After a couple of years of not doing much with the extra wiring I put in with our renovations, I’ve finally gotten around to installing my first touchscreen wallplate for my Charmed Quark Controller home automation system.
I had originally intended on using an embedded LCD touchscreen, but it wasn’t quite powerful enough, and way too much effort and heartache to code from scratch. So I recently re-discovered and old HP iPaq I had lying around, and realised that after taking the electronics out of the pesky plastic case, its the perfect size to fit in a standard Clipsal wall plate.
So after a a little bit of fiddly work on the wall plate with a knife and the trusty Dremel, it was ready for mounting. As well as the pink cat5 for the Clipsal C-Bus, I had also run an additional blue cat5 to some light switches. So I’m using this one to run power to the iPaq’s USB port. No ethernet required – that’s what wireless is for! Fortunately the power supply I have is a touch over 5V, the cable run is short enough, and the iPaq tolerant enough for the power to work. I did have an issue with the first power supply, in that the iPaq turned on, but reset itself as soon as the wireless was enabled.
The screen is a little larger than the standard footprint of a light switch, and the PCB is a little wider, so I had to customise the cut-out from the standard template.
Everything tucked away and screwed in place.
The screen is a little off-center in the wall plate, as the edge is wider on one side (as seen in the first pic of this post. Unfortunately the mounting holes for the plate get in the way if I try to center the screen. I was also a little hasty is cutting the panel out of the bezel, and slipped a couple of times. So I’ll need to try again and be more careful to make the cover a bit more presentable. But other than that, I’m pretty happy with the result. Now I just need to convince Kirsty!
And a few screenshots of the interface, including the ‘Home’ screen displayed when music is playing and when radio is playing, album selection, radio station selection, and the weather forecast.