The monitor re-purposing (the original computer, part 1 here)
It wasn’t the best deal but it was simple and took a week shipping which is fast from aliexpress, after much trial and error I’ve come to realize that aliexpress is not about the price but service. The seller was super responsive and helpful to boot.
I asked for a type A or B plug and a few questions. They took less than 24 hours to answer, if not within the hour. Of course it helps that my time zone is only 1 hour difference.
The shop is on AliExpress as mentioned. The Bona (Hong Kong) Technology Limited shop had many good reviews and digital controller cards for other regions.
At about 30USD for the set which included speakers, an inverter (both of which I realized later that I could have used the ones from the computer), and all that other goodness as seen in the picture.
The idea for the monitor reuse was to have a streaming terminal in the guest room. The analog controller card would not work with Japanese digital terrestrial TV in the ISDB–T format. Even if I had somehow got my hands on a digital version, and even with proper compatibility with Japanese formats, in the location of desired placement there is no antennae connection.
The bare monitor is a SAMSUNG LTM190M2-L31 It’s surprisingly heavy, at 2.5kg.
Initial testing revealed it worked well for what I want although 1440×900 wasn’t full HD it would do the trick. The next step was to have the LCD board and inverter setup in a framework that could be hung up on the wall.
The TV card the DS.V53RL.BK has to first the flashed/programmed by inserting a USB drive with the appropriate software for the type of monitor you need. This had to be asked from the seller after purchase. I was initially a little weary, but with the good communication I had previously, I took a leap of faith. They sent me ALL the various monitor versions of the software (as they didn’t know which one I had) I’m not sure why they don’t just have a link to this somewhere.
Without any idea (again) about how to proceed further, I sought help from the internet.
DIY perks had a good video and I liked the look he had going on. Unfortunately the LTM190M2-L31 is not as slim and uses CFL tube back-lighting (thus the inverter).
Using the built-in screw holes was really the only way to secure this beast to the wall. So something that would grip the side was crucial. This being a frugal project I decided to source my parts at DAISO (yet again). I found a set for 2 90degree metal brackets for 108JPY that would work great, as well as some wood that I had to trim a little. This is balsa wood I think, so not the strongest of wood, but certainly easy to cut, a pocket knife was enough.
Brackets mounted as a test. Holes marked on the wood for the bolts and screws. Next step was to drill out the holes, attach the various electronic boards with nuts as spacers between the bottom of the boards and the wood. Secure the wood to the 90degree brackets with electronic boards mounted inward (between the monitor and board).
This monitor seems to have the particularity of not having excellent visibility from the bottom and I wanted to place this on the wall. Hmm, I also wanted to sometimes use it as a second monitor via VGA or HDMI cable, so it would have to be viewed from the top or straight on. The solution came with placing the inputs facing “down” and flipping the monitor upside down. In the controller car menu there is an option to flip the screen.
So with the screen flipped and hanging on the wall at an angle visibility is great, PLUS the inputs are on “top”. As a second monitor the inputs are on the “bottom” and the screen is reversed back to normal.
Tested. All is good. Now how to secure it to the wall. I was thinking about this solution for days on end. Until I though about the simplest of solutions and literally hooked it up with “S” hooks to the the old style walls.
So simple I was pleasantly surprised. It holds and although the plan was to frame it nicely and have a nice finish. It turns out that the industrial look is also good for me. For now the IR receiver and the buttons are more or less taped in place.
It came with a 12v 4a power supply unit but realistically the monitor only uses 42Watts peak at the moment, then settles to 40W @ 100-110v, that would mean only 0.42 amps are being used.
I am considering replacing the unsightly power brick by a 12v 4amp board. If they turn out to have a stable power supply and don’t flicker I may just permanently modify the setup this way.
Which means I’ll be freeing a power brick to do something else potentially (LED STRIPS?). Not sure what just yet and a clean one cable power connector from the unit.
Recently the firestick has given me a warning message about there not being enough power from the USB port. The port is rated at MAX 500ma ( I think the manual says “min” 500ma) So I might have to add another AC/DC converter for the USB 1Amp firestick. A project for the future, provided the monitor lasts.
A thought just dawned upon me. This is a great way (I guess) to not have to pay the NHK fee. This setup cannot catch Japanese terrestrial TV. It’s a kin to a long time ago people could buy US military base surplus or unwanted TVs which were incompatible with The broadcast system here and we legally allowed to not pay.