Huge Recessed Wall Mounted Tablet

project_dashboard

(Broderick) #1

Just finished my wall mounted tablet project and wanted to share it with you for inspiration. We’re loving this thing, so I highly recommend doing it if you’re on the fence.

My wife wanted a huge tablet flush mounted with the wall, so we ended up going with a Samsung Galaxy View (18.4" screen), which we got on sale for $344. Another option is the TCL Xess (17.3" screen with built in Alexa). We have a google home, so I didn’t need the alexa integration and the TCL was a bit too pricey.

I cut a hole in the wall and made a custom bracket out of some old MDF I had lying around (I recommend using something with more strength if you do this. The weird cutout in the 2x4 is to compensate for the weird hump on the back of the Galaxy View.

I ran power through the wall with a 14/2 power cable and then made up the ends like an extension cord (the other end of which runs into my utility closet and plugs into a plug in there, allowing me to easily unplug this device if needed). I tried SmartTiles, but much preferred to just use SharpTools and then create custom widgets to trigger routines/actions. For the interface, I used “Total Launcher” which basically is a free-form launcher allowing you to make whatever interface you want.

We mainly use the tablet for viewing our family calendar, accessing our shopping list (todoist, added from google home), viewing recipes (pepperplate), controlling smartthings, and viewing our outdoor security cameras (tinycam). I also use blue iris, which plays a doorbell chime on the tablet when someone approaches the door.

I built a frame out of some old trim I had and attached it using magnets so I can easily pull it off to press the power button when needed. One thing we love about the tablet is the ability to have it display our family pictures when not in use like a screensaver (using google daydream). Let me know if you have any questions!


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#2

Fantastic job. … superb


#3

Very nice. Have something like this in mind myself. Perhaps a touch screen working off a Mac mini.

Not making any moves until SmartTiles 6 is out (although it’s getting harder and harder to wait) so I can make some decisions.


(Ryan) #4

First off great job that tablet looks amazing. First question is why didn’t you power it by POE ? you said you run a power cable in the wall I don’t think that’s within “code” most of the time you can get away with running low voltage wire in wall like poe under 14w. Anyhow great job, looks great now I’m going to try this.


(Joshua Lyon (SharpTools.io Dashboard)) #5

Very cool project! That’s a fantastic use case of SharpTools! Do you mind if I share it as an example use case on the SharpTools microsite?


(Neal (www.zebrablinds.com / www.zebrablinds.ca)) #6

That looks amazing! Drool worthy actually. :grinning:


(Broderick) #7

So I would have gone with a POE to USB adapter (which I’ve used in the past), but this tablet doesn’t use a traditional micro usb power plug unfortunately and I couldn’t find one that went to usb. That is the reason I did it with an extension cord end on each side though, so I can unplug it should I ever decide to stop using it and the power cable will essentially be dead, so no risk.


(Broderick) #8

Sure! That’d be awesome!


#9

Very nicely done. Very clean


(Jim) #10

This is amazing and I am trying to convince the wife to let me do this. She thinks we will not use it because we can just use our phones. Any tips on helping me push the wife into it? Do you find yourself using this more than the phones? I am also thinking I can use this to stream audio through my whole house audio system instead of our phones is one of my points.

Also I love the layout of your screen do you have a template or code that you used for it all?


(Ron Talley) #11

Really Cool Project! Good thinking with the magnet also! Wow!!!


(Broderick) #12

We use ours a lot, mainly for recipes using pepperplate, and to view our security cameras using tinycam. I have an ip camera mounted above our front door, which triggers a doorbell sound to play on the tablet anytime somebody approaches the door (using blue iris). We do occasionally use it for starting a song on spotify and having it play on one of our chromecast audios, but we usually just do that through our google home. If you don’t have the google home I would definitely enable “always listening” okay-google functionality on the tablet and you could do some really cool things with that.

If all you’re wanting it for is controlling smartthings and listening to music, I’d actually consider the Google Home instead. The tablet excels for things where you need a screen. Or I guess you could have the best of both worlds and take a look at the TCL Xess with built-in Alexa.

As for the layout, I started with this: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ss.launcher2.theme.flattered and then had my wife chose a color scheme she liked (on google) and just made new “squares” of the appropriate wife-approved colors and then looked up png icons to go over them, it’s all pretty easy with the very customizeable Total Launcher. Now that I’m more familiar with the launcher I could have easily built it without buying the theme, but it was a good starting point for a beginner.


(Jim) #13

Thank you for all the information and yes I have google home as well. I am installing outdoor cameras soon but currently have 2 indoor blink cameras and I like the idea of seeing them from there. I love the idea of the doorbell sound as someone approached but my dog usually barks at them way before that :slight_smile:

So wish me luck in convincing her to let me do it.


(Broderick) #14

Update to this project: I have the power end of this tablet plugged into a z-wave applicance module that turns off at night/away mode so the screen doesn’t stay on all the time. The screen is set to stay on when plugged in, so when the power turns off it turns off the screen. When the power comes back on in the morning it turns the screen back on and resumes the screensaver.


(Joshua Lyon (SharpTools.io Dashboard)) #15

Interesting. Out of curiosity, why not just trigger the tablet to turn it’s screen off directly (via Tasker) rather than killing power to it?


(Broderick) #16

Good question, just because I wanted it to turn off when we put our house into night mode right away instead of using tasker to have it happen at a certain hour. That being said, I realize that I could probably actually integrate tasker with smartthings, but I had an extra z-wave switch and it was just easier, haha. So I guess the answer to your question is laziness :slight_smile:

Also, my plug isn’t really to code, so I like the idea of completely cutting power to it while we’re asleep or away.


(Joshua Lyon (SharpTools.io Dashboard)) #17

I had forgotten how great this looks, so I was happy to see your post! Glad to hear it’s all working well!


(Curtis Norris) #18

Broderick…

That is the MOST AWESOME thing I have ever seen. Wanna come do one for me? I have the perfect place for one of these. I would so much prefer to use a tablet than a RASPBERRY PI and TOUCH MONITOR. No real place to put the PI.

I do have a question about the mounting. Do you know (If I go with one of those SAMSUNG GALAXY VIEW TABLET). Does the HANDLE/MOUNT/STAND come off of the thing? I found the manual for it online, and it warns no to use without the stand, but does not give steps to take it off. LOL

I have also looking into the SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 12.2" tablet.

Many thanks for the awesome post.

Curtis


(Broderick) #19

Yep, the mount/stand thing on the back comes off extremely easily, you basically just push on a certain spot and it pops off (instructions on YouTube). I actually have a Galaxy Tab 12.2 in my bedroom as well (but not wall mounted) and it’s also a great tablet, but the 18" View is an absolute pleasure in the wall. We actually bought the 12.2 to wall-mount at first, but decided it was too small and just ended up using it on our bedroom nightstand instead (it’s also our watch movies in the minivan tablet for trips with the kids).


(Curtis Norris) #20

Broderick,

That is AWESOME. I was looking for pictures of the ‘notch’ you mention on the back of the tablet. Do you have pictures of that?

I have also considered just flush mounting with a frame so that I do not have to cut into the sheet rock.

There are a few other posts on YOUTUBE which I have seen where people have custom frames made at HOBBY LOBBY or MICHAEL’S and just hang them on the wall. Although I love the idea of an ‘in-the-wall’ mount - for serviceability may go the other way.

Does your system use the camera or mic at all? One of the vids I watched uses the camera as a presence sensor to wake up the screen when you walk up to it.

I would KILL to find someone who has created this same style interface a LCARS (from ST:TNG). I would pay for that.

Curtis