Kitchen touchscreen refresh

Posted on
Tue Nov 06, 2018 6:58 pm
roussell offline
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Kitchen touchscreen refresh

So 3-1/2 years ago I posted this install of an HP Slate 21" Android touchscreen in my kitchen wall. In those 3.5 years the tablet, the tablet was abandoned by HP and was stuck forever on Android 4.4. It had become so slow that we never used it anymore; with Adam's recent update of Domopad to support webpage inserts on control pages, I decided it was time to upgrade.
Here's the old tablet in place for those that don't want to trudge through the old post
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I got a Lenovo Tab 4 10" tablet which works great. It's fast, has minimal bloatware and works perfectly with Domopad. Below is how I replaced the HP Slate with the Lenovo Tab 4 10.

First, I removed the giant 21" tablet and patched the hole, putting a low voltage mud ring and 3/4" flexible conduit in the wall. The conduit exits in the basement garage directly below the tablet's location. I bought a wireless charging adapter that fit the tablet, and disassembled it to scavenge the connector and flat cable. I clipped the end off of a long USB extension cable and soldered the USB cable to the flat connector. The new USB assembly slid neatly through the conduit and was secured inside the mud ring.
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After that I plugged in the tablet, taped the flat portion of the cable down so it wouldn't move around, and secured it to the wall with 3M command strips.
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Here are some shots of the finished product. The 3M strips hold it off the wall by about a millimeter, and is very sturdy, but removable should I need to. The connector is just a small pad on the upper right side. It's barely noticeable. it was shiny, but a black Sharpie took care of that.
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Now I just need to make some new control pages!

Terry

Posted on
Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:03 pm
roussell offline
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Kitchen touchscreen refresh

Worth mentioning again - the Lenovo Tab 4 10" is a great tablet for this. It looks nice on the wall, and was only $149 on Amazon. It feels much faster than the Fire 10 and didn't require all the hacks to get it going.

Terry
Last edited by roussell on Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posted on
Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:43 pm
siclark offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

roussell wrote:
It feels much faster than the Fire !0 and didn't require all the hacks to get it going.

Terry


Haha, not hard. I'm barely using my various fire tablets as so slow and unresponsive now.

Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:24 am
roussell offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

Same here. They once were fine but subsequent updates by Amazon have made them unbearably slow. That’s why I went searching for an alternative, I think the Lenovo line is a good one, I tried a few of the cheap Chinese tablets and they weren’t any better than the Fires and felt very ‘buggy’.

I’d love to find a good, small resistive touchscreen that I can waterproof for the shower, that’s my next quest.

Terry


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Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 6:30 am
siclark offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

For HA and my own use it's fine, I use voice and phone but annoying the kids fire tablet is so bad now.

Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 7:38 am
mundmc offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

Rousseau I appreciate your continued trailblazing and documentation of your work!

Questions:
1)Any reason you are using the wireless charging? It seems like you could unplug a micro-usb pretty easy
2) What are the problems related to slowness on the prior Amazon Fire implementations? I have 4 Fire 7’s running Domopad, but I’m not launching them in the house until their Control Pages and and mounting is bullet-proof (as the WAF is important, and it’s a dependent variable of the MILAF (mother-in-law AF)). Their Alexa functionality also works well for me.
3) What did you use for line-to-low voltage? I may need to do this in a wall box, but I’m trying to avoid it



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Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:37 am
RogueProeliator offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

It had become so slow that we never used it anymore; with Adam's recent update of Domopad to support webpage inserts on control pages, I decided it was time to upgrade.

FWIW, given the issue of the WebView not directly supporting RTSP, I hope to do the exact same option but instead of a web view, it loads a video stream. SO, you can use that technique to load a WebView with HTML content or instead give it an RTSP stream and it will (hopefully) load the stream directly. I haven't programmed this outside of a quick test, but hope to do so soon. My Mini apparently had some issues and corrupted my entire user directory, so have to rebuild it and Indigo (well, Indigo from backup at least) first.

2) What are the problems related to slowness on the prior Amazon Fire implementations?

Others can chime in too, but what I have found is that the Fire tablets are fine when running a single, specific application. So, say, DomoPad is up and running you will be fine. However, they are painfully slow when attempting to change to, say, Sonos to control something outside of the foreground application. If your control pages can get most of your functionality in as-is then you are good to go.

