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Old 03-14-2016, 05:58 AM   #1
elektrinis
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Kindle as a motorcycle dashboard?

Hi.

I am working on a nice electric motorcycle project and we are looking for an awesome instrument cluster display. E-paper (with backlight) would be a nice touch.

We can go in two ways with this:
1. buy a kindle and throw everything away, except display, backlight and touch. Obviously that would involve a design of new motherboard. Not too big a deal, but still.
2. buy a kindle, throw only the enclosure away, leave all the electronics.That would give as a running OS and possibly a good head start to create our dash app.

The main concern is about the display. I know there is a sequence to change pixel color, however, since we would only need black&white and would do segmented components (like a 7-segment digit display for speed), we would not mind any leftover shadows on the edges at all, it could be a design element...
So the question is: is it possible to get reasonably good refresh rates (200ms) when only few components are changed, and can it be done without the usual flickering? Is it possible in hardware at all, and if so, does the OS/drivers allow it? I believe our choice of options depends on that.
Thanks.

Last edited by elektrinis; 03-14-2016 at 06:01 AM.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:48 AM   #2
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You are posting in the grayscale Kindle forum.

So -

*) The display is e-ink, not e-paper.
*) It does not do color, only 16 shades of gray.
*) It has a front light, not a backlight.
*) The display **is** the case frame.
*) 5 fps - easy, read up on the Kindle video display here.
*) do some more research here -
-) look at the devices tear downs, perhaps even buy one and take it apart so you have a better idea of what you are suggesting.
-) look at the threads on using the Kindle as an information display

= = = = =

Perhaps you have the wrong product to start with -
Check out the devices that are produced as 'electronic price tags' - which are also e-ink displays.
Those should be much simplier electronics to re-purpose.
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Old 03-14-2016, 07:59 AM   #3
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What you want has been done before, and it won't be hard to duplicate. You'll need a Rasp Pi or some other SBC, and a Kindle:
http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/0...bike-comupter/
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:01 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knc1 View Post
You are posting in the grayscale Kindle forum.

So -

*) The display is e-ink, not e-paper.
*) It does not do color, only 16 shades of gray.
*) It has a front light, not a backlight.
*) The display **is** the case frame.
*) 5 fps - easy, read up on the Kindle video display here.
*) do some more research here -
-) look at the devices tear downs, perhaps even buy one and take it apart so you have a better idea of what you are suggesting.
-) look at the threads on using the Kindle as an information display

= = = = =

Perhaps you have the wrong product to start with -
Check out the devices that are produced as 'electronic price tags' - which are also e-ink displays.
Those should be much simplier electronics to re-purpose.
I think by "color" they meant shades of gray (black, white, and gray are colors).
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:06 AM   #5
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[QUOTE=knc1;3280315]You are posting in the grayscale Kindle forum./QUOTE]

*) The display is e-ink, not e-paper.
- don't really care
*) It does not do color, only 16 shades of gray.
- I did not mention color, I believe nothing prevents me from using 2 of the gray shades, black and white.
*) It has a front light, not a backlight.
- figure of speech, does not really matter.
*) The display **is** the case frame.
- watched a video of gen4 disassembly and it all looks dashboard-friendly.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVKiRfTMUWk
*) 5 fps - easy, read up on the Kindle video display here.
Thats great to know, thanks.
*) do some more research here -
-) look at the devices tear downs, perhaps even buy one and take it apart so you have a better idea of what you are suggesting.
-) look at the threads on using the Kindle as an information display

Will do, thanks.

= = = = =

Quote:
Originally Posted by knc1 View Post
Perhaps you have the wrong product to start with -
Check out the devices that are produced as 'electronic price tags' - which are also e-ink displays.
Those should be much simplier electronics to re-purpose.
Do you have a particular model in mind? With backlight, touch and size ~5-6".


