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#141557 - 28/02/2003 17:18 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
foxtrot_xray
addict

Registered: 03/03/2002
Posts: 687
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia

Various Noritake models have RS-232 interfaces built-in, so you would just need the 12v->5v part to run them if you used one of them.

Actually, almost ALL of them do.. but they're TTL interface.
In the end, the little board I'm making will be best suited for car, but can be used at home/office, too. It'll be about 2.5in x 2.5in big (guesstimate, right now), and have the RS-232 port for input. It'll take advantage of the +12V on from the Empeg sled (or you can plug it in)..
Of course, you can use anything you want, such as the all-in-one RS232-TTL cord someone posted about in this thread, as well.

Me.
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Mike 'Fox' Morrey 128BPM@124MPH. Love it! 2002 BRG Mini Cooper

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#141558 - 01/03/2003 04:51 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: foxtrot_xray]
V99
member

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 192
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Actually, almost ALL of them do.. but they're TTL interface.
I meant that some of them (notably the one I'm using..) have full RS-232 interfaces that accept the whole -15v to +15v range and thus don't need the MAX233 to drop it down to TTL.

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#141559 - 01/03/2003 07:59 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
foxtrot_xray
addict

Registered: 03/03/2002
Posts: 687
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
Oh! Which part # are you using?
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Mike 'Fox' Morrey 128BPM@124MPH. Love it! 2002 BRG Mini Cooper

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#141560 - 02/03/2003 05:16 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: foxtrot_xray]
V99
member

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 192
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
I've got two of them at the moment, haven't decided which to use.

GU140x32F-7000: 140x32, 115.2kbps serial

and

GU256x64D-3900 (which isn't on their site yet, it's an updated version of the 3100): 256x64 but only 38.4 serial (lame.. half the speed/pixel of the 610A you're using). It does have a normal fast parallel interface though, serial->parallel is an option to get it running at 115.2.

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#141561 - 02/03/2003 17:06 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
V99
member

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 192
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
The 256x64 has a 4-bit input and a 8-bit input or output on the board that you can read/write to with the serial command set, which could possibly be used for connecting your input keys/joystick to the Empeg.

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#141562 - 04/03/2003 18:26 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
V99
member

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 192
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
So I got the joystick from Grayhill, seems perfect for the job. One complication is that there's only one signal wire for each axis (left/right and up/down) that's either at 0, 2.5, or 5v, so some minor circuitry is going to be required to get a 2 bit value for each out of it.

The other problem is that they're $62 for 25-99 and $49 for 100-250. If there's enough people interested I can put together a group buy... Maybe I should post this in Technical.

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#141563 - 04/03/2003 22:09 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
got a link to it ?
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Matt

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#141564 - 05/03/2003 00:37 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: msaeger]
number6
old hand

Registered: 30/04/2001
Posts: 744
Loc: In The Village or sometimes: A...
Visit This link and search for this [Grayhill] part:
60A18-4-P

You will find a link onthe page that comes up to a 2 page PDF file which shows all the details and pinouts etc.

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#141565 - 05/03/2003 04:59 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: msaeger]
V99
member

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 192
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Sorry, thought I posted a link earlier. number6 is right, if you just search for 60A you'll get all of the different variations, all "out of stock", and half of them labeled wrong. The 60A18-*s have detents in the optical encoder (like the Empeg's), whilst the 60A08-*s turn smoothly, despite what the descriptions say.

The one I got is 60A18-4-020C, which means it's got a 2" cable and a funky connector on it. Since no source of a matching connector was immediately available I just cut it off, yielding the same thing as a 60A18-4-020S, which is what I should have ordered in the first place (maybe a longer cable).

I've got the L/R and U/D signal to separate bits circuitry working with a NOT gate, 2 transistors, 2 resistors, and 2 pots. There's probably a better way to do it if you know what you're doing, but this works once you tweak the pots for your transistors.

So if we can get 25 or more together I'll buy a batch. If you're interested, please email how many you'd want to joystick@applesolutions.com

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#141566 - 06/03/2003 00:12 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
number6
old hand

Registered: 30/04/2001
Posts: 744
Loc: In The Village or sometimes: A...
The link you posted doesn't work as it has session information in the URL which means it won't work beyond the session used to access the info.
So the best way around that is to visit the main page then search from there.
for the 60A-18-4-P or whatever part you want.


