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bleep42
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Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:33 pm

PiPortable.jpg
Pi-Portable
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PiGuts.jpg
Complete internals
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Hi Pi People, :-) I had some bits and pieces lying around, which I've kept over the years because they 'could be useful' mainly a nice LCD screen from a dead laptop, but also a miniature hard drive from a portable music player and of course a Pi. So I decided to build a Pi-Portable :-) https://picasaweb.google.com/1058669909 ... rHK9sKXwwE It can also be used as a straight monitor, as I've brought all the connectors (VGA, DVI-D, HDMI) out to the rear, in this case the Pi can be powered down with the toggle switch, also on the rear panel.

The main problem was getting a driver for the LCD panel, I found this one M.NT68676.2A which I was able to buy and have programmed for my LCD by a company on Ebay and cost about £25 including a button board and custom cable for the LCD.
I also wanted to be able to run my Pi-Portable from almost any DC power source, car battery, laptop power supply, laptop battery...; the LCD board needs 12v, but will run happily down to 7v and the Pi 5v. Luckily the LCD board provides a very stable 5v output, which on testing was able to power a Pi, hard disk and USB hub, with WiFi and Bluetooth dongles plugged in. So all I had to do was power the LCD board; I did this with a variable voltage switching regulator, it'll take any DC input from 11v to 40v and output 9v which I use to power the LCD, the LCD board then powers everything else.
The top of the base box is steel, re-purposed from a video recorder metal top, the bottom tray is sheet aluminium. I needed the top to be strong as the lap top hinges were going to be bolted to it, and they are quite stiff to allow the screen to be angled.
Because I knew the base unit box would not be heavy enough to be hinged like a laptop, I had to turn the hinges around, so that they hinged the other way to normal, this was a real bugger, but I eventually managed to get it reasonable, it won't quite fold flat, but is good enough for me. :-)
I obviously had to fold, drill and file the base unit to accommodate all the bits. Folding was done with just a vice and a thick steel edge like a chunky steel ruler and pliers/mole grips, and G clamps. All holes were drilled and then filed to the appropriate shape for whatever was going through them.
All the components are bolted to the base with nice small headed screws and bolts, there are a scattering of stick on felt pads as feet.
Almost as an after thought I realised the lap top had a pair of mini speakers, so I was able to wire them to the audio amplifier built into the LCD driver board, I can also plug in a pair of head phones, or better speakers to the rear panel, which automatically cut out the built in speakers. So with audio over HDMI I also have sound. :-)
The keyboard & mouse are now wireless, using a wireless USB dongle, I'm using Noobs to dual boot Raspbian and Risc OS, and this keyboard & mouse works perfectly wit this. :-) (I haven't updated the photos for this, so the mouse is shown with a cable)
Hope this is a bit of inspiration to someone.
Regards, Kevin.

Major Components.
LCD driver spec. http://www.drivestar.biz/files/M.NT68676.2A.pdf
Bought from:- http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/M-NT68676-2A- ... 3f23541e55

Variable switching regulator. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LM2596-Voltag ... 2c6d713559

4port hub. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/200892610415? ... 1439.l2649

Micro IDE to USB. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Micro-IDE-1-8 ... 2c55939251

Short HDMI cables.
Male/male http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/330667385586? ... 1439.l2649

Male/female http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/360743434609? ... 1439.l2649

8Gb SD card :- http://swag.raspberrypi.org/collections ... gb-sd-card

Stickers :- http://swag.raspberrypi.org/products/stickers

Keyboard & Mouse:- http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/maplin-mini-w ... kset-n69jx
Last edited by bleep42 on Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

primeform
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:59 am

This is sweet. Suprised no on has replied to this thread. Im going to do something similar with a retro gaming system. I was hoping to do 1 single hinge in the middle that also rotated side to side. no idea where id find one or how to mount it but thats my plan. :lol:

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AndyD
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:26 am

bleep42 wrote:...The main problem was getting a driver for the LCD panel, I found this one M.NT68676.2A which I was able to buy and have programmed for my LCD by a company on Ebay and cost about £25 including a button board and custom cable for the LCD...
That is very interesting. I haven't heard of anyone else doing this.

