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Custom Product Services - In-Wall Orbiter (w/ Photos)


Armor Gnome:
Unlike my other project posted in the user's area I do plan to charge for these items so placed it here in Marketplace.

Several people have expressed interest in devoted in-wall orbiters.  So I have come up with a pretty slick idea that addresses a lot of the challenges of in-wall installations and offers extremely simple installation.  To make this end-user friendly I need to do most of the hardware work myself and ship out a polished product, for this I need to charge.

In-wall challenges:  Getting power and internet to the system board to run orbiter software, end users do not want to cut drywall and run new power lines inside walls.  Mounting and placement problems involved with large display touchscreen monitors, a 15" cheap touchscreen would be nice but you need access to cheap screens, drivers for the touchscreen, frames to mount cleanly, etc.  These issues are addressable on an individual basis by adventurous users but not easy to package and offer to everyone.  The below solution addresses these issues and offers a drop in solution for in-wall orbiters.

I have in my home 2 gang light switch wall plates with a single switch, the other half of the plate is unused.  My options were add another switch to the box or pull the box and downsize to a single gang box.  What I decided on doing was to add a LCD screen to this area, making the screen a touchscreen and having it control an orbiter was the process that led to this ad.  A simple solution to the challenge of power and internet is to use DC powered and already supported mobile devices with custom mounts behind the plate cover

What I am Offering:
I will custom make plate covers and mounts to house your specified device and have it safely installable and accessible.  I will include shields to separate the in-wall area that your device hides in from the home electrical power.  Access to your device for battery changes, setting changes, etc will therefore only involve removing the plate cover screws.  The option for in-wall wall-wort power running off the house AC is there but again that is more advanced and if you are not comfortable with AC power this would best be handled by an electrician.

Cost and Installation:
For most applications the original housing of the device needs to be modified so that its screen sits flush with the plate cover, some devices make this easy while others make this close to impossible.  Internal device circuitry also needs to be no taller than a standard plate cover or additional modification must be done.  For these reasons I can not quote a base cost.  Please supply the device you would like mounted and I will respond with a base estimate and more questions which will allow me to provide a not-to-exceed price.

Provided to you at project completion will be a plate cover with device attached and a mounting bracket.  You will need to cut an opening in the drywall next to your switch slightly smaller than the plate cover, this opening will be covered by the plate and will not show.  Place the provided mounting bracket into the hole, this will provide screw holes for your new plate and shield you in the future from coming near your home's AC power.  Next, screw in the new plate cover which contains your device.  Future access to the device then only requires removing 4-6 screws.

How this works, what if I can't do what I promised?
Anyone can promise something, and charge you for it.  After expressing interest to me and agreeing on a price, I will acquire the device on my own and begin manufacturing your solution.  When I am finished you will receive photographs and even a live webcam feed if you like to assure quality of construction.  At this point hopefully you are excited and wish to purchase at the original agreed price!  If you are not satisfied or I fail to make the custom device then I use the device in my own home and thank you for the recommendation.  Therefore your investment consists only of contacting me and explaining your desired device and unique application.  It will then be my responsibility of producing and item that exceeds your expectations and makes you comfortable purchasing.

Examples of Custom Applications:

Original 2 Gang Plate                                                                Custom 2.5 Gang Plate*

*Note that this image was photo edited.  When joining two separate plate covers one of them cracked.  Also the weather station is not powered on, that is the sticker overlay showing operation.  My choice to edit the photo was to show design and concept.  The plastic on these covers is very fragile, for future projects I will be making my own.  In a few days i will pick up some Lexan and after routing my plate cover shape I will paint the backside white to give it depth.

*Edit.  The Weather station screen is from a La Crosse wireless unit. "Stupid Hard" to modify as it uses elastomeric (Zebra Connection) from the embedded LCD controller to the screen, higher-end LCD screens with ribbon cable to the screen will be much easier to mount.  The outside temperature is fed from a wireless sending unit outside.  The 'indoor' temperature sensor is now inside the wall and while slow to adjust to changes is fairly accurate to the house temperature.  There are several hacker sites that have gained access to the wireless packets these units send.  Hopefully I am able to tune in that data on my wireless AP and get that sensor data fed to DCErouter.  If I get that working clean the template will be submitted for others to use, if plate mounted or set up standalone as La Crosse intended off the shelf.

Sweet idea, I'm interested. What orbiter devices are recommended for this type of install?  Android wouldn't work well since it can't do touch-to-wake and I haven't seen any devices with front-mounted hardware power buttons.

Armor Gnome:
Here is another example of a cheap orbiter, 7" android tablet (I forget the model it was < $20 eBay used.  Concept only as I am not sure if there is touch to wake capabilities or where the power connects on this.  I added the black plate and black Z-Wave switch for overall appearance.  Using cheap hardware while it is kind of my niche is not going to provide you full functionality of on-going development on qOrbiter or anything beyond basic Proxy Orbiter/Touch Orbiter. 

Out of my price range but not by much would be use iPhone (original - 3G) or iPod Touch, mounted horizontally.  You would access it with the front ( o ) button, or for even more customized approach you could fill in the ( o ) with clay, leave it mounded high and extend it up and down which gives you a larger target to press.  Now you need to cover the clay with black film, heavy garbage-bag stock or other thin durable stock would work.  Cover the entire device now with (40mil +) clear film.  One other really nice idea here would be to use Mirror screen protectors.  These are available in precut patterns, I would recommend buying one for an iPad to give you the largest size cheap.  This film is mirror reflective until you light the screen at which time it passes light through normally.  Very slick as guests would not know what the mirror in the switch cover is until you touch the right place.  Additional cost of that option would be < $10 and a trip to a mall.  Have fun with it, there is nothing wrong with being a little flashy in your home. =)

*Note- Sharing my ideas was the purpose of this post in the Marketplace.  People wanting help applying these ideas themselves and taking on this as a DIY project is encouraged.  I will be doing a more complete wiki article explaining how I build the AC separating shield and mounting bracket inside the wall.  Marketplace and charging was only for those who wanted me to build it and ship it to them ready to install. 


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