Wall mounted Node-RED touch screen device: Request for ideas and volunteers

Ok thanks. That will simplify a possible solution.

Indeed when the case is only minimal visible, the the low resolution of 3D printing might be acceptable. Thanks for offering help!!

Some time ago I had a look at the amazon Fire 7 tablet, which only costs about 55 EUR. It comes with limited software capabilities, but you can install the Google Play Store as explained here. Not sure whether the device would have enough system resouces to run Node-RED.

But to wall-mount such tablets, I always come across the Vidabox cases. They look very nice, but are ridiculous costly. For example their Fire 7 tablet case costs 67 EUR:

But it is a decent case, that can hide cables and optionally could be adapted to install some sensors.

I have been thinking about that also. But that also has some disadvantages (for me):

  • I have several cases per room, which the wife won't appreciate (from an interior design point of view) ...
  • I need to supply power cables to two devices, or need to start using batteries (which is not my cup of tea).
  • There is a again an extra (wireless) link required, which makes troubleshooting again more complex (e.g. in case the temperature values don't arrive).

So I would really want to have everything inside a single case...

Oh. That is not what I hoped to hear...
I thought that the tablets were a good solution (compared to the other devices), because they can run Node-RED via the Termux app. Do you mean that the sysem resources of those cheap tablets are not sufficient?

Good evening, could you tell me which browser you use to start in kiosk mode under Android ?
And how you do it. Tanks a lot.

  • I have several cases per room, which the wife won't appreciate (from an interior design point of view) ...

As someone else suggested use a zigbee Aqara sensor, they are very small and can be mounted behind a picture etc.

  • I need to supply power cables to two devices, or need to start using batteries (which is not my cup of tea).

See previous. These units use a button cell which lasts for ages (especially if you fit a quality one)

  • There is a again an extra (wireless) link required, which makes troubleshooting again more complex (e.g. in case the temperature values don't arrive).

True, but you do have the advantage of being able to position the sensor in a position that may be more advantageous than wherever the display is mounted.

Oh. That is not what I hoped to hear...
I thought that the tablets were a good solution (compared to the other devices), because they can run Node-RED via the Termux app. Do you mean that the system resources of those cheap tablets are not sufficient?

Still not sure I understand this requirement, would a browser on the display connected to a single Node-RED server not make maintenance easier?

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I was just drafting out a similar query. It seems simpler that way, each room to a tab/group, with the added benefit that any screen could act as a control for any room if needed.

Hi. As mentioned above I tested this app

Works good with movement detection via the camera, use of temperature sensors of your tablet if available and controllable via mqtt

I tested this (black Friday 35€) but my default dashboard was to heavy for long time run = browser crashed after around 1-2 days. I would go with a full HD model or craft a separate dashboard on an separate Node-Red instance especially for this.
I planed implementing that as my complete system state sits on the mqtt broker (following the homie convention) but never had time to do so as my main goal was the esp32 route.

Yes that is entirely correct. No arguments against that ...

Yes in case your sensor is not part of the case, then indeed it might be easier to just run a browser that connects to a central Node-RED instance. Of course you can have a separate dashboard per room (offering only the functionality that is useful for that particular room), since the dashboard is running on the local device itself...

But if you have sensors inside the case, then running a Node-RED locally would simplify it for me: because then I can use Node-RED to read the sensors locally (without having to start playing with Arduino or whatever other technology).

But of course in case of a tablet running a local Node-RED might be less useful, since it is not easy to connect a sensor directly to a tablet anyway... So that is (for me at least) a disadvantage of tablets.

Damn, now I am even more confused :exploding_head:

I would have a separate Node-Red instance for every room or every device type.
You can detect a device by the ui-control node and present the correct room tab as default
But on a small screen you might need a special layout for easy touch access and good performance.
My main dashboard with all controls designed for 24” full HD PC screen is not suitable for a 7” HD screen on an outdated mobile processor.

Damn, now I am even more confused :exploding_head:


Seems a very complicated way of getting sensor data when cheap commercial sensors with common wireless options (zigbee, rtl_433 etc) are available (no Arduino required!! :grin:)

Yes, that is what I meant.... One dashboard, but just separate "Tab/Group/Page/Screen... whatever it would be called" :stuck_out_tongue: ... per room.

It just seems to me, that since tablets don't have many (useful in your use case) sensors built in... then adding discrete sensors, either mounted in same case or in other room locations, as might be preferred depending on function, that send the data to the main NR could be an option. And should save on the setup/maintenance as all the logic is in one local.

Search for a tablet with a decent build in sensor. WallPanel can read that and send it via mqtt. Perhaps that works. If you have a offset you might be able to compensate as this should be constant if your screen is off most of the time using Wall Panels movement detection.
There are 90 Degrees USB plugs available so you might be able to mount the tablet with a minimal bezel. (3D design and a printer would be helpful but perhaps there is a design available on obe of the 3D model libraries)

There is also the official 7" touch screen for the Raspberry Pi with a nice case.



