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'[EE] Finishing Touches'
2006\03\10@050542 by Kev Pearce \(kevp.com\)

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Hi,

I'm very close to having finished my first semi commericial poject [ amatuer
but to sell on ebay ;-) ].

It all fits in a small plastic box/housing 120mm x 50mm.
User input/output is via a 2x16 LCD a couple of LEDs and some small panel
mounted toggle/push switches.

My problem is how do I present this in the box and make it look worth the
money?

The ideal would be the plastic labels used on 'most' commercial electronics
products today.
But I'm not sure that this is known as or how to go about asking a printer
if they can do this...

I've looked at a couple of places on line that do CNC machining of ali front
panels but these are very expensive.

So my questions:

Has anyone ever got small number production runs done of these type of
labels/front panels?
Ideally in the UK?
OR better still is there a system that you can do this yourself?
and still get good results?
Anyone any other sugestions?

Any help greatfully recieved...


Cheers

Kev/.


2006\03\10@062209 by Dominic Stratten

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part 1 1417 bytes content-type:text/plain; (decoded 7bit)

A few of the UK electronics sheds do printable label stick on stuff that you
can print on with a laser printer.

You could also consider printing onto glossy paper and laminating it.

Dom

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\10@062634 by Russell McMahon

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> I'm very close to having finished my first semi commericial poject
> [ amatuer
> but to sell on ebay ;-) ].

For interest, what's the approximate target price?
And, what does it do?

> My problem is how do I present this in the box and make it look
> worth the
> money?

A low volume low cost labelling method that can look surprisingly good
is to use a laser or inkjet (or other) printer to produce "front
panel" and then overlay this with "contact" plastic covering such as
is intended for use on book covers. This comes in various
qualities/weights and use of a better quality one is probably advised.
This label can be attached to the box with the adhesive of your
choice. PVA glue works well for many plastics. Care needs to be taken
with glue consistency (wateriness) as you can affect the label from
soaking if too wet and it won't spread as well if too thick. A bit of
experimenting can produce quite creditable results. This is somewhat
akin to laminating except the top layer is stuck on and the bottom
layer is the box.

Dealing with edges can be an issue. If you print the label on a larger
than final piece of paper (usually what would happen anyway) and then
apply a piece of "contact" larger than the finished label you can trim
it to size so that the plastic comes to exactly the edge of the label.
This looks good BUT the edge is open to water intrusion. This often
does not matter but may in some cases. For straight lines a steel rule
and sharp knife and some experience is a good idea - or a guillotine
or roller trimmer. Scissors may be OK if you have better
hand/eye/brain coordination than I have.

There are many grades of PVA glue - use a good one. Some have
anti-mould in them which can be useful. Other types of adhesive may
work well for you. You could use water resistant paper etc to improve
resistance to water penetration. I haven't tried using silicon rubber
as adhesive but suspect that it may do a superb job if you can
tolerate the need to hold the job together for some hours.

If best environmental performance is more important than ultimate
looks then you can cut the plastic larger than the printed label so
there is a sealing edge around the outside. This can look less
"professional" but BE more professional. Alignment can be 'fun' when
done this way.

Inkjet ink will fade in time in high UV environments. Appropriate
choice of paper, ink and plastic covering will help reduce this.

Labels made with this method can include photos and other artwork and
scanned material. The end result can look so good that minor defects
in execution or the method are largely minimised. Holes can be cut or
punched through the plastic/paper label before fitting or afterwards.
If done afterwards tidiness of edges may be a greater challenge.



       Russell McMahon

2006\03\10@101928 by Kev Pearce \(kevp.com\)

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Hi,

Thanks Russell for the reply.

The project is a Fault Code Reader (FCR) for Ford Cosworth's (late 80's
supercar...). Normally you hook up an LED and count the number of flashes
then a pause and count some more, to read off any error code the ECU is
outputting. Then look up the code in a book/the internet etc.
What I have done is fed this signal into a PIC and decoded the signal, then
displayed a more readable text version on the LCD. It can also read multiple
codes and display them. Next version will include a RTC and a history log of
the codes that can be output over serial to a PC.
Version 1 target price is circa £50.

