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Ask Slashdot: Hobbyist-Ready LCD Touch Panel For Embedded Projects?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the you-could-take-my-stack-of-dead-laptops dept.

Displays 142

michael_cain writes "I've been asked (by family, friends) to consider several small embedded controller projects. A good starting point for all of them would be a backlit LCD graphics module with touch screen pre-mounted in a plastic enclosure with enough room behind the display for a custom circuit board. 320-by-240 pixels, 3.5 to 4.5 inch diagonal measure, monochrome is sufficient (but color is always cool), easily driven by an AVR or PIC type microcontroller. And priced at a reasonable point for a hobbyist! Anyone seen anything like this?"

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Largest I've found so far. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102449)

http://www.adafruit.com/products/376

2.8", touch screen, colour. /shrugs/

Re:Largest I've found so far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102615)

Too bad it's a resistive touch screen, capacitive would be much better.

Re:Largest I've found so far. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103843)

Do resistives need calibration? We have some capacitive ones used in our products and that's a severe irritation.

Re:Largest I've found so far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40104095)

>Do resistives need calibration? We have some capacitive ones used in our products and that's a severe irritation.

yes.

$14 insignia infocast 3.5 inch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102655)

These used to go for $14 :
http://www.amazon.com/Insignia-Infocast-Internet-Media-Display/dp/B004HJN4I0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337887910&sr=8-1
Now there are a bit more as the stock is rapidly sold out.
They are basically open source ARM touchscreen with 3.5" displays.
http://www.chumby.com

Gotta love marketing (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102825)

'This TFT display is big (2.8" diagonal)'
At least they don't say "cheap" or "low cost"at 70 bucks.

Re:Largest I've found so far. (3, Informative)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103417)

adafruit carries several kinds of screens in different sizes. They appear to be designed to work with cheaper cellphones. Refresh and io rates can be slow. You can either get the bare screens with plastic ribbon hanging on them or get them with a little controller board. Save yourself the headache and get one with a control board. Most of them include code to interface with Arduino and/or other hobby microcontrollers.

The data transfer rates on those i/o boards usually aren't fast enough to support video. On some of them you can actually watch it refresh, it's like unpacking a gif on a computer 15 years ago. So they work better for simple interfaces and displaying text (without scrolling) than for images. But you can draw icons as long as you don't get carried away.

The demo code is often not properly optimized either, so you can get more out of them if you are ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work on their "drivers". I was able to reduce full screen image render on one here from 2.8 seconds to 650ms by recoding the higher level io layer that was in the driver sketch. (didn't have to mess with the library)

I haven't used the touch interfaces yet, but it does add an additional level of complexity with the programming and with the io pin requirements on your controller. If you are going to be rendering icons or images, insist on one that has a sd card adapter built onto the io board, otherwise you are going to need to get one of those separately also to load the images from, which will further add to the cost, complexity, and io pin requirements.

Re:Largest I've found so far. (2)

vasago17 (972827) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103795)

Try this one for $29: TFT 3.2" 320*240 With SD Touch Module (Arduino Compatible) http://www.satistronics.com/tft-32-320240-with-sd-touch-module-arduino-compatible_p2888.html [satistronics.com]

liquidware.com (1)

RumorControl (82735) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102453)

android, beagle or arduino versions of what you need

Old smart phone (2)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102455)

says it all

Re:Old smart phone (4, Informative)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102897)

Yes, this is the way to go. Grab an older Android phone.

Fuck micro-controllers, just write an app. It's got wifi, bluetooth, ethernet (I assume that can be done over USB easily), haptic feedback...what else do you want on a hobby board?

Re:Old smart phone (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103351)

...what else do you want on a hobby board?

The pleasure of doing something yourself?
Hobbyists are more or less the same no matter their particular hobby.
In the remote control world, I've come across guys who could pay for whatever they wanted,
instead they spend their nights and weekends engineering designs and hand fabricating parts.

Haven't you ever heard the expression that the journey is as important as the destination?

