If I switch from a curved touch screen to a flat panel, will there be compatibility issues? Please Help! – Nicholas J. Kriz, Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Kritz:

It is your lucky day! If you had asked for a single curved 13 inch touch screen, the answer would be iffy, because Touch International made their last resistive touch screen in that size more than ten years ago and we only make a few curved surface capacitive sizes now. But you are changing to a flat panel and you will find that most touch screens are backward compatible with ancient touch controllers (yep, that 13 inch display is ancient).

Here is how to stay in revenue production: First, find out if that round cable is a communication cable, or a touch screen cable. If it is a communication cable (most likely), then you need to unplug and open the monitor (bring beer and always wear eye protection). You can ignore that sticker about dangerous X-rays, but not the one about the high voltage. Once open, find the other end of the cable and get the name and part number for the touch controller so you can figure out what the compatibility requirements are.

You have a few options for how to acquire a new touch screen. You can contact the company that made your old touch screen, tell them the size of the LCD and they will sell you a new sensor which you can integrate in the LCD (using the old controller you removed from the monitor). An easier way is to purchase a touch integrated LCD monitor and you will simply plug in the RS232 (an old, old communication protocol) into the host computer. If the computer is as old as the monitor, there is a chance you will need a CGA (9 pin) to VGA (15 pin) adapter for the video connector. The third option is to use any touch technology you think best, but you will need to access the host computer to replace the touch driver with a universal touch driver from a company called TouchBase.

Have fun, enjoy the beer, and call Touch International if you have any problems.

Until next time,
Touch Guy