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FFISKIV

Adding Digital Display to Tomix 4018 office building using Blackberry STORM

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FFISKIV

I've had the bug to add a digital display to my urban layout.  I searched the WEB and found several possible solutions, all required a $30-$200 investment and unfortunately I'm cheap.

The following pictures show my solution using my old Black Berry STORM which has sat useless in a drawer for the last 3 years.  It has a touch screen as well as plenty of onboard and SD card storage.

It's mounted for easy removal and access to the charging port.

Future plans include; paint, interior lights, screen opening trim detail to hide blackberry logo and keys.

I hope this inspires any of you looking to do the same.

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inobu

Good idea,

 

LOL,

 

Inobu

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Martijn Meerts

I've been considering something along the same lines, except with iPhone/iPod Touch (mainly because I have 'a few' of those around ;))

 

Not sure about the blackberry, but the nice thing about the iOS devices is that you can stream stuff to them, so you can control what's being show on a computer. You could theoretically build an app that displays train arrivals/departures and such things and sync it with a computer controlled layout.

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keiichi77

I was also planning on doing the same thing with my wife's old ipod touch and the same Tomix building.  Now that I have seen the finished product I think I might order the building required to do this and get started.  Great job ffiskiv

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cteno4

ffiskiv,

 

nice work on the reuse. great minds think alike! a while back i used old surplus pvrs i got really cheap (but they only lasted a year or so)

 

http://japanrailmodelers.org/photos/_city/pages/page_22.html

 

good thing is there are many more options out there these days dirt cheap. ive got one on order that may be really cheap for smaller ones. looking for ones i can easily pull the screen out of so that they can be mounted externally like you usually see them.

 

its a grand time as toys like this are getting dirt cheap to play with like this!

 

cheers

 

jeff

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keitaro

i looked at this a while ago.

 

if you want text board you can get cheap things like this http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Arduino-IIC-I2C-TWI-1602-Serial-LCD-Module-Display-Blue-/270845840568?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f0fab8cb8

 

need to be careful though as some may not support foreign text and english only.

 

theres also these http://www.aeicomp.com/Detail.asp?Product_ID=000.406_LCD35QVGATS you can get them much cheaper from chines sites cheapes i seen about $90 ish with vga and pc vga cable

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cteno4

actually many simple mp4 players out there very cheap do do digital video playback like this. just found one for $9 that should be here in a week or so. nice thing now is more and more of these things are touch screen capabile so the issue of having to get at misc buttons on a device is getting better.

 

not a lot of small video input screens out there and then you have to have an additional playback device with video out as well. having something all in one is a lot simpler, but you do need to get access to it for swapping the memory card and potentially for some buttons.

 

also another option for small displays is to use those little digital photo frame keychains. you can get them down to a 1' diagonal screen. they can do a slide show so you can do a schedule board on them and have the numbers update now and then or change trains. they can be had for as little as $3. i just picked up another one of these. the old ones i had were a bit funky and would at times turn them selves off or just stop working and require a reset by removing the batteries.

 

I've been playing with various ones of these now for about 5 years, but none have held up well or worked to tear apart, but recently i am excited again at the new options coming out and being cheap enough to experiment with. will be fun with the couple of units coming soon in the mail to play with this some more.

 

cheers

 

jeff

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keitaro

I guess they are good to use my idea was more dcc orientated where i could link up to the pc box and just play of that.

 

The photo frame is a good idea there are some 6" or so ones that can play back mp4 from micro sd / sd cards

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cteno4

there are lots of options for mp4 players now. the one coming has a 1.5" screen we shall see it was very inexpensive! maybe too good to be true!

 

controlling a bunch of screens from a single computer would be a bit of a pain. most multiple head video systems now have independent players you just update via an ethernet connection, unless there is a lot of realtime data to display. unfortunately most of the inexpensive display options do not have video in capabilities.

 

jeff

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Webskipper

A past member of my club used a DVD plAyer to run a drive in theatre screen. Don't know what he used for the screen. Macintosh classic 2 for the black and white movies?

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The_Ghan

Nice, but how would you do this if you have to buy all the parts?  Most of us don't have old smart phones that we can afford to pull apart - although I must admit, my iPhone is being used as a door stop now that I have a Samsung Galaxy SII.

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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David

Nice, but how would you do this if you have to buy all the parts?  Most of us don't have old smart phones that we can afford to pull apart - although I must admit, my iPhone is being used as a door stop now that I have a Samsung Galaxy SII.

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

 

As mentioned there are a million 'mp4' players out there, most for very cheap prices. If you walk into your local Walmart's you'll probably see a bunch of them, they're the little media players with brand names you've never heard of (you'll find them even cheaper at stores selling off brand Chinese electronics).  Most mp4 players are powered by the same chipset that supports mp3, wma and avi (in one specific codec at specific resolutions and framerates) playback. Because of the common Chinese chipset there is also a lot of aftermarket firmware and tools for modifying these players.

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FFISKIV

Ghan, how? Simple just like I did this one, EBAY. Besides youre already 1/2 way there, just pull youre iphone from under the door and mount it.  As you can see in the pictures the phone is complete and far from being disassembled.

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keitaro

Another handy thing is with the small cheap photo frames you can take the case of and only have the screen for better fit and not outside plastic looks better.

 

Cause there so low voltage can easily wire up a few with some resistors to limit the power flow to them

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The_Ghan

I've got no plans to do this just yet, but when I do, I will want to turn my layout on and have these things auto-play.

 

Cheers

 

The_Ghan

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cteno4

thats going to be tough. these kinds of players are not meant to do auto play on turn on like this. i run into this all the time with exhibit setups where you would love to have a flip of a switch and its all on and going, but sometimes this gets to hard or expensive to do -- especially with cheaper or consumer equipment. definitely can do it but its going to cost a hundred dollars or so for the kind of mpeg player that you could set up for auto play at power on and a straight video input lcd monitor (usually a bit more expensive for tiny ones actually!)

 

perhaps we should move the discussion to another thread.

 

jeff

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keitaro

btw FFISKIV  good job  :grin

 

ghan if you ever run out of toilet paper you know what you can do with the old apple.

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