Coding on the beach

 I have for a long time wanted to make a system that would allow me to code on a beach.

In recent years I’ve had two approaches to this, one has been to try and produce some sort of virtual reality desert island with a beautiful break.

The other has been to try and produce a screen that I can see in direct sunshine.

But modern screens are far better at being seen in the sunshine you might say.

Just get an anti-reflective coating you might say.

Both of these are good solutions but as you can see from the picture below both pale in comparison with my creation.

The screen I present here is the culmination of 5 attempts and over £100.

The device has 80w of led draw producing a lighting power for which a back panel full of heat sinks cannot dissipate in high ambient temperatures. 

So far I haven’t been able to test the device outside of my flat and I know from previous experiments that ended up in the prototypes being smashed that the power pack I have cannot support both the screen and charging of my laptop at the same time.


This, much like the heating of grandmother's house using a bitcoin miner is a project difficult enough to not attempt again.

The challenge is not a conceptual one, instead, it is one of finesse. The reason it has taken 5 attempts (each screen costing about £15) is that the panel on a screen is delicate.

The way modern LCD screens work is by shining a light through a “screen-pannel”.

The screen panel is made of liquid crystal trapped between two panels of glass which through lithography have had small circuits built on them so that when a current is placed across a sub-pixel some fraction of the light is blocked.

Given that these screens are 1920x1080 there is both a lot of data to be passed to that panel and a lot of delicate pockets of crystals that could be damaged.

The way that all of those pixels are set is not through a wire coming from the computer for each pixel instead, it is sent as a signal over perhaps 100 such wires. If there is any disruption to that signal or its timing the screen will cease to work. 

The final working screen:

The first attempts were good but didn't deliver anything more than a nasty electrical burn

And the result although close wasn't really what I was after. You can see my desktop background here is the londoncentric projection of the world.

I did manage to get a timelapse of the composition of the final version

Turning it on for the first time:


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