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
What you want has been done before, and it won't be hard to duplicate. You'll need a Rasp Pi or some other SBC, and a Kindle:
http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/0...bike-comupter/
That is so nice!! Thanks, will take a closer look.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:14 AM   #6
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Thanks Nate, you are actually great.
Very good info, exactly what I needed.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:23 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knc1 View Post
- - - -

-) look at the threads on using the Kindle as an information display

- - - -
NtG just didn't read to the end of the post quoted.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knc1 View Post
NtG just didn't read to the end of the post quoted.
Got a link to that thread? I don't see it in the Kindle forum, and since I knew of a project that did exactly what the OP wanted, I gave him a link to that project.

Also, no I did not read to the end of your post, but I was also avoiding the urge to nitpick your nitpicking (E-ink is a type of epaper, for example). I was trying to stay helpful and constructive.
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Old 03-14-2016, 08:51 AM   #9
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After giving it a better look, now I see that he is running a stock web browser... In my case I would need it to be customer-friendly, I mean no visible browser window and no way of closing it. It should be a full screen app without ability to use any other kindle-related things, just the app. Maybe something like custom screensaver?
Probably a custom full-screen browser would be possible to do? But we would prefer to offload all the computational power on to kindle and use only a very small MCU for actual data acquisition and retransmission to kindle, without running an OS or web server on the MCU...

Last edited by elektrinis; 03-14-2016 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elektrinis View Post
- - - - -
Do you have a particular model in mind? With backlight, touch and size ~5-6".
- - - - -
I don't design commercial devices for free, but your welcome to PM me for my engineering rates.

One lead into the product types:
https://www.visionect.com/blog/the-w...ectronic-paper

Scroll down to the "three color pigment, Spectra" display for a non-technical overview.
Which is one example of the store label devices.
That would also make a highly visible dashboard.

Then scroll to bottom and follow link(s) to development resources.
Include in your inquiry questions about vibration tolerance.

= = = =

Front light(s) and Touch Screen are (physical) add-ons.

= = = =

You wrote "change color" and "e-paper" - in a technical forum.
The only devices with those two details in common are non-grayscale only displays.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:33 AM   #11
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Dear knc1,

Is white - color?
Is black - color?
My answer is yes. I hope we have clarified this one.

Also you are suggesting:
Check out the devices that are produced as 'electronic price tags'

Then you point me to displays. Not the same thing, is it?
And then you offer your engineering skills. I see working with you would be a treat.
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Old 03-14-2016, 09:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elektrinis View Post
- - - - -
Then you point me to displays. Not the same thing, is it?
- - - - -
They are.

Try this one:
https://www.visionect.com/product/di...-ink-display/3

Last edited by knc1; 03-14-2016 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:30 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elektrinis View Post
Dear knc1,

Is white - color?
Is black - color?
My answer is yes. I hope we have clarified this one.

Also you are suggesting:
Check out the devices that are produced as 'electronic price tags'

Then you point me to displays. Not the same thing, is it?
And then you offer your engineering skills. I see working with you would be a treat.
The problem with e-shelf labels is that they are dumb displays which are updated remotely (plus they use propr hardware which is not portable). The Visionect screens have a similar problem.
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Old 03-14-2016, 10:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elektrinis View Post
After giving it a better look, now I see that he is running a stock web browser... In my case I would need it to be customer-friendly, I mean no visible browser window and no way of closing it. It should be a full screen app without ability to use any other kindle-related things, just the app. Maybe something like custom screensaver?
Probably a custom full-screen browser would be possible to do? But we would prefer to offload all the computational power on to kindle and use only a very small MCU for actual data acquisition and retransmission to kindle, without running an OS or web server on the MCU...
Here's an outside-of-the-box suggestion.

There are ereaders which have an E-ink screen, run Android, and can do USB OTG via a microUSB port (some even have BT).

Would it be possible to use one of those, running a custom Android app?
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Old 03-14-2016, 11:02 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
The problem with e-shelf labels is that they are dumb displays which are updated remotely (plus they use propr hardware which is not portable). The Visionect screens have a similar problem.
? ? ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
What you want has been done before, and it won't be hard to duplicate. You'll need a Rasp Pi or some other SBC, and a Kindle:
http://the-digital-reader.com/2015/0...bike-comupter/
And it appears that on good authority, so do the Kindles.
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