilion TX2500 laptop with a bad motherboard. This model has a Wacom digitizer built-in, and the stylus is in good shape! Being the same type it'll surely work with my Bamboo tablet right?... NOPE, even while being EMR-based like the original, it doesn't recognize it at all.

In the end I have 3 options:

  1. Make the Bamboo tablet and HP stylus work together in some way.
  2. Buy a new tablet and get rid of all this crap, making a hole in my wallet.
  3. Gut this laptop and put together a homemade digitizer tablet.

After a quick assessment, option 1 proved bothersome: the HP stylus has a small PCB inside with a pair of adjustale trimpots. This is a perfectly serviceable stylus and I'll hate to render it unusable tweaking things I don't even know. And option 2 isn't interesting, right? so...

Let's go for that 3rd option!