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Author Topic: LCD and Enclosure.  (Read 7096 times)
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ottawa, canada
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That one looks good except for the lack of an IR panel.
If you poke around on the pactec site you may find other possibilities.

I'm still surprised that there aren't more readily available LCD mounting options.   In my case I need something really weatherproof because I'm mounting on an exposed motorcycle surface but I haven't see anything that would help finish off a project.
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London, England
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I think it is amazing that there isn't already on the market a simpe palstic box with rectangular holes the size of the screens on LCD's, which are all pretty standard.

As far as I can see there is a great market opportunity here for someone to manufacture these types of enclosures for the hobbyist electronics market.
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Mike, I don't think there is a single standard. I have three 16x2 LCD panels and all require different size cutouts. My 16x1 and 16x4 panels are different sizes again.
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bill:  There are some nice looking options there, though the ones with IR panels are a bit thinner which makes it harder to fit components.  The main issue I seem to have is finding a source, I'm shocked that digi-key doesn't seem to carry them.  I have almost no local sources for electronics parts, but Hammond boxes seem to be one of the few things I can get locally.

For your weatherproof project, why not use florinc's suggestion of a pelikan or otterbox?  They're expensive, but very weatherproof and available with clear tops for the display.  For the interface if needed, you can rig up something IR so you don't have to comprimise the weatherproofing.

Mike:  someone with a laser cutter should do exactly that.  They can get a great price on 100 boxes, cut the holes and sell the boxes for double.  
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Palmetto, FL USA
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Box has quite a few with cutouts http://www.boxenclosures.com/category/category.html, but it seems they only support a couple of different lcd sizes.

Most of the manufacturers will do custom CNC routing or laser cutting for large orders, but that really doesn't help the average hobbyist. You might be able to find a local machine shop to do the routing for you, or even get a router attachment for a Dremel tool, and build a small jig to get a clean hole.

Polycase http://www.polycase.com/ might be another source

Bill: You might be able to do something like the second example here http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/static.php?name=custom_enclosure_design for yours. Maybe a short piece of 4" or 6" PVC pipe, and a couple of pieces of Lexan over the ends. Something larger than the hole in your gas tank cover.

I've seen the same need to provide enclosures for Arduino, and other DIY projects, and have started working on a couple of things. They are a few months off, so don't really solve any problems now, but I'm trying to get a couple of manufacturers to work with me on a more modular enclosure design that would work better for the type of projects that Arduino, and other hobby projects seem to need.
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Mem: Yes but the list of sizes is relatively small.

Robert: Great! Glad someone has taken the bull by the horns and tried to sort out this gap in the market.
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These people
http://www.spikenzielabs.com/Catalog/
have a nice LCD stand:

and I think they can even customize it for you.
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ottawa, canada
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Well look at this for heaven's sake.


from the Sparkfun site as pointed out by Robert Lee above.

Looks great.

That's a custom enclosure but the idea might work for me.

I also see the standard Sparkfun project box in black and clear which might suit the Oracle's original requirement.

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=8601
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This is starting to feel like a bad joke.  From Robert's recommendations, http://www.boxenclosures.com/category/product_details.html?product__id=177464 looks best (lack of IR panel aside for the moment).  But it says the cutout is for a 2x16 display at 1.79x0.7 inches.  That seems to be much smaller than any 2x16 display I've seen, and might be a decent fit (but a bit short) for the 2x8 seeedstudio display.

Polycase has a few with an IR panel that look nice but I'd still be cutting the LCD opening.  They have one with an LCD opening but no IR and it's more desktop than handheld.
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I feel your pain Oracle! I must have spent 30+ hours trying to find an enclosure that would hold the Arduino, a battery, and two shields. There were several at Box that would work, but were twice the size I needed. Everything else was too small, two narrow, etc.

I finally settled on a temporary solution (http://hiredgunsoftware.net/wp/?tag=gps) while I try to figure something else out.
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ottawa, canada
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...http://www.boxenclosures.com/category/product_details.html?product__id=177464 looks best (lack of IR panel aside for the moment).  But it says the cutout is for a 2x16 display at 1.79x0.7 inches.  That seems to be much smaller than any 2x16 display I've seen, and might be a decent fit (but a bit short) for the 2x8 seeedstudio display.

Yeah, I don't see it fitting a 2X16 display but surely it's big enough for the viewable area of your 2X8.  The 1.79X0.7inch cutout is about 45X18mm, I checked one viewable area for a 2X8 and got 30X14.

Maybe this is why there are no standard size cutouts - LCD sizes are too different and change with time (probably trending larger).

I think I need to learn to make neat holes in thin plastic!
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I think I need to learn to make neat holes in thin plastic!

This has been my conclusion too.  It seems that just when you think there are standards... you realize 2 things.   1) Everyone has standards... of their own.  2) The one thing about standards... is that they don't stay unchanged
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I'm thinking one solution would be to buy some enclosures of sizes you require, then obtain some acrylic (perspex) of the colour and thickness you want and get it laser cut to fit your enclosure, LCD display, buttons, etc. Then fine sand the edges to curves and screw onto the enclosure.
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Robert:  That GPS project looks quite nice.  Clear plastic does help with the LCD problem, and your sandwich design has some nice aesthetic appeal.  A while ago, I was planning to make a GPS datalogger to take on a cruise with the goal of eventually tracing my route in google maps when I got home.  I realized if I try to take an obviously home-built piece of electronics on a plane and cruise ship, I'd probably spend my vacation in a holding cell.

Bill:  I think using a hole that badly sized will be just as ugly as a hand-cut hole of the right size.  I could shop around for a 45x18 viewable display, but more traditional sources are much more expensive than seeedstudio.

Mike:  That is a pretty good option.  I know of the Pololu laser cutting service.  It would more-or-less double my per-unit enclosure cost, though that's not so bad.  And it would make a mistake on my part very expensive, which is pretty bad smiley-wink ).  I used to order from them when I lived in the states, but I think their shipping to Canada is prohibitive.  It wouldn't work with the enclosures I've been focusing on since they have U-shaped top and bottom halves (all the IR panel ones have seemed to), but if I can look again with a focus on a flat top panel.
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I just measured a 2x16 display I have.  The bezel is 71.4x27mm.  So I presume that's what I'd want the cutout to be.  The area inside the bezel is 65x14mm, so that could work too, but I can't see anything smaller working with this display.  So I have to wonder where they get 45x18mm.  That's too tall and too short, so it's not like it's for a smaller display.
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