Looking for a simple Raspberry Pi-related weekend project, or just want to package your Pi into its own display? Many options are available for displays, from the compact PiTFT to the popular 7” touchscreen display. But what about a foldable car-reverse display, the type you would usually find mounted in a car, and connected to rear-mounted cameras?
That’s exactly what maker Michael Horne did, and the results are pretty good, thanks in part to a happy accident discovered as he investigated the car-reverse screen.
As you’ll see in the accompanying video, the display flips up and features a Raspberry Pi (actually a Zero W, mounted inside the case) controlled by a wireless keyboard (albeit one that is on charge). If you’ve been looking for a compact housing for your Raspberry Pi, this could be the solution for you; similarly, anyone looking at Raspberry Pi in-car solutions might be fascinated to see how the computer fits into the display housing...
Writing in his blog, Michael Horne details some of the intricacies of the build, particularly his discovery that the display driver board was equipped with a compatible composite connector for video! “...somewhere on the board was something to do with I2C. I wondered if, perhaps, the screen was powered from 3V3, rather than 5V. I could have gone to the bother of powering it up with 12V and finding a 5V point, but I thought, what the heck, I might as well see what happened.”
After soldering wires into place for the display, milling some holes with a handheld rotary tool to accommodate the micro USB ports on the Raspberry Pi Zero W, and hot gluing the display driver board and Pi Zero W into place within the flip display’s chassis, this impressive build was complete.
Looking for somewhere to house your Raspberry Pi? Repurposing existing hardware is always a good place to start – all the better if it has its own display! Just remember that if you’re planning to copy Michael’s project, the display driver board may differ from the one he used.