I love the square pixels in the Tidbyt Gen 2. I think it will make the Tidbyt much easier to read from across the room, particularly with the small type.
That said I love the wooden case of my Tidbyt Gen 1 versus the plastic one used on the Gen 2. I would love to be able to pay for an upgrade kit to replace the display in my my classic Tidbyt with the new one. Are they the same size? Could this be an option?
For what it’s worth, I still intend to buy the Tidbyt Gen 2, I would just love to have the new display in the old one as well.
That would be pretty sweet. It really does make a difference with readability. Actually even photos show up more clearly.
Need to figure out how to actually cleanly do the upgrade though without ruining the original device. It would be really hard to do it consistently with the hardwood enclosure. But it might be possible to get it working with some tinkering on a case-by-case basis…
FYI, the inspiration for the new display actually came from a community thread here:
In theory you could get some LED diffusion acrylic from Adafruit and print out this grid:
Sandwich all that together and you’re good to go! But the catch is, the LED display, the grid, and the diffuser acrylic all need to be sandwiched together very closely and accurately. We had to redesign the case to make it work consistently.
The other gotcha is the grid itself has to be very accurate. The 3D print success rate was fairly low for early prototypes. We got a higher 3D print yield by using a high-end resin printer and using flexible resin that could make a nice “screen sandwich”. In production we’ll be using injection molding to make the grid accurately, but sadly the Gen 2 grid won’t fit into Gen 1 without modification.
To summarize… I think it would be possible to pull this off with a few hours of effort on a case-by-case, but it’s not super straightforward. I’ll keep kicking it around though and see if I can make it work.
I think it would be a great option to offer to a more DIY croud! Even the diffusing acrylic provides a boost in image ‘quality’ and would be an easier add on to the wood case than both the grid and acrylic for some folks.
I was going to tackle this mod over the weekend but that screen is fiercely attached to the wood frame and I’m not confident in how to remove it without damaging the screen. I wanted to route out the wood so the screen additions wouldn’t protrude.
Any suggestions on removing the screen from the gen one frame?
The screen is adhered to the enclosure with a 3M VHB tape. To remove it, you need to:
Remove the back plate and disconnect the electronics.
Apply a heat gun to the front of the screen to heat it up.
Very carefully push the screen out from behind.
However, this is not a foolproof process. If you heat up the screen too much, the individual LED’s will start to come off. Also you may scorch the wood. And if you bend the screen while pushing it out, it is likely to be damaged.