Layout customization + Clear acrylic glass

Hey all, I’m new here and am planning to purchase one of these! However, I was looking at some existing products and found one on Etsy that seems to be very similar to the Tidbyt. While their price is much higher, I believe features wise both products are almost identical.

Etsy LED Ticker

The main differences between the two products that I noticed are the layout customization aspect, and the transparent acrylic glass added to the LED to essentially make the pixels look more clear. Their ticker allows for users to essentially split what to display in 4 corners of the LED panel, which I think is really cool and a creative way to make the displaying of information more efficient in such a small screen.

Would you be able to add some sort of layout customization feature like they did? Also would you be able to make having this clear acrylic an option when purchasing this product? I don’t mind paying an extra price, I think it looks a lot nicer!

Thanks!

Oh interesting, nice find! Looks like this thing has the same screen resolution as Tidbyt, so it’s pretty cool how they’ve managed to fit four separate things onto the screen. We can definitely look into that — maybe have an alternate “compact” view for certain apps so you can have multiple of them displayed at once. I think this would be the equivalent of a complication on a watch.

For a front diffuser panel — we’re a bit far down the manufacturing process to add one now, but even if we weren’t, I’d be afraid of it being a magnet for fingerprints, glare, and reflections.

That said, I have heard that Adafruit have done a bunch of experimentation and have come up with some magic special anti-glare acrylic which is available here for $6:

If you’d like to have a diffuser panel, I’d definitely recommend getting one from them. We’re probably not going to be able to make a panel that’s better than theirs without a lot of research. In fact, I just ordered one of their panels with some of the sticky adhesive squares to give it a try.

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I wish buying Adafruit products from outside of the US was cheaper. I’ve been trying to get something similar to that diffusion panel, but can’t find it.
I’ve used some tracing paper and a thin black piece of plastic to try to get the same effect.

A nice addition to one of those diffusers would be something like this, so the pixels look square and nice.

A couple of pictures of my 64x32 LED Matrix project (integrated with Pixlet)


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Wow, that looks great! Is that a 3D-printed frame?

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Yeah, I designed a simple frame and 3D printed it. I printed a couple of legs as well (the back is a bit messy, might fix that in the future)

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Thanks for the reply, great! Yeah the “compact” view idea would be great in particular with displaying multiple stocks / cryptos or what not, also kinda gives a “multi-tasking” feel.

Right, the front diffuser panel is probably more DIY and shouldn’t be too hard to achieve ourselves. However, if you figure out how to get the perfect diffuser looking effect it would be great if you could post a DIY guide or something on the website!

Will do! It’s arriving tomorrow, I’ll see what it looks like. Also we have some new factory units and packaging prototypes arriving tomorrow too :open_mouth:

Waiting for UPS to show up is gonna be like…

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The other difference I see is that the Etsy one is considerably larger. 13.2" x 6.9" x 1.6" while Tidbyt is 8.2” x 4.4” x 1.9”, while both have the same exact resolution of 64 x 32. Does this mean that Tidbyt’s pixels are physically packed closer together, and therefore has a crisper quality to it?

The Etsy one also says it has a 0.2” pixel density, what is Tidbyt’s? Is higher pixel density basically better?

Sorry if I’m asking dumb questions :sweat_smile:

Awesome, can’t wait!

I guess Etsy’s is a P5 panel, and Tidbyt’s is a P3.

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Yeah P5 is gonna be very hard to see clearly at a close distance, P3 is gonna be much more clear.

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Alright, the acrylic arrived today. Other deliveries were delayed until Monday unfortunately :frowning:

Anyway, I see how this acrylic is made to avoid fingerprints and glare. It’s glossy on one side, but frosted on the other. So if you have the frosted side out, you won’t have reflections or fingerprints.

I cut it down to 192x96 millimeters with the laser cutter:

To stick it into place, I just used clear adhesive squares. It went on pretty easily, and the look is definitely different. Kind of made things a bit softer & fuzzy like:

Cool effect and definitely a different kind of look than the original:

I prefer the original look so I ended up prying it off. The consensus around the shop was that the original is sharper and more readable, but the diffuser version could be nicer if you were doing a lot of animations or video. And yup, we’re using a 3mm pitch panel, so I could see how this would make a bigger difference if you had 5mm pitch.

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Nice! Thanks @rohan for testing that out.
From my experience, a diffuser looks better when using one of these, as it makes the pixels sharper and square.

Yep, that makes sense. I’ll pop that in the printer on Monday and try it.

Dang, that thing is larger than my usable build volume. Printing two 32x32’s just doesn’t work?

it kinda works, if you tweak it. Two 32x32 would have two middle walls, so it won’t fit. What I did at first was print full 32x32, and a modified version with one of the walls removed, so when you put them together there’d be only one and it fits. I didn’t upload that version to thingiverse, but I can share the stl with you if you want to give it a try.

Thanks for the test, looks great and definitely seems really easy to install! I wonder if the glossy side of the acrylic would look even nicer…

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