Making a Dashboard for the 7 inch TFT display

#1

I am stuck (?) with this problem:

I have a RPI running NR. It is the central hub of things happening.
Other machine access it via the network.

I do most of my work on a NUC with a nice 16x9 monitor that is 1368 x 786 (or something like that) resolution.
Things look nice.

But I am going to get a RPI with a 7 inch display The display.

Yes, it tells me the resolution is 800x400, though further down is says 800x480.

Obviously high resolution web pages won't fit on that.
Though 800x450 is 16x9 scaled.

Yeah, maybe I need to ask on the RPi forum, but I hope there are enough RPI people here that this part won't be in vein.

So I have my "nice web pages" laid out for the hi-res HDMI screen I am now using.
But when I go to the TFT screen, it doesn't quite work.

Other than making a second set of pages for that sized screen, is there a way I can get things to work on that screen?

I am not doing SUPER HIGH RESOLUTION stuff where I need every pixel to show stuff. It is just basic stuff - I've posted screen shots of the stuff I am doing. (Torn between re-posting or not to save flooding with pictures.)

I guess the first thing I need to know is the exact resolution of the screen.

Going into the raspi-config program I get the screen resolution as 720 x 480. Which is better than 16 x 9.

So I am stuck as to where/how to proceed with getting some of the NR web pages visible on that screen.

Help appreciated.

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#2

While some expert answer you....

In my experience there is no way... what looks fancy on some screen size&resolution will no be the same on another screen, so simply like that on my experience.

For sure you have the option to write another parallel dashboard for a smaller screen however long time ago and after evaluating all options on my case I decided to let a "dedicated" tablet for this purpose.

image

In my numbers.... considering the price of the raspberry + micro sd card + 7" screen + enclosure for the same money or even less you can get some 10" screen tablet.

Take also into consideration that the sensibility on the raspi screen in not a rocket....

This option even with a low prices (as you don't need a top or latest model, just something that fits you needs) can bring you even more options than just the dashboard.

With some app you can even make auto regulate the brightness depending on the time and many other options...

Hope that helps you somehow to better understand the options.

Regards

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#3

Thanks.

It does shine a new light on the idea.

I'll have to think about what is happening now/next.

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#4

Make the numbers...

Raspi 3 40$
7" screen 40$
Case 15$
Micro sd card 10$
That means even on the best scenario on ebay no less than 100$, for this price you can find some 10" tablet that will give you a wider screen size and functionality.

Nice to see that helps you somehow.

Regards

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#5

You live in a nicer place than me.

RPI3 -> $50(ish)
Screen -> $125
Power supply -> $19
SD cards, well they vary too much. But I try to not pay more than 75c/gig.
Case... Well, I'm going to make a custom one. So that's "free" - kind of.

But again: thanks.

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#6

Hi David,

I'm also in the phase of searching nice screens that can be wall mounted.
At the moment I'm considering using the Raspberry screen, for a number of reasons:

  • You can power it with a cable. Almost all tablets I found are battery powered.
  • You can use ethernet or wifi. Since I want to use to turn my alarm system on and off, I don't want wifi (and risc don't being able to turn the alarm off within 20 seconds). Didn't found tablets with an ethernet cable.
  • The raspberry screen case allows me to make sure that I don't see any wires:
    image

Have you ever seen a tablet that offers the same advantages?
If so it would be great if you could share it!

Kind regards,
Bart

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#7

On that idea of a tablet with Ethernet:

Couldn't you buy a USB-Ethernet converter?
Ok, the drivers could be a problem, but I am sure there would be some out there somewhere.
I don't have any answers though..

On the power side of things:
All tablets also have USB charging. How else are you going to charge them when the battery goes flat?

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#8

Possibly something like this store.google.com/product/ethernet_adapter_for_chromecast
USB otg to Ethernet with power... No idea how many tablets it would work with though.

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#9

Yep, but all tablets - that I have seen - have all their connectors at their border. So you see all cables hanging, which is never going to be approved by my most lovely wife...

Perhaps some nice cases exist, but never seen one...

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#10

(We are getting a bit off topic, but......)

Bart,

Build a ....... "case" around the tablet that hides the power connector.
Case: Frame I think would be a better term/word.

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#11

"Case" is correct Andrew.

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#12

Yes, sorry for going off-topic.

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#13

That's ok.

