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Thread: Need help! Motorized in-dash LCD enclosure semester project.

  1. #1
    Constant Bitrate RPI Geek's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Need help! Motorized in-dash LCD enclosure semester project.

    Short story: I got tired of not having an LCD enclosure available, then I got a little scared by the price of what IS available, then I realized that I'm a senior mechanical engineering student and that I should just design my own
    I've posted about this project before in other threads, but here's my official request for input on its design: What would you like to see in a motorized in-dash LCD enclosure?
    Please keep in mind that I won't be selling these, but I will post (for free) blueprints and instructions on how to make it.
    So here's a little more of a story. I turned this into a semester project for my Mechanisms class. This means that I need to come up with a feasible design by April or else I fail the project. Therefore, come July (the time I expect to be fully recovered from all the graduation parties) I will have the complete blueprints up.

    --------Here's what I have so far--------

    - Lilliput: My screen is a lilli, so that's what I'll design it to work with primarily. I haven't researched what a Xenarc's innards look like, but don't worry about telling me because I'll take the initiative to do it. If all is well, I'll make sure it works with both types of screens.
    - Dimensions: I'm keeping my stock stereo so I need it to fit in a single DIN slot. I also want it to retract about 1/2" so that I can fit a CLCD on it and THEN be able to cover it for the it's-factory-so-it's-not'worth-stealing look. ALSO!!! I want to be able to mount my slim slot-loading DVD drive above it and hopefully have some room for a few small buttons to control contrast / brightness / etc. This is secondarily important. The screen will fold, the DVD drive might fit.
    - Motorized: This doesn't really affect me, but it seems like everyone else wants it to be motorized so what the hell; I'll do that too. I would be fine if it were spring loaded so that I press a button and it opens and I manually push it closed when I'm done with it.

    --------Here's what I need to know--------

    1) Dimensions: It's going to be tight. How much room do most people actually have inside their cars?
    a) Is there a little room to go deeper than a standard DIN slot?
    b) What if it protruded above the DIN slot or below it? What if it only protuded at the edges?
    c) How far do people need it to stick out before it folds up? (see attached image)
    d) Do most people have something above their DIN slots to rest the screen on? (see image) The mechanism will not be strong enough to hold the screen up by itself and not bounce all over the place as soon as you press it. I'd like to rest the other end of it against something to stabilize it.
    e) How important is it to have the screen pivot left or right? How much does it need to pivot?

    2) Facade: How would you like it to look?
    a) What controls would you like to see on the front? (ie: brightness, contrast, power, retract/extend, self-destruct, etc)

    3) Construction: How easy should it be to make? I'm assuming people have toosl such as: drills, saws, dremels or files, screwdrivers, soldering irons, etc. The reason I ask is that I can design parts around tool requirements. It would be great if everyone had access to a vertical miller, but I know that a lot of people don't. Heck: I won't have access to one after graduation
    a) Do you have access to a vertical miller?
    b) A sheet metal brake?
    c) A tap/die set?
    d) A band saw?

    4) Other stuff: Things I'm too lazy to categorize further.
    a) What should be on the interface? (VGA/USB/Power jacks, etc) How important is it to have a good interface? Is it acceptable to just run the normal Lilli cables out the back?
    b) How fast do people want it to open? Close?
    c) How many people want it to be able to fold up OR down? (May require some disassembly/reassembly) [I cast the first vote here, mine will fold down instead of up].
    d) How should it behave? Do you want it to always fold out when your computer is powered up or do you want to be able to control it?
    e) Do you really care if it's motorized? What if it was on a spring to push it out and you reset it manually?
    f) Should I design it to use more expensive, durable parts or should I use cheaper, less durable parts?
    g) What kind of use would you put it through? Open/close 2x per day 5 days/week, for 5 years? Open/close 20x/day, 7 days/week for 20 years? Just make a guess please.

    5) Bottom line: what do you think it should cost if you are buying the parts and making it yourself?

    Send me comments! The more feedback I get, the better the end product will be.
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    Old plans out the window because of an accident .
    Have: M1-ATX, EPIA M10000, 256MB, 60GB 2.5", slim slot load DVD
    Need: Time, HU integration, ideas for Lilli

  2. #2
    Banned xdjxklusivex's Avatar
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    1. Single din works good some cars have double which they can fill with a single din spacer
    a. sometimes yes because there is always room for the harness
    b. not sure
    c. it needs to come out all the way before flipping up and not come in the way of some cars ac controls (about 1 inch)
    d. it shoudnt rest because sometimes there are ac controls or air vents it should be able to hold itself up
    e. not very important 45 degree left and right should be good enough

