LED ATM Surround Gets Display-Cased To Stop The Beating

November 5, 2021 by Dave Haynes

When I have done talks about LED displays with different groups I have often related how susceptible they can be to accidental or intentional damage – especially with conventional surface-mounted LED displays that don’t have any sort of protective coating.

Exhibit A in my slides has inevitably been a display that is built around two sides of a TD Canada Trust ATM in the concourse of Toronto’s Union Station, which would easily be one of the busiest public buildings in the socialist paradise of Canada. Toronto Union is the hub for commuter rail trains that come in from all directions into the city’s central business district, as well as our feeble, Amtrak-ish passenger rail system.

The ATM and screen went in a few years ago, and my morbid curiosity (when I still lived in that region) had me checking out the state of the thing if I happened to Go-Train my way into the big city.

It was a naked LED – maybe 4mm (total guess) – with a hard 90-degree corner. And it got the living shit beat out of it by people stopping to get money and doing things, I assume, like bumping their roller bags or backpacks as they passed by. I have taken photos of long s-c-r-a-a-a-p-e-s of LEDs along a face, and lots of light emitters at the 90 degree corner being knocked off.

It’s a bit hard to see in photos, but here’s a photo I took maybe four years ago, after seeing what was happening.

The lights are brittle, because they’re just mounted to a plate by micro-soldering, and both expensive and finicky to repair. You need small-fingered techs with the dexterity of watchmakers. A tech with big sausage fingers would have a hell of a time.

That’s why a lot of conventional LED walls are set back from public reach, or installed in other ways that reduce the likelihood of damage. It’s also why there’s a lot of interest and development in the area of LED modules that are effectively bathed in a glue-like coating, that then hardens and can take a licking.

I note all this because somebody surrendered to the situation, and has now encased the LED portion of this ATM center in glass. Rise Vision’s Shea Darlison sent me a photo of how it looks.

To be clear, I like what was done here in terms of the visual concept. It’s just that reality gets in the way.

  1. Steven M. Artsis says:

    Dave, I hope you and your family are well, doing fine, feeling great and staying safe. Great article and yest the public is brutal. Please give me a call tomorrow or Wednesday, 917-881-3377

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