Re:Old smart phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103839)

Hobbyist motivations very. Some are interested in proving the concept, some are interested in the labor of love. I personally hate exercising the skills of fabrication because I think it's boring and take them for granted. I want to demonstrate ideas as workable.

Re:Old smart phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102931)

The parent may have been a little terse, but an older smartphone or PDA seems to be a very good fit for what you're describing and may have more processing power. Older PDAs (I'm thinking Palm compatible or CE from the same era) already have RS232 as well.

Not recommended. (4, Insightful)

gmarsh (839707) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102933)

There's a few issues with smartphone screens. Given enough effort you can make pretty much anything work, but here's what you'll be up against:

- Knowing what all the pinouts/connectors/voltages/signal levels are.

- Data format: Most of these screens require a proper graphics controller to drive them, capable of clocking RGB data out of a framebuffer into the panel at a pixel clock of several MHz. You might be able to do this with a PIC32, but your code will be blasting data at the panel 99% of the time. You're in the territory of ARM7/ARM9 processors with SDRAM hanging off them when you're making a bare RGB LCD panel work.

- Power: You'll likely have to generate a backlight voltage, and possibly even bias voltages for the LCD panel itself. The LCD may also run at a different voltage node (3.3V or less) while your AVR might end up being 5.0V.

- Touchscreen: Resistive touchscreen isn't too hard to manage. If it's a capacitive touchscreen you might be able to wire it up to an AVR and use their QTouch libraries to make it work. But I'll warn, prototyping a capacitive touch system can be an exercise in frustration - it's not bad when everything sits in one place on a PCB, but you can't breathe on an airwired capacitive touch system without screwing it up.

Honestly, you're best off finding a "smart LCD" with a built-in controller, with a simple SPI/UART/8-bit-parallel/etc interface. Adafruit has an Arduino compatible one up on their site which might be a good starting point, I'm sure there'll be plenty of other suggestions posted here.

Or hell, you're better off keeping the smartphone whole and finding a way to reprogram it to do what you want.

Re:Not recommended. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103133)

Or hell, you're better off keeping the smartphone whole and finding a way to reprogram it to do what you want.

I think that's exactly what LanMan04 meant.

Or are you the type of person who takes apart old Pentium IV machines and tries to make a space heater out of it?

Re:Not recommended. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103263)

I did this with an old OLD pre-full-MIPS HP/UX server (had a hard switch that could take it between MIPS mode and Domain/OS mode that you'd flip while it was off).

It was more efficient at keeping the room warm than my space heater, so...

Re:Not recommended. (1)

schroedingers_hat (2449186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103275)

I think that's exactly what LanMan04 meant.

Or are you the type of person who takes apart old Pentium IV machines and tries to make a space heater out of it?

You're right, why would one pull apart a Pentium IV machine to make a space heater when it's already a space heater?

Re:Not recommended. (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103505)

It might have been what LanMan04 meant, but it does sound like the person is more interested in the build process rather than the end result.

As such then if you recommend a device, it's probably going to be ripped apart and used for parts. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Re:Not recommended. (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103937)

Or hell, you're better off keeping the smartphone whole and finding a way to reprogram it to do what you want.

Pretty sure this this exactly what was meant.

Re:Not recommended. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40105343)

And you're an idiot. Use the whole phone, not just the screen, dumbass.

An old Android phone or tablet can be rooted to run anything you want. It's a full Linux system with large nice touchscreen, speakers, wifi, USB, accelerometer and other sensors. You can't build something with even a fraction of the features for the same cost.

Re:Old smart phone (2)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103219)

Install VNC on a cheap SmartPhone and display whatever you want remotely from another computer.

yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102459)

It' called a tablet PC - they are a dime a dozen nowadays

Re:yes (1)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102661)

This is no way answers his question.

Re:yes (2)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102751)

Dunno, without knowing exactly what his planned use is, odds are a COTS solution is something to consider. A cheap tablet or phone that can be hacked to get a bit of I/O or that has USB host mode support just might be the fastest and cheapest way to solve the problem. After all he wants a bitmapped touchscreen and driving that is outside what I'd want to be doing on most AVRs, especially ones available in DIP packages.