    2. sleek
    a. everything should be controled with a remote :-D

    3. easy!!!
    a. no
    b. no
    c. no
    d. no

    4. we all are lazy :-D
    a. vga and usb just like the lilli with av input also
    b. just enough that when you pc is ready its ready
    c. eather one is cool i like up tho
    d. you should control it so if u want to use it for dvd or soemthing that works too
    e. motorized looks cooler :-D
    f. buy whole sale good parts hahah

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPI Geek
    - Dimensions: I'm keeping my stock stereo so I need it to fit in a single DIN slot. I also want it to retract about 1/2" so that I can fit a CLCD on it and THEN be able to cover it for the it's-factory-so-it's-not'worth-stealing look. ALSO!!! I want to be able to mount my slim slot-loading DVD drive above it and hopefully have some room for a few small buttons to control contrast / brightness / etc. This is secondarily important. The screen will fold, the DVD drive might fit.
    A lot of people will want to keep a stock radio, problem is, not all cars have the space to put an additional din + 1/2 din around the radio (above or below)

    - Motorized: This doesn't really affect me, but it seems like everyone else wants it to be motorized so what the hell; I'll do that too. I would be fine if it were spring loaded so that I press a button and it opens and I manually push it closed when I'm done with it.
    OF COURSE!!! don't you know that people want their cake and they want to eat it too! Oh, and they want the cake to be free as well....

    1) Dimensions: It's going to be tight. How much room do most people actually have inside their cars?
    most people don't have room to put a screen in their dash, nor can they put a mini-itx board behind their dash - so there's not a lot of room to behing with

    a) Is there a little room to go deeper than a standard DIN slot?
    I know I don't have any more room behind my dash - it's tight to just put an aftermaret radio back there as it is...lol

    So for most MKIV VW owners, you will have this problem

    b) What if it protruded above the DIN slot or below it? What if it only protuded at the edges?
    not sure what you mean here, meaning it will stick out or it will go vertical? meaning it's actually more like a din and a half than just a regular din?

    c) How far do people need it to stick out before it folds up? (see attached image)
    get the specs from an Aline fold out screen, etc....find out how much they come out and that should give you a good idea.....

    d) Do most people have something above their DIN slots to rest the screen on? (see image) The mechanism will not be strong enough to hold the screen up by itself and not bounce all over the place as soon as you press it. I'd like to rest the other end of it against something to stabilize it.
    Most people will have either ac vents above the din slot or controls. This is going to be a MAJOR problem if the unit can't support it's own weight....

    e) How important is it to have the screen pivot left or right? How much does it need to pivot?
    for me none, but then again, I don't need a fold out unit...lol

    2) Facade: How would you like it to look?
    as simple as possible

    a) What controls would you like to see on the front? (ie: brightness, contrast, power, retract/extend, self-destruct, etc)
    I would say power would be essential, as well as a menu if at all possible for the other stuff....so probably just the regular buttons like the Xenarc and Lilliputs have

    3) Construction: How easy should it be to make? I'm assuming people have toosl such as: drills, saws, dremels or files, screwdrivers, soldering irons, etc. The reason I ask is that I can design parts around tool requirements. It would be great if everyone had access to a vertical miller, but I know that a lot of people don't. Heck: I won't have access to one after graduation
    If you are going to put the instructions on here for most people to get to, it should be pretty easy. For a lot of people, mechanics and fabrication just don't make any sense, and for those people who know how to make things, chances are either A) they will make it themselves from their own ideas or B) they will pay for it....lol

    a) Do you have access to a vertical miller?
    VERY few people will actually have access to one of these, much less know how to use one...

    b) A sheet metal brake?
    same as above for this one

    c) A tap/die set?
    same as the two above here, and do you know how expensive a full tap and die set is? they aren't cheap, just like the above tools...

    d) A band saw?
    this is about the only tool that you have listed that would be most likely to make it into someone's garage....even still a LOT of people on here just simply don't have the money to fork over for something like this...

    a) What should be on the interface? (VGA/USB/Power jacks, etc) How important is it to have a good interface? Is it acceptable to just run the normal Lilli cables out the back?
    You will HAVE to have VGA if you want it to be useful for the people here.

    b) How fast do people want it to open? Close?
    About the same as most other mass produced screens from Alpine, Pioneer, etc

    c) How many people want it to be able to fold up OR down? (May require some disassembly/reassembly) [I cast the first vote here, mine will fold down instead of up].
    most people will probably say up, simply because that's how most of hte aftermarket stuff works in the first place....but I don't see it being too dificult to just change a few things to make it do what's needed/wanted of it in this regard, right?

