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Sprinter Van: Desk Computer Layout

Last updated 2017-07-21 - Send Feedback
Related: Sprinter

Photographer and cyclist and Mac expert and software engineer Lloyd Chambers is available for consulting on general Sprinter considerations at his usual consulting rates via phone, or in person in the Palo Alto, CA area. Save yourself hours and mistakes by discussing issues up-front. More about Lloyd....

Version 1, 2017-07-21, simulating the Sprinter computer workstation desk area

The schematic (further on page below) shows the space allotted for the desk area within the Sprinter van. It is just behind the driver’s seat

I set up a table with the the maximum screen sizes I might use, that is my preferred setup . Substituting a MacBook Pro is undesirable (memory limits cause performance problems, tiny screen at differing height). The 5120 watt hour battery laughs at the 200 watts or so needed for this setup, even for 20 hours of work.

My preference as to the computer is for an iMac 5K for its powerful CPU and 5K display for enjoying images. The main screen, one critical to my workflow for assessing and evaluating images and for color balancing is the NEC PA302W 30" wide gamut display at 2560 X 1600 with its eye-friendly pixel density.

Design constraints and assumptions:

  • I need a full-size keyboard (the wireless ones are really poor ergonomically) and a nice reliable wireless mouse, as shown.
  • My seating position is to be straight-on to the primary display, but a slight rotation of the chair gives me straight on to the second display, as shown. I use such a setup at home so I know this works great.
  • The mouse must not go off the edge of the table. Hence the primary display must be on the left side.
  • Corners of the table might be rounded off as the right corner being just behind the driver’s seat and 30" deep would be thigh-high whack-a-leg exiting the drivers seat. So I will round that corner off. The opposite end might also be rounded off.
  • Table edge shape is TBD to afford more flexibility in seating and view distance from the screen. I have a strictly limited range that requires about 3" range to be within operating tolerances for my close-range vision.
  • Angling the two screens as show is ergonomically excellent and allows them to fit.
  • The PA302W projects just above the top of the bed; at night it can be moved inward to be out of the way.
  • When traveling, at least the PA302W can be quickly moved left and laid on its back onto the bed/pillow for transport. The iMac can be done similarly, with some kind of padded case or support. I might just make a slip-on cse with 3mm close cell fom or similar. Straps can secure both while driving. A main concern is shock and vibration on rough roads; short trips on good pavement not so much an issue, the main concern being things flying off the table and/or into the driver's cabin—I’ll figure out safe approach.

Below,the table as shown is just a rough mockup for the width I have available (about 44 inches) and depth (about 30 inches), using a real table I already have. The actual installed table might not even have an outer-left leg, or at least it will be inset more, with the inner legs bolted to the van wall to save space and for rigid support (I’ve asked for a table that supports 250 pounds). The front will be shaped in a way that allows ideal positioning and will also round-off the corners. Prior to the upfitting process though, an initial trial run with this rectangular table is what I'll use to check out the fit and placement of things. Then I will design just the curvature I want of the front edge of the table. The chair will of course by a quality swiveling chair, like the Herman Miller Aeron.

Lloyd Chambers' simulated photography working table for Sprinter photographic adventure van — iMac setup with NEC PA302W pro display

Now shown below but essential are a fullsize keyboard and mouse. The laptop might actually be used closed and/or placed to the right, out of the way and to hold palettes only.

Lloyd Chambers' simulated photography working table for Sprinter photographic adventure van —Apple Macbook Pro alternative
Conceptual layout for diglloyd Sprinter 2500 144 wheelbase HiTop 4x4 van build
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