Re:yes (5, Funny)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102783)

What the fuck is it with people suggesting "get a Tablet" to almost every single question that comes up these days?

"My car has trouble starting in the mornings..."
"Get a tablet!"

"My pool filter seems not to be doing it's job very well lately..."
"Dude, tablet!!"

"What's the best product to get stains out of concrete?"
"TABLET!!!!!!!!!!!"

Tablets are great for some applications, but not every application that involves tech in any way, shape, or form.

Re:yes (5, Funny)

localman57 (1340533) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102885)

I feel like perhaps you would be a less angry person if you had an iPad. Have you considered getting an iPad? Also, decaf. Decaf is good.

Re:yes (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40105015)

I hear Apple is already at work on the iPad 12, and it will come with an app to make decaf lattes... and another that will make your cat's liter box smell like African Violets...

my doctor loves tablets (3, Funny)

swschrad (312009) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103039)

he gives them to me for almost everything I've got.

Re:yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103097)

They made a movie about the tablet you are referring to, except they called it the monolith.

Re:yes (1)

nani popoki (594111) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103213)

Get a tablet. Preferably a tranquilizar tablet.

Re:yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103639)

Get a tablet. Preferably a tranquilizar tablet.

Run a spell-check before submitting. Preferably an English spell-check.

Re:yes (1)

chromas (1085949) | more than 2 years ago | (#40104717)

You prefer gel caps over tablets?

Re:yes (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103801)

They're more than a dime a dozen but at $49 [bensoutlet.com] for a 7" touchscreen it's hard to ignore them as an option for this project.

Automotive forums? (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102471)

Sounds like the kind of thing that people who build in-car systems would know about.

Liquidware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102475)

Try these guys, they have all kinds of cool stuff for the type of application you describe: http://www.liquidware.com/

Here's an Arduino (5, Informative)

YasonRohan (2647035) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102477)

Re:Here's an Arduino (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103951)

MOD UP!

Nice find!

Description: SMART GPU
Intelligent Embedded Graphics Processor.

Price: $89.00 USD

-We ship Worldwide directly to your door!

Mikroe has them (no package) (4, Informative)

Matt_Bennett (79107) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102481)

MikroElectronika [mikroe.com] has some for various microcontrollers- they don't have packaging, but the whole thing is pretty self contained. The link above is for Microchip PIC32, but there are a bunch of other microcontroller boards available from them.

SparkFun and eBay (2)

bryantthesmith (862805) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102485)

Check out SparkFun or equivalent. I've also seen some on eBay for as little as $20. http://www.sparkfun.com/categories/147 [sparkfun.com]

Re:SparkFun and eBay (1)

ANonyMouser (2641869) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102543)

I saw a DS screen that had been adapted for the SparkFun for sale.

Sparkfun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102501)

sparkfun.com has tons of resources for hobbyist electronics, including LCD modules. I interfaced a Nokia LCD module from them with my Defcon 15 badge.

A Good Start (0, Flamebait)

gavron (1300111) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102549)

I know... you want help finding the touch screen. I'd love to help. Let me jump to the beginning.

> I've been asked (by family, friends) to consider several small embedded controller projects. A good starting point for all of them...

No, that's YOUR bias showing through. A good starting point would be to
a. List the problem you're trying to solve or the process you're trying to improve
b. Identify the right technology to do that. It MAY be that it's embedded controllers and it MAY be that they require a touch-screen, but seeing as we've been in the industrial age for hundreds of years and the electronic age for decades, and touch-screens for dozens, that MAY NOT be the magical answer to everything.
c. Choose the right combination of b to solve a.

Good luck with that. I think your (family, friends) have asked the wrong guy. You're biased toward embedded controllers and touch screens.
I don't know how you'll make sure my lawn waters regularly (hint: mechanical timer), my lights turn on at dusk and off at dawn (hint: opto-electric switch),
and how my car turns its headlights on magically when the sun goes down (cluebyfour: it's not embedded nor touchscreen).

