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Project: LCD Omni-bay

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Pricester, 16 Feb 2004.

  1. Pricester

    Pricester New Member

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    Okay, here's my first every project log, for my second ever mod - but the first one worthy of publication (can you really call a (bad) spray-job and a blowhole a mod?) - apologies for the poor picture quality etc...

    People who obsesivly read every post on this forum may have seen my post in modding a while back, looking for ideas for this, but not much came up... here's a link anyway.

    To summarise though, the concept is this: Mount a Matrix Orbital 20x4 Character LCD display in such a way that it can be easily removed and replaced. Since I've spent about £70 on this, I want to make sure I use every single feature available, but at the same time, it's got to look neat and tidy.

    On with the pics...

    [​IMG]
    This is the idea I have, pleasently rendered by SketchUp. The main frame is two bay covers from my Lian-Li PC70.

    Not being very patient, I've already had the dremel-clone out, to cut the main mounting hole. Lesson 1 - practice first, and wear safety goggles. Half way through, I headed off to B&Q... the bits of aluminium pinging off my forehead were a warning well taken. Fully protected now (specs and a facemask), I finished the cutting. Nothing really new here (there's a thousand and one guides and mods that show how to cut a hole into aluminium - here is the one I worked from), so I'll just show the result.

    [​IMG]
    Not too neat, but it will do... I may have to start again with new panels at some point though! You can see at the top of the opening where the dremel-clone slipped, and there's another scratch right at the top - hopefully, not too obvious when it's all mounted...

    [​IMG]
    See, it fits!

    [​IMG]
    The other requirement that I had is that I can mount it either in the drive bays, or in a box on my desk (I like lots of CD drives...) At the moment, the desk mount is just a cardboard box... but since it has all the flashy LEDs, I don't mind too much! You can also see a sneak preview of the next stage here... the Keypad! Well, you can almost see it, points to anyone who can work out where in the picture it is...
     
  2. -=Clew=-

    -=Clew=- New Member

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    This could be cool!
     
  3. Pricester

    Pricester New Member

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    Lots of progess this evening - having other people read it is certainly a motivation...

    Okay, now I can reveal the real reason behind this entire mod. I've been looking at the Matrix Orbital displays for ages now, and the only thing that's ever stood in my way is that there's the lovely potential for a 25 key keypad... but how will I ever mount that, and if I don't, what a waste it will be!

    Matrix keypads like the ones that connect to the display work by connecting a particular two pins... 10 connections mean 5 rows and 5 columns = 25 keys.

    Then I had a brainstorm, and came up with the idea of rotary switches... that way, I only need to mount 2 switches, one for rows and one for columns. Then I need only select the postion I want, and press one pushbutton to make it work.

    Of course, by the time I actually bought the display, a new version was out... with only 24 keys (why? why? why?). 4 rows and 6 columns... oh well, it will have to do.

    So, off to Maplin to buy 2 rotary switches (Maplin FF74 and FF75), two knobs (YR65), one push button switch (FG45), a 10 pin header (FY94 and RK66W) and some wire.

    Then it was back to Maplin again for the pins that go in the header to make it work (YW25C)... Typical!

    Some very poor soldering and a destroyed IDE cable later...

    [​IMG]

    You may be wondering why there is a second header on the board... well, that's the next surprise... My girlfriend was intrigued by this, but rather more with the space invaders game pictured on the Matrix Orbital website <LINK>. You'd never be able to play games with a rotary switch, so I'm going to make a secondary controller.

    [​IMG]

    I compiled the circuit diagram above from a website somewhere... hopefully, it matches what's in my joypad... either way, I've now wired up a standard 15 pin D connector to fit the display.

    [​IMG]

    Even if it doesn't work, I can still use the connection to attach a custom built joypad later, if necessary.

    In fact, futher testing has now shown that my joypad is no-where near as simple as that... and I've managed to make one of the 10 wires that is actually connected a duplicate... Typical. Still, a bit of custom wiring and the joypad will soon function as I want... I hope!
     
  4. Nexxo

    Nexxo Queue Jumper

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    Looks like clean craftsmanship already! :thumb:
     
  5. Pricester

    Pricester New Member

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    Well, they say the camera never lies, but I have to admit that these pictures make it look a lot better than it does in real life...
     
  6. MechWarrior

    MechWarrior New Member

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    Who cares, gives you more bragging rights here :hip:
     
  7. Pricester

    Pricester New Member

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    Hehe, bragging rights would be nice, but I don't think any amount of generosity by my camera will qualify me for that here... yet...

    There will be a big update this weekend (or possibly Monday), since I am off to borrow my Dad's pillar drill, and steal a few more useful tools from him. Lots more pics soon!
     
  8. djengiz

    djengiz Pointless.

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    Looking good! Keep us posted!
     
  9. ReFredzRate

    ReFredzRate Relix Headshot!!

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    You're not going to fit the box in there are you? ;)
    Looks good!
     
  10. richman

    richman New Member

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    nice 1
     
  11. Pricester

    Pricester New Member

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    Well, I considered it, but then realised that the box is slightly wider than the drive bay, so I'd have to mod the case... j/k :D

    However, I am planning to create a decent looking box that can take the bezels as they are and sit on my desk - giving me a sweet looking LCD I can carry to any PC (i.e. at work), and meaning that I don't have to use up the 2 extra bays...
    Not sure where it will get used most yet though...
     

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