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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to start a new thread for this DW-5600HR mod rather than posting it in the custom squares thread since this is going to be a bit lengthy and with lots of images. I got the idea to customize a DW-5600HR to have red numerals from an image I found on social media from a SE Asian G-SHOCK modder/seller. F17 fellow square enthusiast acadian encouraged me to make this mod happen and offered advice throughout the process. Thanks to acadian for the push and also thanks to kevio for the LCD advice. Before this mod could happen I had to source some colored polarizer film. A cursory Google search yielded no results. Colored gel filters are plentiful as are standard monochrome polarizer films, but colored polarizer films did not seem to be anywhere. I searched past F17 threads and found K&L's project where he cannibalized blue polarizer film from a parts watch (a blue 8900). Feel free to visit that thread and some similar linked threads:

https://www.watchuseek.com/f17/colored-polarizing-film-3826954.html

https://www.watchuseek.com/f17/how-its-made-colorful-g-shock-displays-2830186.html
Thanks to K&L for paving the way for fun mods like this.

So what I found is that aside from reaching out to a couple of users who at one time could source colored polarizer films, I was out of luck at the moment. I took a deeper dive searching Google results and happened upon an AliExpress seller out of China. I took a chance and ordered two sheets of red polarizer film and two sheets of blue totaling around $30.00usd shipped. About two weeks later the sheets arrived and they are huge! Each sheet is roughly 9x11 inches.

Sidenote: I happened upon this 'gshock highfashion' video about how to perform colored polarizer film mods and in the comments section he links the same AliExpress seller.

On to the project:


^My brand new DW-5600HR deconstructed and ready for surgery


^The beautiful OE Casio negative display module that I hope I don't ruin


^Module with the red polarizer film resting over it to show the intended result (red numerals)


^Red polarizer film adhered on top of the OE polarizer film on the module. Numerals look great, but the overall result is not perfect. What I found is that the adhesive on the back of the red polarizer film was not as sticky as I needed it to be. In this image you can see that the adhesive is not completely tacked down on the bottom edge, the top edge, and a small part of the left edge. This is 4th(!) attempt I had at this and I am satisfied *enough* with this result, especially compared to the prior 3 attempts that yielded garbage outcomes.
Attempt #1: I cut the red polarizer film to be slightly smaller than the existing OE polarizer film so that (I hoped) the red film would fit inside the LCD and the adhesive would stick flat without bubbles or peeling. Well that first attempt failed. Despite being a great fit, the adhesive did not bond edge-to-edge so the peeling was very visible.
Attempt #2: I cut the red polarized film to the EXACT dimensions of the LCD. Similar outcome. The edges were better, but the adhesive still did not tack down edge-to-edge. So I once again scraped the red polarizer film off, cleaned the LCD, and cut another piece of red polarizer film.
Attempt #3: This time I cut the red polarizer film to be *bigger* than the LCD in hopes that the peeling effect would happen around the outer edge of the LCD and would not be visible. Fail. Similar outcome, the peeling was inside the edge of the LCD and it looked pretty bad. AND the film was hanging over the edge of the LCD. Scrape it off, clean again, and cut another piece.
Attempt #4: I cut the red polarizer film to be just a little bit outside of the LCD. This seemed to be a happy medium and while certainly not ideal, I can live with it. Especially since this was the 4th attempt and I was getting tired of this dance.

I may eventually take this apart and try again at fitting the red polarizer film onto the LCD. A better method is likely to take the LCD out of the module housing. I intentionally did not do it that way because I wanted to see the live digits powered by the battery. Now that I know this method works I might fix it eventually. However...


^Once I seated the module into the case center, the portions of the peeled adhesive were not visible. Problem is no longer there if it cannot be seen, right?










^Trio of negative display squares with various shades of red numerals.
Left: DW-5600HR Vampire Edition -- Center: DW-5600CL -- Right: DW-5600MS

Thanks for reading.


--Bonus polarizer film references--
Here are some images I captured throughout the process that show various displays with the colored polarizer films:


^Positive display 5600E with OE polarizer film and red polarizer film resting over it


^Positive display 5600E with OE polarizer film and blue polarizer film resting over it





^5600E LCD with OE polarizer film removed and blue/red polarizer film resting over it. Each image is polarizer film orientation vertical then horizontal for each respective polarizer film color (blue, then red). I apologize for the state of the LCD. I captured these haphazard images before I cleaned the remaining OE polarizer film bits off the LCD. The 3rd image, red background with white/silver numerals, is a poor man's DW-5635C.
 

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I was excited to see this post

Im surprised the adhesive didn’t adhere on the edges/corners like that. Very odd. Wonder if it varies based on the type/brand of polarizer film you use? You have to peel both sides right (one side is the adhesive and other is a protective film).

Great work and welcome to the club.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
Melissa & Doug... how are the kids? lol.

Great work man!
Thanks! Haha, yeah man. Good eye. Those play kitchen food container lids come in handy for watch parts. Lol.

