Author Topic: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?  (Read 3233 times)

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Offline kalel

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Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« on: September 04, 2017, 06:07:19 am »
I have an old Chinese 7 inch tablet that is and always was relatively difficult to use as a tablet.
Using a special player, it can play 720p videos, and that's about it.
It comes with a resistive touch screen, and Android 2.3.

Are there any potential projects that could make it a useful thing to have?
It does come with an external dongle that allows USB connectivity (2-4 USB, 1 LAN). I'm not sure how simple it is to solder in something directly, although with a larger case the Dongle without the plastic possibly could be integrated.

I thought about turning it into a game emulator system (a handheld), but creating a custom case would be an issue. Even as a beginner to electronics, I still think that would be the most difficult or pricey part. And still a new Pi would outperform it, while having easier connectivity.

I assume it's actually difficult to turn it into something interesting or useful to work with (maybe for more advanced electronics people), but I am open to any ideas, if anyone has some.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 06:23:17 am »
Android 2.3 is pre-2012 thing, and most modern APKs won't run on it.
Unless you can find a way to run native programs on it as well as get it rooted so you can have access to system resources, otherwise it's pretty much useless.
Even though, a Raspberry Pi 3 plus a Chinese capacitive LCD combo will be probably cheaper than $50, and you have pretty much unlimited software to run (basically the entire Debian/Ubuntu repo).

So, unless you have a specific use for it and it doesn't require much time and money to get it up and running, otherwise consider the tablet useless.
 
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Offline kripton2035

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 06:27:38 am »
if you have a mill, you can transform it into a DRO.
http://www.yuriystoys.com/p/android-dro.html



Offline Halcyon

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 08:06:41 am »
I use mine to look up recipes. I don't care if my tablet gets dirty while cooking, I do care if my cookbooks do.
 
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Offline kalel

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 09:05:12 am »
Android 2.3 is pre-2012 thing, and most modern APKs won't run on it.
Unless you can find a way to run native programs on it as well as get it rooted so you can have

It might be rooted already, but I'm not sure without checking. Yes, a lot of the new apps don't run on 2.3, but probably wouldn't run on it anyway as that's a single core unit.

I use mine to look up recipes. I don't care if my tablet gets dirty while cooking, I do care if my cookbooks do.

That does sound useful. Maybe for keeping track of some schematics while soldering, although usually a larger screen computer monitor is better for the latter.
 

Online bd139

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 09:12:04 am »
I usually just let my anger out on old no brand android tablets. They are near useless otherwise.
 
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Offline plazma

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 09:15:22 am »
if you have a mill, you can transform it into a DRO.
http://www.yuriystoys.com/p/android-dro.html


Nice. I have to add this to my mill.


 

Offline Muttley Snickers

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 09:43:29 am »
Other than my daily medication the only tablet I ever owned was an Acer Iconia A500 which back in its day was reputed to be a reasonably good tablet up until Acer dropped all support for it, I got done like a dinner on that deal, I still have it but don't use it much nowadays.   :(

Anyway, I only purchased it to store and view product service manuals and other relevant information in PDF format instead of carting boxes of paper manuals all around the country side, some of the product manuals and reference material we needed back then were as big as phone books so it was certainly a huge load off.   :phew:
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 10:02:44 am by Muttley Snickers »
 
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Offline NANDBlog

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 11:39:43 am »
I have a Nexus 7 2012. It is a very good paper weight. Slow as hell.
"Ah, you want to type something. Then I need .... what do I need... something to type on... How is it called... ah, a keyboard... let me pull it up... this is sooo hard... there you go"
"Never mind tablet, my PC is booted." I never buy Android stuff again.
 
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Offline Kjelt

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 12:17:43 pm »
I also have two outdated tablets, one iOS , one Android.
It would have been so nice if they could be opened easily and the touchscreen displays would have been standardized in connector and protocol such as that you could give it a second life as a display for the raspberry pi or beaglebone *deep sigh*
 

Offline kalel

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 12:25:06 pm »
I also have two outdated tablets, one iOS , one Android.
It would have been so nice if they could be opened easily and the touchscreen displays would have been standardized in connector and protocol such as that you could give it a second life as a display for the raspberry pi or beaglebone *deep sigh*

It would make an awesome display. :) But yes...
 

Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2017, 01:00:37 pm »
I have a Nexus 7 2012. It is a very good paper weight. Slow as hell.
"Ah, you want to type something. Then I need .... what do I need... something to type on... How is it called... ah, a keyboard... let me pull it up... this is sooo hard... there you go"
"Never mind tablet, my PC is booted." I never buy Android stuff again.

nexus 7 2012 is 5 years old!! google stopped focussing on it as they rolled the releases out, and the last release for poor old nexus 7 2012 really screwed the system up (But then again, see how well a 5 year old i-device is supported)

Also, because AOSP is open source, there's a community managed version of android for the nexus 7 2012 that actually works really well... I took a completely useless non responsive tablet that we were trying to use to play spotify for our kids at night and it'd mostly crash or just blank-screen instead of loading spotify, or not be able to go on the network, and  a reboot - I went into the bootloader, connected it to my PC, put on the OS release that was built by people who cared, and put some MP3s on it instead of spotify (which I *hate* because their player pretty much sucks on everything, not just old tablets)  and it's now a really useful media player. Responsive, and quick, and just works.
 
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Offline plazma

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 01:05:51 pm »
I also have two outdated tablets, one iOS , one Android.
It would have been so nice if they could be opened easily and the touchscreen displays would have been standardized in connector and protocol such as that you could give it a second life as a display for the raspberry pi or beaglebone *deep sigh*
You can reuse the displays of many different tablets. I bought an adapter for an iPad 1 display.
Google display driver with panel code.
 
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Online Brumby

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 01:29:49 pm »
How about a Jukebox?

There's an app: "Jukebox 2012"  It has a "Free Edition" that runs on Android 2.3 and up, as well as a paid version.  Looks just like the card index of an old jukebox.

Load up some songs, plug the audio into an amplifier and off you go.

I have a cheap tablet which I've put this on - plus an old mid sized Jukebox which I literally found on the side of the road ... somewhat trashed, but I fixed it up and made a place for the tablet.  Good fun.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 01:32:12 pm by Brumby »
 
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Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2017, 02:05:47 pm »
I also had an old Acer tablet.

I gave it to my technician, an extremely hardworking single mother, who gave it to her daughter.

The child's expression when she received the gift was priceless.
 
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Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2017, 07:41:01 pm »
Other than my daily medication the only tablet I ever owned was an Acer Iconia A500 which back in its day was reputed to be a reasonably good tablet up until Acer dropped all support for it, I got done like a dinner on that deal, I still have it but don't use it much nowadays.   :(
I had one of these tablets and was able to load these custom ROMs onto it.

https://forum.tegraowners.com/viewforum.php?f=9
 
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Offline retiredcaps

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2017, 07:43:44 pm »
Also, because AOSP is open source, there's a community managed version of android for the nexus 7 2012 that actually works really well.
Yes, there are lots of custom roms available for the Nexux 7 2012 version that you can try to get better performance.
 
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Offline eugenenine

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2017, 07:44:35 pm »
You can get one of these cheap cameras https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XCHR771/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and use it with the tablet for a cheap PCB microscope.
 
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Offline ez24

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2017, 12:31:50 am »
You can get one of these cheap cameras https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XCHR771/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and use it with the tablet for a cheap PCB microscope.

Thanks - it is in my Cart
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Offline kalel

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2017, 08:55:57 am »
You can get one of these cheap cameras https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XCHR771/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and use it with the tablet for a cheap PCB microscope.

Good idea. I have a little $16 USB Microscope for the PC and don't necessarily need a similar thing, but might be helpful to others, especially due to the small size, it could maybe go inside of cases of some broken equipment, although I can't yet imagine a really useful scenario for that (there must be, just doesn't come to mind).

Note if buying such a microscope (the cheap types with stand), the stand is plastic and might crack. If that happens, superglue (the cheapest kind) seems to help a lot and even make it stronger than originally (or reduce further cracking). No bicarb needed either as the plastic seems to "melt together" (might not be right scientifically) with the glue and hold together well.
 

Online Brumby

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2017, 10:06:35 am »
You can get one of these cheap cameras https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XCHR771/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and use it with the tablet for a cheap PCB microscope.

Good idea.

Don't get too excited.

