…begins a couple years ago when I started the Omnicopter. To fly the copter, I needed a remote. So, I built the Omnimote (right). It was a Panda-II powered remote that used XBee to communicate with the copter. It also had a small (slow) FEZ Touch display that was useful for displaying some info but had limited ability as a touch screen due to it being a resistive touch screen and it was just too slow to be depended on for use during flight.
As I’ve built other projects since then, it’s become more and more evident that I have a need for a universal device that can communicate and display information with other projects.
In the past year, most of my focus has been drawn toward the Gadgeteer platform for electronics prototyping. It’s a much more flexible and productive platform than anything else that exists at the moment and has dozens of powerful modules (subcircuits) that can be attached to it. Gadgeteer has become my go-to platform when developing electronics projects.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of Gadgeteer evangelizing the past year by giving presentations at our local .NET users’ group and at conferences. I’m also starting the Nashville Microcontrollers users’ group. So, the desire to have a truly portable and compact solution for demoing Gadgeteer in addition to something that is useful for my other projects has become a little more important.
However, one piece has been missing to allow me to build the Gadgetab of my dreams – a large capacitive touch display. GHI Electronics recently solved that problem with the release of their CP7 module – a 7” capacitive touch display. So, let the building begin!
The design goal was to build a tablet type device that could be useful as a remote, demo device, have some room for storage, be battery powered, and look nice – lots of software & sawdust.
The Mounting Plate
It just happened that I’d been talking to Steve Presley, who is starting up a custom CNC & 3D printing service, about building some mounting boards for Gadgeteer projects. I gave him some dimensions and he went to work. A few days later, I received a perfectly CNC machined piece of 1/4” blue acrylic in the mail and I went to work building the box that would house it.
Constructing the Box
This has been a fun project that yielded a platform that I’m sure you’ll see as an essential of many future projects. So, stay tuned and keep making!
GHI Electronics – for building the best Gadgeteer components and for setting the gold standard in customer support. They’ve also built the best NETMF/Gadgeteer community on the planet. Got Gadgeteer questions? Bring them to tinyclr.com.
Microsoft’s Channel 9 Coding 4 Fun site featured this project!