MagicMirror² v2.4.1 is available! For more information about this release, check out this topic.
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Prepping my first build. Care to check my work?



  • Perhaps theres a forum more suited for this kind of post, feel free to let me know and I’ll get outa here.

    In any case, I’m getting ready to build my first rig and could benefit from the wisdom of those who actually know what they’re doing.

    There are a couple things I’m doing that aren’t exactly to spec for the majority of these builds, so advice from those with some experience will be especially valuable. The most significant of which is the use of the BDF PRBL Window Film rather than the true 2 way mirror.

    Firstly, my parts list:

    Raspberry Pi 3B + peripheral needs, hdmi, power supply etc

    Glass from a picture from picked up from Goodwill

    BDF PRBL Window Film

    Wood for internal framework, better looking wood for visible frame

    Acer 21" computer monitor I got for $25 - Slightly less than 1080 resolution, something like 1050. DVI out, no HDMI. I have DVI to HDMI cable.

    Liquid Nails - I don’t have actual nails and screws at the moment. I’m not sure what size to get or if they’ll be necessary since I have the Liquid Nails product.

    Pre-Build questions:
    Well firstly, does that parts list look alright? Am I missing anything?

    Non-Standard stuff

    I’ve heard of some people having success using the window film stuff I have in place of the two way mirror. If you’ve done that I’d love to hear what kind of mistakes to avoid and your general experience/advice.

    I like the idea of actually having a bezel free mirror. Is there a reason this is impractical?

    I’d like my mirror to be larger than the monitor area. Is there any problem with, for example, positioning the monitor in the top half and just having the bottom half be a regular mirror?

    Thank you for taking a look at this for me. I hope to have it put together over the next couple of days 🙂



  • @3DPrintedWaffles It looks like you’re off to a good start. I do have a couple thoughts:

    • If your monitor is going to be smaller than your glass, you’ll want black construction paper or felt to cover the area of the glass that are not covered by the monitor. This includes the edges of your internal framework.
    • I would recommend wood screws for the internal framework. They don’t need to be large. 1.5" would probably do just fine.
    • I don’t know about the Liquid Nails part. I’m not familiar with it enough to say whether or not it will keep your glass attached to monitor and/or framework. I would consult your local hardware store.
    • Give a thought to power. Are you routing the power through the wall? Through a hole in your internal framework? Consider that at the moment, you have to power the Pi and the monitor, so that’s two cords.

    IIRC, the people who apply window film a lot recommend using a spray bottle with water or windex on the glass and then applying the film over top. The liquid will let you slide the film a bit while you get it positioned properly. Once the liquid evaporates, the film should remain in position.

    Bezel-free is certainly possible. It just requires slightly better construction skills and a bit more planning than your standard magic mirror. Normally, the bezel on the frame is what holds the glass up against the monitor face (and the monitor is usually the same size as the glass). Without that bezel, you’ll have to rely on the liquid adhesive. So long as you trust the Liquid Nails product, you should be good to go.



  • @3DPrintedWaffles

    Just here to echo and add to the comments from @bhepler:

    • Liquid nails can work, but you will need to clamp (or otherwise brace) the corners to let it dry. Usually for a wood joint you will use fasteners (nails, screws) and reinforce with glue. If not using fasteners, you can also use a biscuit or tongue to reinforce the joint.
    • If you use screws, pre-drill the holes to avoid splitting your wood. You may also consider whether you want to create butt joints (square) or miter joints (angle).
    • The bezel is also often what hides the electronics behind your mirror. Without the bezel, you may still want a skirt behind the mirror to conceal those elements.
    • With bevel-less, you may want to find the most opaque material possible to prevent light entering the back of your mirror (that would otherwise be mostly blocked by the bezel/skirt).
    • I have no experience with gluing to glass, but would worry about seeing the glue beneath your mirror.
    • Also, given that your glass and display will be different sizes, if you mount the display in a corner of the glass you will need multiple mounting points for your mirror – it won’t hang level from a single point (as it won’t balance).


  • @bhepler said in Prepping my first build. Care to check my work?:

    • Give a thought to power. Are you routing the power through the wall? Through a hole in your internal framework? Consider that at the moment, you have to power the Pi and the monitor, so that’s two cords.

    That is a good keyword. If u just want one cord u can think about using a step-down converter.
    Don’t know what Voltage your monitor will be using. In my case my monitor needs 12V and the RPi 5V as normal.

    So i choosed a big 12V power supply (5A or 60W) to power both.

