Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 25

Thread: Reccomend me a good/cheap in wall PC please

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member jaffab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    94

    Question Reccomend me a good/cheap in wall PC please

    Hello All,

    Can anybody recommend an in-wall (cut recess into wall and slot in) PC. I want to create my home automation system, and I am looking for a PC for downstairs that I can develop my applications for. It must have touch screen (for on-screen keyboard) and ideally, Windows CE (although I could live with XP/Vista)

    I have looked at some from a Google search, but they either are very small (5 inch screens) or very, very expensive. When you can buy a desktop PC for 300 and a tocuh screen monitor for 150, why are the ones that I have been able to find only available from the USA, and cost over 1200 for a 5-7 inch display?

    The bigger the display, the better as eventually I was thinking of loading Windows 7 on it, and when it was not being used for home control, using it as a virtual photo display on the wall.

    Any pointers would be very useful.

    Many thanks

    Jaffa
    Last edited by jaffab; 11th December 2008 at 09:22 AM. Reason: Change Vista to XP/Vista

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Near Alicante Spain
    Posts
    2,010

    Default

    How about making your own using an ITX Pico, running XP.
    http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=43
    http://www.mini-itx.com/store/?c=39

    Or why not go for a Car Pc system. Like this I should imaging having the monitor slide out of the wall would like quite good.
    http://www.cartft.com/catalog/gl/3

    Or these on Lin Itx
    http://linitx.com/viewcategory.php?catid=122&pp=115,122

    Have a look at the smart displays from viewsonic.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Near Alicante Spain
    Posts
    2,010

    Default

    Another idea is to use a normal PC and connect a CAT5 KVM extender to it. Then run a length of cat5 cable from the PC to where you want the touchscreen to be hook up the touchscreen to the adapter and hey presto.
    Aver Key Media make some very good KVM extenders as do Blackbox (very very expensive but very high quality). http://www.blackbox.com/Store/Result...4294964208/p-0
    Don't have a link for Aver Key. But a google for Cat5 VGA extenders or cat5 kvm extenders should yield some good results.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  5. #5
    Automated Home Jr Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    19

    Default

    How about the asus EEE box these are very small and dont produce much heat. Easily sit behind a screen.

    They now even have the eee top with touch screen.
    http://www.medwaycomputercomponents....085&RP=0&BSP=0 (http://uk.asus.com/products.aspx?l1=...90&modelmenu=1)
    I sold one of these to a guy that wanted to use it in a wall. i dont know how he got on
    Regards,

    Da\/e.
    webshopwww.medwaycomputers.co.uk
    PCbuild shopwww.instantpc.co.uk
    Our new Forum:www.hardwareit.co.uk
    One Stop PC-I.T Shop

  6. #6
    Automated Home Sr Member jaffab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    94

    Default

    All, just to say (in case anybody else is looking for a similar solution), that after a few weeks of search, I have narrowed my choice down to one of the two devices that are supplied by Advantech. One is around 6.5" in size, and the other is 7" in size, so just the right size for displaying some family pics when not being used to check the home automation, display the weather, read emails or bring up web sites. Both units cost around 700 eros, and can be fitted in a well.

    They are the PPC-L61T (http://www.advantech.com/products/65..._1-2OKQBV.aspx) and the UbiQ-470 (my fav) at (http://www.advantech.com/products/70..._1-2JKQ2S.aspx)

  7. #7
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    4

    Default

    I've had a loan of the UBIQ-470, from a very helpful guy at APC (http://www.apc-plc.co.uk who are an Advantech distributor) called Richard Colpman. I'm not associated with them in any way I just contacted them on spec and they offered the loan.

    Its a really nice bit of kit, although perhaps a little underpowered, if you are a .Net programmer you will get along fine, although it does run WinCE 5, which is getting a bit old now.

    The price was approx 650 including the in-wall box, which as you say is very expensive but there is very little choice. Also there is an 8 to 9 week order time on them!!!!

    I'm still undecided as to which way to go at the moment, but I'd be interested in what you decide as well.

    Mark
    Last edited by scottmark; 3rd April 2009 at 12:44 PM. Reason: added order delay

  8. #8
    Automated Home Sr Member jaffab's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    94

    Default

    I have contacted them to see if I can get a loan. I am very tempted with the 470, and have already decided what I will (program) it to do (will create a nice app in .NET). The hit list is:

    1) Home automation overrides - a nice picture of the house plan, with zoom in options, and options to change the X10 configuration. Will get the device to send an XML command to the main X10 server, which will poll for the XML files and will then do the control thing.
    2) Weather displays – will have the main server pick up the local (and world) weather and display nice graphics for today, and the next 5 or 6 days worth of weather
    3) News – as above
    4) Quick web browsing. It wont be as good as say a full PC experience, however I/E which comes with CE is good enough for the job.
    5) Film catalogue. All my DVDs have already been transferred to twin 1Tb drives (played through my PS3). I will create a catalogue of films, with pictures of the covers, allow browsing through them and pick a film – with the system recording what I watched and when – with an option to randomly pick a film to watch, based on how long its been since I watched it
    6) Display of electric usage in the house (fed to the server from the OWL device, and then down to the in wall terminal)
    7) Link to camera outside, when the door rings, up pops a picture of who it is
    8) Link to google maps – for finding places and people and maps of where they are (get rid of the yellow pages)
    9) A few other bits and bobs of similar nature
    10) And when its not doing all of that, displaying family photos

    Jaffa

  9. #9
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    501

    Default

    Jaffa,

    Some of the features you describe are already available through xAP - an open inter-communications protocol.

    xAP Floorplan might be a good place to start - check out the list of apps at http://www.mi4.biz/modules.php?name=...howpage&pid=37

    and for more info see; www.xapautomation.org

    Certainly #1, 2, 3 & 7 are possible right now (#7 using xAP Switchboard IIRC) and 8 is probably possible too. There is also some current (excuse the pun) work going on to read in data from the CurrentCost electricity monitoring devices. Is that the asme as Owl?

    HTH,

    Tim.
    p.s. also see the xAP group here on the Automated Home forums.

  10. #10
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Near Alicante Spain
    Posts
    2,010

    Default

    Have a look at main lobby http://www.cinemarsolutions.com/ . This produces a rather slick front end. And is fairly easy to use and set up. Plus you can have Main Lobby running on more than one machine within your network.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •