Monday, 26 September 2011

Six Inches - Big Enough

I got around to taking the screen out of one of the LCD units to see what could be done with it. For a start the actual screen is 6.2" (according to the serial number and a ruler) not 7" as on the manufacturer's website, but that's no bad thing. It turns out a 6.2" screen is just the right size to fit in a double-DIN car radio slot, which prompts all sorts of ideas.

It also turned out that there were 2 circuit boards, a big one with an audio amplifier and some power supply circuitry and a small one for the actual screen. Essentially the screen will operate with just a 4-wire connection (9 volt, GND, Video and Video GND). There is another connector for options (screen mode, colour and brightness), but with nothing connected to this the monitor defaults to perfectly use-able settings.

In the photo I have it hooked to a PC via a VGA-to-Video adaptor. The computer is running Tiny Core Linux (my new favourite distro) in 640 x 480 mode (I think). It will go down to 320 x 240 which gives huge icons that would be great with a touch screen.

The wallpaper is Pink Floyd's 'Animals' album cover, recently re-created over Battersea Power Station - "Every Dog needs a home, a shelter from Pigs on the wing."


  1. was this a venturer car dvd screen?

  2. Yes, it was. The screens aren't too bad (one dead pixel across both) and very easy to re-wire, but the DVD player was absolute junk and went straight in the recycling box!

  3. I have 4 of these - players now dead have you any idea of the pinouts? I'm thinking 9V,0v, Audio L and R, video signal(Composite) and ground,IR (back to player) .. seem to recall a standby signal and maybe an audio ground?? Looking at using with a rasperry pi (or 2)

  4. Initially I took the 8-pin mini plugs off and fitted 5-pin DIN plugs instead and yes, there is a standby signal that needs to be grounded, but I did that with a little jumper wire inside the unit. Later on it dawned on me that the swivelling monitors would be much neater removed from the outer case for what I had in mind (car computer). The audio is a con by the way, it may have a stereo connection, but there is only one speaker! With the audio/power board dumped, you have 4 connections, +9v, GND, Video and Video-GND. You lose the colour and brightness controls, but the units default to perfectly usable settings. Once dismantled all I did was carefully cut the 2 lugs off the 'inner' monitor casing with a hacksaw and rigged up the 4 wires. See new post.