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  • Vacuum Fluorescent Display in Rear View Mirror

    Has anybody done this? I've been thinking about it since Road Runner and Centrafuse support LCD's. I've had good success with voice control and thought that embedding a VFD in a custom built one-way rear view mirror might be a pretty cool way to get info on what song is playing, etc.
    Originally posted by ghettocruzer
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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    -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

  • #2
    I havn't done it myself, but I have seen it done. Trying to remember where, I don't think it was here... I think they used LEDs instead of a VFD tho. If you go forward with it, I'd definately like to see your results. I'd like to try it myself, but I'm already elbow deep in a rebuild

    Do it!

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    • #3
      i'm doing this right now. i haven't made much progress but i have all the parts at my house (except for the 1-way mirror)
      New System in progress:
      M10k
      Phaze TD1500 ~> Dynaudio MD130
      Phaze TD1500 ~> Seas g18rnx/p
      Zapco Ref 500.1 ~ 12" tc-9
      Behringer DCX2496 ~ Envision Electronics psu
      Transflective Xenarc

      My Car Pc Install
      My Boat Pc worklog

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      • #4
        Do you have an idea of where to get the 1 way mirror? I was considering just getting some 1 way mylar tinting material. If the VFD is bright enough, it shouldn't matter.
        Originally posted by ghettocruzer
        I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
        Want to:
        -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
        -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

        Comment


        • #5
          There's a spy/surveillance shop in downtown DC near the corner of 16th and K NW. Don't remember their name but they do have a window display. They may deal with that kind of stuff. Also, at the corner of Glebe and Columbia Pike in VA is a Cop Shop - mostly handcuffs, batons, etc but they also may have that kind of stuff. And finally, in the Edsal Road Industrial Park is ADI, an alarm/security supplier. They're next door to Arcade Electronics. ADI normally only sells to licensed alarm companies but I was able to get them to sell me some IR repeaters directly.

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          • #6
            The attached picture is from an old car audio magazine (don't remember which one) that I had scanned as a future idea to incorporate. The text that went along with the picture is:

            "The factory rearview mirror holds a couple of its own display surprises. For starters, an Accele LCD2.5R 2.5-inch color monitor was sculpted into the mirror. Part of the reflective surface was etched away by hand, leaving a window through which the monitor peers. The monitor was also disassembled, and its electronic componentry was stashed into the headliner, with a ribbon cable connecting the pieces. A similar process was used to install a remote visual display for a ValentineOne radar detector. The directional arrows and proximity indicators glow red in the mirror. The rest of the detector sits slightly aft of the mirror in an enclosure formed from more ABS plastic and wrapped in tan suede to match the Lexus' interior."

            I've got another article where a guy moved the entire headunit display to the mirror - I'll post it when I find it.

            But if your goal is to not see the display when its off, then also check out the Audi A4 convertible. New for this year is a mirror with a transflective display for the compass option in the upper right. It doesn't have the blacked-out area when its off like Gentex mirrors - it appears to not have a compass when its off. When its on, you can see the display clearly. Since Audi is part of VAG, maybe the mirror is transplantable to the Beetle.
            Attached Files

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bugbyte
              Do you have an idea of where to get the 1 way mirror? I was considering just getting some 1 way mylar tinting material. If the VFD is bright enough, it shouldn't matter.
              How is a one way mirror going to help you?
              Think about it!

              Comment


              • #8
                If you've ever seen a one way mirror up close, then you know that its not perfectly blocking light in one direction. You need it to be dark on the other side to prevent even some light from getting through. Stop by the customer service desk at Best Buy and look at their one way mirror. If the lights are on in the office, you'll make out a little of the room inside.

                By using the VFD display, he'll purposely shine light through, though it will be dimmed, but with it off, you won't even know the display is there.