    d) How should it behave? Do you want it to always fold out when your computer is powered up or do you want to be able to control it?
    IMO, you should be able to have some control over it. For instance, I have a total kill switch for my computer, so that when and if I take it in for service, or for valet parking, I can kill power to the computer so other people won't mess with it while they have my car...also, it would be a good idea to tap it in so that when a key is NOT in the ignition, the screen won't come out, this way for those people with remote start, they won't remote start their car and have a screen there, on, advertising it's presence, while they are still in the store paying, or where ever they are at...

    e) Do you really care if it's motorized? What if it was on a spring to push it out and you reset it manually?
    IMO - yes, it's important, I can't think of anything that screams cheap than a screen that you have to manually pull out and push to position, but then again, there are people out there who don't really care and just want it as cheap as possible

    f) Should I design it to use more expensive, durable parts or should I use cheaper, less durable parts? Bottom line: what do you think it should cost if you are buying the parts and making it yourself?
    you will be in for a rude awakening and will realize that the price of what's out there isn't all that bad once you get to this point. A LOT of people don't realize what all goes into making something like this. They don't realize that people have to be paid that design the product (in this case it's a project for you). The equipment that has to be bought and paid for to make this stuff, not to mention the facilities to do it in, etc...


    Other than all of that, I would love to see a plan for something like this, even if it doesn't meet everyone's needs (nothing ever will) if someone at least has a plan to go off of then they can modify it to their needs if need be.

    Be SURE and post it up when you get it all worked out!
    Jan Bennett
    FS: VW MKIV Bezel for 8" Lilliput - 95% Finished

    Please post on the forums! Chances are, someone else has or will have the same questions as you!

  4. #4
    Newbie Kalavera's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Go for it mah boy!!! Excelent project idea.

    Just a few pointers:

    Keep it at 1 DIN size, it's the most common size that people will have to play with.

    The unit will have to be built with a good gauge steel to be rugged enough for use. Check out www.digitalww.com for their lilliput enclosure for specs and ideas. I've a Ford and most of the ones with the one and a half DIN have at least an extra inch at the back.

    Motorised would be the best and most impressive. Perhaps a simple variable resistor could control the speed of the in/out mechanism. Microswitches could be used at the end points to stop the motor from straining.

    Cheap parts are not always unreliable/weak but often are. The more expensive ones sometimes only look a bit prettier. Try to get a middle ground on this.

    On question 2, the face should be neat and sleek but you need to include somewhere for the IR receiver for the remote.


    And above all, keep trying and best of luck.
    Current Cfg: AMD 2200+, Epox Mobo, 7" Lilliput TS, 320MB RAM, 40GB 2.5" HD, 200GB SATA, Slim Combo, ATI Radeon, SMC B/G Wireless w/ 5dB antenna, Bluetooth.
    S/W: RoadRunner/MapMonkey/NetStumbler. Still working on a box and PSU!

  5. #5
    MySQL Error Scouse Monkey's Avatar
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    RPI, don't have time to go through all of your points as i am at work but have a look at some of my suggestions for other peoples motorised screen designs and if i can help give me a shout.

  6. #6
    Constant Bitrate RPI Geek's Avatar
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    OK, now I see how I was being unclear. I was trying to do a survey of the people who might be interested in building their own enclosure, I wasn't trying to solicit input (not to say your opinions dont' mean anything!)

    So rephrasing: please let me know YOUR situation in regards to the questions, I'd love to be able to make this so that the maximum amount of people can actually use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red GTi VR6
    I know I don't have any more room behind my dash - it's tight to just put an aftermaret radio back there as it is...lol

    So for most MKIV VW owners, you will have this problem
    This is the exact kind of response I was trying to get for all the questions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red GTi VR6
    not sure what you mean here, meaning it will stick out or it will go vertical? meaning it's actually more like a din and a half than just a regular din?
    I meant more like a Din and a half. The arms that hold the screen may not fit in a single din slot, and I was trying to get an idea if most people have a little extra room above or below the slot that they'd mount it in.
    For example: when I took my 04 Civic car apart, I found that there is an inch or 2 of extra space below the bottom DIN slot where I could presumably put something, or where the mechanism could move through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red GTi VR6
    Most people will have either ac vents above the din slot or controls. This is going to be a MAJOR problem if the unit can't support it's own weight....
    I was unclear again, what I meant to say is that the red blob in the picture would be a piece of foam or rubber, just to support the screen from bouncing like a bobblehead doll. Holding the screen's weight and keeping it from twisting left and right are not problems. What might be a problem is that it may bounce forward and back, and I wanted to be able to support it so that when you press on the screen, it doesn't just bounce. The reason is that I may have to support the screen from the very bottom edge, and if that's the case, the inherent play in the hinges will let it move more than I would like. Supporting the top would solve this, so I wanted to know if that would be feasible.
    *phew*