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bleep42
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Fri Feb 07, 2014 12:17 pm

AndyD wrote:
bleep42 wrote:...The main problem was getting a driver for the LCD panel, I found this one M.NT68676.2A which I was able to buy and have programmed for my LCD by a company on Ebay and cost about £25 including a button board and custom cable for the LCD...
That is very interesting. I haven't heard of anyone else doing this.
Hi Andy,
The link in the original post will take you to the board I actually used, I chose it because I wanted to be able to use the screen as a monitor, so it's got multiple inputs and even has a built in audio amplifier with audio inputs and outputs. however they do various other cheaper boards as well. All I did was search through what they had, looking for a board that could do the resolution of the lap top panel that I had, I then Emailed them with the LCD panel part number, usually on a label on the back of the panel asking if they could program the driver board for that LCD panel and supply the cable between board and panel. They said yes, so I ordered it (board, cable and buttons to control the LCD, brightness, contrast etc), it arrived about 3 weeks later and worked fine. :-) If you search Ebay there are several others doing the same, but possibly with a different selection of driver boards, for different LCD panels.
Regards, Kevin.

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AndyD
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:34 pm

bleep42 wrote:Hi Andy,
The link in the original post will take you to the board I actually used...
Thanks bleep42. I have answered a few questions about people asking if a particular display would work with the Raspberry Pi. The prevailing wisdom has always been 'No, it wont work'. I am always glad to be wrong! I will now be directing those types of questions to this thread. Great work bleep42.

disposition
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Fri May 09, 2014 4:56 am

Sorry to bring this back, but I know very little about electronics and I aim to buy the same model of LCD controller you have mentioned and hook it up to the rPi. I aim to build a general purpose portable computer with this and a LVDS 16" panel, which also has GPIO. I have a couple of questions:
The vendor on eBay states that a "12V, 4A" adapter is essential, does this mean that I would need a power supply that exceeds 4A (~5A) in order to take to rPi under load? How much current did the LCD you had need to draw?
Will the board create 5VDC in the supply first then the rest goes to power the LCD? Furthermore, in layman's terms, how did you wire the voltage regulator up to the board and the power source to the rPi?

Apologies if I am bombarding you with questions, and I am sure I could figure it out by trial and error, but I fear that I may fry my pi or my LCD board, and my time frame is quite strict (I need this by June 5). I will be buying the components off of eBay soon.
Thanks :)

bishopcomputerdesign
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Fri May 09, 2014 7:22 pm

very cool
how are the temp's? is it OC'd ?

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bleep42
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:40 am

disposition wrote:Sorry to bring this back, but I know very little about electronics and I aim to buy the same model of LCD controller you have mentioned and hook it up to the rPi. I aim to build a general purpose portable computer with this and a LVDS 16" panel, which also has GPIO. I have a couple of questions:
The vendor on eBay states that a "12V, 4A" adapter is essential, does this mean that I would need a power supply that exceeds 4A (~5A) in order to take to rPi under load? How much current did the LCD you had need to draw?
Will the board create 5VDC in the supply first then the rest goes to power the LCD? Furthermore, in layman's terms, how did you wire the voltage regulator up to the board and the power source to the rPi?

Apologies if I am bombarding you with questions, and I am sure I could figure it out by trial and error, but I fear that I may fry my pi or my LCD board, and my time frame is quite strict (I need this by June 5). I will be buying the components off of eBay soon.
Thanks :)
Hi, Very sorry I didn't see this, I thought the forum would notify me if someone responded, it doesn't :-(
I would say 4A is an overkill, probably 'just to be sure' My panel is a 17" LCD with LED back lights and I'm using a 12V, 1.5A power supply to power the whole lot, including Pi, micro disk, etc. I would think 12V, 2A would be ample for most screens up to and around this size, I suspect the 4A is for if you are trying to drive a much larger panel.
The 5V supply is providing power to the LCD driver first I think, but it has ample power left over to power the Pi and other bits and pieces. As for exactly how you connect it.

