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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

As you are a home constructor you will be aware that the hobby involves a real workbench where using hot soldering irons, saws, hammers, sharp scissors, craft knives, small objects and other sharp pointy cutty bits that could cause cuts, injury and other accidents.  Take the usual workshop safety precautions for the job in hand. Someone who does not know is the most dangerous thing in the workshop. If you don't know what the usual precautions are then use the internet to learn all about them. 

A moment's caution to ensure tools are being used safely and with the right safety precautions can save a lot of anguish.

Q: I bought something and I’m not happy with it what should I do?

A: Sorry but I'm unable to offer refunds or accept returns. Please take note of this before ordering. 

Q: Do you keep stocks of items ready to send the same day as my order?

A: I’ll get the order dispatched as quickly as I can and will let you know if there is any delay. Good communications is important and I aim to keep in touch but not to over-communicate.

I have around 10 knobs ready to go. They are around 90 minute print. Similarly for Bezels, 10 of each type and they are ready in about 40 mins.  I don’t use high speeds to make sure that the printed layers are as good as I can get them.  

Q: Why should I bother buying 3D printed parts from you....

  1. That aren’t as good at manufactured items that you can get?
  2. I can design and print my own.
  3. I can get them cheaper from someone else?

A: If that’s what you would prefer to do then I won’t argue with you.   

Let me be the first to wish you well to enjoy the creative process, take your time and enjoy the build!  

Q: The bezels are supplied with the printing skirt still in place. How to I remove it.

A: Its your choice of method, but using a sharp utility knife is the best method.  There is a picture of the type of utility knife that is best on this page.  Whatever you use, keep your fingers out of the way as the blades are sharp and use the knife with great care.  See the disclaimer about using sharp tools.  So, lay the bezel flat on a piece of flat scrap wood sheet or cutting board and gently score along the skirt where the body of the bezel rises. After scoring a few times the skirt will separate.  This should be fairly neat. If you go at it and try and cut through in one go then the blade will wander and you could end up cutting into the body of the bezel.

Q: Does the Bezel have a transparent window insert?

A: No, there is no transparent insert. The viewing slot in the bezel is 'open space'. If you really want a transparent insert:  A "Cheap and Cheerful" solution is to sandwich a piece of transparent plastic in between the Bezel and the case. Look around and you will find something to use.

Q: How should I attach the bezel to my project.

A: Some constructors use high-grade adhesive tape. Someone has mentioned one made by 3M. I find that this is well, OK... But you need to fasten the LCD display to the inside of the case anyway we may as well use screws and nuts to secure both the bezel and the display.

Q: Do you provide fixing nuts and screws for the bezel?

A: These are not provided as there are are variations in how and what you fix the bezel to your enclosure with. The ones readily obtainable in the UK are metric sizes of M2.5 and M3 of different lengths. Whenever you have a metal nut or other fastener touching the PCB, I would recommend use of a plastic or fibre washer to provide insulation between the metal nut and the PCB . You could use a plastic/nylon nut if you have them. Or go all plastic/nylon with both screw and nut. Small quantities can probably be sourced from eBay if you don't have any in your workshop.

Q: What is the easiest way to fit the bezel?

A: First of all, after delivery, check that the viewing slot and the fixing holes are in the right place for your LCD display.  This can be done by aligning the bezel over your display and then check you can see through the bezel mounting holes through to the mounting holes on the LCD board and they are all aligned, and that the display area is visible through the slot in the bezel.  Then, holding the bezel in correct alignment on your enclosure (allowing clearance for your wiring etc inside your enclosure and the lip of the enclosure covers if they overlap), with a pencil or other non-permanent marker draw the outline of the bezel, the outline of the viewing slot and mark the mounting holes. Some constructors use the paper masking tape which helps prevent tool marks on the enclosure.  Use the viewing slot outline to cut out the slot.  There are various ways of doing this (the internet will help you find a method that suits your tools to hand and skills).  On completion of the slot and a good test fit, re-check check the hole positions, centre-punch them and drill the mounting holes.  Spacers in between the back of the enclosure and the board can be used so that the display PCB is not strained.  Commercial spacers can be used, although plastic bodies from 'cheapo' ball point pens can be cut to suitable lengths.  A mini-pipe cutter with a rotary cutter blade does this much easier than a small hacksaw.  Then just fit the bezel. Front to back: Screw - Bezel - Enclosure-Spacer-LCD Board-Fibre Washer and fixing nut.  Nip up the nut but not over-tight (you are not putting a wheel on a truck).  If you use a metal spacer another fibre washer is recommended between that and the PCB.

You could use BZP screws (shiny silver ones),  Black anodised crews or for a finer look button head screws in black that use an Allen-Key.  Instead of using a metal nut, you could use a nylon/plastic equivalent.  This fixes the display and bezel but also provides electrical insulation.

Take care with holes any holes that have just been drilled. De-burr them carefully. Similarly after cutting your viewing slot.

Q: What is the best way to make electrical connections to my LCD.

A: I don't supply LCD displays or electrical fittings, but as you asked. My preferred method is to think about maintenance / troubleshooting of the equipment when planning the project. So I never directly solder wires to LCD displays.  Instead use is made of 0.1 PCB headers and housings. Rather than describe it all here; have a look at these on https://cpc.farnell.com/  The link is for 4 pin examples but chose the number of pins that suits your application. Catalogue number CN05554, CN05534.  You need the crimp pins and a crimping tool.  The crimping tool for these can be obtained for reasonable cost on the international swag or auction sites.  Before I bought a crimping tool I had a pile of bent crimp pins, sore fingers and connectors that I would not show off to anyone.

If you like the JST XH series or the Dupoint type - well its a personal choice.

Another hint is to use "rainbow ribbon cable" as this uses the resistor colour code - Pin 0, Black to Pin 9 White, which saves a lot of hassle numbering things.

Q: Do you have the measurements in Inches?

A: Sorry, no the measurements are in mm as these are the ones quoted in manufacturer’s literature.  PS: I just did when describing the 0.1 inch Leoco connectors!

Q: I’d like to know what the diameter of shaft hole in the tuning knob is?

A: The diameter is 6mm.  This has been printed to a nominal 6mm and then post-print finished with a 6mm drill.  (A nice new one that I keep just for this), but read the next one.

Q: I’d like you to leave the holes in the bezel unfinished so that I can finish them myself.

A: The Bezels are supplied with unfinished, the holes do not go straight through.  The fixing holes in bezels are not through holes when they are printed. This allows for the side that faces the user not to have swirls and whorls around the hole locations that can generate printer artefacts. Drill the holes through according to your fixing requirements for example  2.5mm or 3mm. 

Q: I’d like to get the design printed in another colour.

A: It is “Basic Black PLA” at the moment, which helps you to choose! If you have a particular colour of interest let me know and I'll see what can be done.

Q: How do I fit the LCD panel Bezel?

LCD Panel Instructions Rev 01
PDF – 644.6 KB 7 downloads