Designing the Screen Cover
While I had the revised and partly-revised dash parts in place, I cut a cardboard panel the same size as the screen to use as a mockup of the screen cover that I wrote about (starting in post#173). Sure enough, it looks like a flip-down cover will work well, and without a lot of complexity. Here's a view of the screen as it will be placed:
I'll change the bezel so it comes out further from the dash. The top of it will be where the top of the screen is, and it will curve smoothly down from there. The cover will hinge at the top of the bezel. It will rotate open and lay on the flat part of the dash. When closed, it will cover the area from the top of the screen to the controls below it. By concealing the screen, I hope to make the dash look less interesting to thieves.
Even though the screen will be vertical, the cover won't be; it can simply swing down and match the angle of the dash, and flow with the shape of the bezel.
I'm planning to fabricate the cover from polyethylene, like the rest of the bezel, and I've already bought both 1/8" and 1/16" black polyethylene sheet material for the carPC project. I'll need a hinge system that rotates about 270 degrees; I can use a simple black continuous hinge like this (one source for this product is here):
. . . or possibly a plastic piano hinge like this (one source for this product is here):
Either way, I should be able to build it in so the hinge is nearly unnoticeable.
The next part of this is to devise an image to adhere to the cover panel. This image should disguise what's underneath. Time to switch hats and become a graphic artist.