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Electronics Noritake 128x64 VFD technical thread

Discussion in 'Modding' started by linear, 13 Jan 2003.

  1. linear

    linear Active Member

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    Okay, this is not a thread for discussion of the ebay auction/shipping/seller/etc. Non-technical posts are subject to deletion at the moderator's whim (that's me). If I'm not too grouchy about it, I'll move them here, but I don't want to, and I may just hit the delete button instead.

    This is for useful technical information to have when dealing with these displays, I'll try to aggregate all of it into this first post as people add new links etc. For the moment, discussions of LCDC are also out of bounds in this thread. LCDC is written to drive MO displays, this isn't one of those.

    Note: Special thanks to George Sontag from Noritake, for the full datashhet and permission to share it with you here.

    Useful links:
    Full Datasheet for this display [PDF, 395k]
    Short Datasheet for this display [PDF, 113k]
    Noritake Development Software (CD, $25)
    800 series homepage has some pics & specs
    (serial info removed--this is a parallel display)

    Useful facts:
    # of Dots: 128 x 64
    # of Characters: 8 x 21
    Dot Pitch (mm): 0.65 x 0.65
    Dot Size (mm): 0.5 x 0.5
    Display Area W x H (mm): 83.05 x 41.45
    PCB Size W x H (mm): 140 x 68
    Power V/mA (All Dots On): 5 / 750
    Brightness Control: 16 (I guess that means 16 steps)

    Known working software:
    http://www.markuszehnder.ch/projects/lcdplugin/download.html (Winamp vis only, should work)
    http://liquid-mp3.schijf.org/ (0.9.3 known to work)

    Wiring schemes:
    Code:
    [b]MarkusZehnder plugin[/b]
    Parallel port      VFD             Signal
    -------------      ---             ------
       1               17              /WR
       2               15              Data0
       3               13              Data1
       4               11              Data2
       5               9               Data3
       6               7               Data4
       7               5               Data5
       8               3               Data6
       9               1               Data7
       10-13           NC
       14              21              /RD
       15,16           NC
       17              19              C//D
     
    Code:
    [b]Liquid-MP3 and LCDInfo[/b]
    Parallel port      VFD             Signal
    -------------      ---             ------
       1               23              /CSS
       2               15              Data0
       3               13              Data1
       4               11              Data2
       5               9               Data3
       6               7               Data4
       7               5               Data5
       8               3               Data6
       9               1               Data7
       10-13           NC
       14              21              /RD
       15              NC
       16              17              /WR
       17              19              C//D
    
    Even numbered display pins 2-24 (marked as GND in the datasheet) are connected to the ground plane of the display.
     
  2. ChriX

    ChriX ^

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  3. linear

    linear Active Member

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    I'll do even better.

    Here's the schematic for a DS1489, the item cheese showed you a photo of.
    [​IMG]

    There are no external components requires. The DS1489 has 4 line converters, we only need one of them. So here's the list of connections that need made:

    Pin 14: +5V
    Pin 7: ground
    Pin 1: Serial port TX, that's pin 3 in a DB9
    Pin 3: Pin 15 on the Noritake display, that's Serial input.
    Ground (pin 5 on the DB9 and one of several pins on the display) can connect straight across from port to display.

    The remaining connections are unused. You can't use one of the other converters to go from TTL -> RS-232 back into the serial port, for that you need a DS1488 or a MAX232 will do both in one package.
     
  4. AmiMoJo

    AmiMoJo New Member

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    I have the datasheet, but in printed form. I could scan it I guess...

    It`s very useful. It has all the command details, and they are very easy to use. Some more technical data for those interested:

    - Two 64 pixel high screens, can be scrolled and mixed with AND/OR/XOR.

    - Hardware scrolling

    - 32Mb/sec interface - over 4000 fps possible!

    - Refresh sync pulse available (similar to vblack sync)

    Another good source of info is the WinAMP LCD driver that supports it (which is open source). I also have some working code, I`ll release it soon I think. My Amiga drivers are much more advanced than the Windows ones though, mainly because I already know Amiga system programming.



    It is :D

    There is some free sample code on the Noritake web site for interfacing various uprocs in assembler. A serial interface based on a PIC would work well I think, but why bother really? When you can get full screen animation easily from the parallel interface, it makes sense to use it.

    I have been working on getting some of those Pioneer ICE animations going with my display. Unfortunatly, they are four bits per pixel and designed for organic displays, but I have it sort of working reasonably well. If you look closely you will find that they can all be downloaded from the Pioneer Japan web site! ;)

    The main problem with using this display with Windows is lack of software. As I said, I`ll soon release an AmigaAMP plugin for the display, but for Windows we need to bug someone to add support to their existing software. If anyone can suggest some open source software I could contribute code to, I would be happy to do so.

    In the mean time, check out http://liquid-mp3.schijf.org/ - lets hope it works soon. Currently it crashes on my Win2k box...

    MoJo
     
  5. ChriX

    ChriX ^

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    Re: Re: Noritake 128x64 VFD technical thread

    The driver for this display isn't included with the distributions yet, although it will be there soon, as Zotty got it working just a day or two ago.

    [​IMG]

    As for those pioneer animations, they are very cool, i'm going to look for those right now :D
     
  6. linear

    linear Active Member

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    After studying the respective datasheets, this display seems pretty crippled compared to the 126x32 that cheese made famous. Correct me if I'm getting any of this wrong, but:

    - the 128x64 lacks character (font) ROM entirely. You'll have to write graphics all the time.

