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LCD help

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by DSquareD, 27 Sep 2007.

  1. DSquareD

    DSquareD What's a Dremel?

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    I have been reading these forums for a couple of years now and i am really inteested in using LCD displays in my mods and i have no idea on how to work them or program them or anything. i have read a long guide on them and i dont understand a thing. can someone please explain it all to me? or provide me with something to help me?
    i know there is a guide in the modding section on bit-tech but i dont understand it. i basically need a LCD guide for beginners (who have never seen or heard of how to use them).
     
  2. Cupboard

    Cupboard I'm not a modder.

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    If you don't already have anything, I have a couple of LCDs that need a bit of modding PM me if you are interested. They are both 15" 1024*768, one works but has a dud backlight, the other came out of an old laptop, and worked before the rest of the computer died.
     
  3. cmberry20

    cmberry20 Mad Scientist

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    hmmm, I'm guessing that your talking about small 4" or 5" LCDs that go at the front of the case & display things like temps/fan rpm & even videos.

    Is this what your after?
     
  4. Hazardous

    Hazardous What's a Dremel?

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    It might sound harsh... but if you've already read the LCD guide, and don't understand it... then there's little hope for you being able to pull off a mod which incorporates an LCD tbh?
    I doubt anyone is going to be prepared to hold your hand, and [take the time] to talk you through [in minute detail] what's required throughout the process/mod, when there's already a perfectly good guide for just that purpose available on the forums :idea:

    To incorporate a LCD in a mod... you really ought to have at least a basic understanding of what's involved/how to go about it.
    You readily admit you haven't a clue how/where to start... so you might be better advised re-considering a LCD mod?
    Perhaps you should set your sights on something a little less involved/complicated? Something which you can get to grips with more easily, and which might [eventually] help you achieve your goal :idea:
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Basically, both are useless, particularly to a self-confessed LCD n00b. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: 1 Oct 2007
  6. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    OK, here goes.

    There are two types of LCD displays. There are:

    1. black-and-white displays that you see on electronic devices and usually display just a few lines of information;
    2. full-colour TFT LCD screens that you see used as miniature TV screens or PC monitors. Laptop screens fall under this also, but they have a special consideration which I will come back to.

    Regarding 1:

    These displays are made by the likes of Crystalfontz or Matrix Orbital. They come in two basic flavours:

    Character displays, being able to display a fixed number of ASCI characters (in 8x5 pixel blocks) on a fixed number of lines. A 16x2 character display can display up to 16 characters (including spaces) on each of two lines. They usually needed to be connected to your PC via a Serial (RS-232) port, but since the advent of USB ports many will happily connect via USB (make sure which uses which, as you cannot simply swap and change). They need special software to configure and run them, such as CrystalControl; LCD Smartie, LCD Studio or the excellent LCDC. They can work in conjunction with Winamp to display songs, with Speedfan to display system stats or even with some first-person shooters to display in-game stats.

    Graphical displays are the same as above, except that instead of having rows of discrete 8x5 pixel blocks to display character lines, they just have a whole field of pixels allowing them to display simple, low-resolution black-and-white graphics. This gives them more flexibility but they are trickier to run. They again need special programs such as Liquid-MP3, LCDHype or LCDInfo to drive them, and usually hook up to the Parallel (printer) port, although nowadays with higher bandwidth USB2.0 some can hook (a lot easier) to USB instead. You can again use them in conjunction with Winamp and Speedfan.


    Regarding 2:

    TFT (or Active Matrix) LCD screens are basically small versions of your PC LCD monitor or laptop screen, with sizes ranging from 4" (measured diagonally) to 12". They come in two flavours:

    S-Video or VGA screens are TFT LCD colour screens which hook straight to your graphic card and act as a secondary monitor on your PC. This is done via S-Video (a sort of round DIN-plug on your graphic card), or via VGA, like your standard PC monitor. Such screens can be bought from electronic stores as components or you can crack open a portable TV or an in-car entertainment display. The Sony PS1 portable screen is a popular VGA monitor but needs some soldering work to make it play nice with the graphic card --not every screen is recognised by your graphic card as a valid monitor. But if it is, you don't need any special software. You can use Samurize however to prettily display system stats on it (again in conjunction with Speedfan). In practice, it is best to find a screen that will take S-Video or VGA and runs on 12V.

    Laptop screens deserve a special mention because they are high quality and readily and cheaply available as spares from old laptops. They are also useless. They have their own special interface directly to the laptop motherboard which may vary across brands, and even across different laptops of the same brand. To make them talk to your graphic card requires a special converter circuit which will cost you about as much as a high-end graphic card, and is false economy. Simply avoid them.

    Simple enough for you? :)
     

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