Search for Fully Kiosk Browser in the Google play store

Tons of Features, also for provisioning and remote Support

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Not sure why you want to run Node-Red locally ? THis would mean that you would end up with 1/2 dozen instances of Node-Red around the house ?

If you are insistent on that then a possible option would be

Which can be Vesa mounted.

I personally think you are better of with an android tablet and a 3d printed holder

Like this



In terms of InRoom temperature sensors i have these in each room and then a couple of ESP32s around that they communicate with back to NR


(Obviously available from Aliexpress/Banggood etc)


Similar types are available for wifi (almost sure hackable but suitable for not battery use), zigbee (I have one, works as expected with zigbee2mqtt, I like that zigbee is a mesh network and efficient for battery use - my receiver is in the basement and with a few hops over light bulbs and smart sockets I reach every point in my house stable and easily. there are tons of models with or without display … and the ever growing IKEA product line)

They have the opportunity to be placed in strategic positions to give you the best representation of your room temperature which is often but not always next to the door)

@BartButenaers Only curious, how do you control the room temperature currently?

I use smart thermostats (Homematic). They give me their current temperature readings and I can control (nearly) all features.

I was curious and pulled out my fire 7 (35€ With adds but never registered so sorry Jeff) tablet. The open source “Wall Panel” app does the job quite nicely. If the dashboard is not too complicated it is acceptable to use. (Not as snappy as we are used to nowadays)
So until I have enough time to dive into the c++ world again I’ll get me a 90 degree plug and design and print a wall case.

I have played around with doing this with a pi 4 and a 10" touch screen and a 3D printed enclosure... ultimately I found the pi underpowered for the purpose honestly, and I'd go for an old tablet instead. Its smaller, faster, and probably cheaper if you find some on eBay or go with some of the cheap Amazon tablets.

The first hangup I hit was the pis didnt use to have enough RAM in them to run XWindows and a Chrome instance with an active UI in it... the Pi4 solved the RAM issue, but because one of my UI pages has video streams on it (2) it brought the Pi to its knees every time.

I'm a bit late to this thread but for what it is worth, here are my thoughts.

I agree with others who have said not to try to put the sensors into the display unit. They will never be in the right place and will get in the way. If you have radiators in the rooms, maybe consider smart TRV's at least for temperature. But a Zigbee sensor is absolutely the best approach (my TRV's are Zigbee as well). With the advantage that they don't cost the earth and run for a very long time off batteries and Zigbee is a mesh (all you need is a mains powered device with Zigbee to act as a local router). With Zigbee2MQTT and suitable Zigbee dongle, you have a really powerful, descrete sensor network and the option of Zigbee controlled lighting, movement sensors, leak sensors and more.

So I have TRV's in most rooms which gives me temperature (they are suprisingly accurate even though attached to a radiator) but some critical spaces or ones where a TRV isn't possible, I have my own ESP8266 sensors - these are very simple and are USB powered but can be hidden away on top of a cupboard.

For display and control - do you REALLY need a touch screen? You are adding a lot of cost and complexity and for how much benefit?

Sometimes, simple switches can be better for SWMBO. Even a simple M5 Atom Matrix can display 5 simple bars on its 5x5 RGB LED matrix, more than enough to show the temp and humidity in a room along with a couple of on/off indicators and they have a switch under the display. Enough for the room's on/off light switch. The M5 Basic has a removable back cover and you can power it from the rear connections so that will give you a nice little display with 3 buttons (my Wiser stand-alone thermostat has a similar physical size and layout) which can give you a surprising number of options with just a couple of button presses (or long-press or double-click). The display is fairly easy to program and I've recently been chatting with Pete Scargill about how to use them (and other devices) with ESPhome which is what I'm moving all of my ESP based platforms to. I already have a display page on the M5 basic that shows me all of the temps and humidities from across the house along with colour coding for when things are outside normal. I have t set at the moment so that the screen comes on for 1 minute out of 5.

If you really need touch. then I agree with some of the others that a cheap Android in Kiosk mode is the way to go. You can sometimes pick up cheap Windows devices as well - I have a 10" Lynx from a few years ago that runs W10 and Node-RED. I actually only use it as a high-res photo display on the landing! It was significantly cheaper than the equivalent sized photo display. But though I intended to use it for a home control display, I've actually never needed to. A few buttons and remote controls have been more than enough with an occasional uibuilder dashboard.

By the way, Node-RED's Dashboard, as others have found, can quickly overwhelm the browsers on cheap phones and tablets. Either keep the Dashboard simple or move to a more efficient web page - maybe using uibuilder :slight_smile:

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Yes indeed I agree that this is a really nice screen. I have one of those, and the touch screen really works fine.
But it requires a quite big hole in the wall, which is something a bit too destructive for my case. We have renovated our entire house at the time being, and I would like to have something on-wall instead of in-wall. Moreover it is a rather expensive solution (screen, case, raspberry, ...) for every room in my house. And then I still don't have a temperature sensor, ...