Powering your pi from the screen driver board. (one less power supply to plug in)
You will need a 12V supply at about 2Amp should be ample, depending on what your panel size is and what you are powering, I've tested the 5V output up to 1.5A, which is plenty to drive a Pi, mini hard disk, small hub a WiFi dongle and mouse and keyboard.
This will only work with the Screen Driver board. M.NT68676.2A
Spec here:- http://www.drivestar.biz/files/M.NT68676.2A.pdf
Looking from the front of the board, ie the side with all the monitor connectors and power connectors on it; on the left hand side of the board behind the connector that goes to the LCD labelled 'CN5 INVERTER', there are 6 vacant pin holes in a line, labelled CN3. These are, from front to back Power On, 5V standby, 5V power, 5V power, Ground, Ground. (labelled on the back of the board PON, 5VSTB, +5V, +5V, GND, GND) We are only interested in the +5V and GND connections. You will need to suck the solder out of these 4 holes and then make up two short loops of copper wire in the shape of a long U, solder one of these into the holes for each pair of +5V and GND connections, ie so the two +5V are connected together and so the two GND are connected together. Then make up a cable, from some multi-strand wire, not bell wire it's too thin and connect to the P1 connector on the Pi, detailed information here:-
http://elinux.org/RPi_Low-level_periphe ... .28GPIO.29
You need to connect the +5V to pin 02 of P1 and the GND to pin 06 of P1, by doing this you will be bypassing the poly fuse on the Pi as well, so take care. I used a 3 pin plug that came of an old PC fan, this was the correct pitch and fitted over pins 02, 04 and 06, you may need to trim some of the plastic off the plug so it does not bind with other pins, I only connected to 02 and 06, the other end of the cable I soldered to the copper loops that I had inserted into the +5V and GND connections on the display driver board so +5V goes to P1 pin 02 and GND goes to P1 pin 06.
Double check what you have done, is the polarity correct? check with a multi-meter, that there are no short circuits? check for any solder bridges?
Firstly with the pi disconnected, power up the display driver board and check that there is 5V on the connector and it's the correct way round? power off the display driver board. If all is good, then connect the Pi to your new connector, check you've got it on the correct pins? then power up the display driver board, the Pi will now also be powered. You can only take a maximum of 1.5A from the 5V supply on the display driver board, so don't try to power lots of extra stuff!
Hope this helps and is'n too late.
Regards Kevin.

ame
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:54 am

bleep42 wrote:
Hi, Very sorry I didn't see this, I thought the forum would notify me if someone responded, it doesn't :-(
It does. You can either set it per message (cumbersome) or go to the 'user control panel'|'board preferences'|'edit posting defaults' and set 'notify me upon replies by default' to 'yes'.

...but you won't see this. Sorry.

RobertoKarto
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Mon Dec 22, 2014 2:17 am

Very cool topic. I got a Rpi B+ model as a birthday present from my gf. i also got a old laptop lying around. I removed the lcd (15") screen already and am now waiting for the lcd controller board witch i ordered on ebay. i wanna try making a reto game console in a briefcase with actually 2 inputs. 1 from a powerbank and 1 from the wall socket.

RobertoKarto
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:00 pm

do i need the voltage regulator you used also?

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bleep42
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:21 pm

RobertoKarto wrote:do i need the voltage regulator you used also?
Hi Roberto,
If your screen driver is the same as mine, it needs 12V DC, but it will work down to 7V DC, I used the regulator so I could use any DC power source from 12V up to 40V DC, I'm also intending to put a battery inside the case, which would need regulating. If you are only going to use a 12V DC power input straight to the screen driver then you won't need the extra DC regulator.
Regards Kevin.

RobertoKarto
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Sat Jan 10, 2015 2:30 am

Thanks Kevin.
My controller board is the same as yours. i'll have it tomorrow. i will need to search for a DC power source at a electronic store, cause i didn't ordered one bundled with the controller board. Your post helped me a lot.
which battery are you thinking of using for your case?
i was thinking something like this for my build : http://www.amazon.com/20000mAh-Multi-Vo ... ank+12v+4a

but its a little expensive for me now. i just like the way it doesn't take to much space in a briefcase.

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bleep42
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Mon Jan 12, 2015 5:27 pm

RobertoKarto wrote:Thanks Kevin.
My controller board is the same as yours. i'll have it tomorrow. i will need to search for a DC power source at a electronic store, cause i didn't ordered one bundled with the controller board. Your post helped me a lot.
which battery are you thinking of using for your case?
i was thinking something like this for my build : http://www.amazon.com/20000mAh-Multi-Vo ... ank+12v+4a

but its a little expensive for me now. i just like the way it doesn't take to much space in a briefcase.
Hi Roberto,

I'm looking at using this battery from Ebay.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/DC-12V-6800mA ... 27e3e71971
Be warned that these are often nothing like the quoted capacity, you'll be doing well to get 60% of the quoted capacity.
Hope this helps.

Regards, Kevin.

RobertoKarto
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:41 pm

thanks Kevin,

i was looking for something small in factor and the battery you suggest looks perfect. i only need to check the quoted capacity like you said. i thought that it would just be a parallel circuit with the battery and the power input cause i want to make it like a regular UPS. when i dont have a wall socket i use the battery and when i plug it in it than charges the battery and feeds the system. but i read this article online http://www.electroschematics.com/6279/b ... p-circuit/
so i have to build this first?