    Quote Originally Posted by Red GTi VR6
    do you know how expensive a full tap and die set is? they aren't cheap, just like the above tools...
    Point taken: I didn't know how expensive a tap/die set was.
    How about this instead: I'll make sure that if I even need it, you'd only need one or two taps, and then in regular sizes so that people can use them for other projects too... case modding, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red GTi VR6
    IMO - yes, it's important, I can't think of anything that screams cheap than a screen that you have to manually pull out and push to position, but then again, there are people out there who don't really care and just want it as cheap as possible
    How about if it's spring loaded and actuated by a solenoid so that it automatically opens but doesn't automatically close? I'm just trying to think here because motorizing it will probably be the hardest part to cram in the enclosure with everything else.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red GTi VR6
    Be SURE and post it up when you get it all worked out!
    That's the whole idea!

    Quote Originally Posted by RPI Geek
    3) Construction:
    a) Do you have access to a vertical miller?
    New thought: How about a router instead?
    Old plans out the window because of an accident .
    Have: M1-ATX, EPIA M10000, 256MB, 60GB 2.5", slim slot load DVD
    Need: Time, HU integration, ideas for Lilli

  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate
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    I would much prefer it did not have a motor, motors break, they take batteries, they take space. I would actually much rather have it so that it was spring loaded and manual.
    1) Dimensions: I have double DIN, but want single solution so a carputer I plan to build which is single din will fit in there as well.

    It can be rested above DIN slot, but still if there were a way to avoid that it would be prefferable, like a clip the popped out and attached part way up or something.

    2) Facade: Simple is better in my opinion, power is pretty much all I want.

    3) Construction: I have hole saws, dremels,and the like as you mentioned, I do not have any real expensive tools, lathes, milling machines, drill presses...
    a) Do you have access to a vertical miller?
    b) A sheet metal brake:no
    c) A tap/die set: yes
    d) A band saw: no, but jigsaw

    4) Other stuff: Is it acceptable to just run the normal Lilli cables out the back? YES

    b) prefer it to be manual, then I can open it as fast as I want to :P
    c) I would prefer down b/c gravity and well it is obvious eh
    d) Manual seriously, or a variant as such it will be cheaper.
    e) I would love it if it was manual
    f) I would prefer cheaper parts personaly
    g) open/close 6 times a day 365 days a year. I would use it till it broke :P I would want it to last 5 years

    5) Bottom line: Very difficult, that depends I would pay more if I had to work less. I would prefer, now don't get angry :P $50 range for materials, and a weekend of work, or say 1 hour and the cost of buying that premade one. Use linear interpolation from there

    Good luck, and if you make the designs in solid works or something you could distribute them in it.

  8. #8
    Low Bitrate joebagodoe's Avatar
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    1. Whatever it will be, it will need to look sexy, but stock.

    2. Heat dissipation will be essential. I am currently having a heating problem - i.e. - if the screen is too bright it gets rather hot and turns off.

    3. I am lucky to have a double din (actually 3din) so space in my case is not as important.

    4. I would prefer to have it rest on nothing and fold down. My shifter will be in the way otherwise. Maybe little feet could fold out to provide support so it doesn’t move around... That's a slight contradiction

    5. Controls need to be mostly available. Power at least, but lilli has that auto set stuff that is sometimes the only thing that will allow it to work properly. I have relocated mine and utilize the remote to control all functions.

    6. As for tools etc, Will it be possible to make the design to allow for substitution? Using this method we (the builders) that have better tools could make some of the parts out of higher strength materials.

    7. Opening\Closing: The boot time varies between 15sec and 1min and shutdown is pretty quick. I would say that open time should compare to that of any other automated LCD

    8. I think it should extend when supplied with a power source and retract when power is removed. This way, being pulled over will have less detrimental appearances, and we can place something beneath it in case of space restrictions. A single button push will extend or retract the device.
    Today I stuffed some dolls full of dead rats I put in the blender. I'm wondering if maybe, there really is something wrong with me.

  9. #9
    Newbie 89ragtopgt's Avatar
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    This should work hmmmmmmm.......

    I am getting this ready in the next 2 weeks. i have used a motor drive from a scaner and made it just like a mini garage door opener with a belt drive. the display is mounted to a frame with 4 bearings that roll in a track. the front pivot point will articulate the display up when it comes to the end of the housing. when the front bearings hit the front of the housing the motor will still drive the arm with pivots down forcing the display to rotate up. this should work give me any more ideas if you can. this is my first posting and will show you pictures of the rest of the progress as it comes.
    89ragtopgt
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  10. #10
    Newbie 89ragtopgt's Avatar
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    this would be more compact

    this may work better and have more power to move the display up and more compact.
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