BTW: Grayhill have the most logical part naming standard in ANY product I have ever seen - pity all such electronic components weren't labelled the same simple structured way.
their site has explanation of the part naming rules they follow - very simple.



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#141567 - 06/04/2003 09:23 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: foxtrot_xray]
jarob10
enthusiast

Registered: 07/01/2002
Posts: 272
Loc: Stockport, UK
*bump*

any news / updates on this ?
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#141568 - 06/04/2003 14:45 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: jarob10]
foxtrot_xray
addict

Registered: 03/03/2002
Posts: 687
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia

*bump*
any news / updates on this ?


Not yet. It's pretty busy at work (it's spring - many databases down) and I play with the programming side when I get to.
I have all the hardware parts I need now to make a 'proto' board and connect it all up. Once that's done, (and working) I'm going to lookinto actually getting the small PCBs made.

Me.
_________________________
Mike 'Fox' Morrey 128BPM@124MPH. Love it! 2002 BRG Mini Cooper

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#141569 - 06/04/2003 19:42 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: foxtrot_xray]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Go Go Gadget VFD display!
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#141570 - 07/04/2003 05:40 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: tfabris]
foxtrot_xray
addict

Registered: 03/03/2002
Posts: 687
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia

Go Go Gadget VFD display!

Heh. It's amazing what you can find online.. I love your Bart.

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Mike 'Fox' Morrey 128BPM@124MPH. Love it! 2002 BRG Mini Cooper

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#141571 - 07/04/2003 08:28 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: foxtrot_xray]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30591
Loc: Seattle, WA
Thanks. That was someone else's idea though, I just turned it into an icon. :-)
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Tony Fabris

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#141572 - 13/05/2003 16:26 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: foxtrot_xray]
foxtrot_xray
addict

Registered: 03/03/2002
Posts: 687
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
No, I haven't dropped off th face of the earth, sorry to dissapoint you.

Got everything soldered together, need to make a tiny program so that I can test it, at least..

However, I need one thing. I need a 10-conductor ribbon cable. I'm leery to make one myself, as I usually have really bad luck everytime I crimp something, but will if there aren't any alternatives..

If anyone can point me in a direction, it'd be a big help.

Thanks!
Me.
_________________________
Mike 'Fox' Morrey 128BPM@124MPH. Love it! 2002 BRG Mini Cooper

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#141573 - 13/05/2003 16:38 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: foxtrot_xray]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
I need a 10-conductor ribbon cable. I'm leery to make one myself, as I usually have really bad luck everytime I crimp something, but will if there aren't any alternatives..


Sure, head over to the Yahoo Groups JP1 group and read their instructions for making a JP1 cable out of an old floppy disk drive cable. The process was fairly painless, and will probably translate to whatever you need to make.

Matthew

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#141574 - 14/05/2003 03:56 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
Archeon
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2501
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
I just found out about this thread. I'd be interested in such a display also.
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Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#141575 - 14/05/2003 11:37 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: Archeon]
trs24
old hand

Registered: 20/03/2002
Posts: 729
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Consider me VERY interested, too... I can't wait to hear how it works out!

- trs
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- trs

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#141576 - 15/05/2003 21:34 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: foxtrot_xray]
V99
member

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 192
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Okay this isn't quite ready for primetime yet but what the hell..

Here's a quick demo of mine in action.. RemoteEmpeg.mp4 (6.4mb MPEG-4) and a picture of the whole setup. The stuff on the board to the left of the power cable is for the 12->5v regulator, the stuff on the right is all to convert the joystick (and 9 extra available pins) to serial and send to the Empeg.

There's a couple issues to be resolved,

- The app gets starved for CPU time once in a while, usually when the player is spinning up the disks..

- The display updates slowly.. most of this is because I chose a 256x64 display that's only 38,400bps, but there's still lots of room for optimization. I liked the 256x64 because it can display the normal Empeg screen and still have room for 3 other 128x32 panes of information (OBD-II?, GPS?). There are others that are smaller, bigger, faster, slower, etc. I have a 140x32 that runs at 115,200 (you can see it on the piece of paper) too.

- The Hijack menu isn't accessible from calling the EMPEG_HIJACK_INJECTBUTTONS ioctl

- Grayscale.. none of the serial VFDs do it. If the app knew what screen was being displayed it could decide what to do with the "dim" and "slightly less dim" colors better; Right now it just drops them or else menus are unreadable.

