Computing stuff tied to the physical world

Touch screen mount

In Hardware on Jan 17, 2011 at 00:01

Electronics design is trivial compared to mechanical design, I tell you!

I’ve been looking at creating a Touch Screen option for the Graphics Board. In theory, it’s simple – just combine these two parts:

Dsc 2413

But how?

What I’d like to end up with of course, is that the touch screen is firmly held in place in front of the GLCD display:

Dsc 2414

The width of this touch panel is perfect. The touch surface is slightly higher than the 128×64 GLCD, but that could actually be used to create a couple of extra “fixed” buttons, perhaps even with some LEDs – right above the display itself (or below, if we turn the whole thing around).

It’s not hard to create a one-off mounting setup: just hot-glue the thing together, with plastic, wood, or foam-board. But that’s hardly a solution for others to replicate. And this really is one of those cases where the end result needs to look sharp, IMO. I’d really like to use this as a small self-contained unit for display and control of a few variables as part of a home-automation setup. So it better be robust. And battery powered, if possible.

The headache is the mechanical part… suggestions would be most welcome!

  1. Check out the below link. They have touch panels that look to fit what you have for US $7.00 or a LCD with touch panel for US $24.00.

    • The Nintendo DS lite panel which JC and I have both used can be sourced even cheaper than $7 if you look around. I paid approx $4 for mine.

      The 128×64 with TouchPanel looks interesting though. Pity the site doesn’t give any information on the items. The touch panel certainly looks like a 4 wire resistive like the DS panel, and the LCD could very well be an ST7565 device too, in which case it would would with glcdlib. Nice find!

      Having said that, the extra touch area the DS panel has (because it’s 4:3 ratio and the 128×64 is “widescreen”) is, as JC suggests, handy for a few default buttons that every app might need. Up, down, left and right for example, or up, down, yes and no. No need to just have 4 though, you could have more, the touch panel is accurate enough to support far more “buttons”, although implementing a full QWERTY keyboard might be pushing the limit with just the little overhanging “spare” area.

      Now if only would could find a box!

  2. hi there! your GLCD graphics library seems to be based on the original ST5765 code library on github which is LGPL if so, please license it under LGPL


  3. I might have said it before : design it in CAD then let Shapeways 3D-print the shape. If you give my the dimensions or a scribbled drawing, I can make the CAD for you if you want (will take a minute or two, because I’m new to it myself..)

    or hotglue a mold together and make resin casts yourself, but let me tell you, that is a hobby in it’s own right.

    Shapeways facilitates that you let others print/buy your design, so people can get their own casing based on your CAD work.

  4. Hi, where did you buy that adapter for the touch screen flat cable?


  5. one very useful option for front panels I once heard was creating it out of pcb. You can even add some electronics on the “inside”

    it is very much in the area of most people here, series producible, very easy to add some text with a nice silk screen

  6. Have a look on this nice display with touchscreen.

    • Definitely a very interesting low-cost display! (probably not readable without backlight)

    • That Watterott display adapter must be somewhat slow, because you can only use SPI interface and with this full colour display it isn’t fast (using with AVR 16 MHz SPI at maximum speed).

      I have TFT-Proto from mikroe that uses the same display, but allows to choose between serial and parallel interfaces. I tried the SPI, then moved to 8 bit parallel witch is much quicker. Of cource the latter is hardly optimal for a low pincount device like JeeNode.

  7. What are the exact sizes for the touchscreen and the lcd

  8. Yes it needs backlight (3-5V), works with the jeenode.

  9. I’ve been struggling finding a nice box with mounting +holes for the 16×2/4 LCD. Anyone know of any standard cases / housings.

    • I feel your pain! The 16×2/4 and 20×4 are nice panels, but they have such huge circuit boards mounted on the back of them!

  10. I’m starting work this week making cases for my JeeNodes using acrylic (plexiglas) and my schools laser cutter. Shouldn’t be too hard to design something that can also hold a screen. Maybe this is the excuse I’ve been waiting for to order one of these.

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