When all you have in your head is a hammer, the world looks like a nail.

You're the wrong tool.

E

Re:A Good Start (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102663)

"I don't know how you'll make sure my lawn waters regularly (hint: mechanical timer), my lights turn on at dusk and off at dawn (hint: opto-electric switch),"

Mechanical = things to break. My digital Toro sprinkler box is just fine, TYVM.

Also, photo-switches? Please. Those things get even a decent full moon and they don't go, or if they do go and you're running HID, you blow the ballast or bulb (that's what's happening at my store right now, in fact.) THOSE you put on timed circuits as well.

Your own solutions SUCK. Just FYI.

can't tell if you're serious (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40104921)

A digital sprinker box is still going to have mechanical parts in it.

Putting lights on a simple timer would be messed up around here--depending on time of year the length of the day varies from 5 hrs to 17 hrs. The proper solution for lights is a photosensor with averaging and hysteresis.

Re:A Good Start (1)

Tmann72 (2473512) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102695)

Considering you know next to nothing about him, his friends, his family, or even the projects in question i'd say you are making an awful lot of conjecture and sprinkling a nice handful of insults in there while your at it. Maybe you are the one wielding the hammer, and showing bias.

Re:A Good Start (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102749)

gavron:

I didn't see a question in the original post asking you to display your arrogance.

troll much? need a hug?

E

Re:A Good Start (1)

gavron (1300111) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102981)

Hi anonymous-E, you write:
"I didn't see a question in the original post"

At the top of the page, see the squiggly thing on the right side:
"Ask Slashdot: Hobbyist-Ready LCD Touch Panel For Embedded Projects?"

You add:
"asking you to display your arrogance... troll much? need a hug?

It's not arrogance to point out the OP has a bias toward both embedded systems and touch-screens.
It's not even trolling to suggest to him [and other posters] that there are other methods of SOLVING PROBLEMS
but step one is to identify said PROBLEMS and step two is to work on SOLUTIONS. One doesn't start from
"hey um er uh like yeah which touch-screen should I use with my embedded system answer to everything that
my family and friends [please don't let me die of laughter] asked me to solve"

I accept your hug. Thank you :)

E
(lest anyone wonder, I am me, Ehud Gavron, and the anonymous E is not me, and I'm neither conversing with
myself nor offering myself a hug. It just appears someone else signs their posts the same way. I'm never anonymous.)

Re:A Good Start (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102755)

There are LOTS of ideas I have that cant be decided if they are viable or not until hands-on research is done. How else do we determine if the proposed solution truly is the right tool for the job? Right now his plan just might be 'source a cheap LCD, attach to Arduino, see if it is viable for the ideas they already have..'

Offtopic: If you have a MECHANICAL lawn timer, it is very old. I installed automatic lawn sprinklers all through college in the summer, in the 90s, and it was all digital control even then. Once in a blue moon id get a service call with a mechanical one. Is it fully mechanical with hydraulic valves or mechano-electrical?

Re:A Good Start (1)

xmundt (415364) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102779)

Greetings and Salutations;
While you have a point here, this is a bit of a harsh evaluation, especially since we do not have any information on the projects the OP speaks of. I can think of half a dozen places in Home Automation, for example, where a small, cheap, embedded controller, with a touch screen, would be a great answer.
While the solutions you propose are, in general, quite workable, what they lack is flexibility. For example, a mechanical timer WILL spray water at the same time, for the same volume, but, it has no way of knowing if it is pouring rain. Nor, for that matter does it know if the drought conditions have depleted the water levels in the landscaping more quickly than normal. These can easily be dealt with by a smart controller, with a couple of sensors added to it. Your second example, turning the lights on at dusk and off at dawn is specific enough that one would likely not gain a lot by automating it beyond a simple switch. However, what about a very cloudy day? also, what about turning the lights off when it is still dark? I will give you the car headlight example with no argument, though, as that is pretty well defined.
          Pleasant dreams
          dave mundt

Re:A Good Start (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102861)

Yeah the question didn't make much sense. "I've been asked (by family, friends) to consider several small embedded controller projects." --- Why are they asking you for embedded projects? Are they bored? Or is there some other goal they want to achieve? It's unclear.