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#141577 - 15/05/2003 23:42 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
jarob10
enthusiast

Registered: 07/01/2002
Posts: 272
Loc: Stockport, UK
Fantastic !

Keep us posted as the issues become sorted. Good work !
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A coward you are, an expert on bulls you are not.

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#141578 - 16/05/2003 01:31 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
Archeon
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2501
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Great stuff !!
So if you want to use the smaller display, it's as easy as plugging that one onto the cable?
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Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#141579 - 16/05/2003 08:46 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
trs24
old hand

Registered: 20/03/2002
Posts: 729
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Oh that is cool! I want I want I want.

- trs
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- trs

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#141580 - 16/05/2003 09:33 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: Archeon]
foxtrot_xray
addict

Registered: 03/03/2002
Posts: 687
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia

Great stuff !!
So if you want to use the smaller display, it's as easy as plugging that one onto the cable?

Yeah - almost ALL of the Noritake VFD's are interchangeable.

Me.
_________________________
Mike 'Fox' Morrey 128BPM@124MPH. Love it! 2002 BRG Mini Cooper

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#141581 - 16/05/2003 09:34 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
foxtrot_xray
addict

Registered: 03/03/2002
Posts: 687
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
Hey! Pretty sweet!
I'm assuming that you ignore any error codes/ready prompts from the VFD, then?

Me.
_________________________
Mike 'Fox' Morrey 128BPM@124MPH. Love it! 2002 BRG Mini Cooper

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#141582 - 16/05/2003 13:30 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: foxtrot_xray]
Archeon
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/05/2001
Posts: 2501
Loc: Bruges, Belgium
Too cool ! I was thinking, if those kits ever become available, to build a small screen in the bottomside of my speedometer. A bit like Hugo has done. I really like that idea !
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Riocar 80gig S/N : 010101580 red
Riocar 80gig (010102106) - backup

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#141583 - 16/05/2003 13:49 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: Archeon]
foxtrot_xray
addict

Registered: 03/03/2002
Posts: 687
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
Yup, I'm going to mount mine just in front of my tachometer, dead center in my sterring wheel.

I got the board designed, I'm now looking to getting it actually /made/...

Me.
_________________________
Mike 'Fox' Morrey 128BPM@124MPH. Love it! 2002 BRG Mini Cooper

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#141584 - 16/05/2003 14:32 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: Archeon]
V99
member

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 192
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
So if you want to use the smaller display, it's as easy as plugging that one onto the cable?

Depending on the display you'd need slightly tweaked driver code.. the 3900 (updated 3100) and 7000-series I have have mostly identical commands (but the 7000 supports a subset of the 3900's), whereas the K610a that foxtrot is using is very different (and pretty limited). It's not a big deal to change the code though, you just read the VFD documentation and adjust what it sends to, say, draw a rectangle.

Also some (like the K610a) don't accept a real RS-232 (-12 to +12) signal so you need a chip in there to convert to TTL-level (that's part of what foxtrot's board is for). Mine just passes through the out from the Empeg to the in on the display.

I'll see if I can get the 140x32 working and make a video.. the glass is a bit smaller than the Empeg's VFD, but it has a very tall control board behind it.

I'm assuming that you ignore any error codes/ready prompts from the VFD, then?

Yeah, I'm currently ignoring the display's output line (which you can read the 3900's 10 i/o pins on, read settings, etc).. it could be connected to the BASIC Stamp and then the stamp could pass the data back to the Empeg. I did have the 'busy' line connected to one of the serial control pins but it turns out it hasn't actually been needed for any of the drawing yet @ 38,400.

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#141585 - 16/05/2003 21:46 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
jcboeckl
journeyman

Registered: 24/03/2002
Posts: 58
WOW...This is very cool stuff! Very Nice Work...Good Luck
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#141586 - 18/05/2003 20:44 Re: Project: External VFD Display [Re: V99]
benjammin
member

Registered: 11/08/2002
Posts: 174
Loc: Champaign, IL
You could use something like a MAX232 RS232 converter if you really needed... but a lot of times... a resistor with a 5.1V Zener to ground works too. (or a diode to +5 works... with an input diode that blocks the -12VDC.)

don't really need an IC to do it.
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