A project log for LCD display for a HP G7 Microserver

My father has this fileserver that is not connected to a monitor, so I decided to put a small LCD display to display useful info

abraham-limpoAbraham Limpo 09/19/2023 at 22:510 Comments

For the last post let's put some thigns that may be of interest, but did not fit the previous project logs:

BOM, Costs, etc

The project took a total of two weeks' evenings -plus at least a full-time weekend- between researching the project, testing, prototyping and assembling. I could probably replicate the project in a couple days now, as the main time eaters where printing the prototypes (the faceplate was only 90 minutes, but the bottom part was 9 hours, and the top about 3), and the trial-error of fitting the components.

I chose the materials because I had them on hand, but replicating it should not be expensive, provided you can find an arduino nano at an acceptable price. The BOM - taking prices form mainly amazon - goes like this:

Assuming you already have the wires, PCB and headers, this project can be done for about 20-40€, depending of where you have to source the materials - buying in bulk is cheaper but what use does have if you really only need one? 

As for tools, you will need a soldering station (I actually did all the work with my pocket soldering tool, as wire-wrapping wire really doesn't need much heating), a wire stripper and crimping tool (don't skimp on the money, a good tool will save you time!), wire cutters, and obviously a 3D printer.

The Server Admin Interface

While outside of the scope of the project, I integrated the LCD interface in a piece of software I wrote so my father doesn't need to SSH on the computer to shutdown it. 

The app offers a system based on extensions that they are mostly independent of each other (I still have to declare dependencies in the root package.json, so I cannot just drag and drop them), coded on a base that offers simple services (serve menus, fetch info, schedule tasks, etc). This is what runs the periodic backup on the server, and now it also runs the screen.

The Motherboard restoration

As I mentioned, I got to work on the computer because the motherboard had some corrosion.

The electrolitic cap had leaked and while it was only surface level, it started to dull some of the surrounding surface caps and resistors.

I desoldered the caps, treated the area with mild vinegar, and cleaned it thoroughly.