Can someone help out a Marine?

by sig0431 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:49 pm

Yes im a Marine so that means that i am by no means as smart as any of you on this site. I have been researching for days for a product and it seems to either be not available or way more money than i want to spend. I will keep this short so not to bore you. Im a motorcycle rider and I want to install a rearview camera on my motorcycle (i survied three tours to Afghan, i dont really want to get killed because of a car slamming into me at a red light). I installed a kit that I found on my dads bike but the LCD monitor is total junk to be honest. I cant see a thing when the sun hits it and the 3.5in display is to small. I was looking for a 5in LCD monitor that i could use for this but the only monitor i could find was a 7in for about $700!

So i started to venture to see if i could have a screen made and then maybe figure out a way to get a waterproof enclosure for the LCD. This also seems like it is not possible, i emailed many companies that make LCD's and they either tell me that thier displays dont have a video input, or the ones they showed me are $400 for just the LCD (with high bright or tft).

Is there any other solution to this issue or is this going to be something that is not possible until someone spends the money for mass producing an item like this?

thank for all your help on this.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by sig0431 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:53 pm

after looking at this site more, is there any reason that i could not use one of these and find a way to water proof it?

http://www.adafruit.com/products/947

http://www.adafruit.com/products/946
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by tastewar on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:50 pm

Doubt that I could help, but folks who can might need to know something about the video signal produced by the camera. Do you have the specs, or the make/model of the system? Or do you know it's just a straight composite video like most car backup camera systems? Finally, what is it that makes you believe that either of these monitors will be better than the one you have? I'm not saying it wouldn't be, just want to be sure you're likely to be successful.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Nov 29, 2012 6:50 am

Assuming that the camera puts out an NTSC or PAL signal, it will work with this monitor. The monitor cases are not sealed, but the video module itself is fairly easy to remove from the case for re-packaging.

But my concern would be the same as tastewar, LCD displays in general don't do well in sunlight. Some of the anti-glare/privacy filters do help. They filter out light coming from an angle & should help in all cases except when the sun is coming in right over your shoulder.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by sig0431 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:22 am

Thank you both for helping out with this. To answer your questions:

Camera: Not to sure about all the specs but you were correct with the comment of the composit video connection. that is all the camera has. I am not aginst switching to a different camera that is just a whole different lane of researching that i have not tried yet

LCD monitor: From what i have read online (could be totally wrong) TFT monitors work well in sunlight, but as i said i could be way off, i know nothing about this stuff which is why i am coming to you all to get the right answers. I also heard to look for "High Bright" "Reflective LCD" and "Transflective LCD" panels, but these are hard to find as well. Granted i can find sites that list them but never any prices. Keeping in mind that even if i do find one of these displays i know nothing about controler cards or other boards that would be needed to make this run.

Enclosure: I am not to sure yet (yes i know i am not sure about anythign really... sorry) how much heat an LCD puts out internally so i was going to look into seeing if i coudl seal a enclousre with silicone. I looked around for a little to find a company that could make an enclosure, but could find nothing.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:56 am

"composite" generally means NTSC or PAL. So you are probably OK there.
It is true the TFT displays are 'better' in sunlight, but not as good as OLED or reflectve LCD types. Anti-glare filtering will help - as will shading the screen from direct sun.
These displays don't put out a tremendous amount of heat. And if the back of your enclosure is thermally conductive (say - aluminum) it will be able to dissipate heat even if completely sealed. Just as an experiment, I taped over the vents on a 7" display here and it is only slightly warm after 15 minutes.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by sig0431 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:14 am

This is the most information that I have received in a week of "googling" and talkign to companies, cant thank you all enough for this.

So I am looking to spend no more than $250 for this monitor setup and I will need two of them. If you were me:

1. Would you feel comfortable with selaing up the unit? You mentined that with 15 min there was minor heat, but we rider for hours, keeping in mind that we dont ride in the city so wind will always be going past the unit.

2. Would you find a complete display and then seal it and modify it to mount on the motorcycle or would you find a specific LCD kit or screen and boards to make your own (keep in mind i dont know hwo to do this).

3. Besides the two displays from this site, is there any other sites that you know if that i could look at for other displays like this?