I had looked at laminating a laser printed heavy paper but the problem was
the window for the LCD display was quite hazy and ruined the whole purpose
of the unit, i.e. the clear easy to read display. Might need to look at some
more expensive laminating pouches/laminator.

Had also toyed with building a homemade cnc drill bot to both drill my pcbs
and to also cut out the front panel and maybe 'engrave' text on them.... one
day....

The only thing that worries me about this glueing it myself is the
consistency of the glue and it soaking into the paper....
Maybe I just need to do some experimenting and see what happens.

Thanks for the advice, I guess I just need to go and play some more.....


Cheers

Kev/.


{Original Message removed}

2006\03\10@110317 by Gus Salavatore Calabrese

face picon face
I had good success using clear sheets meant for laser printing.  These
sheet were for overhead projectors I think.  I printed the image in  
mirror
image so that I could flip the sheet over and protect the laser  
printing.

I also used laser gel paper.  I printed a regular image and then  
transferred
the image to glass or plastic using a hot clothes iron.  I then  
soaked the
transfer paper off.  I do not know if this transfer paper is still made.
I have some unused pieces ( small ) that you can experiment with.

I am planning to see if I can make this paper by screening gelatin onto
a rugged laser paper ( glossy ? )

AGSC

On 2006-Mar 10, at 8:19 AM, Kev Pearce ((kevp.com)) wrote:

Hi,

Thanks Russell for the reply.

The project is a Fault Code Reader (FCR) for Ford Cosworth's (late 80's
supercar...). Normally you hook up an LED and count the number of  
flashes
then a pause and count some more, to read off any error code the ECU is
outputting. Then look up the code in a book/the internet etc.
What I have done is fed this signal into a PIC and decoded the  
signal, then
displayed a more readable text version on the LCD. It can also read  
multiple
codes and display them. Next version will include a RTC and a history  
log of
the codes that can be output over serial to a PC.
Version 1 target price is circa £50.

I had looked at laminating a laser printed heavy paper but the  
problem was
the window for the LCD display was quite hazy and ruined the whole  
purpose
of the unit, i.e. the clear easy to read display. Might need to look  
at some
more expensive laminating pouches/laminator.

Had also toyed with building a homemade cnc drill bot to both drill  
my pcbs
and to also cut out the front panel and maybe 'engrave' text on  
them.... one
day....

The only thing that worries me about this glueing it myself is the
consistency of the glue and it soaking into the paper....
Maybe I just need to do some experimenting and see what happens.

Thanks for the advice, I guess I just need to go and play some more.....


Cheers

Kev/.


{Original Message removed}

2006\03\10@110936 by Paul James E.

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Kev,

This sounds virtually identical to a unit I designed and built about 7 or
8 years ago to decode the fault codes for Ford OBD I (~1985 - 1993).
Mine worked out very well.  I didn't offer to sell it, but I did have a
few people ask about it locally.  I supplied them a programmed PIC and
they bought the rest of the components and put it together.  One guy here
still uses his the last time I talked to him.  I believe there were also
a few inquiries from the PICLIST IIRC.   I looked, but I no longer have
the source code or any of the info about mine.  I still remember some of
it, but not enough off the top of my head to compare yours to mine. Mine
was general coverage, not specific to one type engine control though.  

I wish you luck in your endeavor.


                                                 Regards,

                                                   Jim

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2006\03\10@145532 by Brent Brown

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This works exceptionally well for me...

Mirror your image and laser colour print (b/w or colour) onto transparency.
Spray over the printed side with white gloss or semi gloss paint. When paint
dry :-) cover with double sided tape, spend some money and get tape wide
enough so you don't need multiple strips. Cut out the label, stick it on!

Worth paying $5 to get it colour laser printed (if you don't have one yourself).
Inkjet poorer quality in terms of moisture handling and UV. Good quality
adhesive makes this waterproof and will last ages. Tactile switches can be
work through this too, just place a small piece of plastic (hole puch a piece of
transparency and use the dots stamped out) over the exposed adhesive to
stop it sticking to the switch (makes it wear better too).