I was excited to see this post

Im surprised the adhesive didn’t adhere on the edges/corners like that. Very odd. Wonder if it varies based on the type/brand of polarizer film you use? You have to peel both sides right (one side is the adhesive and other is a protective film).

Great work and welcome to the club.
Thanks acadian. I am a bit disappointed in the adhesive of the polarizer film, but it seems to be working well enough for now. It is, however, only a matter of time before I open it up and fix it though. Haha. I should have done it right the first time and applied the polarizer film to the LCD with it *outside* of the module housing. Oh well, learn the hard way sometimes.
The polarizer film indeed has the protective film on both sides, which is super convenient...no worrying about smudges and fingerprints.

That came out pretty well.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
Thank you Sir!
 

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Looks great. From the thread title, I thought you had dissected the new redback 5700 and put the module into a square case, then had the 5600HR bezel and band. Well that's an idea for someone whose brave :p
 

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Good testing Tommy. I was chatting about this with Acadian and he was thinking of doing the same thing. My suggestion to him is to use the negative display module as a starting point, if what you want to do is have a negative display with colored digits. The reason being that the digits were enlarged for improved legibility against a dark background and reflect more light.

If you want black digits against a color background then the positive module display would be fine. You should always remove the OE polarizer as each polarizing layer cuts at least 50% light going in and going out. Having two polarizing layers cuts too much light.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A few days ago I planned to wear this watch for the day, but upon inspection discovered that the red polarizer film had escalated in peeling away from the LCD.

It was enough to be visible when viewed from straight on and from an angle. I had already planned to eventually break this watch down to fix the shoddy polarizer film application from the initial build. This was the impetus to take action.

So I cracked it open, removed the module, and then disassembled the entire thing. This process is not for the faint of heart. There are a number of trays and small parts that all fit together in a specific and unforgiving manner. Luckily I had some experience with this from a few previous LCD swaps I had performed. I removed the red polarizer film and cleaned the LCD. Then I cut and installed a new red polarizer film onto the LCD. With the LCD isolated from the holder it was a much more efficient and accurate polarizer film application.

No bubbles! The arrows are to preserve the correct orientation of the LCD.
So all seemed to be well. Clean application of the film, put it all back together and this project has been improved + completed.
Hold on, not so fast guy:


What the!? Only one random ‘9’ partially showing when it should be firing all numbers. What happened? Did I short it out somehow? With my limited (read: NONE) knowledge of electronics I decided to change the battery and perform an AC reset hoping that will help.

New battery.

Still dead.

I had no idea what happened. Had I broken the LCD?
What to do? I got acadian and kevio involved.
Numerous recommendations were made. I started by swabbing the conductive foam strips and the PCB pads where the conductive foam strips touch. I used a Q-tip and isopropyl alcohol and a gentle touch. These parts:


And the result?

It’s alive! Not totally there yet though. Take it apart and one more time with the Q-tip and alcohol.

Success! Back from the dead and ready for action.

So if you think you killed your LCD like I did, some components cleaning with isopropyl might be in order. Many thanks to acadian and kevio for the remote consult. I would NEVER have taken these corrective steps were it not for the sound advice I received from them.

Thanks for reading.

 

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Nice mod and well done for not giving up!

It's odd that on a virtually brand new watch, that merely taking it apart that last time would mean that you had to do some cleaning of parts though!

Sent from my P027 using Tapatalk
 

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Nice mod and well done for not giving up!

It's odd that on a virtually brand new watch, that merely taking it apart that last time would mean that you had to do some cleaning of parts though!

Sent from my P027 using Tapatalk
It’s most likely that the copper pads on the PCB had some oxidation, which prevented the conductive foam from making an adequate electrical connection with the pads. The fact that cleaning the pads cleared this up, points towards either oxidation or contamination. Oxidation will happen when the board is exposed to the atmosphere and humidity. When the display and PCB are taken apart and reassembled, it’s possible that the conductive foam doesn’t go back exactly the same way and contacts the oxidized areas on the pads, preventing the LCD from getting the right signals.

It’s probably always a good idea to clean the copper pads on the PCB whenever disassembling the module, to avoid this problem in the future. I’ll have to remember this rule the next time I take a module apart.
 

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What about the polarizing film on eBay? I didn’t happen to see any colored film, just the black. I was wondering if I had to buy a specific type of film. Do I have to buy negative film if I want the background to be blacked out? I thought the film worked on both sides and produced a different appearance but based on your post it shows that one side has adhesive. Anyway thanks in advance!
 

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What about the polarizing film on eBay? I didn’t happen to see any colored film, just the black. I was wondering if I had to buy a specific type of film. Do I have to buy negative film if I want the background to be blacked out? I thought the film worked on both sides and produced a different appearance but based on your post it shows that one side has adhesive. Anyway thanks in advance!
I know I'm not Tommy - but in order to get colored digits, you NEED colored polarizing film, which isn't that easy to find. Right now red, blue and regular black are the easiest to find. I haven't been about to source any other colors right now. A great place to shop is Aliexpress
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What about the polarizing film on eBay? I didn’t happen to see any colored film, just the black. I was wondering if I had to buy a specific type of film. Do I have to buy negative film if I want the background to be blacked out? I thought the film worked on both sides and produced a different appearance but based on your post it shows that one side has adhesive. Anyway thanks in advance!
Yes only one side has adhesive. The orientation of the film (vertical or horizontal) changes whether the display is positive or negative.