If the mission is to learn programming, I'd hand them a copy of BASIC for their computer, and have at it.

Re:A Good Start (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 2 years ago | (#40104135)

If the mission is to learn programming, I'd hand them a copy of BASIC for their computer, and have at it.

Hmm. I don't understand why you'd want to sabotage their mission by handing them BASIC though. :-(

Re:A Good Start (1)

dark12222000 (1076451) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103077)

You have absolutely no idea what he's been asked to do. Maybe his friends have asked him to make a beer dispenser with an integrated touchscreen, or a slick temperature controller for a freezer.

I think you're biased towards being a bit dumb.

Currently, touch screens are a bit pricey, and can be a bit messy to work with. Though it's less awesome, a serial lcd backpack with a few buttons can be had for 20$ or less. That being said, some of the off brand chumby clones might work well for getting a touch screen if you don't mind some disassembly and some light hacking.

Adruino displays (1)

Michael Meissner (520083) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102587)

I am just starting to get into Arduino programming, and I see various sellers. I tend to be more interested in the 2.4 and 2.2" diagonal LCD, many of which have touch screens than the larger ones. Lets see: Adafruit has a 2.8" LCD + touchscreen for $40 (though it is on backorder); I see various ebay sellers (e4u2011, isecsv110, yyli666 are ones I've marked) have 2.4" displays + touchscreen + SD reader for $20.

noritake-itron TFT All In One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102589)

noritake-itron TFT All In One, great futures, but horrible to program :D
http://www.noritake-itron.com/TFT/

Cheap Android Tablet (2)

Stealth Dave (189726) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102595)

I've looked into something similar to use as a controller/receiver for a whole house audio system, and you may want to look at a cheap Android-based device, some of which can be had for less than $50. For that price you get a resistive touch screen at around 320x240, 8G storage, stereo output, 256M RAM, WiFi, USB and a Java-based OS with plenty of apps pre-built and a well established development community.

For a small 4" device, Google "benss android". I was able to find half a dozen listings for this under $50. (Haven't tried it, though.) Also, Big Lots in the US regularly sells 7" refurb tablets for $70.

- Stealth Dave

Amulet Technologies (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102599)

Amulet Displays allow you to separate the UI (dedicated UI chip w/ display) from the execution and run it via an event driven framework. You can code it or it has a drag and drop version.

www.amulettechnologies.com

7 and 8 inchs sizes at LogicSupply (3, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102623)

http://www.logicsupply.com/categories/touchscreen_displays [logicsupply.com]

They might be more expensive than you're looking for, but they have a nice selection.

Re:7 and 8 inchs sizes at LogicSupply (1)

beckman101 (736105) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102879)

These are all VGA interface, so difficult to drive directly from a microcontroller. You can use one of these as the VGA interface: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/10593 [sparkfun.com]

Re:7 and 8 inchs sizes at LogicSupply (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 2 years ago | (#40105115)

Similarly, if you want HDMI in, just search Ebay for things like this: hdmi touch lcd monitor
They start around $150.

Anglia Springboard (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102681)

You want an Anglia PIC32 Springboard!

http://www.anglia-displays.com/evalBoards/evalBoards.asp

I have no connection to them except being a happy customer. We used their kit with a little 3.7" display to develop an industrial control device and the project went smooth as silk.
The examples they provide actually compile and work as-is (what a novelty), and the Microchip Graphics Library is as good as you'll get for free and doesn't have too many bugs while performing acceptably.

Easily driven? (1)

niks42 (768188) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102685)

"easily driven by an AVR or PIC type microcontroller" ... Hmmmm ... the main feature of the HD44780-type alpha LCD is that it is a static device, containing its own memory. The content is scanned by the hardware on the interface board.