I wanted to run a USB camera through my cheapie ... but the Android version did not have the required functionality to support it.  It runs 4.2.2

On Android 2.3, you might have the same problem.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 10:08:07 am by Brumby »
 
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Offline kalel

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2017, 10:15:42 am »
You can get one of these cheap cameras https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B06XCHR771/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
and use it with the tablet for a cheap PCB microscope.

Good idea.

Don't get too excited.

I wanted to run a USB camera through my cheapie ... but the Android version did not have the required functionality to support it.  It runs 4.2.2

On Android 2.3, you might have the same problem.

Thanks, that's quite possible and having the cheap USB Microscope I don't really need another similar thing (a better one sure), but it might be a good idea for someone else with an old (but not as old) tablet. :) Or even a new tablet.

What would be really nice to get is a cheapie with decent working distance (for soldering work). But then you need more resolution, and things get complicated. I'm sure it's still not possible at the ~15 price point. For DIY makers, there are USB webcam modules with Sony sensors and 1080p for ~50 (maybe less, just out of the top of my head), but getting the right zoom (lens) and stand would still be expensive and/or difficult (with the right materials and tools, I'm sure one can create a stand). So I doubt even with a lot of DIY work that the price can soon approach that mark.


 

Offline Ampera

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2017, 06:37:18 pm »
I had the idea to root my old kindle fire, stick stock android on it, and use it as a sort of smart wall clock that I could put things like a calendar and etc on. If you do this I suggest removing the battery as batteries don't tend to like being under constant charge, especially cheap Chinese ones.
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If it's broken, I probably did it.
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Offline Neganur

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2017, 06:17:14 am »
Wall clock
Real time bus plan for the bus stop I take to work
 
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Offline cdev

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2017, 04:51:22 pm »
If it has a web browser it can be used with an old obsolete access point to enable its use as a controller for almost anything using web applications as its control surfaces.

 "Its cheaper and more colorful than switches"

Don't put it on the real network, though. just use the wireless as a means of making the switches wireless.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 
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Offline aqarwaen

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2017, 09:56:13 pm »
you could root it..or you could use old tablet  as a security  camera and sending data to hdd what have wireless  acess option.
btw i use my old 64g ipad 2 as torrent downloader/seeder mainly.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 11:15:00 pm by aqarwaen »
 

Offline bitseeker

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2017, 12:52:50 am »
I have a Nexus 7 2012. It is a very good paper weight. Slow as hell.

google stopped focussing on it as they rolled the releases out, and the last release for poor old nexus 7 2012 really screwed the system up

Yeah, I regretted updating to the last version as well. The problem is that the tablet's flash is a bottleneck and Google didn't take this into account. :palm: So many things call home or have to check for changes when the tablet wakes up that everything comes to a crawl for five minutes or more. Once all those processes finally calm down, the tablet is usable.

Quote
Also, because AOSP is open source, there's a community managed version of android for the nexus 7 2012 that actually works really well... Responsive, and quick, and just works.

Did you use AOSP or one of the ROMs that's derived from it? If the latter, which one did you have a good experience with?
I TEA.
 

Offline julianhigginson

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2017, 01:20:04 am »

Did you use AOSP or one of the ROMs that's derived from it? If the latter, which one did you have a good experience with?

look like it was this guy:
https://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-7/development/rom-android-7-aosp-grouper-t3467514

I didn't bother with the extra gapps pack (which would let me log in with my goodle account and install stuff from play store, etc) because I only wanted to use mp3s with the built in media player which was already in the base install.
 

Offline NiHaoMike

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2017, 01:38:14 am »
I have my old Kindle Fire, running some build of Cyanogenmod, mining altcoins. Just for fun, I calculated the mining efficiency and it is on the order of 200 times as efficient as the best Bitcoin miners or 50 times as efficient as the latest GPUs, based purely on the value of coins mined per kWh consumed. (Not even close to an apples to apples comparison, of course, because ASICs, GPUs, and CPUs do best on different coins with different algorithms.)
Cryptocurrency has taught me to love math and at the same time be baffled by it.

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Offline bitseeker

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Re: Uses for (old, cheap) tablet?
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2017, 03:07:00 am »
look like it was this guy:
https://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-7/development/rom-android-7-aosp-grouper-t3467514

I didn't bother with the extra gapps pack (which would let me log in with my goodle account and install stuff from play store, etc) because I only wanted to use mp3s with the built in media player which was already in the base install.

Sounds good. Thanks Julian. I'll give it a try.
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