My house has an early-70's vintage intercom system (front door, back
door, kitchen, a few other rooms) that hasn't worked in many years. I see
that NTSC-output B/W video cameras are available real cheap ($25-$30) and
this would be an obvious upgrade to the system (especially as the only
realistic option is to rip it all out anyway).
The thing is, there aren't many cheap flat video panels available for
replacement that I've seen. A 5-inch CRT-based TV (which I've seen
for as little as $25!) would protrude way too far out of
the wall (typical depth comes close to 10" for these TV's). Are there
any low-end B/W LCD panels that take NTSC input out there? I'd be happy
to find them either in home-intercom type panels already or as a raw
subassembly with power and NTSC jacks.
I know that the automotive electronics places have 7" or 9" color NTSC-in
color LCD panels in the ~$150 range, but they seem a little excessive for
Grayscale LCDs with analog input really aren't in vogue any more, I
don't think the controller ASICs for this application are made. You
might be able to adapt a B&W pocket LCD TV, which you can get off eBay
between $15 and $30 (for around 2"), but I never saw a B&W version
that had composite video input. Reverse-engineering it is possible but
On the other hand, you can easily find color pocket LCD TVs with NTSC
input. They'll set you back ~$80 unfortunately.
BTW, the B&W video intercom apps I've seen used very small, 2" or so,
CRTs, usually mounted at an angle. The idea was you mount the intercom
below eye level and look down into it. You could try doing something
similar with one of the $20 5" 12V B&W TV sets that all the discount
stores sell :)
Incidentally, how many do you need? I probably have a couple of 4"
color LCD modules with NTSC inputs lying around, but definitely no
more than a couple. (Actually I have lots of LCDs, but no
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