If you want similar functionality with a mono or color big size LCD, you have to have something in the way between the AVR and the LCD itself that is going to retain a display memory so that the LCD can be continually refreshed (and don't try to do that with an AVR). You could do worse than putting an FPGA board in the way with a VGA interface on it - that way you could drive any number of LCD monitors .. talk to the FPGA via a serial protocol of some sort and have it maintain a color alphanumeric, or alpha + limited graphic display, or with enough memory a full graphics display. Boards like a papilio (http://papilio.cc/) with a VGA wing would do the job.

HP touch monitor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102715)

good price too, HP L2105tm ~250.00

recommended by manufacturers of Radio systems designed to be touch controled

Mimo capacitive touchscreens up to 10" (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102737)

We embed these in our Atom-driven products to run GUIs and they work like a champ.

Mimo 7" USB touchscreen [mimomonitors.com] = $180

Mimo 10" USB touchscreen [mimomonitors.com] = $260

We use NT embedded but these also have OSX drivers, and if you want to use these with Unix you're not alone [freedesktop.org] .

Mini2440 (1)

internet-redstar (552612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102743)

Why not go to a FriendlyARM Mini2440? For about $150 you can pick it up from http://www.aliexpress.com/ [aliexpress.com] and you have a full fledged Linux board with plenty of i/o and touch screen...
Happy hacking! Jasper

The point? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102761)

Ok, not too hard to find touch LCD panels online, but I wonder just what is the point of this device you are attempting to make?

There are so many products in just about the size you are looking for I have to wonder why not either go with one of those products, either as the final device or a basis to create the device you want out of it?

Re:The point? (1)

Michael Meissner (520083) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103253)

Ok, not too hard to find touch LCD panels online, but I wonder just what is the point of this device you are attempting to make?

I would imagine the point is the OP wants to build something him/herself.

There are so many products in just about the size you are looking for I have to wonder why not either go with one of those products, either as the final device or a basis to create the device you want out of it?

Well for one thing, building things has its own rewards. But also, a lot of times commerical products don't necessarily have the bells and whistles you want. The way I read the OP's post, he was already at the hobbiest electronics stage, and presumably wanted to advance beyond the simple blinky light stage. He/she wanted to know what was available in terms of displays.

Re:The point? (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103383)

He/she wanted to know what was available in terms of displays.

It is easy enough to find general LCD touchscreens for hobbyists, that is just a google search away.

To be able to recommend the best one for the purpose one must know the purpose.

Once one knows the purpose you can either recommend them a specific part, or a complete device that could be cannibalized for not only the display, but many other internal parts that already work with the display.

The more information given the better answer he'll get, and he didn't give enough information imo.

dx.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102775)

Whole variety of cheaper than typical lcd screens and touch screens.

.NET Gadgeteer? (1)

Rossman (593924) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102781)

Might be worth looking into, bit pricey compared to Arduino though.

But the starter kit comes with a mainboard and a 4" LCD touchscreen which is pretty decent for small projects. The hardware is largely made by GHI Electronics...

http://www.ghielectronics.com/catalog/product/297 [ghielectronics.com]

Not sure if this would be suitable or not...

Sparkfun (4, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102791)

Sparkfun has lots of hobbyist-friendly parts, including LCDs: http://www.sparkfun.com/categories/76?sort_by=price_desc [sparkfun.com]

The only thing they're missing from your requirements is an enclosure, but certainly you can hack something together.

Re:Sparkfun (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 2 years ago | (#40104199)

Another source is here [iteadstudio.com] .

Crystalfontz is nice (1)

ourlovecanlastforeve (795111) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102813)

I've been using Crystalfontz LCD displays in my projects for many years. http://www.crystalfontz.com/ [crystalfontz.com]

Re:Crystalfontz is nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103789)

Seconded. I've used them in devices I've designed and they work well.

Kitronix K350QVG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102821)

Try out the Kitronix K350QVG-V1-F. 3.5" 16-bit colour LCD 320x240 (I think), with built in controller. SPI attached, with a relatively straight forward command set, and has a touch screen. The only issue is the decoding of the touchscreen with the ADCs in the micro. It costs around $25 USD I think.

