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My Wallmounted $250 Fujitsu tablet-PC wifi remote (pics inside)

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#1 of 5 OFFLINE   Vivek_IVB


    Stunt Coordinator

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Posted February 11 2006 - 02:21 PM

So I got my wood photo frame in from the custom framing shop this past week, and finally wallmounted that $250 Fujitsu stylistic 3400 that I'm going to use as a wifi remote control around the house with my HA/HT package. It's a P3-400 [i.e., I can run the client software natively - No RDP! No instability! No performance issues!] If you want to see what i'm controlling, check my personal website in my sig.

Here's the story:

Picture 1: Here's most of the parts; photo frame sawed in half, Fujitsu, sitting on a 1/8" x24"x24" handypanel (basically MDF) from HomeDepot. Only thiing not shown is the foam, velcro, and black permanent magic marker I decided to use at the end to make it a little better.

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Picture 2: Here's the thickness of the photo frame. I had to get the deepest frame they had at the frame shop in order to fit the 3400. Good thing I got that extra room - I needed it at the end. Keep reading for why.

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Picture 3: Here's the thickness of the handypanel. It's 1/8", pretty dang thing.

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I cut the handypanel to the size of the bottom half of the photo frame, and nailed it to the back of the frame.

Picture 4: Here's what it looked like after it was cut & nailed to the frame:

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Picture 5: Mounted the handypanel to the wall using screws.

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Picture 6: I was initially planning on leaving it like this. [getting an electrician in to punch a hole in the wall & put an A/C outlet in the closet directly behind this wall]

Doesn't look bad; you can pull that A/C cord out and walk around with the tablet.
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Alas, wife didn't like the half-frame look. Hence,
Picture 7: I put some foam behind the tablet to get it stiff/up against the front part of the frame [remember it was too deep]
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Picture 8: Put the top half of the frame there. Used industrial velcro where I cut it, and also to attach to the wall on top so it doesn't fall off. Had to cut out a section on the right side so that wifi card could fit, no biggie. Yes, I know the screen has fingerprints. It's a touchscreen damnit, we've been touching it!

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Only thing left is running that A/C cord through the wall to the closet behind it, and all will be invisible.

Et voila! A $250+$50 photo frame + $10 parts, $310 wifi tablet remote control for your HTPC!

#2 of 5 OFFLINE   JamesED


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Posted February 11 2006 - 02:52 PM

Very cool menus. Now is the picture frame a dock, and you can walk around with the tablet, or will it be permanently mounted in place?

#3 of 5 OFFLINE   Vivek_IVB


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Posted February 11 2006 - 03:52 PM

The top half is removable a la pic #6. It's held on by [industrial strength] velcro. You remove that part, pull out the A/C cord [very easy], pull out just the tablet, and walk around and play. That was one of the mandatory rqmts of the design.

I hated to do that A/C bit. I have a dock (shown below), but it was deemed too ugly to mount on the wall. I wasn't even allowed to enclose it in wood. The wife demanded a clean install, and what she wants she gets.

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#4 of 5 OFFLINE   Kevin Campbell

Kevin Campbell


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Posted February 14 2006 - 06:26 PM

so thats a tablet pc.... and it does what? controlls your home theatre that you use for music and movies? ok how does it do that, where is it mounted, and you have any pics of your home theatre?

#5 of 5 OFFLINE   Vivek_IVB


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Posted February 15 2006 - 03:47 PM

Some folks use it to control their H/T. I personally prefer the feel of tactile, hardbutton remotes in the H/T and use an MX850 for that. I use this as the Zones2->N music controller, and basically all other non H/T equipment. It's mounted on the wall between the kitchen and the dining room, which happens to be centrally located.

I run the client viewer for my HT/HA software package to serve up the UI on this tablet. It's a product called CQC by Charmed Quark software (www.charmedquark.com). It does both
1) the 'back-end' device control a la HomeSeer/Girder. It can communicate over RS232 or IR to my h/w, i.e., my Polk XM tuner, my Xantech ZPR68 pre-amp, Denon 3805 receiver, my Aprilaire 8870 thermostat, my RAIN8NET irrigation system, if I wanted it could control my Panny Plasma. It can also act as the engine to integrate my software apps, i.e., ZoomPlayer/TheaterTek.
2) the 'front-end' screen painting a la MainLobby/DVDLobby/MusicLobby/...Xlobby.

The critical thing to note is that this combination allows me to create a UI where I can display the status of my receiver (i.e., is Zone1 on? What's the input? volume?), and also control it (turn on zone1/turn up volume/etc)

All I did was write the CQC UIs to be 800x600, so both my HTPC and this tablet can run them. This was pretty easy - each screen only took me ~30-60mins to create, as it's a whole point&click type setup. If you want to see all my screenshots, check out the personal site in my sig.

My H/T pics would be pretty boring - basically just a plasma with some wallmounts.

I'm currently building a more attractive multizone a/v page, but here's the temporary one with all the widgets. This all works - the only thing left is to work on the aesthetics. This is a pretty harsh look&feel.

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