[Tfug] OT: Outdoor displays

Chris Hill chris at enemyhideout.com
Sun Mar 28 12:19:36 MST 2010

Have you tried using a couple well-placed mirrors to get the display 
reflected outside? Mirrors are cheap. :)


Terence Rudkin wrote:
> How about a PC Came pointed at the display connected to a large 
> display that could be see by the opperator.  Or WIFI to a notebook in 
> the cab ?
> TR
> On Sun, Mar 28, 2010 at 11:54 AM, Bexley Hall <bexley401 at yahoo.com 
> <mailto:bexley401 at yahoo.com>> wrote:
>     Hi,
>     World Care has large "pallet scales" used to weigh
>     pallets (surprise!) of stuff at a time.  E.g., they
>     probably have a limit of a few thousand pounds
>     and accept loads with footprints up to 4ft x 4ft.
>     These are outside as they are accessed by forklift
>     (I don't think you could get a forklift *into*
>     the facility!).
>     The "indicators" (electronics) for these are located
>     *inside* the building (on the end of long cables).
>     This keeps them out of the weather and prevents
>     local urchins from vandalizing them after hours.
>     Unfortunately, the location of the indicator as well
>     as the *size* means you have to literally be standing
>     a few feet from the display in order to read the
>     weight registered, there.  This means the forklift
>     operator has to dismount his truck to view and
>     record the weight.
>     I've been asked to "fix" this problem.
>     A quick and dirty solution is just to interface a
>     large display to the indicator and mount that in
>     a location viewable from the forklift.  I.e.,
>     operator can just jot the displayed value on a piece
>     of paper from his seat.
>     A zero-cost way of doing this is just to interface
>     an otherwise unusable LCD monitor to the scale (via
>     a "PC"), poll the scale and display the result in
>     a very large "typeface".
>     Downside of this is the display would have to be outside
>     (since the scale's location was chosen less than ideally).
>     Ignoring the urchin threat, (:<) I suspect even a shaded
>     location would toast the monitor pretty quick (I have no
>     desire to be repairing monitors all Summer!).
>     So, one alternative is to find a display medium that is
>     intended to be "exposed" to the elements and cobble
>     together an interface between the scale and display.
>     Another approach is to use a wireless display siting
>     the "receiver" in/on the forklift.  That "display"
>     could "have memory" to eliminate the problem of
>     writing down the weight (you can see the logical
>     extension of this).
>     The "no cost" implementation there would be a laptop on
>     each forklift, etc.
>     The downside to this is the laptops would get beat to hell,
>     stolen/vandalized *or* toasted when stored with the
>     forklifts (outdoors).
>     So, the "ideal" solution would probably be WiFi-enabled
>     PDA's (?).
>     Or....?
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