FZ G1 tips, tricks, mods ?

Discussion in 'Panasonic' started by Shawn, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. kusa

    kusa Notebook Consultant

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    Found these: About a 32 of an inch too wide. Trimmed one end with a fresh utility blade and round the corners. Went on pretty easy minus you need to be in a vacuum to totally avoid any dust particles making their way in.
    XShields High Definition (HD+) Screen Protectors for Panasonic ToughPad FZ-G1 (Maximum Clarity) Super Easy Installation [3-Pack], Advanced Touchscreen Accuracy
     
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  2. CF30Medic

    CF30Medic Notebook Enthusiast

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    Does the wwan card gps antenna need to be active or passive? I saw in the discussion that one of them died For the cause. Just wondering if you figured it out. Thanks
     
  3. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    I want to say active, but it has been so long that I can not be sure.
     
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  4. CF30Medic

    CF30Medic Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks Shawn, and thanks for sharing your experience with the G1. It's a huge help.
     
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  5. Shawn

    Shawn Crackpot Search Ninja and Options Whore

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    Your welcome.
     
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  6. CF30Medic

    CF30Medic Notebook Enthusiast

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    My G1

    I started my Toughbook adventure with a CF-30 I found in a goodwill store for $8. I found these machines amazing and eventually acquired a few more 30’s, then a 31, then a few 19’s.

    I work in an office and travel some, so the CF-19 became my go to for a while, but the screen resolution was always an issue…I have docks for it at home and at work that allow the CF-19 to use a much larger display, and XVGA doesn’t scale well. The COVID crisis means that I now need to communicate by zoom quite a bit, so not having a camera or a microphone was an additional impediment.

    All of this lead me to the FZ-G1. It’s small, has a good camera and great display, as well as a capacitive touch screen, like the iPad, which makes it much easier to use as a tablet when the need arises.

    I scored a used FZ-G1 online, a first gen with GPS. I immediately ordered a recovery disk from Heartland, using Windows 7, which is all that’s available for the Gen 1. It installed easily and everything worked, but as much as I love Windows 7, it just doesn’t work with a tablet...the on-screen keyboard doesn’t come up when you need it, things are too small for touch, etc…so off to Windows 10.

    I installed W10 off a standard install DVD and got it up and running, but the microphone didn’t work, nor did the buttons on the front. Without the buttons working it’s hard to get to the brightness controls, which I find I need a few times a day. The automatic brightness controls change the brightness in pretty rough steps, so the screen was constantly snapping from one brightness level to the next when it’s set to automatic, which is annoying. …and without the microphone zoom doesn’t work so well.

    I went to the Panasonic site and found the individual W10 drivers for the G1 along with a three or four page step-by-step guide to installing them all. I printed the guide and checked items off as I went, I think I had to install a dozen or so different drivers…and voila! I have a G1 running W10 with all the parts working.

    It has a cellular (WWAN) modem in it and it took a few tries to get the right code entered in the BIOS, but once that was achieved it worked fine. Verizon was kind enough to supply a sim card for only $10 a month…plus data. J

    The GPS also works well. I got a RAM mount for the car, and the G1 rides just below the windshield and works as a very big GPS, running either Streets and Trips, Garmin Mobile PC or Topo USA depending on the situation.

    When I get to work it pops out of the ram mount and into a Point-of-Sale dock I scored on ebay, the FZ-VEBG12. This gives me access to a keyboard, mouse and USB ports as well as putting it at just the right level for zoom meeting video. When I get home it goes into a standard dock (VEBG11) which allows me to run it on a bigger screen again with the keyboard and mouse.

    For travel I got an IKey keyboard…again off ebay. The first model I got was an IK-PAN-FZG1-LC model. This is a first generation keyboard from IKey which works great as long as you don’t ever move the laptop…which is sort of a problem with laptops, because moving it around is sort of the point of laptops. The latch that holds the keyboard to the tablet just flat doesn’t work. As soon as you pull the screen forward to adjust the angle it unlatches and disconnects from the G1. I tried to love it, but it just isn’t quite there. As Shawn said the rubber keyboard is surprisingly easy to type on, but that latch thing…

    Round 2 was a FZG1-C1-V5…as in fifth generation, I think. The latch works much better and this one comes with a USB port and the keyboard is lighted, which is awesome, because otherwise there’s only one USB port. There’s a big knob on the back that turns the keyboard into a teeter-totter when you open the laptop up enough so the screen is at the right angle, but I think I can live with that.

    All in all it’s been a great machine that I’m pretty happy with. I spend way too much money on all this stuff, but it’s hard to resist such great equipment at surplus prices. Hopefully I can finally find happiness with this set up. So far, so good. Hope some of that helps.
     
  7. CF30Medic

    CF30Medic Notebook Enthusiast

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    [​IMG]
    My G1 Zoom set up
     
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  8. CF30Medic

    CF30Medic Notebook Enthusiast

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    [​IMG]
    The driving setup for the G1.
     
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  9. theoak2

    theoak2 Notebook Evangelist

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    Nice write-up, and great multi-use for these little tablets. I scored an iKey IK-PAN-FZG1-NB-C15Y reasonable off eBay, but it only had one of the thumbscrews. Never could find the one like came with it, but ground down another thumbscrew from hardware store, and I was so pleased with it, I ground down another to match. The factory one is better, but this will do until (and if) I find another factory one. This keyboard with both screws is very stable opening and closing.

    As to your comment on spending too much, imagine what you would have spent if they were all new, and if you bought a separate one for each use! And (as you already know) these will outlast anything on the market I believe.
     
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  10. CF30Medic

    CF30Medic Notebook Enthusiast

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    The thumbs screw latch looks good.
    One thing I noticed is that the LC and your NB model keyboard have a usb-c connector at the bottom of the dock that allows you to plug it in and use it as a separate wired keyboard. The C1-V5 does not. It has some funky looking connector there. Does anybody have a breakdown of the different iKey models? Their web site isn’t much help.

    Your point about expense is well taken. I am a walking test platform with a lifelong history of finding ways to break stuff, so these machines suit me well. I think I payed maybe a twentieth of the original price for most of this stuff and it’s all built for hard use. It’s nice not having to worry about getting caught in the rain or dropping it and killing it.

    It’s also nice not to have to wonder which machine has which file/app. I can pull up what I need from anywhere, and have a zoom meeting while I’m driving 80 miles an hour down the highway. (Just kidding, I never zoom unless I’m going at least 90) :)

    This site has been a HUGE help.
     
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