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bleep42
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Thu Jan 15, 2015 6:37 pm

RobertoKarto wrote:thanks Kevin,

i was looking for something small in factor and the battery you suggest looks perfect. i only need to check the quoted capacity like you said. i thought that it would just be a parallel circuit with the battery and the power input cause i want to make it like a regular UPS. when i dont have a wall socket i use the battery and when i plug it in it than charges the battery and feeds the system. but i read this article online http://www.electroschematics.com/6279/b ... p-circuit/
so i have to build this first?
Hi Roberto,
Unfortunately no, you can't do that because the battery is a Lithium cell and you have to be very careful about how you charge them, if they get over charged they can spontaneously catch fire, or even explode, you can find lots about this on the web.
So you must charge them with the charger that comes with the battery. Then you need to have a way of changing over to the battery when you disconnect the normal mains supply to the LCD driver card.
Regards,
Kevin.

Fulguitron
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:22 pm

Good job.
Disfruta de mi blog, hobbies y gadgets diferentes y poco comunes.

http://hobbiesygadgets.blogspot.com.es/

danhans115
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:49 pm

Just a quick question about the M.NT68676.2A.

When you apply power to it does it automatically power on or does it require you to push the on/off button?
Reason I am asking as I was considering using one for a car PC installation and would want to do away with the button board completely once set up.

I have seen the ebay listings for those controllers with 7" LCDs for about £38. The screen is a perfect fit to replace my existing sat nav screen, and then would hook a Pi up to it for media etc..

Thanks

Dan

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bleep42
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Fri Jun 19, 2015 3:26 pm

danhans115 wrote:Just a quick question about the M.NT68676.2A.
When you apply power to it does it automatically power on or does it require you to push the on/off button?
Reason I am asking as I was considering using one for a car PC installation and would want to do away with the button board completely once set up.
Hi Dan,
Yes it does power on, when you apply power, I've even tried unplugging the push switches and it powers on.
Regards,
Kevin.

mika123
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Wed Oct 28, 2015 7:26 pm

bleep42 wrote:
disposition wrote: Looking from the front of the board, ie the side with all the monitor connectors and power connectors on it; on the left hand side of the board behind the connector that goes to the LCD labelled 'CN5 INVERTER', there are 6 vacant pin holes in a line, labelled CN3. These are, from front to back Power On, 5V standby, 5V power, 5V power, Ground, Ground. (labelled on the back of the board PON, 5VSTB, +5V, +5V, GND, GND) We are only interested in the +5V and GND connections. You will need to suck the solder out of these 4 holes and then make up two short loops of copper wire in the shape of a long U, solder one of these into the holes for each pair of +5V and GND connections, ie so the two +5V are connected together and so the two GND are connected together. Then make up a cable, from some multi-strand wire, not bell wire it's too thin and connect to the P1 connector on the Pi, detailed information here:-
http://elinux.org/RPi_Low-level_periphe ... .28GPIO.29
You need to connect the +5V to pin 02 of P1 and the GND to pin 06 of P1, by doing this you will be bypassing the poly fuse on the Pi as well, so take care. I used a 3 pin plug that came of an old PC fan, this was the correct pitch and fitted over pins 02, 04 and 06, you may need to trim some of the plastic off the plug so it does not bind with other pins, I only connected to 02 and 06, the other end of the cable I soldered to the copper loops that I had inserted into the +5V and GND connections on the display driver board so +5V goes to P1 pin 02 and GND goes to P1 pin 06.

Hi,

I think I've read this carefully, and I want to attempt the same addition to the lcd controller board.
The thing is... what happens going into the voltage regulator is pretty straightforward, but I'm really confused as to where the wires from the OUT headers go.
Could anyone who attempted the same mod shed some light on this?
Thanks!
Michaël

