Sunday 10 June 2012

NC10 Touchscreen Mod - With Demonstration Video

Hardware modification time!  I finally got around to installing a touchscreen in the netbook, then I got around to actually doing a video of it.  Since this is the first time I've actually talked in a video (usually I just demonstrate without saying anything), it's pretty cringeworthy.

To the hardware - installing the touchscreen took longer than I had thought, fortunately I was spending the day with some suitably geeky friends and we eventually managed to get the whole thing working.  One of the major issues is that there really isn't much space in those netbook cases.  As it stands, the NC10 has space where an additional mini PCIE device would have gone (the 3G equipped model) where we could install the touchscreen controller.  As there are limited USB headers on the system board, the controller also includes a USB hub.  This meant the USB header for the webcam could be used and the webcam is plugged in to one of the USB headers provided on the touchscreen controller.


I purchased this as a kit which included:

  • Touchscreen panel
  • Controller/USB hub
  • Stylus (I foolishly lost mine a few days ago!)
  • Plastic device to help open the case

Looks like a guitar plectrum, but a useful doohickey

The controller was detected as an eGalax and appears to be a fairly common type of controller with support under Windows, Linux and MacOS.

As Fedora is my distro of choice, I did a search on YUM for touchscreen and found a calibration tool.
  In order to persist the changes, I added a configuration file to /etc/X11/xord.conf.d/ containing the device info and calibration settings.

Section "InputClass"
Identifier "eGalax"
MatchProduct "eGalax"
MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
Driver "evdev"
Option "SwapAxes" "off"
Option "Calibration" "1934 81 190 1904"

Replace the values in the "Calibration" line with the values you got from the touchscreen calibration program. An alternative approach is to take the output from the calibration program (which includes the program they need passing to) and put it in a script that is launched at login.  I opted for the X11 configuration approach instead as I wanted to have access to the touchscreen at the login page.

Overall, it was an interesting experience and I find the touchscreen quite useful.  the GNOME3 desktop handles the touchscreen quite well.  It's certainly not as good as Apple IOS or Google Android as it's a desktop UI with adaptions for touchscreens but it's not bad.

Hairy moment!
The demonstration video is available here (finally - I get to try out embedding a youtube video!)


  1. where did you buy the specific touchscreen panel for NC10. i have the same model and it will be nice if you can put some links to buy them. thanks in advance

    1. I bought the touchscreen from an ebay seller called onetouchbee, unfortunately this seller doesn't seem to provide them any more, but searching for "touch screen kit" will provide suitable alternatives. You just need to make sure the touch screen panel is 10.2".

      This looks to be the same kit (but from a different seller):
      Good luck and happy modding

  2. Hi, did you remove one (or both) brackets that hold the screen in place? If I don't, when I tighten the screws what happens is that the frame clips the corner of the touch screen, thus keeping it "clicked" and unusable.

    How did you solve that? Is it just a matter of surgical precision when positioning the touch screen over the screen?