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Thread: Future Character LCD plugin?

  1. #1
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    Future Character LCD plugin?

    I do not recall seeing any OM posts about a future plugin to handle those little 2x16 2x20 2x40, 4x20 (insert your size here) LCD displays. I was wondering if there is anything planned. If there is, would it be RS232 (via USB), Arduino / Fusion Brain (again via USB) or ????

    I have a couple units in my junk box and it got me thinking.....

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  2. #2
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    justchat_1's Avatar
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    Nothing planned.....this is actually the first I've heard a request for it. If there was significant interest it can be added to the list but otherwise it will have to wait for an interested developer to tackle it.

  3. #3
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    Okay.

    I figure there are enough carpc enthusiasts using or planning to use the Fusion Brain or even Arduino that someday somebody will make a suitable plugin, although I don't know how that might work off the top of my head.

    I was more thinking along the lines of the old WinAmp plugin that used to make use of an Hitachi compatible LCD attached to the parallel port.

    I will toss this around my head a bit and see if I can come up with a plan that somebody might make reality at some future time.

    Cheers,
    John
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  4. #4
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    The parallel port is easiest for the HD44780 displays. Obviously these are getting less common now, especially on mini-itx boards. There's a USB version based on a PIC here, I'm sure I remember something about a FTDI usb chip that could be used too.

    Edit: Here's some more info: http://larsenglund.blogspot.com/2007...e-usb-lcd.html
    Interestingly, "There are FTDI drivers for Linux, Windows and Mac OS and bindings for C/C++, C#, Java, etc, so it should be easy to make it work cross platform."

  5. #5
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    Actually, I am thinking about one that is already USB. It registers as a COM port.

    http://www.matrixorbital.com/Economy...duct_info.html

    Pretty simple command set. Nearly mirrors the HD44780 display commands (or at least I can see parallels as I used to play with them with PICs). The bonus is they also have 3 general purpose outputs that can be LEDs or relays. I would probably like to use LEDs. And the startup can be re-defined like an OM logo with a startup status or something

    EDIT: I just checked your PIC link and obviously the same since it is Matrix Orbital. Only these are already made.

    John
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  6. #6
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    excited - first post! I was toying with the idea of LCD dispaly aswel. Seeing GMPC is fully integrated with OM, I was thinking this can be used to send data to LCD from programs like GMPC such as current location (suburb or street name - as displayed in Mercedes e320's driver console display), next manouver, current speed limit etc.

    Another great application would be to display live OBD data from various obd software. User would select the main data they need displayed and driver then has a constant and live feed on LCD - whilst keeping main pc screen on any plugin/page.

    I think alot of car pc enthusiast would LOVE to have this type of AUX display in their cars and this feature would set OM apart form all other frontends (I know centrafuse has some sort of option available for lcd but output data is limited. I think it only displays current track on winamp, which to me, does not justify having another lcd.

    I will definatly switch to OM should you have a customisable plugin for an external LCD and can display some or all of the above mentioned.

    Again, I think this feature will definatly prove popular.

  7. #7
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    I have enlisted the help of one of the developers to work on a plugin to handle the use of an aux display. I have chosen the Matrix Orbital device. I chose their device(s) because it comes pre-assembled and ready to go for USB (appears as a COM device). There are a few DIY packages out there that follow their implimentation and as such I believe it will satisfy most folks. These items (both DIY and Maxtrix Orbital) also have some GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) that can have LED indicators, keypad/buttons, relays attached.

    My vision at this point, is that this plugin has no need for a skin as such, but will have a settings screen (same thing?). In this screen the user dictates which zone the device is associated with. It's size (16x2, 20x4, etc.). A list of information items available from other installed plugins allows the user to choose what they want displayed on the aux display. And in case it is more than can fit, there would also be an option to pick the cycle time to move through the selected items. Further, if you, say, have GPS on the main screen for the zone, it will skip showing those items on the aux display (unless you have no other items to cycle through).

    For the additional I/O that can be attached, there will need to be some way for the user to define these things and their associated triggers. Other than some simple LED indicators, it may have to wait for a future revision as it would be a tad more complicated.

    Development will not begin until at least late January, as I am going to get us a couple of these displays, and Xmas has depleted my hobby budget However, when the time comes we will let folks know. This is just a heads-up to the fact that it is in the planning stages. I leave it up to the dev that I enlisted to reveal himself if desired. I don't want to risk folks hounding "is it done yet?" since the individual is starting on this as a favor to me.

    PS: As far as I know, GMPC is not yet integrated, but will be soon enough! I can't wait!

    Cheers,
    John
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  8. #8
    Constant Bitrate
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    wow jmullan99 that is excellent news! And just to clarify my previous post, CF does have an VFD option, it seems this function is not working very well at the moment (for a while now) and customizing it seems very limited.

    I also agree with your choice of the orbital. A suggestion to simplify the project for your dev may be in creating a plugin for LCDsmartiehttp://lcdsmartie.sourceforge.net/?

    Either way, I am definatly excited about a future aux screen integrated with carputer that doesnt simply output winamp

  9. #9
    Maximum Bitrate jmullan99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mos33y View Post
    wow jmullan99 that is excellent news! And just to clarify my previous post, CF does have an VFD option, it seems this function is not working very well at the moment (for a while now) and customizing it seems very limited.

    I also agree with your choice of the orbital. A suggestion to simplify the project for your dev may be in creating a plugin for LCDsmartie http://lcdsmartie.sourceforge.net/?

    Either way, I am definatly excited about a future aux screen integrated with carputer that doesnt simply output winamp
    I hear you on the WinAmp. And I like the added buttons on the MatrixOrbital unit that I have ordered as OM input. The Dev is hyped up. He has already started and thinks it will be easy enough to work on.

    I have heard of, and read a bit about LCD Smartie. Interfacing through their stuff may make a plugin be more like embedding. And really, there is already a plugin for embedding. But I will leave it up to the Dev to decide how he wants to implement.
    ZOTAC G43ITX-A-E 2.5ghz Core i3 2GB 160GB SSD
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    2 Zones - Matrix Orbital LCD - Arduino - Build Pics

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