Uri_ba's pit

DED box – as real as it gets.

I’ve been using a hand built DED box made out of foam board. it was quick to build, and did the job it was intended. holding my DED in place. But then I was pointed towards a post in jSheppard blog, jshep, creator of the PScockpit system, has been using off the shelf plastic box by Hammond, which in a funny coincidence almost exactly in the perfect size to be a DED.

Shep is using the NH 2.8″ LED, I still prefer the ER 2.8″ due to it’s 5V compatibility, but it will not fit into the box due to the PCB side… or will it? (spoiler alert… it does fit ;))

it is a very long post, that will show how to get from this:

Mouser DED box - what you need
Mouser DED box – what you need

To this:

Assembled DED - final test
Assembled DED – final test


I’ll start by linking Jshep’s post for who ever interested.

so, what would you need for the East rising build?

  1. ER 2.8″ OLED (their 3.2″ also fits with some effort, and it comes in green too) – with that said, this post will deal with the 2.8″ as it’s a more elegant solution and requires nothing more then a sharp knife.
  2. A sharp knife (exacto knife or similar)
  3. Female-Female 30Pin ZIF connector (for extending the cable – I ordered these off ebay)
  4. 30 pin FFC flat cable extension (again, ebay to the rescue)
  5. Hammond 1598ABK box (I got mine from Mouser)
  6. a way to connect a screen to the Arduino – I use my DED adapter board.

we’ll start from making sure the screen works.soundes easy, but requires some work, this is what you need:

DEDbox - what you will need to get the screen ready
DEDbox – what you will need to get the screen ready

on this particular screen I’ve ordered without header pins, and soldered angled headers so that the connector will face backwards and be available for easy connection.

soldering the connector is not a problem, so I won’t show anything about it, but there is one tricky bit, that requires a jumper resistor to be moved. quick thing to do, tweezers are a must, solder wick is useful, but not always needed.

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After everything is in position, and the screen is tested, we are ready to move on.

we begin by removing the bezel from the screen, we will be using it as a guide for modding the box (screen will be inside the bezel – recycling :))

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Now that the bezel is off the fun begins.

what will we need for phase 2:

DED phase 2 - what will you need
DED phase 2 – what will you need

Note that the screen still has a cable attached to it, it was the cable I used to test the screen with. Also the plastic spacers and double sided tape and not necessary, but nice to have anyway,

the hammond box is designed to be tabled mounted so the screw holes are on the buttom of the case. because this is the DED, and the top is flush against the glare shield, I’m flipping the box around. so what I am referring to as  the “bottom” is actually what Hammond call “the top”. easiest tell is the metal screw retainers (to which the screw goes into).

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Also note the ridges on the outside of the box, they indicate the front of the box (they are a good way to tell you are working on the correct side :))

Now we will take the Bezel and the bottom half and start cutting the plastic of the box in order to fit the bezel. please note that I’m not using power tools in this build, just a sharp knife, feel free to use a Dremel or anything else if that makes you happy, for the 2.8″ screen it’s not necessary (of the 3.2″ it it)

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if done correctly, the bezel bottom edge should not be visible,  you will need to trim off the bottom part of the groove, IMMV, work with the bezel for fitting. Once the bottom is OK, do the same to the top half. the top of the case needs less modding to get the bezel to sit properly, again, work with the bezel and just eyeball it.

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Now that the bezel sits properly inside the box, that means that we will be able to fit the screen with no issues.

first we need to seperate the screen from the PCB, they have pretty strong double sided tape holding them togeather, use a sharp knife to seperate them, make sure you keep away from the ribbon on the bottom of the screen, you don’t want to cut that one by mistake 🙂

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Once the screen is off we will be able to extend the cable, so that the PCB could be rotated into position (it does not if in the box “standing up”). it is very important to make sure that you do not accidentally flip the wiring order while extending, you might cause damage to the screen when powering it on. Best way to make sure that doesn’t happen is to keep the screen correctly oriented with the PCB at all times until you connect the extension.

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the flat cable, as you can see, can be folded (just don’t fold it too much). Once the screen is tested, we can continue to the next step, the final assembly.

this is pretty straight forward, put everything in place and tighten it 😉 make use the flat cable is out of the way from the screw holes, and that everything closes neatly, you might need to go ham on the case, just like I had to do here, because the connector was too tall, I had to remove a piece from the back of the top half. double sided tape and spacers (motherboard style or similar, I used nylon M3 sized set I got off Ebay for 10$) are useful to make sure everything in position.
you can screw it from the bottom, that then it might cause issues fitting into the pit (I’ve tried). I’ve also folded the top tabs of the bezel (used to fix the bezel to the PCB) onto the screen, so it will be held and not accidentally fall when the box is handled

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That’s just about it… Close the two screws, and take it for a spin 🙂

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