I appreciate it is sometimes needed to "think outside the box" for a solution.

I should know. (wink)

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#14

Plenty of usb 90 connectors to take cable behind fairly neatly

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#15

I agree that an old tablet might be a much cheaper solution - I actually also used an old nexus tablet for this - but I admit that I am still having problems with that:

Note that I wanted to have a node-RED dashboard running 24x7 hours that I can consult quickly at any time but I never managed this .... after some time of inactivity the dashboard (or chrome browser) looses its connection which means that it first has to remake its connection. I also succeeded in configuring android so that it keeps it connection but this resulted in crash of my tablet.

So @davidcgu , did you succeed in a stable setup running 24x7 hours ? If so, I would be very interested in knowing what you did to achieve this.

kr
Jan.

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#16

There is a usb to ethernet adapter and use to work with all tablet, I have tested years ago... however I guess you should check in advance if is mandatory in your case.

Regarding the cable supply you can let tablet connected to power the same way that you will have to have theraspi, is what I did in my case.

For the wall mount, there are sold several models pre-build however if you wanted to take your time you will find many people did it already in several ways even to be integrated on a wall.

As a simple example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26vTRyHy048

But there are many other, google it or check on youtube.

For me even if is just to have a wall control I think 10" will be always better than 7" and the price is going to be the same....

Note if you wanted something easy and removable.... I just broke a part on of those tablet cases and stick it to the wall with 3M tape, this is not the best... but is easy, cheap and allows me to remove the tablet from the wall at any moment quite and easy

image

Regards

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#17

Janvda

Really I had same issue, I'm using chrome at full screen to display the dashboard 24x7 and after long time gets disconnected, you see the dashboard however to use it you need to slide finger down over the screen to force it to refresh and takes a few seconds...

It's true that this is a problem but sure it has solution but I have not being working on it to solve it, first is required to understand if is energy saving on the tablet which closes up connection or is chrome to save energy and check what could be done.

In my case as you can see on the picture I posted I'm using a really check tablet (30$) with MQTT dashboard and some buttons and on real live this is more practical for common things than the full dashboard and because of this I have not dedicated time to look deeper on the connection lost on dashboard.

Regards

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#18

Hi David,

Thanks for the extensive response.

You are referring to a posted picture - but in the picture posted earlier in this thread - I see 2 different tablets with different dashboard. So it is not clear for me to which one you are referring.

I am also a bit wondering what you mean by "MQTT dashboard and some buttons". So is this not a dashboard created by the node-red-dashboard nodes ?

kr
Jan

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#19

On the picture you can appreciate a top white 10" tablet with node-red dashboard, this is ok but on normal conditions you just use a few buttons or gauges, on the bottom I have a 8" 30$ tablet with one app called "MQTT dashboard" which give you capabilities to create buttons, switches and gauges with different styles even colors depending on the real status.

I recommend you to give it a look, for several purposes is simply great, those are running in parallel to node-red switches,buttons,whatever, so you can use directly nodered dashboard or this app and will give you same results.

As example:

If you require any more info let me know and maybe I can explain you, this app is really straight forward, very easy.

Regards

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#20

All of the smaller tablets are powered via USB - the battery is irreverent - except that it gives you several hours of battery backup in case the power goes out. Could be important if you are using the system to run/control alarms and other critical stuff.

Probably wouldn't be too hard to hide the connector or at least disguise it.

Indeed, I would strongly recommend adding backup power to a Pi based solution. Not only is it all too easy to corrupt your SD card if the power goes out, I've found that my Pi2 is very unreliable at reconnecting the Ethernet if there is a power blip.

However, personally, I wouldn't rely on a single unit if I needed to control my alarm system. I would run a separate Pi (with battery backup, mine is on a APC PC unit along with the switch, router and WiFi AP, good for several hours) as the main server with MQTT, database and Node-RED and keep the display for interactions - by the way, the tablet has the major advantage of being touch sensitive.

I currently do something similar. I have my main Pi running everything. Then I have a cheap Windows 10 tablet that I use as a photoframe (it was cheaper than hi-res photoframes!). The tablet also runs Node-RED so that I can automate things from the main Pi. For example, my connected doorbell can sound off on the photoframe thanks to NR and MQTT, it can even speak though SHMBO doesn't like that, finds it creepy or something, who knows.

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