If you do it right it will look proffessional.

--
Brent Brown, Electronic Design Solutions
16 English Street, Hamilton 2001, New Zealand
Ph: +64 7 849 0069
Fax: +64 7 849 0071
Cell/txt: 027 433 4069
eMail:  spam_OUTbrent.brownTakeThisOuTspamclear.net.nz


2006\03\10@230508 by blackcat

face picon face
Hello Jim
Where did you get the information for ODB I ?
I have several Fords in the 1991 to 1995 range.
I thought ODBII started in 1996.  Is that incorrect ?

Regards   Gus



On 2006-Mar 09, at 9:09 PM, Paul James E. wrote:


 Kev,

 This sounds virtually identical to a unit I designed and built  
about 7 or
 8 years ago to decode the fault codes for Ford OBD I (~1985 - 1993).
 Mine worked out very well.  I didn't offer to sell it, but I did  
have a
 few people ask about it locally.  I supplied them a programmed PIC and
 they bought the rest of the components and put it together.  One  
guy here
 still uses his the last time I talked to him.  I believe there were  
also
 a few inquiries from the PICLIST IIRC.   I looked, but I no longer  
have
 the source code or any of the info about mine.  I still remember  
some of
 it, but not enough off the top of my head to compare yours to mine.  
Mine
 was general coverage, not specific to one type engine control though.

 I wish you luck in your endeavor.


                                                  Regards,

                                                    Jim

{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2006\03\10@232027 by Vitaliy

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Gus,

It's "OBD I", not "ODB I."

Spelling makes a difference when you Google.

Best regards,

Vitaliy

{Original Message removed}

2006\03\11@011144 by Robert Ammerman

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----- Original Message -----
From: "Brent Brown" <.....brent.brownKILLspamspam@spam@clear.net.nz>
To: "Microcontroller discussion list - Public." <piclistspamKILLspammit.edu>
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 2:55 PM
Subject: Re: [EE] Finishing Touches


> This works exceptionally well for me...
>
> Mirror your image and laser colour print (b/w or colour) onto
> transparency.
> Spray over the printed side with white gloss or semi gloss paint. When
> paint
> dry :-) cover with double sided tape, spend some money and get tape wide
> enough so you don't need multiple strips. Cut out the label, stick it on!

I have thought of doing this, but I would use spray-on adhesive rather than
double sided tape. Also, you would obviously have to mask any areas that are
to remain clear, like those over a display.

Bob Ammerman
RAm Systems

2006\03\11@052210 by Russell McMahon

face
flavicon
face
>I had looked at laminating a laser printed heavy paper but the
>problem was
the window for the LCD display was quite hazy and ruined the whole
purpose
of the unit, i.e. the clear easy to read display. Might need to look
at some
more expensive laminating pouches/laminator.
/>

The paper labels are superbly readable through the "contact" layer. If
you place a clear piece of plastic such as mylar photocopier
transperancy material (or another piece of contact, sticky side up)
behind the "window" you should get an adequately transparent window.

You may be getting problems from having the LCD spaced back from the
window so that light reflects within the display-window space. If you
can read printed text clearly through one or two layers of contac then
you should be able to read the LCD OK if it is not backlit.
BBacklighting adds extra magic.

If still no joy consider cutting out the window and viewing the LCD
directly and placing a bezel around the hole to make it look neat.

> The only thing that worries me about this glueing it myself is the
consistency of the glue and it soaking into the paper....
Maybe I just need to do some experimenting and see what happens.
/>

Labels that I have made this way have remained stuck to ABS plastic
for around 10 years of field service in applications where they are
given a hard time (disability devices for children who may throw or
drop them or worse).



       RM

2006\03\11@114205 by blackcat

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If you reverse laserprint onto gel paper and then
spray with clear acrylic you can make a decal.
Once the acrylic dries, you soak the gel paper in
water and the acrylic film with the laser printing
imbedded in it slides off.

AGSC


On 2006-Mar 10, at 11:09 PM, Robert Ammerman wrote:


{Original Message removed}

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