Introduction: DIY Portable Mini Monitor

Picture of DIY Portable Mini Monitor

In this project I will show you how I used a 1280x800 LCD Kit to build a battery powered portable mini monitor which is useful for your DSLR camera, your Raspberry Pi or to extend the viewing field of your computer. Let's get started!

Step 1: Watch the Videos!

The 2 parts of this video should give you all the fundamental information you need to build this right. But I will give you some extra pictures and additional tips to make it even easier.

Step 2: Order Your Parts!

Picture of Order Your Parts!

Here you can find all the parts that you need:

Ebay:
1x 1280x800 LCD Kit: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

5x Tactile Push Button: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x 5mm Green & Red LED: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x Slide Switch: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x TP4056 Single Cell Charger: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x XL6009 Boost Converter: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

2x 18650 2800mAh Li-Ion Batteries: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x Tripod Mount: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...

1x Mini Tripod: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1...


Amazon.com:

1x 1280x800 LCD Kit: -

5x Tactile Push Button: http://amzn.to/1dqjng5

1x 5mm Green & Red LED: http://amzn.to/1dqjng5

1x Slide Switch: http://amzn.to/1dqjng5

1x TP4056 Single Cell Charger: -

1x XL6009 Boost Converter: http://amzn.to/1dqjng5

2x 18650 2800mAh Li-Ion Batteries: http://amzn.to/1dqjng5

1x Tripod Mount: http://amzn.to/1dqjng5

1x Mini Tripod: http://amzn.to/1dqjng5


Amazon.de:

1x 1280x800 LCD Kit: -

5x Tactile Push Button: http://amzn.to/1SUCw9Z

1x 5mm Green & Red LED: http://amzn.to/1SUCw9Z

1x Slide Switch: http://amzn.to/1SUCw9Z

1x TP4056 Single Cell Charger: http://amzn.to/1SUCw9Z

1x XL6009 Boost Converter: http://amzn.to/1SUCw9Z

2x 18650 2800mAh Li-Ion Batteries: http://amzn.to/1SUCw9Z

1x Tripod Mount: http://amzn.to/1SUCw9Z

1x Mini Tripod: http://amzn.to/1SUCw9Z


Amazon.co.uk:

1x 1280x800 LCD Kit: -

5x Tactile Push Button: http://amzn.to/1NnDnwI

1x 5mm Green & Red LED: http://amzn.to/1NnDnwI

1x Slide Switch: http://amzn.to/1NnDnwI

1x TP4056 Single Cell Charger: -

1x XL6009 Boost Converter: http://amzn.to/1NnDnwI

2x 18650 2800mAh Li-Ion Batteries: http://amzn.to/1NnDnwI

1x Tripod Mount: http://amzn.to/1NnDnwI

1x Mini Tripod: http://amzn.to/1NnDnwI

Step 3: Build the Case!

Picture of Build the Case!

Here you can find all the measurements for the MDF parts that I created to build the case.

Step 4: Get the Wiring Done!

Picture of Get the Wiring Done!

Just copy my wiring that I created inside the case. This way everything should work fine.

Step 5: Success!

Picture of Success!

You did it. You just created your own portable mini monitor!
Feel free to check out my Youtube channel for more awesome projects:

http://www.youtube.com/user/greatscottlab

You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for news about upcoming projects and behind the scenes information:

https://twitter.com/GreatScottLab

https://www.facebook.com/greatscottlab

Comments

DanielD4 (author)2015-10-21

Or this for about the same price.

http://www.wayengineer.com/102-inch-lcd-tv-with-battery-vga-and-hdmi-interface-p-818.html#.VifeH36rRhE

mapski99 (author)DanielD42017-06-13

Dead link, dead website.

JamesF69 (author)DanielD42015-10-26

I think you kind of missed the point, which is to build something cool, and learn something in the process.

DanielD4 (author)JamesF692015-11-01

You and I obviously have very different perspectives on DIY. I'll only do something myself if A) it serves a purpose for me and B) it saves me money over having someone else do it. For me, DIY is always a necessary evil rather than a source of enjoyment.

jamesfield (author)DanielD42015-11-01

You must value your own time at a very low rate for anything DIY to be cost effective.

Your "perspective" doesn't change the creators goal to educate, and your links to store bought equivalents are out of place in this community of makers.

DanielD4 (author)jamesfield2015-11-02

No disrespect intended...if people like you get enjoyment out of doing things like this, then more power to you. The world needs people like you.

