How to install an 4-digit 7-segment display on a panel

Hi.

I have a 4-digit 7-segment display like this one.

I need to attach it to a front panel (as part of a boxed enclosure) that I'm designing. The pins of the display are connected to an PCB via ribbon cables.

I am trying to think what the best way is, to end up with something that is robust enough and looking good. I'm having a bit of a hard time as I don't see any obvious way.

The best I can think of is to make the opening on the panel slightly narrower (say by 1mm per dimension) so that the display can't move forward, and use some hot glue on the inside of the panel to keep the display in place. Alternatively, I could 3D print a custom support to glue on the inside, but I would prefer to keep it simpler.

I am just wondering if I'm missing something obvious to do the job, or if simply there is a better way.

Any help would be highly appreciated.

Thanks!

usually you would solder the display to a small PCB and have other pins that can be wired to your Arduino. The PCB would have holes so that you can attach it to the front panel

You can find such ready made modules for a cheap price

(the headers would usually go on the other side so that only the display is on the top face of the PCB and you can have also modules with a TM1637 driver on the back)

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Thanks @J-M-L . That looks quite ideal - pity I didn't realise about this when I started the project. Unfortunately it is now too late to redesign the hardware.

Your option with the glue can work, make the screen flush with the enclosure and puts lots of hot glue in the back to hold the display.

alternatively you can solder your screen on a small piece of perfboard and build something "similar" to the commercial products

Do you have access to a laser cutter?

You could design and cut 2 pieces from clear acrylic sheet which the display would be sandwiched between. Both pieces would have holes for metal or nylon bolts in the corners. The rear piece would also have holes for the display pins. You would also drill holes on the panel (use the acrylic pieces as template) and assemble the sandwich in place, starting from the outside, with nuts to secure.

There are basically two ways that this is usually done. The first one you've already mentioned: make the panel cutout slightly smaller than the display so only the numbers are visible. You can then glue the display in place, if this is for a one-off or very low cost product, or use screws on the display panel.

The other common way is to use a display bezel of the right size to "clean up" the edges of the cutout. Some bezels also come with screw mounts for the display itself, but those are less common these days.

I generally go with the first option myself, but I have a machine shop to make stuff like this easier :slight_smile:

HTH.

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Kind of off topic,

I cannot download your attachments. I have this issue with another post as well so it might be my account / computer.

Has anyone else had trouble with attachments?

Thanks
John

Hello
You can make a 3D design with all the fasteners for the display and print them in color with any label.

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No (Win10 and Firefox).

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Thanks, clearing the chrome cache and rebooting solved the issue. I should have done that before posting but I've never had that happen before.

Off-topic, but my chrome was literally in bad condition after a major security certificate IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 expired. I couldn't open any website properly. Updating OS solved my issue.

See this: Let’s Encrypt’s root certificate has expired, and it might break your devices – TechCrunch

Regarding the topic, I think you can design some sort of PCB/ 3D case in Tinkercad and then use some online 3d printing service/pcb manufacturing service ....I guess that might work...

solder display to a proto pcb and drill holes for support, solder cables to pcb

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@J-M-L Great suggestion about using the perfboard - I may try that in a first instance. Thanks!

Great suggestion, thanks @PaulRB
I don't have a laser cutter, but I may be able to do that without - it won't be an easy and neat, but still...

Another great idea @killzone_kid - it is similar to what @J-M-L was saying as well.

Thank you so much @cedarlakeinstruments - two great ideas. I really like the idea of using screws - simple but effective - I may give that a go!

I only attached pictures. Don’t you see them?