If I had Sonos equipment, I would consider building control straight into DomoPad, but I don't. And that is just one specific (though maybe most common) reason to jump out to another app; another might be to view Nest doorbell which we can't integrate.

Adam

Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:19 am
mundmc offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

Thanks Adam,
Domopad is running really smoothly on my Fire 7’s, though I haven’t yet put Sonos on them. I HOPE to control Sonos via the plugin, but I’m waiting for the new API to get sorted out on Indigo first.


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Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 11:41 am
siclark offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

Yes. Most of my fire issues in trying to use them as tablets so control a couple of different apps. Running single domopad app it should be ok.

Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:38 pm
roussell offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

mundmc wrote:
Rousseau I appreciate your continued trailblazing and documentation of your work!


Thanks, I wish I could post more often, life really gets in the way of my hobbies so often these days! My hope is that people find something useful in my ramblings.

1)Any reason you are using the wireless charging? It seems like you could unplug a micro-usb pretty easy

I'm not using wireless charging, I just bought the adapter because that was the only way to get the flush right-angle connector. Couldn't find them separately anywhere, but it was easy enough to take apart a cheapo adapter and use that.

2) What are the problems related to slowness on the prior Amazon Fire implementations? I have 4 Fire 7’s running Domopad, but I’m not launching them in the house until their Control Pages and and mounting is bullet-proof (as the WAF is important, and it’s a dependent variable of the MILAF (mother-in-law AF)). Their Alexa functionality also works well for me.


Adam nailed it below; the Sonos app, well really any other app used in conjunction with DomoPad. That, and the added resources of redirecting the launcher just slowed it down too much. I didn't mention above, but the Tab 4 does have Alexa built in - it's a tap-to-activate icon in the bottom bar. I don't use it as I have a dot in the room, but it is there... I use the Sonos plugin to quick-launch some favorite playlists, but for general (and random) searching/browsing of music and grouping/ungrouping speakers the Sonos app is much faster - plus I don't have to design all those screens and work-arounds for missing features in Indigo.

3) What did you use for line-to-low voltage? I may need to do this in a wall box, but I’m trying to avoid it

It's just a long USB cable with one end clipped off and re-soldered to the right angle micro USB adapter from the wireless charging adapter. At the other end of the USB cable (in the basement directly below the tablet) is the standard Lenovo USB charger that came with the tablet. I'll grab a photo of that tonight after work.

Terry

Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:11 pm
mundmc offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

roussell wrote:
It's just a long USB cable with one end clipped off and re-soldered to the right angle micro USB adapter from the wireless charging adapter. At the other end of the USB cable (in the basement directly below the tablet) is the standard Lenovo USB charger that came with the tablet. I'll grab a photo of that tonight after work.


That’s probably what I will do. I wish there was some building code appropriate USB – line voltage adapter that I could put in a box.

Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:56 pm
roussell offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

There are recessed outlet boxes available, I think they were originally used for AC powered wall clocks. You could potentially use one of those with one of the new outlets that have USB ports built in.


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Posted on
Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:45 pm
mundmc offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

roussell wrote:
There are recessed outlet boxes available, I think they were originally used for AC powered wall clocks. You could potentially use one of those with one of the new outlets that have USB ports built in.


I think that’s the best plan, it just involves timing the cutting of a substantial and permanent hole in the wall when my wife is unaware I am doing it. Sigh.


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Posted on
Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:54 am
roussell offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

I'd think something like this combination should work nicely, along with the appropriate connecter chopped off from a wireless charging adapter as I did above. I will probably do something like this in a couple of areas that don't have easy basement/attic access to the wall cavity, like our master bath...

https://www.amazon.com/Arlington-DVFR1W-1-Recessed-Electrical-Mounting/dp/B002W6ZOR4
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https://www.amazon.com/Eaton-TR7740W-K-Combination-Resistant-Receptacle/dp/B007NC5GI4
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https://www.amazon.com/USB-3-0-Extension-Cable-Blue-Left/dp/B079GVC2KZ
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And in my case, this adapter (using just the flat cable & connector and discarding the rest). Make sure you order the correct orientation for the connector.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DLYF0Q0
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Terry

Posted on
Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:18 pm
siclark offline
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Re: Kitchen touchscreen refresh

Wow that's a seriously huge back box. I could do with some of those in the UK to fit multiple zwave modules for 2 gang switches.

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