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"Frameless" P10 panels

Started by JonB256, May 16, 2016, 12:50:35 PM

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I have parts ordered so still planning construction.

I am making two, tall P10 panels. They will each cover a brick column on either side of my garage. Dimensions of 1.5ft wide, 6ft tall. This is a 3x6 array with the panels mounted vertically. Looks great when modeled in xlights.

But, I'd like to have virtually no frame around them. The reason would be so that at other times, I could actually put them next to each other, horizontally or vertically, to make a single panel.  Having a minimal frame would be similar to "Video Walls" where the screen bezels are so thin that you don't really notice the gap.

Looking at the P10 panel, it has a very robust plastic frame around it. Using a long band of aluminum (about 18ft perimeter), I could cover the front with heavy clear plastic for waterproofing, then go around the edge, drilling small pilot holes for self-tapping screws. The screws would really just be holding the aluminum band securely. Then, in the back, I'd go around the inside with 1x1 wood and screws. That frame would then accept a sheet of plywood to close the back and provide a lot more strength to the assembly.

This is all "in my head" planning at this point but would appreciate any prior experience (success and failure). I used to brainstorm these things at work with a few mechanical engineers but I retired and they didn't. :(
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user


Attached is quick drawing of an idea I had for this.  It is definitely not to scale, but it gets the idea across I think.

If you use the two end mounting holes in a P10 panel they are further away from the edge of the panel, so you can have the U-channel 'inside' the frame so the P10 panel hangs over the frame flush with the outside edge.  At the top/bottom, you could use a thinner piece of frame material to give room for one first/last strip of U-channel to secure the outside edges of the top/bottom panels.  The waterproof cover would then lay over this all.

This is similar to what I did for my frames but the frame is large enough to fit ouside the panels and the U-channel is set futher back in so the P10 panels are flush with the front of the wooden frame.  I don't need waterproofing since my matrices will be indoors sitting in windows in the front of the house.


Captain, that is similar to the way I've seen the waterproof (front side) P10 panels framed.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user


I have those. I'm looking at ways to hold the perimeter without a bulky frame.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user


Maybe use 3/4" aluminum "L" available at Home Depot or Lowe's very light weight.


Quote from: stallionent on May 16, 2016, 08:57:06 PM
Maybe use 3/4" aluminum "L" available at Home Depot or Lowe's very light weight.
I am thinking about this way, also.
Then I would only need the X connectors from Boscoyo.

As I picture this in my head, I would have the upright of the angle aluminum toward the inside of the frame. Then, I could make four sides that bolt to the aluminum to make a box. To weatherproof, I could then use black duct tape to seal it.

Progress report - pursuing this method on a 3x3 panel I had not built a frame for (yet).
Went to Lowes and looked at angle aluminum - the 1/2" was 36" long and matches the width of the P10 frame.
Also, bought a 1/4 sheet of plywood (24" by 48" by 1/2" thick). The thickness will fit into the 1/2" angle for a very flush fit.

I had Boscoyo connectors on the 3x3 already so I had to remove all the outer connectors. Doing this, you would only need the X connectors. In my case, it would just be four of them. The aluminum will brace the outside edges. I just need to drill some well placed holes. (Measure twice, drill once)

Will add pictures soon. Might make it clearer.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user


The sun is so bright it is hard to see, but work progresses.

I now have a full perimeter of the angled aluminum mounted.

The space left around the outside is the same as the 1/2" plywood that I'm about to rip into 6" wide strips. My Father's Day table saw is going to be useful.  Because of the protruding screws, I'll have to drill small recess holes to match into the edge to get a clean fit.

Still trying to decide if I want to do a 45degree miter in each corner or just a simple butt joint. I know which is easier. :)

The aluminum has made the panel very rigid. Perhaps a bit more than the Boscoyo pieces, but they were pretty good.
The eagle eye viewer may notice that my older P10 panels did not have a many brass inserts as the new one have. Only one in the middle of the long side instead of three.

One thing I will say about this method - I will have to power up and burn in any panels before full assembly because taking it apart to replace a panel is not going to be quick. Not terribly hard, just not quick.

Update - sides are cut but a thunderstorm approaches.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user


Looking good Jon!  I'm excited to see these on your house.




Raining today. Not getting anything done. Sad face.  :(
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user


The weather improved (no rain) but a lot warmer.

First picture - attached the TOP piece to the angle aluminum. Because the screws going into the brass inserts stick up, I had to drill holes into the bottom of the wood to allow it to be a flush fit.

Second picture - still just the TOP piece but from the outside showing the flat head, phillips screws used to mount the wood.

Third picture. Three side on.  I did go with "butt" cuts. The two side pieces go all the way to the bottom (i.e., the bottom piece will fit inside the two sides). I did that to perhaps make it more drip proof / waterproof. May not really make a difference.

Fourth picture - standing up. Sitting very square and solid. I used 6 inch sides for stability. It gives a huge volume inside the frame but remember I plan to stack another one on top of this one, so a wide base is important. Air volume is good for cooling, I'd think.

Fifth picture - the back is still open. The plan is a sheet of thin plywood, gasketed and screwed to the back.

I will screw the four side butt joints together with small drywall screws. I don't plan to glue them, but may coat the contact surface with rubber cement. That way they can come apart if I need to disassemble for repair.

The exposed P10 panels on the front will remain exposed if used indoors. If outdoors, I will cover with plastic sheeting and tape. I'm hesitant to use Duct Tape because of the residue. May experiment with painter's edging tape since they are formulated to keep out paint (water). Suggestions here would be welcome.

I used wood because it is easy. :)  You could use the PVC planks if you wanted. My wood will get primed and painted for weather resistance. We'll see how that goes.
Long time Falcon, FPP and xLights user


What is ur plan to weatherproof the front

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Quote from: JonB256 on May 21, 2016, 12:20:14 PM
.... The exposed P10 panels on the front will remain exposed if used indoors. If outdoors, I will cover with plastic sheeting and tape. ....
Sequencers: Vixen3 and xLights
Players: FPP and xSchedule Controllers:  Renards - SS24/SS16; E1.31 - San Devices E682 - Falcon F16, F4, F48 - J1Sys - DIYLEDExpress E1.31 Bridges.  Much more!


I just bought a clear shower curtain from Walmart for $5.  Going to try that for the front of my 4x4 matrix.  It is 70" x 71".  Does not say how thick, but it appears to be plenty clear enough.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA all Falcon controllers, all 12v Master Remote Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

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