Hobbying

LCD Enclosure Project Update

I’ve put a bit more time this weekend into the LCD Enclosure project, two new LCD controllers are due to arrive soon & and I want to slot them straight into two test units. The latest step was laser cutting a mounting board for the internal electronics. I put a design together to form a sort of “H” shape, to fit snugly into the top corners of the frame, then run down two thirds of the case to 2 mounting holes on the frame – allowing a cross-brace through the middle where the Pi & LCD Controller will be mounted.

My first cut looked ok initially, but the drill holes were way too small.

I’d had a few problems with my design when I arrived at the MakerSpace and had to re-do it, then the cutter driver was not playing ball – I ended up re-creating the print file 5 or 6 times, and on this cut forgot to check the scaling.

Yep – way too small…

Luckily the printer was still set up with my config, so I changed the sizing back and went for a second cut.

This one came out much better, it’s still about 5mm too narrow to fit properly, and the drill holes need adjusting but it’s doing the job of securing the electronics.

I’ve got a couple of prototype 3d prints of the enclosure and one needed it’s hole drilling out, this worked well and i’m pretty happy with the results. As I fouled up the first cut I used up too much of the material and so only have one H brace that fits. Hopefully i’ll get the tweaks done quickly and head back to the MakerSpace one night this week to finish it off.

With our Windows 10 rollout about to start at work there is talk of using Miracast dongles for meeting room TV’s – and buying more TV’s for more meeting rooms (hence the push to get this project ready for demo). I’m currently using the HDMI port for the Pi, but may switch that over to VGA so this rig can accommodate a Miracast Dongle. I think the LCD Controller has auto-switching between live sources so that hopefully won’t be another problem or blocker to adoption.

Software wise this whole project took a long break as things at work have been too busy to dedicate the time it needs. We have a few use cases still in mind, a bit more generic than before and with an eye on the Joan project. A question was raise whether we’d mount these within rooms for use as second monitors / dashboard displays or if they’d be mounted on the floor to ceiling glass of each meeting room with an e-ink screen on the reverse to display meeting room calendar information. (Project scope creep much?, maybe in v2)

The intention is still to boot into LibreElec and then be able to manage everything remotely through KodiKontroller but there has been a lot of asks around Windows 10 – so i’m going to look at Windows 10 IOT edition as I think I read that supports Miracast. How it performs on a Pi is another question.

I laser cut the rear piece back in December, the end result won’t have the engraving on – I cut this one during my induction on the cutter and wanted to test the engraving feature. 

The last few things to do on this are;

More screws to secure the back plate in the middle, top & bottom. The frame at the front is start to warp forward pulling the joint apart. I think two mounting screws would square off the whole thing and make it more rigid.

Power! – So this project uses two voltages. The Pi is on 5v and the LCD Controller on 12v. Luckily this combination is used in some hard-drives and this PSU is only £5, supplying both 12v & 5v in one Molex connector. This will allow me to power the whole thing with one cable and a molex connector which i’ll secure on the bottom or the top of the device depending on mounting location.

Side buttons – this is looking difficult and I haven’t put much time into thinking of a solution yet – beyond rubber gel buttons that I can’t find online off-the-shelf.

With all of the above done – it’s just waiting for software. Here’s to hoping Windows 10 IOT has enough grunt on a Pi.