Any before/after and walkthrough photos?
DO IT! I replaced the panel in my 629 today and it went (mostly) without a hitch. The toughest part is making sure the dang screen and back side of the touch panel are perfectly clean. The difference is incredible! Not only in touch response, but the screen itself looks GREAT. It is absolutely worth the $55 it costs for the panel and controller.
Here's a basic rundown:
1) Tear down screen housing and remove resistive panel.
2) Chop wires from the resistive panel off of the circuit board as they are in the way. You won't use them, anyway. Note, I have a version of the 629 with an integral controller, not a separate controller board.
1) Modify front housing(faceplate) by cutting out all of the supports and screw holes on one side of the housing where the screen sits. It doesn't matter which side, as the screen's calibration will account for it being upside down if that happens like it did for me. This will leave enough clearance for the screen to fit side to side and you can still locate it with the original hold-downs on the opposite side.
2) Further modify the front housing by thinning the top side of the housing down until the screen can snugly fit vertical-wise. You'll have to use a razor blade for the corner opposite the screw holes you left. You want to make sure the panel fits without being compressed and can sit evenly on the foam strips around the screen opening.
Touch Panel Modification:
note: I only did this because I wanted the controller to fit inside the housing as if it were factory. If you don't mind the controller being outside the housing, don't worry about this part.
1) Unsolder the two connectors on either end of the controller. They make the controller too thick to fit inside the housing without pressing on the screen.
2) Solder the ribbon cable from the touch panel straight to the controller, then solder a new length of flat cable about 6 inches long to the other end for the usb connection. I used part of an old internal serial port cable for this. You could use an old pata or floppy cable, too. You need the flat cable so it will fit in the housing. A round cable is too thick and will press against the screen.
3) Here's where I recommend something different from what I did. I soldered a male USB A connector onto my ribbon cable because I have an extension running from my computer with a female end at the touchscreen. For a cleaner look, I recommend soldering on a panel mount female USB A connector such as this guy(or stolen from an cheap hub). Then, you can just cut a notch in your case and mount the connector wherever there is room. That'll let you plug a male-male cable right in. Super clean. The most room is in the bottom middle, by the way.
Heres another note...Don't try to use the 14 pin connector to get your usb connection. There is no +5vdc connection in the din cable side(pin 3). It WILL NOT WORK. I chased my tail around this for a long time and even cut the 5-in-1 cable to try and figure it out. It isn't worth it. I was really hoping to use it and keep the entire screen looking factory pristine, but there just isn't a way without having to completely rewire the 5-in-1 cable. There might be a +5vdc source on the circuit board, but I went over it really quickly with my multimeter and didn't see one.
4) I heat shrunk the entire controller and about 1/4 inch of both cables to make sure it is insulated from the screen and board and to give some extra support to the solder connections. You don't have to, but I think it is a good idea.
Putting it All Together:
1) MAKE SURE THE TOUCH PANEL AND LCD PANEL ARE PERFECTLY CLEAN. This is a pain, but is better than looking at an annoying spec of dust in between your touch panel and lcd.
2) Lay down strips of double-sided sticky tape(the thin stuff thats like scotch tape) all around the perimeter of the touch panel where the screen will sit. This will keep the screen in place and keep dust from getting in.
3) Set the screen down on the touch panel, paying careful attention to the screen's alignment. I chose to slightly offset mine to the right and down so that I can see the whole screen from my driver's seat. You might have to redo the alignment of the screen several times to get it to where you want it. You might reconnect the board and power the screen up to see what it looks like with it on, too.
4) Connect the backlight power, the button ribbon, and the screen ribbon and put the housing back together. The capacitive panel is very slightly thicker than the resistive panel, but that won't matter. You can screw in your three remaining main screws and then pop the case shut. If it seems like the last corner isn't secure enough, add a drop of super glue in between the back housing and the faceplate.
And that's it...Not much to it, really. If you are good with a soldering iron and a Dremel, you can finish it up in a couple hours. It too me much longer because of trying to find that dang +5vdc connection that doesn't exist, but it still wasn't too bad. Good luck!
Any before/after and walkthrough photos?
Sorry man, no photos. I didn't have time to do any while working working on it. I'll take some after pics when I can and I think I can scrounge up some before photos. I'll post back when I get it done. Lets just say that the difference is tremendous, though.
pics would be easier lol