View Full Version : DIY ebook reader

Nate the great
12-23-2007, 01:22 PM
Gumstix is a company that makes computers the size of, guess what, a stick of gum. They currently have a kit that comes with a 4.3" LCD. The kit includes:

600 Mhz CPU
USB Host
4.3" LCD touchscreen
Micro SD card slot
3 RS-232 ports
10/100 Ethernet

They don't yet offer a touchscreen, but it does have 3 serial ports available. It shouldn't be hard to add a few buttons, or possibly even a small keyboard.

Edit: Yes it is a touchscreen!

12-23-2007, 01:31 PM
interesting project, anyone ordering a kit?

Nate the great
12-23-2007, 01:43 PM
I'm thinking about it. If the screen was 6" or 7" I'd have already spent the money.

12-23-2007, 03:49 PM
You can be the first mobileraed member to have 9.7" e-ink reader.
Just purchase one of these kits
For mere $4000 you get the kit with an extra large 9.7 inch e-ink diaplay, gumstix computer, and all necessary parts. It even includes the battery. all you need to do is to create a case and load pictures of your pages to memory card for reading ...

12-23-2007, 04:06 PM
a bargain

12-23-2007, 08:16 PM
How cool! Wish I'd studied electrical engineering instead of mechanical engineering so I'd have the skills to make one of these kits. Next life.

Nate the great
12-23-2007, 08:26 PM
I was just looking at their website, and I discovered that the LCD is indeed a touchscreen.

I am so tempted.

12-23-2007, 10:00 PM
US$412 for a DIY reader with an LCD screen smaller than that of the eBw 1150. Too steep for me. But I suppose someone who really likes DIY electronics might have fun with it. Linux is fine... is the chip involved the same as anything else that already runs ebook reader software that we know of? Or would we have to recompile things like FBReader?

I agree, a larger screen could make this more attractive, especially if it could be done without increasing the price. But assuming this is color LCD with its backlighting requirements and associated power costs, this kind of device isn't going to get great battery life.

As a mini sketchpad it might be interesting, but I suspect that's a touch sensitive, not pressure sensitive screen, and there isn't enough memory to run much in the way of graphics software.

Odd little project.

Nate the great
12-23-2007, 10:34 PM
A slightly less capable kit can be put together for $333 by dropping the cables and going down a step for the CPU.

But, yes, I want a bigger screen.

12-24-2007, 12:13 AM
I bigger screen would be nice, what would you use to make a case?

12-24-2007, 11:30 AM
I'd make a nice one out of wood. :)

02-17-2008, 03:34 PM
ya know you could buy an Eee PC then fabricate a case yourself. It has a larger screen and you can put a touchscreen overlay on it, maybe even a Wacom overlay?

Looking at the kit, I was wondering are the touch screen drivers for your OS and how will you handle user input? Maybe a small built-in keyboard? Bluetooth key board? But ya have to be able to get text input somehow.

I think this might be a FUN project. You could even begin with an Eee PC and see if you could fabricate a case by removing the keyboard and putting either just flipping the display & bezel around and lay it on top somehow. Or even if the display might fit where the keyboard is now...a custom bezel could be built from just plexi or other sheet material.

Heck you could make a plaster mold of a case you like then mix up an resin material yourself. You could even smelt your own case or have a case milled from the metal of your choice. Geeze the possibilities are numerous! I might have a new summer pro-ject...after I finish the kitchen remodel of course. Heck, I am gonna need six-months of doing nothing just to recover from that! ;) It might be pretty spendy but who cares. When I was a kid I helped a buddy of mine and his dad build a Heath Kit TV. THAT was a blast.

OOPS, I forgot to add here is a video of a guy installing a touch screen overlay on an Eee PC:

Interesting stuff.

02-19-2008, 01:34 PM
I don't know as there are Wacom overlays, are there?

02-19-2008, 06:36 PM
I don't know as there are Wacom overlays, are there?

From my (admittedly limited) understanding of how they work, they actually go behind the screen, not over the top.

02-20-2008, 11:56 AM
From my (admittedly limited) understanding of how they work, they actually go behind the screen, not over the top.
That's what I thought, too.