Well it is fairly simple. I spend lot of time to develop a.o. Node-RED UI nodes, to use them in my dashboards. The in the few spare time that is left, I try to use those UI nodes in my own home automation dashboard. That dashboard is available from pc, mobile phones, ... And I want to show them also on a small touch screen (e.g. 5 inch) in every room.
So I want to avoid having to create dashboards in other technologies, since I build stuff for Node-RED and I want to use my own stuff in my house. Otherwise I am only developing stuff for strangers :wink:

Indeed, based on the feedback I received that looks like the most obvious solution.
But I don't know anything about 3D printing. Don't even know if that is expensive, or if the lines are visible so the WAF factor will be low, where to get such a case drawing, how to adjust a drawing so a temperature sensor fits into the case, and so on ...
As you can see, a complete 3D printing noob :roll_eyes:

That is another reason why I would like to have the sensor in my case, even if I couldn't connect it to the tablet which is inside the same case. But if I have a power cable there, the wifi temperature sensor could be powered by that same power cable (instead of having to replace batteries periodically).

That is the problem: we have to control those manually at the moment. That is why I had hoped that somebody had a complete (affordable) solution, so I could just order and install it. But since I have still no solution at the moment, I am afraid that my wife still won't get a solution this winter :flushed:

Ah you have one? That is very kind of you to test it !!!
What do you mean with "adds"? And do you only run a Node-RED dashboard on it, or a complete Node-RED system?
Do you think this would be a solution? Such a cheap tablet inside a 3d printed on-wall mount case, together with a temperature sensor that communicates with a central Node-RED instance via wifi?

Ah that is something I had not expected. Thanks for sharing that experience!!!

I can really understand your enthousiasm for such a setup. We have indeed been discussing zigbee trv's in the past, and it looks great. But I would like to stick to a minimum of technologies. And the wifi trv's consume lots of batteries. And I am not mentally ready yet to setup an entire zigbee network, next to my wifi network. Don't forget that I am "the cable guy" :wink:
But indeed it might be something I should have a look at again, to avoid the need of the temperature sensor in my touch screen case.

Well if I want to add some keypads in my house to turn on/off my Node-RED alarm system, then I won't get those for free either. If I had an affordable case, then I could easily display a keypad. Or something else. And every room has the same device, which makes it easy for me to maintain my system once it works.

Yes our starting point is: everything should work with switches, even when Node-RED is down. All the dashboard based stuff is nice to have.
And I also want to show camera footage, floorplans, and other kind of stuff on my little screens. So I really need a screen to finally be able to use all of my UI nodes for my own automation...

I can understand that some people won't see the benefit of such touch screens. There are even a massive amount of people on this planet that will even see the benefit of having home automation with Node-RED ;-). I would prefer to discuss how an affordable setup could be implemented, instead of why this is needed.

Yes indeed that seems to be the tip of the day in all above feedback. Will really need to take that into account. As soon as I (hopefully) find a solution in one of the proposals, I will need to do some tests on a test device, to see what is possible and what not.

Nice try :rofl:
But then I still can't start using my own UI nodes for my own purpose :wink:

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Just my 2 cents.

I'm having in the living room a 10" tablet with NR dashboard on it. It will show the floorplan made with your svg node. For the money that a 10" tablet will cost you can't buy a Pi with 10" capacitive touchscreen

Mounting: It's mounted with some Velcro tape to a plastic plate that's screwed to the wall. So it can easy being removed. Very clean method, no ugly brackets around the tablet. Setup is just 14mm thick. If you have a modern tablet (then me) without a bezel around the screen it will look very sleek

Wiring: That's a good one. After searching for a long time I found a wireless charger kit for mobile phone on Ali express.. I took the whole apart and used the very small connector for power. It's hardly visible.
Unfortunately is only has power wires and no data wires, so OTG wired network is not possible.

Must have: You must buy (€7) a license of Fully kiosk browser for the tablet. It adds just that extra to the setup. For example, screensaver, full screen, kiosk mode and very handy it can use the camera to detect motion and switch on the display when approaching. Note, for me it doesn't work always good when it's darker in the room.
With the rest api you can fully control and set Fully Kiosk browser from NR.

Small power connector.

In the kitchen I have (almost finished) a 4.3" Hmi display with capacitive touchscreen from Dwin. It's comparable with Nexion but more advanced and a lot cheaper, but comes with a steep learning curve (in Chinese, google translate is my friend)
It's controlled with a Esp32 on a custom made pcb and programmed in Arduino.
It's communicating with NR over wifi and Mqtt.
This setup was a lot of design and programming work, you must design graphics, overlay touch area's, read it all out the display with serial connection and send it to NR. Not a rainy Sunday afternoon project.