Earth LCD (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40102853)

http://store.earthlcd.com/

Ebay has a section for LCD for embedded devices. (1)

Kruton53 (2641721) | more than 2 years ago | (#40102929)

If you do not mind making your own plastic case out of a project box, you can get a touch screen off of ebay. Check out ebay. http://www.ebay.com/sch/LCDs-Displays-/26206/ [ebay.com] (Or navigate to it through Business & Industrial >Electrical & Test Equipment >Electronic Components >Semiconductors & Actives >LCDs & Displays). You can find many 3.2" touch screens for $18 on ebay. I have even some sellers some that provided a link to demo to get the screen to work on some common MCUs. Many of the cheaper touch screens are resistive, instead of capacitive... but for a simple hobby, I suspect it will still meet your needs.

For a plastic case, just buy a project box large enough for your needs and cut out a section large enough for the screen. You can easily find these by searching the electronic component section for "project box".

Good Luck

Earth LCD Packages (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103031)

Small LCDs in a variety of types and sizes with driver boards.

http://store.earthlcd.com/ [earthlcd.com]

Propeller does VGA/NTSC and PAL.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103169)

You might want to look at using a propeller chip instead.

http://www.parallax.com/Store/Microcontrollers/PropellerDevelopmentBoards/tabid/514/CategoryID/73/List/0/SortField/0/Level/a/ProductID/748/Default.aspx

http://www.parallax.com/Store/Microcontrollers/PropellerAccessories/tabid/786/CategoryID/85/List/0/SortField/0/catpageindex/2/Level/a/ProductID/425/Default.aspx

I use the Arduino as well as the Propeller, both very cool chips. But the propeller will do video all by its self.

Check it out..

Pic32 Multimedia Board (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103187)

Microchip makes a nice little demo board that has QVGA touchscreen, USB, WiFi, SD, accelerometer, temp sensor, 10/100 Ethernet, Flash EEPROM, Audio I/O, joystick-esk input, a few LEDs and GPIO plus a PIC32 cpu with 128k RAM and 512k Flash.

Multimedia Demo board:
http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2615&dDocName=en548037

PIC32 Ethernet + USB daughter board:
http://www.microchip.com/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=2615&dDocName=en545713

Liquidware Touch Slide $175 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103223)

http://www.liquidware.com/shop/show/TSL/TouchShield+Slide

Has built in microcontoller and works well with Ardinuo. Used one to create a wrist mounted touchscreen for a GPS enabled laser tag game.
 

MMS-e displays (1)

Gimble (21199) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103261)

HERE [mmselectronics.co.uk] .

Lots of reasonably priced displays, some with touch and on-bard "intelligent" controllers.

Spend 110 bucks (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103319)

get a arm system from minibox, 3.5 inch 400Mhz, 64 megs and plenty of serial ports to twiddle bits to an avr or whatever

Freescale Tower (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103373)

You might want to look at the TWR-LCD [freescale.com] board.
It's a Smart LCD screen that you communicate over SPI or EBI. You can pare it with a number of Micro-controllers [freescale.com] in the Tower system, add some proto boards for special stuff, and then use the free eGUI [freescale.com] software to create the demo. Or read the app note [freescale.com]

Full disclosure: I work for Freescale

DIY, Baby! (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103617)

OK, so maybe it won't fit your particular application, but I have in the past built my own multitouch table using an old LCD monitor, a couple of USB webcams, some clear acrylic, and a bit of hacker ingenuity.

If you are tempted to go the DIY route, Community Core Vision [nuigroup.com] a good place to start.

Happeh hacking!

