Jump to content

Drawing pads for old Macs?


Recommended Posts

When I get my Mac SE and SE/30 up and running properly, it would be awesome to have a drawing pad to use with them. What I mean is a plastic pad that you connect to the Mac like a mouse and on which you draw with a special pen, like a modern Wacom pad or similar. Are such things possible to find? What brands/names should I look for?

Link to post
Share on other sites

There were several ADB Drawing pads made for the Mac. The Koala Pad was one used by many schools. Wiacom made several as well and I even recall at least 1 made by Apple.

 

Of course, you need the software to go with the pad as well as the pad itself.

Edited by Elfen
Link to post
Share on other sites

There're a few on eBay.  Do a search for ADB tablet.

 

Here's a huge 12x12 tablet.  You'd need to get the software for it, though:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Wacom-Digitizer-II-12-x-12-Graphics-Tablet-Model-UD-1212-R-with-Pen-/322035316403

 

And here's a brand new Artz tablet, though, I'd wait for a cheaper one.  They were $20 but a few months ago.  I think someone offloaded their stock at some point:

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WACOM-ARTZ-TABLET-FOR-APPLE-MAC-ADB-COMPLETE-IN-RETAIL-PACKAGING-EXCELLENT-/172122019857

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are loads of them with the pens missing, that often go for cheap.  And replacement Wacom pens can cost a bundle.

But!  I read a hint somewhere that the pens made for current [brand - Toshiba?] convertible Windows tablet/notebooks are compatible, and those are available cheap.  I recommend checking my half-memory before purchase. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are loads of them with the pens missing, that often go for cheap.  And replacement Wacom pens can cost a bundle.

 

And that is a problem. Some pens ran a positioning radio or magnets that the pad senses and they needed 1 or 2 AAA sized batteries. Newer pads do not need this, but the old pads you do. And some pens are only specific to one board even if the company (like Wiacom) makes several boards. This can make the pen harder to find and more expensive to get. If you can get the pad complete with a pen and software, you are one lucky dog!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen some hacks involving using a pc ball mouse to control mouse positioning with an arduino. I know that there's also a resistive touch screen library for the arduino. You could probably nab an undesirable dirty mouse from ebay or someone on the forum and use that as your base.

 

http://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/141914/hacking-a-ball-mouse-with-arduino

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I might actually have one of these old-style pens that needs batteries that might work. It came from a PC Wacom tablet of that era. I know I saw it about a year ago, somewhere around here... I'll look around, and if I find it, I'll put it up in the Trading Post as a "To A Good Home/Shipping Only" post. I don't believe in charging people for stuff I consider junk.

Edited by Paralel
Link to post
Share on other sites

I personally have a small-ish Wacom pad. It is powered by ADB and it does not technically need drivers, but if you want to use the advanced features (namely, pressure sensitivity, there are some configuration options as well for how the pad maps out to the screen or if you're just going to use it in "mouse mode" where the pad isn't 1:1 mapped to the display), they are recommended.

 

To be honest, although I've yet to try it out on something really fast like my beige G3 or my 1400/166, I never felt like the tablet was particularly warranted, because the machine I used it on most (a PowerBook 180) couldn't really keep up with it super well. This might change if I installed older apps and if I used system 7.1 instead of 7.6, but it also might not, I haven't tested that.

 

There were several ADB Drawing pads made for the Mac. The Koala Pad was one used by many schools. Wiacom made several as well and I even recall at least 1 made by Apple.
 
Of course, you need the software to go with the pad as well as the pad itself.


Koala Pads were never available for Macs. It was available for the Apple II, as was Apple's own graphics tablet. Mysteriously, Apple never actually built a graphics tablet for the Mac. Wacom appeared and must have done what Apple considered a "sufficient" job for that tech, even though HP was there and Apple still "built" its own printers (often around the same Canon engines that HP was using) and scanners. That's an unrelated discussion though.
 

 

Some pens ran a positioning radio or magnets that the pad senses and they needed 1 or 2 AAA sized batteries. Newer pads do not need this, but the old pads you do.

 
It may be better to hedge your bets, research this or just don't speak on the matter. Most of your post is simply untrue.
 
Wacom's whole deal, and this has been their deal for over thirty years now, makes tablets and pens that generally do not need batteries. I have a ThinkPad 730TE and also the old ADB Wacom pad and those devices 1) happen to share pens (because Wacom made the screen technology for this particular ThinkPad) and 2) do not need batteries.
 
However, in modern times, most cheap tablets need batteries in their pens, and tablet pens such as the Apple Pencil and the Microsoft Surface Pen use batteries. Interestingly, the pen in the Surface Pro 1 and 2 was based on Wacom technology, but the Surface 3 and Surface Pro 3 and newer (including the Pro4 and the Book) all use N-Trig technology, which is probably why Microsoft bought that company.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

for over thirty years now, makes tablets and pens that generally do not need batteries. I have a ThinkPad 730TE and also the old ADB Wacom pad and those devices 1) happen to share pens

I do not know about thirty years, but definitely a long time. I want to put a little more knowledge/links into this thread, if a bit late.

 

Wacom "Penabled"/UD/UP technology is more than twenty years old. Indeed, it was used in earlier ThinkPads. I collected some information about LeNOvo's use in ThinkWiki : Wacom Serial Tablet PC Stylus (but stupid leNOvo has trashed the support site/knowledge base, so those reference articles are gone).

 

I do not know whether Wacom SD series uses same tech as UD. A 18×25 (inch) SD-210L costed $4095 at May 1993.

 

If anyone wants a vintage, unused "new" but yellowed, 1990's Wacom pen UP-801E-00H, see feeBay item # 191836371478.

 

Wacom's digitiser technology was discussed recently in TabletPCReview Forum : "How do Wacom digitizers pull off the tilt sensitivity feature, exactly?" by NamelessPlayer at 2015-01-01. I think that discussion is worth reading. I learned about as much from that one thread, as I did from years of casual curious reading around WWW.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Get one of the ADB Wacom tablets. Even if it doesn't come with a pen it will accept the most basic pen Wacom made which is a good thing because Wacom licensed it for use by other companies at a really low cost so they're everywhere. I have random pens from Samsung phones, Fujitsu tablets and even my CF-18 toughbook and they all work with the old ADB tablets.

 

I keep finding the Digitizer II tablets for $5-$10. There's a box under my bed that's overflowing with spare tablets and pens.

Edited by CelGen
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...