In need of a decent numerical display

Thread Starter

Tom Richardson

Joined Nov 6, 2018
6
Afternoon all, slightly pulling my hair out trying to find some numerical displays, the thing I desire seems so simple and obvious, but no one really sells it (as far as I can find).

I'm after a simple 3 or 4 character display, 7 segment type thing that is panel mount and simple to connect and talk to using something like I2C. I can find thousands and thousands of the 7 segment LED blocks, but they are all for mounting on PCBs, and even if they come on a board already, then that still has to be mounted and a hole cut and screen installed etc etc. I don't have the time or desire to do all that.

We do runs of about 20 or 30 bits of kit, so I'm after something that will just push in to a panel. Something like the cheap voltmeters you can get like below. I'm half tempted to buy a load of them and pull them apart, but there must be a better way and as we will do similar things in future, it would be nice to know what everyone else uses for similar jobs, has to look half decent and professional too!

Display.jpg

Another thing that also gets us is how best to label bits of kit, you know, on/off, press this, do that, just simple words and labels. I can't find anything quick and effective, I don't want to have to print little stickers, they peel off and look cheap and the same sort of thing applies to other methods that I know of. Again if anyone has suggestions about how they do it, that would be great. Same runs of 20-30, so in that annoying range where time consuming methods aren't viable and expensive set up methods are exactly that, too expensive.

Many thanks in advance!!
 

Thread Starter

Tom Richardson

Joined Nov 6, 2018
6
Welcome to AAC!

We've had a similar question recently.

Lascar Electronics makes LCD and LED display modules.

https://www.lascarelectronics.com/panel-instruments/
Thanks for the welcome and response, I look forward to getting stuck in!

Yes hadn't thought of Lascar, very good point! I have one of their dev kits sat right here. I will look for that similar post also. Unfortunately I think they will be a little out of budget, they would be fine for something one off, but I'm looking around the £5-10 mark, I think some of their cheaper displays start at £20, which might be acceptable, but would be interested if there is something like that for cheap first.

I just struggle to imagine that a similar thing to those voltmeters aren't made by someone for pennies!
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
31,093
I have not seen any low cost display modules, but I have not searched recently.

If you need to go into production, you may want to consider producing your own. Mounting 3 or 4 seven-segment displays on a PCB is a very easy thing to do.

With 3D printers you can at least prototype a bezel design. Then if you wish you can get them made by injection molding.
 

Thread Starter

Tom Richardson

Joined Nov 6, 2018
6
I have not seen any low cost display modules, but I have not searched recently.

If you need to go into production, you may want to consider producing your own. Mounting 3 or 4 seven-segment displays on a PCB is a very easy thing to do.

With 3D printers you can at least prototype a bezel design. Then if you wish you can get them made by injection molding.
Yes there are certainly ways around it, but I want quick and dirty. Thanks again, plenty of ways I can do this, but I'm just a little shocked that no one produces a simple panel mount display like the voltmeters with a little I2C circuit on it.

Ok I'm not a little shocked, I'm very shocked, it must be a common thing for people to want for little projects! The most sensible option it seems is to get a ready made little PCB, but then at a minimum you have to mount that to the back of a panel with the right length standoffs and have a nice tidy cutout and even a bit of perspex sealing it to stop fluff and detritus getting in the box etc, and even then it would look distinctly homemade. That versus having a crude cutout (some sins can be covered by a healthy bezel!) and a few loose wires to attach directly to your project. I will report back if I find anything and if I don't I might just have to make and sell my own!
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
31,093
As for labeling, there's not much I can recommend besides the following:

1) Dry transfer lettering (e.g. Letraset) followed by a spray coat of lacquer.

2) Silk screening

3) Polycarbonate graphics overlay

4) Touchscreen graphics display
 

Thread Starter

Tom Richardson

Joined Nov 6, 2018
6
Thanks MrChips, I might pop down to our mech workshop and see what their laser does for cutting/engraving ABS!

Cheers too cmartinez, but sadly still doesn't seem to meet the push/clip in to a panel criteria. I might just end up sticking my vs up to it all, making a gui and pumping it through a computer screen, saves on buttons and other hardware too!
 
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