4D Systems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40103637)

http://www.4dsystems.com.au/prod.php?id=113

Rayslogic 3.5", 4.3", 320x240 LCD products (1)

avsa242 (1260338) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103753)

You might check out what this guy has: http://www.rayslogic.com/ [rayslogic.com] Most (all?) of Ray's stuff is Parallax Propeller-based (~$8US 32bit 8-core MCU) He has 3.5", 4.3" and maybe other size panels and was at one time offering just the LCD's; ask him if he has any left if you want just them. There are already low-level drivers, and text/graphics primitives code ready to use with all his products, so you'd just be writing your application-specific code. Then this guy makes at least one acrylic enclosure made for Ray's products, too at: http://www.mountainkingtechnologies.com/ [mountainki...logies.com] Cheers

Missing the point (5, Informative)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 2 years ago | (#40103825)

Clearly, I didn't make my point in the original post; my bad. The "pre-mounted in a plastic enclosure" is perhaps the most important feature. I know where to find naked displays; what I want to avoid is the homemade plastic box, with things cut/fastened ever so slightly off center, odd screws showing, etc. And while I appreciate the "just write an app" suggestions, in some cases the box will end up mounted on a wall, in at least one the controller will be driving relays to switch higher voltages, in another there will be some odd sensors, and so forth. Don't need processor boards, don't need an unmounted display. Need an LCD with touch panel mounted very neatly and solidly in a reasonable-looking box. Apologies for not being clearer.

Re:Missing the point (1)

mvdw (613057) | more than 2 years ago | (#40104287)

Have you looked at Reach LCDs? Not sure if they are to your budget, but they have nicely housed touch-screen LCDs driven by an allegedly simple serial protocol. http://reachtech.com/ [reachtech.com]

Re:Missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40105185)

C-More Touchscreen panels from Automation Direct are about $200/$300. Get a plc for $100 and you can do about anything. The panels have windows software to create buttons and display information. They are meant to talk to PLC's, but you could roll your own comm.

http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Operator_Interfaces/C-more_Micro-Graphic_Panels/3_inch_Panels_-a-_Accessories

An old android ebook rooted may be cheaper. (1)

stacybro (757940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40104217)

Depends on the project.
I built a cheapy 4 line lcd/arduino interface for my custom security system for around 60 bucks. It was butt ugly because good cases are hard to find or expensive to custom build. My wife HATED it. So I found a cheapy android (1.5) ebook with wifi and rooted it for about $90 (could probably find it for 60 now) and wrote an android app. It looks WAY better than my butt ugly lcd and is also going to be an interface to my weather station (when I get around to finishing it) and a few other home automation projects.
The really nice thing about the whole thing was that when the company I am working for decided to develop a mobile app, my boss (who knew I had done the android security interface) threw the project to me. Android apps are pretty fun.

Chumby (1)

ebunga (95613) | more than 2 years ago | (#40104731)

You want a Chumby. Everything else lacks custom enclosures, or costs so much money you may as well buy a full PC.

3.5" LCD and Linux in your hand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40105263)

Check ARMWorks at andhammer.com for the Mini35. Comes with Linux, Qtopia, and Qt4 loaded. 3.5" color 320x240 in a white mountable bezel. 32 bits 400MHz ARM9, Ethernet, USB. They have longer FFCs for the LCD, like 18 and 30 inches. There are ways to use an SD card and run Debian and write in Python (with Debian. Some people run Android - the chip is a Samsung phone chip, S3C2440A, with a lot more I/O than you would ever need in a phone. Some use WinCE so they can write with .net and the M$ stuff and it will sync to any Windows computer. 10x10 cm. Enclosures are always a problem. One person's artistic ideal is another person's eye sore. They have a black metal one. Will 10x10cm fit a standard dual gang switch box? Then a plate with a cutout for the LCD could be added.

Look on eBay (2)

mcbridematt (544099) | more than 2 years ago | (#40105443)

Search eBay - I bought a 3.2" LCD with touchscreen like this one [ebay.com.au] (~$25) and I'm currently working on driving it with an ARM Cortex-M3 controller.

The downside is that these ones are generally designed to interface with 8051 or 68000-type micros, hence they only expose the 16-bit parallel bus on the LCD controller. Not as optimal, but the displays are quite cheap.

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