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bleep42
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:12 am

mika123 wrote:
bleep42 wrote:
disposition wrote: Looking from the front of the board, ie the side with all the monitor connectors and power connectors on it; on the left hand side of the board behind the connector that goes to the LCD labelled 'CN5 INVERTER', there are 6 vacant pin holes in a line, labelled CN3. These are, from front to back Power On, 5V standby, 5V power, 5V power, Ground, Ground. (labelled on the back of the board PON, 5VSTB, +5V, +5V, GND, GND) We are only interested in the +5V and GND connections. You will need to suck the solder out of these 4 holes and then make up two short loops of copper wire in the shape of a long U, solder one of these into the holes for each pair of +5V and GND connections, ie so the two +5V are connected together and so the two GND are connected together. Then make up a cable, from some multi-strand wire, not bell wire it's too thin and connect to the P1 connector on the Pi, detailed information here:-
http://elinux.org/RPi_Low-level_periphe ... .28GPIO.29
You need to connect the +5V to pin 02 of P1 and the GND to pin 06 of P1, by doing this you will be bypassing the poly fuse on the Pi as well, so take care. I used a 3 pin plug that came of an old PC fan, this was the correct pitch and fitted over pins 02, 04 and 06, you may need to trim some of the plastic off the plug so it does not bind with other pins, I only connected to 02 and 06, the other end of the cable I soldered to the copper loops that I had inserted into the +5V and GND connections on the display driver board so +5V goes to P1 pin 02 and GND goes to P1 pin 06.

Hi,

I think I've read this carefully, and I want to attempt the same addition to the lcd controller board.
The thing is... what happens going into the voltage regulator is pretty straightforward, but I'm really confused as to where the wires from the OUT headers go.
Could anyone who attempted the same mod shed some light on this?
Thanks!
Michaël
Hi Michaël,
Here is a photo.
Regards, Kevin.
5V_powers.jpg
5V_powers.jpg (51.09 KiB) Viewed 15767 times

mika123
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Sat Oct 31, 2015 3:40 pm

Hi Michaël,
Here is a photo.
Regards, Kevin.
Oh, I get it now. You explained it well, but for some reason, I pictured something else entirely! :-)
Thanks, I'm going to attempt this now.

slikvik
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Mon Mar 14, 2016 9:38 am

Hi

Just wanted to give kudos for your project. I've been designing something similar for the last few weeks which is how I came across your project.

One thing I'm not sure about if you don't mind. As you said, the board has a 5V output solder point but I can't work out how the wiring with the voltage regulator is working (I'm a complete electronics novice so please forgive the stupid questions below) in that configuration...

I can see you've wired it to the 12V input, but isn't the board itself still receiving (unregulated) power via it's standard wiring even with the VR soldered on ? Likewise, isn't the 5V output point receiving (unregulated) power through the board despite soldering the VR output to it?

Thanks in advance!

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bleep42
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:14 pm

slikvik wrote:Hi

Just wanted to give kudos for your project. I've been designing something similar for the last few weeks which is how I came across your project.

One thing I'm not sure about if you don't mind. As you said, the board has a 5V output solder point but I can't work out how the wiring with the voltage regulator is working (I'm a complete electronics novice so please forgive the stupid questions below) in that configuration...

I can see you've wired it to the 12V input, but isn't the board itself still receiving (unregulated) power via it's standard wiring even with the VR soldered on ? Likewise, isn't the 5V output point receiving (unregulated) power through the board despite soldering the VR output to it?

Thanks in advance!
Hi Slikvik,
I'm not entirely sure I understand, I'll try to describe the connections.
I disconnect the centre pin of the power in socket, from the M.NT68676.2A board.
I then connect the center pin from that socket, positive, to the positive of the seperate voltage regulator board.
I connect the positive output from the seperate voltage regulator back to where the center pin was connected on the M.NT68676.2A board.
I also connect the 0V (ground) of the M.NT68676.2A board to the 0v (ground) of the seperate voltage regulator board.
The regulator board I have already set up to output 9V, this should now power the LCD and the M.NT68676.2A board, from any DC input in the range 11 to 40V.
So to recap, the M.NT68676.2A power socket positive now connects to the seperate regulator, that regulator now powers the M.NT68676.2A at 9V.
The M.NT68676.2A board has it's own built in 5V regulator, which can suppy about 2A of power.
I connect that 5V output to the Pi to power it. (see photo of the post just above yours)
Be very carefull, if you short anything out, or connect it the wrong way round, you'll almost certaily damage something.
Hope this helps.
Regards, Kevin.

slikvik
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Re: Pi-Portable & or Monitor.

Mon Mar 14, 2016 3:32 pm

Got ya!

It's was the disconnecting of the current power that I was missing! So...

The red wire is now powering the board via the VR (soldered underneath, back to the power connection).
The black wire is grounding to the ground point shown in the photo just above.
The grey wires are powering the Pi from the +5V output of the board shown in the photo just above.

Thanks for your time replying.

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