As for me, I'm far more interested in the end result. In this case, my calculus would be something like, "Given a budget of $100, do I have a portable monitor? What was the level of effort I put into that? Hopefully, as little effort as humanly possible. I'll put in more effort only if necessary."

Lots of people visit sites like this for various different reasons. Some of us are cash-crunched and see DIY as a way to get the things we want or need when we might not otherwise be able to fit them into our budgets. My leisure time may be in short supply, but my money is in even shorter supply.

This was simply not one of those cases where DIY reduced the cash outlay. And I'd rather have a bigger screen than a smaller one as long as it's portable.

Make sense?

CoryE10 (author)DanielD42016-12-10

A budget of "$100" with a variable, "the level of effort I put in" is not calculus.. That is reasoning. Maybe there's literacy and numeracy instructables on here. Or maybe you can just buy them.

Why (author)DanielD42016-07-28

Agree; I think it's good to know what alternatives are out there. I must confess that there are literally a plethora of electronic based projects I would love to do here but: a) I don't have the necessary skills; b) I don't have time to acquire them, then implement. So anytime someone has a good idea and there are real alternatives available, I appreciate the info. If there aren't any, I usually must simply forgo trying the project :( In any case, the options are there and no one says you can't proceed with the project despite something else being around.

Lee Wilkerson (author)DanielD42016-07-28

DIYers do things for the joy of building and the educational perspective. What price do you attach to your
education? Just go directly to Amazon or someplace if you aren't
interested in building anything and leave DIY to DIYers.

EmmanuelN9 (author)Lee Wilkerson2016-07-28

I agree 100%, isn't having fun and learning a purpose?

BruceD15 (author)DanielD42015-11-30

i am seeking a native resolution 1080 16" or smaller screen with hdmi input, Have you seen one in your travels?

mapski99 (author)2017-06-13

How long does it last on those batteries?

Edtastic (author)2017-01-06

hello, I ordered the parts and am currently trying to make this, but I am very new to electronics in general. I want to know what is the metal that connects the batteries together? and how would I connect them together if I received two separate batteries?

Edtastic (author)Edtastic2017-01-24

update: I made it!!! I totally made a portable monitor with zero electronics knowledge all thanks to this greatscott guy. you're the best dude!

Nice

wzdl (author)2016-10-04

hi, my arduino says programmer not respondding. It is not a COM port problem or board choice problem, serial port seems to be good as every time I change the speed of serial port, the on board LED falshes.

Could anybody help please.......

DLUCHOVICH (author)2016-09-17

AMAZING!!! idk if i can tackle this though!

joa.zsp (author)2016-07-28

Any chance to build it from an LED screen harvested from old laptop ? It might lower the price of the project right ?! Not sure how to wire it though !!

AlefR (author)joa.zsp2016-09-15

Yes, I would like to make a low cost project taking laptop part, however the controller board LCD will have to be purchased, but have sites that it is much cheaper as the Aliexpress, I will send links to some that I found, I met up with touch screen, it would be a good place touch.

https://pt.aliexpress.com/item/HDMI-VGA-Control-Dr...

OmarS49 (author)joa.zsp2016-08-20

He's got a video on youtube on how to reuse a laptop screen to do something like this.

solargroovy (author)joa.zsp2016-07-28

He has a separate project to re-use a laptop screen: https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-reuse-the-o...

The main problem is that you have to match the hardware and lcd driver code to your screen so your options are limited to finding a compatible controller board with the right software installed. From there, it's more of a construction project than an electronics project, but you can take the lcd, replace the backlight with something more powerful and then expand into smart mirror/window projects

rfitzgerald (author)joa.zsp2016-07-28

You would need one of these, which one depends on the make/model/type of the screen that you want to use but they should all integrate nicely into this project. http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=led+lvds+con...

rfitzgerald (author)joa.zsp2016-07-28

You would need one of these, which one depends on the make/model/type of the screen that you want to use but they should all integrate nicely into this project. http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_nkw=led+lvds+con...

jswann2 (author)2016-08-15

could this be used for an xbox or plugging a pc into on a van?

vatsal22997 (author)2016-08-08

can it be made Bluetooth enabled??

Open waters (author)2016-08-05

Does the orientation of th push button matter.

