View Full Version : Touchscreen or Standard LCD?

28-01-2013, 01:08 AM
I am converting a Warco WM16 milling machine to CNC. Have got an old PC running LinuxCNC quite nicely and turning steppers, but haven't yet started the "tidy" wiring or fitted the steppers to the mill. I'm using an old VGA monitor for testing but will need to buy something smaller for the final build, as everything will be mounted on a custom stand. Ideally, I'd like to use a touch screen monitor to eliminate the mouse and keyboard as well but they seem quite expensive.

I was also looking at those Android epad/apad tablets on eBay which are half the price of a monitor. Having experimented with a Toshiba netbook and VNC over both WiFi and Ethernet, I don't think that a Tablet would give satisfactory results as a remote desktop. Some tablets have an HDMI port, but I assume that is ONLY for output? Or could it be used for INPUT too? The obvious concern is that something might fry if I were to use a converter lead to connect the PC VGA out to a Tablet HDMI. Or have I misunderstood?

So the main question is: which is better? A touch screen monitor OR a separate LCD, mouse and keyboard?

And the second question is: Can a tablet PC be used as a touch screen monitor WITHOUT using wifi or ethernet?

28-01-2013, 10:18 AM
Cant answer on most of the above because my machine isnt yet working, and I simply dont have the experience of whats better. However I can tell you the HDMI port on the tablet is for an Output (so you can watch Films for example off your tablet on your big tv in your lounge) Its not an input (so, no Im 100% certain you cannot use it as a screen) althoug I do like your thinking.

Only option would be VNC I guess... (but as it seems you have already seen that is a bit qwerky). 2nd hand touchscreens on ebay arent too expensive...

28-01-2013, 10:44 AM
You can add something like this

items in njytouch store on eBay! (http://stores.ebay.co.uk/njytouch/Touch-Screen-Panel-kits-/_i.html?_fsub=2982812018)

To the top of your monitor and plug it in over usb.

You will need to take the monitor apart and probably have to make a new frame to hold the touch surface on top the glass though.

28-01-2013, 06:35 PM
The annoying thing is that I can buy a 10.1" IPS Android 4.1 dual core RK3066 1.6GHz 32GB HDMI bluetooth Tablet PC (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181070037644) for 50, yet a 10.4" inch Touch Screen Monitor LCD TFT VGA AV Car POS (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/260701461393) is 124! The tablet is obviously a complete PC, whereas the monitor is JUST a monitor but costs 2.5X as much. I'm tempted to buy a tablet and see if I can get it working, but will probably end up buggering it...

Lee Roberts
29-01-2013, 12:27 AM
So the main question is: which is better? A touch screen monitor OR a separate LCD, mouse and keyboard?

Both if you ask me, do a better search on ebay than me and you may get the price down: USB Panel Kit - Add Touch Screen Function for Windows (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/19-1-inch-USB-Panel-Kit-Add-Touch-Screen-Function-for-Windows-Vista-7-ZVLT057-/160700957276?pt=UK_Computing_Laptop_Screens_LCD_Pa nels&hash=item256a86025c)

I would have a wireless M&K located as back-up's to the TS as you never know.


29-01-2013, 01:26 AM
Yeah I did see those touch screen kits but I'd have to buy an LCD as well and then it wouldn't be any cheaper than buying a purpose built touch screen monitor. Also, I don't want anything bigger than 12" (She said with a smile...) as it'll look a bit out of place hanging off the side of my little mill.

Is it possible to use a Tablet as the machine controller instead of a PC? I imagine there would be some latency issues?

John S
29-01-2013, 01:36 AM
Look for ex POS [ point of sale ] monitors on Ebay, these are touch screen and often sold cheap if scratched but they still work.
Best monitors are the units taken out of one armed bandits and slot boxes, you need to make a frame for them or don't bother if looks doesn't matter but these are designed to be worked with beer dripping fingers and hit with pint glasses.

here you are.

ELO FRAME 15" TOUCHSCREEN MONITOR | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ELO-FRAME-15-TOUCHSCREEN-MONITOR-/281053617054)

30-01-2013, 01:03 AM
I've thought long and hard about this and now I'm not so sure that a touch screen will be the most user friendly. For starters, I'll be mostly cutting steel and aluminium on my mill, probably with some cutting oil and/or flood cooling in the vicinity. Hands will inevitably be black and swarfy, so dabbing a touch screen is probably best avoided. Then there's the issue of manually entering gcode...again, an on-screen keyboard will not be ideal.

Sooo...seeing as I am building a custom stand anyway, I think I'll incorporate a "control drawer" which will slide out to reveal a keyboard, mouse and flat screen monitor. I'm assuming that an LCD/TFT/LED monitor will work OK in a horizontal position?

30-01-2013, 11:34 AM
I'll take a normal keyboard and mouse over touchscreen any day. The risk of touching and activating something by mistake on a touchscreen is much higher in my opinion than a standard keyboard+mouse combo.


14-07-2013, 03:38 PM
I have found this to be a good unit
http://i417.photobucket.com/albums/pp251/ianpark1/DSC01430_zpsed2d534b.jpg (http://s417.photobucket.com/user/ianpark1/media/DSC01430_zpsed2d534b.jpg.html)
Its a HP 1U server room keyboard /tracker ball and monitor unit
I got one from ebay for 25