This is a good place to start:
https://www.watchuseek.com/f43/how-convert-plain-dw-5600-negative-display-129102.html
 

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I decided to start a new thread for this DW-5600HR mod rather than posting it in the custom squares thread since this is going to be a bit lengthy and with lots of images. I got the idea to customize a DW-5600HR to have red numerals from an image I found on social media from a SE Asian G-SHOCK modder/seller. F17 fellow square enthusiast acadian encouraged me to make this mod happen and offered advice throughout the process. Thanks to acadian for the push and also thanks to kevio for the LCD advice. Before this mod could happen I had to source some colored polarizer film. A cursory Google search yielded no results. Colored gel filters are plentiful as are standard monochrome polarizer films, but colored polarizer films did not seem to be anywhere. I searched past F17 threads and found K&L's project where he cannibalized blue polarizer film from a parts watch (a blue 8900). Feel free to visit that thread and some similar linked threads:

https://www.watchuseek.com/f17/colored-polarizing-film-3826954.html

https://www.watchuseek.com/f17/how-its-made-colorful-g-shock-displays-2830186.html
Thanks to K&L for paving the way for fun mods like this.

So what I found is that aside from reaching out to a couple of users who at one time could source colored polarizer films, I was out of luck at the moment. I took a deeper dive searching Google results and happened upon an AliExpress seller out of China. I took a chance and ordered two sheets of red polarizer film and two sheets of blue totaling around $30.00usd shipped. About two weeks later the sheets arrived and they are huge! Each sheet is roughly 9x11 inches.

Sidenote: I happened upon this 'gshock highfashion' video about how to perform colored polarizer film mods and in the comments section he links the same AliExpress seller.

On to the project:


^My brand new DW-5600HR deconstructed and ready for surgery


^The beautiful OE Casio negative display module that I hope I don't ruin


^Module with the red polarizer film resting over it to show the intended result (red numerals)


^Red polarizer film adhered on top of the OE polarizer film on the module. Numerals look great, but the overall result is not perfect. What I found is that the adhesive on the back of the red polarizer film was not as sticky as I needed it to be. In this image you can see that the adhesive is not completely tacked down on the bottom edge, the top edge, and a small part of the left edge. This is 4th(!) attempt I had at this and I am satisfied *enough* with this result, especially compared to the prior 3 attempts that yielded garbage outcomes.
Attempt #1: I cut the red polarizer film to be slightly smaller than the existing OE polarizer film so that (I hoped) the red film would fit inside the LCD and the adhesive would stick flat without bubbles or peeling. Well that first attempt failed. Despite being a great fit, the adhesive did not bond edge-to-edge so the peeling was very visible.
Attempt #2: I cut the red polarized film to the EXACT dimensions of the LCD. Similar outcome. The edges were better, but the adhesive still did not tack down edge-to-edge. So I once again scraped the red polarizer film off, cleaned the LCD, and cut another piece of red polarizer film.
Attempt #3: This time I cut the red polarizer film to be *bigger* than the LCD in hopes that the peeling effect would happen around the outer edge of the LCD and would not be visible. Fail. Similar outcome, the peeling was inside the edge of the LCD and it looked pretty bad. AND the film was hanging over the edge of the LCD. Scrape it off, clean again, and cut another piece.
Attempt #4: I cut the red polarizer film to be just a little bit outside of the LCD. This seemed to be a happy medium and while certainly not ideal, I can live with it. Especially since this was the 4th attempt and I was getting tired of this dance.

I may eventually take this apart and try again at fitting the red polarizer film onto the LCD. A better method is likely to take the LCD out of the module housing. I intentionally did not do it that way because I wanted to see the live digits powered by the battery. Now that I know this method works I might fix it eventually. However...


^Once I seated the module into the case center, the portions of the peeled adhesive were not visible. Problem is no longer there if it cannot be seen, right?










^Trio of negative display squares with various shades of red numerals.
Left: DW-5600HR Vampire Edition -- Center: DW-5600CL -- Right: DW-5600MS

Thanks for reading.


--Bonus polarizer film references--
Here are some images I captured throughout the process that show various displays with the colored polarizer films:


^Positive display 5600E with OE polarizer film and red polarizer film resting over it


^Positive display 5600E with OE polarizer film and blue polarizer film resting over it





^5600E LCD with OE polarizer film removed and blue/red polarizer film resting over it. Each image is polarizer film orientation vertical then horizontal for each respective polarizer film color (blue, then red). I apologize for the state of the LCD. I captured these haphazard images before I cleaned the remaining OE polarizer film bits off the LCD. The 3rd image, red background with white/silver numerals, is a poor man's DW-5635C.
Where is possible to buy that layers???
 
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