    Then i ordered a DC-DC Step Down converter: https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Converter-Step-down-Regulator-Stabilizer/dp/B019RKVMKU/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1516968110&sr=8-5&keywords=lm2596&th=1

    connect the 12V output of the power supply to the converter input and parallel to your monitor.
    adjust the converter output to 5 - 5.1V and connect it with your Pi 🙂

    You can see an example here: https://forum.magicmirror.builders/topic/6048/my-first-mirror-until-now/12


  • Module Developer

    Or, you can do it the lazy old man’s way. 🙂

    Mini power strip (inside mirror frame) your monitor and Pi both plug into and you still have an outlet available for something else. The power strip has an on/off switch which comes in very handy as a power switch for the Pi and only 1 wire comes out of the frame from the power strip.

    Peace!
    0_1516968927810_11.jpg



  • @Mykle1
    Hmm I may go that route. I like how well contained everything sits in your rig.

    What I should have put in my original parts list is that I snagged one of these guys Cablelera Power Cord Extension and Splitter, NEMA 5-15P to NEMA 5-15R x 2, 16 AWG, 13A, 125V (ZWACPQAG-14) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FRODUR4/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_Hh2AAbABEH35N (sorry, on mobile) to deal with the power issue, though it miiiight not be the most elegant solution.


  • Module Developer

    @3DPrintedWaffles said in Prepping my first build. Care to check my work?:

    Hmm I may go that route. I like how well contained everything sits in your rig.

    Advantages:

    When you shut down your Pi how will you turn it back on? Pull the plug and plug it back in? Hell no! A (mini) power strip with a breaker switch works perfectly. Turn the switch off (after shutting down your Pi) and simply turn it back on. Boom! The Pi now has an on/off switch.

    Extra outlet. After you’ve plugged in your Pi and your monitor, what then? My mini power strip has three outlets. That’s all I needed, but as builds become more complicated and require power for other devices (LED’s etc) then a six outlet strip can be affixed to the wall of the mirror box. Mine is on the bottom.

    Less cabling. With the power strip you can modify/make extensions of exact length so there’s less clutter behind your mirror. I made a short orange extension (see picture) because the power plug for the Pi “stood up” when plugged in. I couldn’t have that. Now it “lays down”. Yes, you could do that without a power strip but do you really want to splice all that wiring? And how would that look? Hell no! (I like saying that) 🙂

    This is just my opinion, and others may offer you better solutions, but I think this a very efficient and neat way of doing things, and you get the added benefit of an on/off switch.

    P.S. At the time of this build the mini power strip was a $5 add on item at Amazon. You can’t beat that with a stick. 🙂

    Peace!



  • @Mykle1 Awesome, thanks for your thorough response!

    I’ve hit a snag with the monitor, I don’t know how to get the bezel off. Videos online for this same model (but apparently different sub-model) have screws and clips in places where mine does not. I’ve got the Acer AL2216W sd. Would it be ideal to just use brute force on it? Hell no! There’s gotta be a better way, but I haven’t found it. I ordered a jimmy and may just wait for it to arrive to try and crank that thing open. Any advice would be much appreciated 🙂


  • Module Developer

    @3DPrintedWaffles said in Prepping my first build. Care to check my work?:

    Would it be ideal to just use brute force on it? Hell no!

    Ha ha! 🙂

    Any advice would be much appreciated 🙂

    I’ve never encountered a bezel that didn’t just snap off so be as careful as you can be. I know someone that cracked a 32 monitor while removing it from the casing. 😞



  • @cruunnerr said in Prepping my first build. Care to check my work?:

    @bhepler said in Prepping my first build. Care to check my work?:

    • Give a thought to power. Are you routing the power through the wall? Through a hole in your internal framework? Consider that at the moment, you have to power the Pi and the monitor, so that’s two cords.

    That is a good keyword. If u just want one cord u can think about using a step-down converter.
    Don’t know what Voltage your monitor will be using. In my case my monitor needs 12V and the RPi 5V as normal.

    So i choosed a big 12V power supply (5A or 60W) to power both.

    Then i ordered a DC-DC Step Down converter: https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Converter-Step-down-Regulator-Stabilizer/dp/B019RKVMKU/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1516968110&sr=8-5&keywords=lm2596&th=1

    connect the 12V output of the power supply to the converter input and parallel to your monitor.
    adjust the converter output to 5 - 5.1V and connect it with your Pi 🙂

    You can see an example here: https://forum.magicmirror.builders/topic/6048/my-first-mirror-until-now/12

    This looks like the way to go, though perhaps a bit more advanced than I am. I think I’ll give this a go when I build my second mirror 🙂