Thanks

MTspacez (author)2016-07-30

Cool project. You could benefit from a table saw, even one of those table top models will give you cleaner cuts. They aren't overly expensive. I'd check the Harbor Freight tool catalog.

hasues (author)2016-07-28

Good instructable. Tough read due to instructable.com loading the page down with ads.

gungajin (author)hasues2016-07-30

is it instructables that is responsible for those "shopping deals" ads? I thought it was my pc and was quite shocked because normally I can handle that stuff and never have that kind of sh..

AgniP (author)hasues2016-07-30

hello sir,

my self Harish prasad whether it is possible to do or not coz i wanted to try it once

fjr_scoot (author)2016-07-28

WOW! Great Instructable. Thank you.

ColinM84 (author)2016-07-28

i love things like this, & now i am in to remote control models like tanks, battleships,

plans, helicopters, submarines, i am working on making my own now, + i am in to making computers now.

EmmanuelN9 (author)ColinM842016-07-28


Whats next I wonder.....

grayl (author)2016-07-28

Still waiting for the measurements in Step 3 ;-)

MichaelP212 (author)grayl2016-07-28

The measurements are on each item in the photo.

grayl (author)MichaelP2122016-07-28

Thanks, it was not obvious to my tired old eyes.

ramachandrang4 (author)2016-07-28

nice sir

RaymondR6 (author)2016-07-28

Great project, but it uses a prefabricated LCD and video board. I believe many wish for a cheaper project using a LCD and electronics from an existing device (smartphone, tablet, etc). I see the external interfacing as the main problem, but it can be done.

bobrosco (author)RaymondR62016-07-28

i can even buy an cheap 7 inch tablet for less then he bought that lcd for. I think archos had a 7 inch tablet on the market here in the 50-60 range. And that is including a pretty good battery and a built in charger and everything.

RaymondR6 (author)bobrosco2016-07-28

Yes, that size is okay. I see a 5-inch screen as the practical limit for a small handheld monitor, unless the font size can be increased. I have seen a small 2-inch LCD but only had a 4x16 font size for text. The smallest monitor could be a wearable one-inch LCD with an eyepiece to see a virtual screen as big as 12 inches floating ahead. That would be a great project, too!

sinzu (author)2016-07-28

nice done with very comon tools.

my advice: you should add some holes on the bottom and on the top of your case to allow some air flow and help evacuate the heat generated by the batteries, chargers and screen. It will help to increase the time of life of your monitor.

eGadgetGuy (author)2016-07-28

Awesome, but I do'nt like wood or anything like it for electronic projects. Lexan or Plexiglass is cheaper, lighter, and stronger. for the bezel you could cut the one sheet to fit the monitor casing and another, possibly thinner one, to cover the non-viewing area.

JS7777 (author)2016-07-18

Why did you use a DPDT 6pin slide switch and not a 3pin one ?

eGadgetGuy (author)JS77772016-07-28

He's opening both + and - circuits. You only need to open the + to turn it off...

KennethW48 (author)JS77772016-07-28

He is using the switch to apply both - and + to the circuit. But there is really no reason to do this IMHO. Only one side needs to be 'lifted' to break the circuit, and the standard is to 'lift' the + leg.

mattcintosh (author)2016-07-28

I picked up about 18 new 5" touch screen panels that I think were spares for some industrial equipment. I have them listed here if anyone is interested or wants to make me an offer (I only have 6 listed, I got more later, but didn't get time to check them over)

http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-SGD-Solomon-Goldentek-LM7810FBL-97-02614-97-02559-5-Touch-Screen-/331894465456

JoséR41 (author)2016-07-28

Hi Great Scott.

It's very nice this job you've made. I was looking for something like that por a new project.

I noticed at minute 2:00 from the first video that when you started the R Pi you can read at the screen "Android 4.4". Please, what are you using on the Pi to run Android? I'm very interested on using a Pi, Android and a screen.

Thanks and congratulations for your work.

KennethW48 (author)2016-07-28

For the box, I like to find pre-made boxes that fit, OR buy plexiglass. you can gen it transparent or white or black. Get a thin sheet and cut one to fit the monitor and another to fit the view-able screen area and glue them together. much nicer looking and less work. Also, plexiglass or Lexan or something like that is lighter and stronger.

saadhm made it! (author)2016-03-24

no

BeniR3 (author)2016-02-28

Hi, I've got a question: How heavy is your whole monitor?

I'm thinking about using it as a "field-monitor", but my adjustable Arm can only support up to 2 Kg.

I've already made the monitor with the Laptop-screen but this thing weighs more than 3 Kg. It's good enough to use it at home, but i must bring a second tripod so i can use it outside.

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