Homemade Screen Protectors, Replacement Stylus

David Virga (VirgaD@den.disa.mil)
Thu, 26 Jun 97 13:42:11 mst

(Repost from 16 April 1997)

Having marred my OmniGo's screen, I decided to try to devise a cheap
screen protector. I tried a number of different clear plastic films,
cannibalized from such things as binders, document covers, etc. The
material that I finally settled on was transparency film for overhead
projections. I use the type for inkjet/dye-sub printers, which does
have a coating but does not have an opaque strip. Window cleaner
removes the coating nicely.

With careful marking and cutting, you can easily get nine protectors
out of one letter-size transparency sheet. You can even devise a
template using Freelance/PowerPoint/etc, print that on the sheet, cut
apart and then clean off the coating.

The advantage to this method is lower cost compared to the
commercially available solution. The disadvantages are the time it
takes to cut them out and their durability. It takes me about 30
minutes to cut a sheet of nine protectors, but I also use a fancy
design with tabs on the corners and sides. Each sheet lasts me about
three weeks before it gets marred to the point that I find it too
distracting. I don't notice a significant degradation in touchscreen
performance, and this film is stiff enough to install and stay in
place well. Here is a simple diagram of my template:

\ /
| | By my measurements, the screen is 2 1/2 inches
| | (64mm) by 3 3/8 inches (84mm).
| | A 1/16 inch (2mm) tab fits under the edge of
| | the screen with no apparent problem. So, try
/ \ an overall template size of 2 5/8 inches
| | (68mm) by 3 1/2 inches (88mm), and scoop out
| | the sides to make the tabs. Use a good
\ / straightedge ruler and a sharp hobby knife
| | for best results.
| |
| |
| |
/ \

I am not entirely happy with this solution in that I have to clean the
coating off of the film (if you don't, it smudges very easily and
permanently!), and it doesn't last very long. I am trying to find
some thin mylar and lexan to see how those hold up to the stylus.

I always welcome suggestions to improve on this, and if anyone has
tried using another clear material with success, please let me know.
Also, if you think I'm running a risk by squeezing the tabs under the
edges, please let me know. Finally, I did this with an Ogo 100, not a
120; if anybody does try it with a 120, let us know how it works.


Ps. Here's another quick tip, regarding a replacement stylus. BIC
makes a disposable all-plastic mechanical pencil. I buy them in large
(about 20) multipacks at my favorite membership warehouse store. They
are also available in smaller quantities at most stores that carry
school or office supplies. The tips of these pencils are very well
rounded, and I actually like their feel on the screen better than the
original stylus. Better yet, with just a couple of clicks, I can
scribble on paper! Too bad it doesn't fit in the Ogo's receptacle,
though. Be sure to keep the pencil at a good angle to the screen, not
straight up/down, just to be safe....