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Thread: Is there a LCD / VFD plugin ?

  1. #21
    Variable Bitrate roadhog's Avatar
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    Well, I got a couple of 4x20 character LCDs and the software support is fair.



    In addition to the comprehensive LCDSmartie the simpler WinAmp plugin allows a fairly simple but effective album based navigation (with the albumlist plugin).

    It would seem then that it is posssible with current software to display just about any relevent info you could need.
    My favorite is the NonLinearEqualiser - looks rather cool in white-on-blue.
    All good so far.

    The problem is that the PC is in the back of the car, and I need to run a 5m parallel cable to the front. Preliminary testing with my laptop has shown that at best the display will have a "teletext" effect - random characters appearing occasionally, most of all with scrolling text using Winamp plugin, and least of all with static text using LCDSmartie.

    Ok - so now to test with the CarPC.
    The problem is now much worse, the display is barely readable, many of the formatting commands seem to have been lost.

    The circuit I used was the 8-bit "Winamp" with backlight on LPT pin 17.
    I did improve the output slightly by using a 4.7k resistor between the Enable pin and 5v.

    Has anyone else had any experience with long parallel runs?
    Does LCDSmartie or WinAmp support the 3 or 2 wire (serial LPT) connection method?
    Or should I use the serial port like this. Again, does anyone know if this will work with WinAmp or LCD Smartie?

    Any thoughts appreciated

    If not - off to maplin for a breadboard and some bits n bobs...

  2. #22
    FreeDrive Creator CdRsKuLL's Avatar
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    I'm running a cable from back to front to power my 2 x 16 display I got from maplins. I'm using the 13 core if I remember rightly. I havent had any problems at all with it not working. Although mines only 2 x 16 not 4 x 20. I have wrote a simple VB program using a ocx I purchased which at the moment just displays the time / date and type of car. I will be playing further pulling infomation from RR soon so I can display lots more.

    CdR
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  3. #23
    Variable Bitrate roadhog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdRsKuLL
    I'm running a cable from back to front to power my 2 x 16 display I got from maplins. I'm using the 13 core if I remember rightly. I havent had any problems at all with it not working. Although mines only 2 x 16 not 4 x 20. I have wrote a simple VB program using a ocx I purchased which at the moment just displays the time / date and type of car. I will be playing further pulling infomation from RR soon so I can display lots more.

    CdR
    Cool. Very swish looking install.

    Could you give me any details on the actual cable you used? Was it a printer cable, length, did it have twisted pairs etc. I was going to try network cable next, using a twisted pairs for each data and control line.

    As far as I know the actual interface connections are the same for all HD44780 compatibles up to 4x20.

    Unforunately the network cable I have is solid core and not very flexible.

  4. #24
    FreeDrive Creator CdRsKuLL's Avatar
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    I cant remember to be honest.. Think it was the 13 core one from maplins.. they cant do that many. I used 13 as some of the Neg points are doubled up so I just bridged them at the lcd end. I think I used this diagram..



    the other thing I noticed when wiring mine up is that pins 15 / 16 were at the wrong end.. so it went 15 / 16 / 1 / 2 / 3 etc.. I think thats right, was along time ago I did it, so most likley wrong.. lol

    O yeah the other thing I did was from the back of the 25 pin connector case I did about a 5 inch usb fly lead.. as this is whats powering my lcd.. just robbing the 5v from the usb port, no problems at all. Just saved using a molex or a ps2 plug. If your going to the UK meet next month then I will show you :-)

    hope this helps..

    CdR

  5. #25
    Variable Bitrate wallaceacura's Avatar
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    I posted this question of an 44780 LCD and RR integration in the hardware forum. Is there actually a chance for an LCD/VFD plugin w/ RR?

    I've still got one of those old BG Micro Giant VFD displays that I'd like to get in the car. It's about 9" long!!


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  6. #26
    FreeDrive Creator CdRsKuLL's Avatar
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    I've got that many things on the go at the moment.. but I have got a seperate app that requests info from RR and displays it on the lcd display. I'm unsure how many lines the ocx supports that I paid for , but I only have 2 and it works fine. I have it so far displaying the TRACKNAME on the top, and it scrolls it if over 16 chr long.. and have the date / time on the bottom. I want to do lots of stuff like when you change the volume it displays the VOL for a few seconds, and when its MUTE = "ON" then it just flashies or something. But its finding the time lol.

    CdR

  7. #27
    Variable Bitrate roadhog's Avatar
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    @ CDR

    Cheers for the info, I finally got it running on my CarPC. Not sure but it might have been a combination of poor cable and bad port timing but it's working great now.

  8. #28
    The Vauxhall Vectra Project ccsnet's Avatar
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    Can you not do USB to Serial or USB to Parell - would be easier to cable then....

    Terran

  9. #29
    Variable Bitrate wallaceacura's Avatar
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    CDr-

    Is your code configurable? I would like to have Song on top line and Artist on bottom line. If there's room (2x40) it would be nice to display other info too.

    Any of posting this in the future?


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  10. #30
    FreeDrive Creator CdRsKuLL's Avatar
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    yeah I would like to get around to writing something since I've bought the ocx. but no idea when I will get round to it. soon I hope.

    CdR

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