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Modding LCD-in-a-box

Discussion in 'Modding' started by Pricester, 7 Jan 2004.

  1. Pricester

    Pricester New Member

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    I've got some really nice plans for putting a MO LCD display in a box. I haven't bought any of the stuff yet - I don't even know if I'll be able to afford it - but I like my ideas enough that I want to share them and see if anyone has any comments.
    Call it Ego, call it Over-Enthusiasm, whatever. I'm gonna have fun with this anyway.

    First: I've just got a new Lian-Li PC 75. It was going to be the PC71, but I ordered the wrong one, and to be honest, I'm quite happy with the Silver anyway. So I'm going to mount the display in two of the front bezels - as has been done so many times before... I'm going for a 4 line display, so it's got to be two bezels.
    Unfortunately, I don't have two free slots (two many drives!), so I can't actually mount it in the tower at the moment. This may change, so I want to still be able to put it in when I have the space.
    The solution: Build a box to fit, that I can mount the bezels in on my desk, and easily remove them from to return them to the case when I have space.

    Second: I want a 25 key keypad. I don't have one lying around to connect, and I don't really want to have to find space for one in the mounting.
    My solution: I'm going to use two 5-position rotary switches, and one standard push button. Turn the dials, press the button, voila, 25 different keys!

    Third: I want to use all of the GPOs, but I have no idea what for! I also want to be able to connect either 5v or 12v items.
    My solution: I've got an idea for a circuit where for each GPO I have an indicator LED (mounted below the display) then a relay. The relay activates a DC socket, that is either 12v or 5v, setable by a switch like the 120v/240v ones on power supplies.

    Okay, so that's the plan... I still need to buy parts, and tools :dremel: and sort out the actual circuits I need to create.

    Couple of questions though...
    1. Should I go for an LCD or a VFD? There's a fair price difference, but I have no idea if it's worth it or not. I'm fairly stuck on Matrix Orbital, thanks to LCDC and the GPOs. If I go with the LCD, is it worth going for graphical, or are they a lot more complicated to use?

    2. Could anyone help me design a ciruit for the GPOs? I'm fairly confident I could do it using relays, but I'm wondering if I should use transistors instead? If anyone could help with that - maybe helping with a strip-board layout - I'd be very grateful.

    Anyway, I'll keep this updated as I work through it... any comments and critisisms will be appreciates (but be nice, my ego bruises easily!)

    Nick
     
  2. Visualaid

    Visualaid New Member

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    theres a group order in the making if you want a blue / white LCD screen graphical.
     
  3. Pricester

    Pricester New Member

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    Thanks Visualaid, but I've decided on the MO character display. Looks like it's going to have to be the standard LCD - the others don't support 6 GPOs, and I'd really like to run all my lighting from the LCD.

    Now the question is USB or Serial? In some ways I'd prefer the serial, because it is more compatible with eg. Linux - and I've always hated virtual serial ports. On the other hand, the USB seems to have a bunch of extra features, like the temperature readouts, and the customisable startup screen...

    The option of high power GPOs doesn't really matter, since I plan on using low power anyway, and having individualy switchable high power available... Similarly, I don't think I really need the 1-wire connector for temperatures - unless there's other stuff that could be connected there?

    Any comments? Does anyone care, or is this becoming a self-obsessive blog?
     
  4. coorz

    coorz Miffed

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    Nah, i care ;) for i too was obsessed by LCD and VFD's...once.
    my personal top 3:
    1) Noritake, their VFD's also have GPO's
    2) MO displays incredible built quality, top feautures (GPO), LCDC
    3) CrystalFontz, not bad really

    on the GPO's, there's enough documentation on how to use them, both MO and Noritake.
    I'd opt for the MO USB version (either the 4x20 LCD or 4x20 VFD), has faster communication AND the USB also provides your needed 5volts should you go external.
     
  5. Pricester

    Pricester New Member

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    Well, I've ordered the USB version of the 20x4 MatrixOrbital LCD from the nice people at KustomPC.co.uk... now I just have to wait until I go home on Saturday to collect it...

    My girlfriend had some great ideas... she wants games on it (she saw the pic with Space Invaders). So as well as having the rotary switch keypad, I'm going to have an external keypad connector, and build (or mod) a gamepad type thing for it!

    Any suggestions for what type of connector to use with 10 wires?
     
  6. Fraggster

    Fraggster New Member

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    meebe one of those data switches for printers, the king to hook like two printers to a computer
     
  7. Amorya

    Amorya New Member

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    OK, sorry for the terrible pic, but I've not got my digicam around (was using my phone's camera here.)

    [​IMG]

    Here's a case I made for my MO VFD. It has seven buttons (two aren't added yet), with a direction pad thing on the left and three buttons on the right in a row. The display itself is screwed to the lid of the box. The box is transparent, so the display text shines through easily.

    For power, I got some CAT5 cable. 7.5V power goes down one pair, and serial data take another 2 pairs. The cable ends with a serial plug and a small socket to plug in a power adapter.

    It works quite well. I'm also writing my own software so I haven't got it doing much yet (only been testing it so far)...


    Amorya
     
  8. RaptorRed

    RaptorRed New Member

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    Hey Amorya you mikes friend?

    sorry for the thread hijack but no pm :duh:
     
  9. Amorya

    Amorya New Member

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    Yup, that's me :)

    Amorya
     
  10. 3N1GM4

    3N1GM4 New Member

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    -

    im a dumbass :D :D
     
    Last edited: 10 Jan 2004

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