                My question is what have you, Bugbyte, thought about the bright/dim setting? What I mean is, what will you do when someone's headlights behind you are too bright - you won't have the option to flip the mirror up. And for anyone, what is the proper name of the function I'm talking about?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Saab9-5
                  By using the VFD display, he'll purposely shine light through, though it will be dimmed, but with it off, you won't even know the display is there.
                  Ah, ok apologies. Maybe I've not spend enough time in police stations, or pressing my face up against best-buy windows.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Saab9-5
                    you won't have the option to flip the mirror up. And for anyone, what is the proper name of the function I'm talking about?
                    It's polarised.

                    Comment


                    • #11

                      Quote:
                      Originally Posted by Saab9-5
                      you won't have the option to flip the mirror up. And for anyone, what is the proper name of the function I'm talking about?


                      It's polarised.
                      No, it's not polarized. He means the Day/Night lever. Polarized means it blocks light waves aligned along a certain axis to reduce glare.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Khumpty
                        No, it's not polarized. He means the Day/Night lever. Polarized means it blocks light waves aligned along a certain axis to reduce glare.
                        Yes, doofus, that's done by polarisation

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                        • #13
                          No, it's not. It's done by splitting incident light into a small fraction that is reflected from the front surface of the mirror and a larger fraction that is reflected from the rear surface in a slightly different direction. This reduces the overall intensity of the light that reaches your eyes.

                          I'm not being an ***, but so far you've made the following comments which have both been incorrect and ill informed:

                          How is a one way mirror going to help you?
                          Think about it!
                          and

                          Yes, doofus, that's done by polarisation

                          Maybe you should be a little more careful where you throw around the doofus word.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Saab9-5
                            My question is what have you, Bugbyte, thought about the bright/dim setting? What I mean is, what will you do when someone's headlights behind you are too bright - you won't have the option to flip the mirror up. And for anyone, what is the proper name of the function I'm talking about?
                            Thanks for the supplier info! I can see you are a local!

                            I intend to duplicate the mirror's physical characteristics. It's a wedge shape. From How Stuff Works.com:

                            "If you stand in front of a normal window in your house at night (inside the house, with the indoor lights ON), you will be able to see your reflection in the glass quite clearly. A car's mirror takes advantage of the same effect.

                            The mirror is not ground flat -- the front glass surface is at an angle to the back (mirrored) surface. So if you looked at this mirror out of its casing, it would be wedge-shaped with the thicker edge at the top. When you "flip" the mirror, the back mirrored surface actually points toward the dark ceiling, so you don't see that image. What you see instead is the image reflecting off the front of the glass, and this is much dimmer that the pure reflected image so it does not hurt your eyes."

                            But I'm also intrigued with the suggestion that I had remove some of the etching to emulate a one way mirror effect. The Audi mirror is exactly what I want - appearance of a stock mirror but with the hidden display underneath.

                            I'm thinking I'll get some "practice" mirrors from the hardware store and try various grades of ultra fine sandpaper on them to see if I can uniformly remove some, but not all of the silvering.

                            Thanks for the tips so far, guys.
                            Originally posted by ghettocruzer
                            I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
                            Want to:
                            -Find out about the new iBug iPad install?
                            -Find out about carPC's in just 5 minutes? View the Car PC 101 video

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was also thinking about doing this.. I have a 2x16 (maybe 2x20) VFD ready to stash in there.. I was originally thinking about putting a small 1.6" LCD that I have lying around but it's too thick.

                              The VFD is pretty thick also, so I will have to cut a hole in the back of the mirror housing and then fiberglass over the VFD (there will be a little hump on the back of the rearview mirror housing)..

                              As for one-way (also called two-way) mirrors, I was thinking about using mirrored Plexiglas which comes in a two-way variety. If there are multiple people interested, we could get a large sheet and cut it amongst ourselves.

                              I was also going to try getting Plexiglas locally and try some mirror car tint I have lying around as I've heard this works also, only problem being I'm not sure how well the mirrored surface will be (I'd still like to be able to see behind me clearly)..

                              Anyway, I'll let you guys know once I start on this..

                              jason

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