Info Screen // Reuse Your Old Monitor Creatively

Introduction: Info Screen // Reuse Your Old Monitor Creatively

Hi!

Welcome to my first Instructables... hope it isn't too bad ;)

Now one thing that is clear with all my creations is that I am a cheapskate who has no expensive tools and only do these projects for fun. This will become even more apparent when I maybe upload more Instructables.

Just for fun, I decided to go super cheap for this project and set myself a budget of 50€ - this included the micro-computer, all cables, the wood etc. Spoiler alert: I overshot that budget.

Just a small but important side note: I really don't have many tools, so if you have the proper tools you can make this much better. Also, my space is highly limited to a space of just 5X3 meters.

I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions/ suggestions.

Supplies:

- Monitor

- Jigsaw

- Woodglue

- Raspberry pi (I used the raspberry pi 3b+)

- Button

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Step 1: The Frame

!!Important!! Before this step, you should disassemble your monitor and check the measurements of the actual monitor part of it.

For the frame, I used some 90° wood (I don't know what the actual name is, but I have attached a picture) and cut that to length. Also, I cut the corners to 45° so that the corners look somewhat decent.

Once I did that, I glued the pieces together and created the frame.

One thing I didn't mention yet is that this was never meant to be an Instructable, so I don't have many pictures of the whole process.

During this step, I also spray painted the frame. This was a mistake as I had to re-do it all later due to scratches and stuff.

Step 2: Insert Monitor Into Frame, Glue and Add a Support Frame

This is a vital step, but also a simple one.

Center your monitor into your new frame, and glue it with a small amount of glue. During this step, lay out all your components and permanently mount them in place. To stop them from shorting, I used some old foam I had lying around.

If you want, you can add the Raspberry pi in this step if you have set it up already.

The most important step, which will affect your monitor wall mounting capability directly if done incorrectly is what I am going to explain now. You need to add another frame (this time made from "solid" wood beams) Around the entire perimeter of the monitor - permanently. You will hang the monitor up with this frame, so it's vital that this part is structurally integral.

Step 3: Add Extra (mostly Unnecessary) Components, Power, Buttons, Fan Etc.

This step is even simpler than all previous steps, including the frame.

I decided to add LED lighting on the frame, which required an 8V circuit (normally they run on 12V, but that was too bright so I switched it to 8V). That's the thing in the bottom left.

The switch and the power distribution can be seen on the left top side. I made this overly complicated - don't do that. The switch is also located there.

On the top right, there is a 12V transformer, which powers the raspberry fan (not necessary) and the LED in the switch (also not necessary).

If I knew more about PCB's and had a multimeter, which I didn't at the time, I could've powered the 12V/8V circuits from that but I didn't sooooo... I made it overly complicated.

Step 4: Paint...

Now is the time to paint your new monitor. I used black paint as it looked natural.

I don't have any pictures of this - just look at the pictures of the finished project above.

Step 5: Final Remarks, Price.

I received many questions when asked why I didn't just use a normal monitor.

There is a simple answer to that: I wanted a cheap, useable all in one that wasn't so expensive.

previously, I mentioned a budget of 50€ - long story short, I overshot that just slightly. Here's a breakdown.

  1. Wood: 5€
  2. paint: 0€ (Had black paint on hand already)
  3. Monitor: 35€
  4. raspberry: 10€ (bought used)
  5. miscellaneous parts: 10€ (this includes the fan and one transformer as I had the other one on hand already)

Total cost: 60€, but it was probably more like 70€ as I probably forgot something.

I'm sure there are many people with better tools could do this better but I just do not have the resources to do any better. I used a jigsaw and some wood glue, and as you may know, you can't exactly cut very straight lines with a jigsaw without extreme precision.

I hope some people try to make this - it is really simple yet cool.

Raspberry Pi Contest 2020

This is an entry in the
Raspberry Pi Contest 2020

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    4 Discussions

    0
    saxondale
    saxondale

    3 days ago

    Hi

    I was attracted by the thumbnail pic of your entry to the competition. Maybe I have missed something, but on reading this instructable it's not clear to me what you made here other than a frame with a monitor and a raspberry Pi inside.

    There are other things visible in the picture that I didn't see mentioned - when you say "lay out all your components and permanently mount them in place." what components are these? Did you dismantle the monitor and mount some of the components from that inside the box?

    0
    _eug
    _eug

    8 days ago

    Building a box and plugging in a few things is straight forward. I was hoping for something more detailed. The title says 'Info Screen' and I expected details on the software side of things.

    0
    zinssmax
    zinssmax

    Reply 5 days ago

    Hey,

    sorry to disappoint. I was going to add this in as an extra step, but the software you have to run is case-specific. I wrote a piece of software that I was going to use, but it was so bugged that I ultimately threw it out.

    If you're interested in what I am using, I am using a modded version of google chromium with a ton of plugins so it reloads, switches tabs and restarts automatically.

    The information I am displaying (Weather, News, train departure times and a webcam) are displayed on custom websites that have been built for this project. What this (and the metric ton of plugins) is doing is switching between the tabs that are displaying my information, reloading them and restarting chromium incase of a power cut.

    I will attempt to fix my software and may someday release it, but it is currently so unusable that I discarded the idea.

    Other than that, the raspberry is running the basic OS. I have, however, modified the auto-off code so it doesn't go to sleep.

    Before I ever turned my idea into reality, I was considering using netvico, which is software specifically for information screens, but ultimately it didn't run properly on my raspberry, which I at this time already had. If you're considering building an info-screen (a full-sized one) then I would also recommend using something more powerful than a raspberry pi.

    Hope this helped,
    Max.

    0
    seamster
    seamster

    23 days ago

    Great reuse, nicely done on your first instructable! : )