4. Last question sorry... you made mention of adding a light filter to the screen, i am assuming that you are talking about some sort of tint that lays over the display. Is there a official term for this device that i could google to find these?
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by Chuckz on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:20 am

sig0431 wrote:So i started to venture to see if i could have a screen made and then maybe figure out a way to get a waterproof enclosure for the LCD. This also seems like it is not possible, i emailed many companies that make LCD's and they either tell me that thier displays dont have a video input, or the ones they showed me are $400 for just the LCD (with high bright or tft).


I think it is possible to waterproof an LCD with epoxy but you would have to research epoxy from people / companies who make model planes or rockets because wood is subject to humidity and cracks over time so modelers like to keep their work by using expoxy. There are epoxies that you mix and they become extremely hard and if you aren't careful, you could glue your fingers together and have to go to the hospital to get your fingers apart and hopefully you wouldn't have to lose any skin so use gloves. I'm also not sure if a plastic product like Bondo will work or not.

Commodore computers bought power supplies from China and they were encased in resin, got very hot but worked for years until they stopped working.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by Chuckz on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:25 am

The other thing you can do is look for an enclosure or how to make a mold.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by sig0431 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:37 am

Chuckz wrote:
sig0431 wrote:So i started to venture to see if i could have a screen made and then maybe figure out a way to get a waterproof enclosure for the LCD. This also seems like it is not possible, i emailed many companies that make LCD's and they either tell me that thier displays dont have a video input, or the ones they showed me are $400 for just the LCD (with high bright or tft).


I think it is possible to waterproof an LCD with epoxy but you would have to research epoxy from people / companies who make model planes or rockets because wood is subject to humidity and cracks over time so modelers like to keep their work by using expoxy. There are epoxies that you mix and they become extremely hard and if you aren't careful, you could glue your fingers together and have to go to the hospital to get your fingers apart and hopefully you wouldn't have to lose any skin so use gloves. I'm also not sure if a plastic product like Bondo will work or not.

Commodore computers bought power supplies from China and they were encased in resin, got very hot but worked for years until they stopped working.


Some great points here Chuckz, thanks you for that. This is the reason why i gave up searchign the internet and decided to try and post here, the expirence you all have is way mroe valuiable to my cause than the input that i have been receiving from other companies who are just trying to make money. I hope that this all works out and I am able to post some picture on here in the future to show how you all helped me.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:53 am

1) I don't think sealing the unit would be a problem. Especially if the back of the enclosure were aluminum. My display has been going for more than an hour now and it is still barely warm to the touch.
2) A complete display will have all the matched parts you need, so that might be a good place to start. If I were doing it, I'd probably start with one of those, but toss the case and make my own waterproof enclosure.
3) There are a lot of displays out there. We tested samples from a lot of different manufacturers and feel that these were the best quality for the money.
4) There are two types of filter (and some that offer both): Anti glare filters prevent light from being reflected back from the face of the screen. "Privacy" filters are like microscopic venetian-blinds and block light from going through at any angles other than straight through. They are called "privacy" filters because other people can't see your screen looking from the side. But they also prevent sunlight from coming in at an angle, so they help reduce glare in that way too. Search for "anti-glare privacy filter". 3M used to sell the material in sheet form so you could cut it to size.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by Chuckz on Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:16 am

adafruit_support wrote:1) I don't think sealing the unit would be a problem. Especially if the back of the enclosure were aluminum. My display has been going for more than an hour now and it is still barely warm to the touch.


How about opening the case, applying epoxy or liquid tape as a "potting mix"?

I remember Peter did this to his flash drives by opening them up, applying a "potting mix" and then possibly closing them back up if they fit. His pictures are gone but maybe he can put them back up to show you.

http://forums.parallax.com/entry.php?111-Flash-mania
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by sig0431 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:25 am

I did some research about the filters for the screen. 3M does make a lot of products. I found this company ( i like smaller companies) and i asked to see if they could send me a sample kit.

http://www.tspinc.com/anti-glare-vs-anti-reflective/
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by Chuckz on Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:43 am

There is also an instructible about injection molding:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Home-Injection-Molding/

I think you can google the rest.
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Re: Can someone help out a Marine?

by sig0431 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:57 am

Ok so here is what i got so far form you all.

1. use the 7in display on this site for the monitor
2. find an anti-reflective and glare flim to place one the display
3. Pot the circut boards to make the device waterproof
4. have a thermoplastic company make me a case for the display if the factory case does not work for mounting on the motorcycle

Besides all that is there anythign else that i need or can do to make the screen as bright as possible and clear for viewing the camera? I really cant think of anything else that i would need to do to this but am totally open to all ideas.
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