    - the 128x64 lacks support for asynchronous serial, so we're gonna have to use it as a parallel display from what I can tell. Either that or figure out some sort of UART between it and the serial port. If it's parallel, then LCDC is off the table anyway.

    - the datasheet I got for the 128x64 lacks almost all mention of the command set. I'll get back with Noritake and see if I can find out more.

    - the 128x64 seems to lack an EEPROM, and would not be able to display a startup screen like the 126x32 can.

    - the 128x64 seems to lack the horizontal write mode, I don't know if that really matters ultimately. At least it does have the two pages of GRAM and can AND/OR or XOR them. And it has some nice scrolling features.
     
  7. PrimusSucks

    PrimusSucks New Member

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    It's not an 800A... just an 800, despite the picture he used in the auction. I verified this prior to auction close via email.

    Dunno if it matters but... the proper datasheet probably "should" be:

    http://noritake2.download.reliablenetworks.net/GU128x64-800.pdf

    Haven't compared the datasheets though, so this may be moot.
     
    Last edited: 16 Feb 2003
  8. linear

    linear Active Member

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  9. PrimusSucks

    PrimusSucks New Member

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    Likely because the ones on Ebay are older models. Thus the firesale prices. I edited my post above with a Noritake direct link for further justification. I only bought one of these Ebay babies... had to be cautious. Especially since I still have all those 4*20 Noritake VFD's to unload :)

     
  10. linear

    linear Active Member

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    All the differences seem to be in the electrical specs, specifically the logic level thresholds are vastly different.

    I'd say we won't really know what we got till we get em. Both claim to be TTL-compatible, so I'm not sure the different thresholds are meaningful.
     
  11. SleeperDC

    SleeperDC New Member

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    all i know of the difference between 800 and 800A is the 800 has a slightly slower bus timings...
     
  12. ChriX

    ChriX ^

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    Surely they wouldn't make a display without a character set, although I see no mention of it either. One of the features they say on the site is "Displays all Languages" this could mean it has a character set, or that it will display anything you throw at it mainly because it would have to be graphical text. :lol:

    They show pictures of the displays with text as well, surely that has to count for something. ;)
     
  13. Cheese

    Cheese Doc

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    On the 800/800A theme a quote from Phil,

    'Also they are the old ASIC version 800, although the difference between the 800 and the latest 800A is very minor and not noticeable to most users.'

    ...and I really like the idea of gettign these working in liquid-mp3, would make life easy :)

    Rob.

    p.s. is does look like this display won't have integrate chargen, though I think you can buy an addon module if we do end up deciding serial interfacing is best... have to say the sound of 60fps from the // port sounds more appealing right now!
     
  14. linear

    linear Active Member

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    I think this is the low-cost alternative to the one with the char ROM on it. It can display all languages (including Klingon!) because you have to send the damn bitmaps anyway, that's how I parse it.
     
  15. AmiMoJo

    AmiMoJo New Member

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    Crippled!?! It`s far more powerful IMHO...

    What is the point of a character ROM on a graphic display with such a fast interface? Just render your own characters, use any font you like. After all, your VGA monitor doesn`t have a character ROM!

    It does have a serial interface, it's just not RS232 (at least the on the 800A). You could interface it to the control lines of the serial port I guess. I don`t know why you would want to use it with LCDC anyway, it's not really designed for use with such a powerful graphic display.

    You probably have the datasheet from their web site, which as you say has no command info. I`ll type it up and put it on a web site somewhere. Basically, you have functions for controlling the graphic layers, addressing increment modes etc, and reading/writing the graphic memory. Nothing else, no line drawing, character rendering etc. But then again, you don't need it.

    True, although if you made a RS232interface with a PIC you could add one. Actually, you could add one with a PIC anyway, since you can access the serial port on the display separately to the rest of it. I'll see what I can do, a 12C508 should be ideal.

    Basically, you write 8 bits at a time. The bits are arranged with the LSB towards the top of the display, going down horizontally. You can have the controller automatically move the write address either vertically down or hoizontally to the right, or not at all. What more do you need?

    MoJo
     
  16. SleeperDC

    SleeperDC New Member

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    quote directly from Philip.

     
  17. linear

    linear Active Member

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    The main point here I think is that the 126x32 uses async serial (RS-232 as you put it) and hence is easier to support with LCDC. Granted, that's not the most flexible way to drive it either, but it was something that made it relatively easy.

    I'll concede that if you're willing to write a prog to drive it (by parallel), this is plenty featureful. But the serial support is clocked, so none of us will be driving it (directly) from serial, and by extension, we won't be using LCDC to drive it, so we can't take advantage of all the work done with the other 126x32 display.

    Yeah, if you have a microcontroller, this thing is tailored for that.

    There's command info, it's just not displayed as concisely as it is in the other datasheet, no need to type it really. What will count is someone coding it. :D

    Bottom line, this won't be a plug-and-play experience for most of us.
     
  18. SleeperDC

    SleeperDC New Member

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    my first computer was P166, it's the first time for me to feel the importance of PnP... :jawdrop:
     
  19. PrimusSucks

    PrimusSucks New Member

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    That about sums it up

     
  20. PrimusSucks

    PrimusSucks New Member

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    To solidify me previous post... this is what we are getting. I had asked for actual pictures to be emailed to me as I was concerned that the seller had no Ebay feedback, the photo shown was borrowed from a website, and that photo did not match the description. Here it is, I dug it out of my email and uploaded it to my website. Had to shrink the image, the one he sent was gigantic. Cleary states (on the full sized image) it is an 800 on the back, not an 800A. Let the research begin... again.

    Probably should link the other datasheet in the top post too.

    [​IMG]
     

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