Mini LCD Monitor Review
Introduction and Installation
This content was originally featured on Amdmb.com and has been converted to PC Perspective's website. Some color changes and flaws may appear.
The subject of this review is the 4” LCD video monitor provided by www.cpufx.com. This monitor displays images fed via a composite video cable and runs off a 12 VDC power source. These monitors have a wide variety of uses including vehicle navigation and entertainment systems, portable television displays, and custom computer setups. It is this last purpose that we’ll be taking a closer look at in this review.
Let’s begin by laying out the specifications for the monitor.
|Screen||4” diagonal TFT LCD with 383 X 234 resolution|
|Active Area||82mm X 60mm (3.23” X 2.36”)|
|Back Light||Dual cold cathode lamps|
|NTSC Video||FH = 15,750 Hz, FV = 60 Hz, FC = 3.58 MHz|
|Power Source||10-18 VDC (12 VDC @ 500 mA recommended)|
|Operating Temperature||0°C – 40°C (32°F – 104°F)|
|Dimensions||121mm X 84mm X 36mm (4.76” X 3.31” X 1.42”)|
CPUFX packages the monitor in protective bubble wrap with an additional protective plastic sheet adhered to the monitor surface. These measures should ensure that the monitor arrives safely at its destination.
Also tucked into the box is a specification sheet detailing the information above as well as instructions for adjusting the tint, color, and brightness, if necessary.
Connecting the Monitor
There are only two connections to be made. The first is the RCA connector for the composite video signal. The second is a standard molex connector to draw power from the computer’s power supply. As the total draw is a maximum of 500mA, less than seven watts, this monitor won’t place undue strain on the power supply. This power level is equivalent to two typical case fans.
Mounting the Monitor
This is where things can get a little tricky and where you need to do a little planning. You may mount the monitor anywhere that allows room. For most cases this means a side panel, top, or front bezel. Where you choose depends on your case and your abilities to modify it. Take into account the size and depth of the monitor as well as your ability to route power and video cables to it.
For the purposes of review, I have not mounted the monitor in a case. I took a little leftover pre-finished oak lumber from my kitchen remodeling project and hacked out a custom bezel. Feel free to laugh at the workmanship. It took all of 45 minutes and because the wood was pre-finished I’ve got a few splinters showing.
One of the annoying difficulties of mounting this monitor is a lack of dimensional information for the four mounting points. Your best bet is to construct a template using the monitor. The mounting points sit roughly 7/16” behind the surface of the display, so take this into account when you build your mounting.
Ultimately I’ll be mounting this display within a desk rather than a computer case. It will sit in an enclosure much like the oak bezel shown above, but hopefully minus the splinters. You’ll need to check back later on the progress of my "Project Gemini", a custom desk with a built-in computer enclosure