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#292750 - 16/02/2007 01:28 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Quote:
The first set is all built except for the filters which we are waiting to arrive in the mail. Should be any day now that they come I would think.

Stu

Ooh, excitement! Of course, this is probably the *last* thing I need to be spending money on, but I wasn't going to let this pass by.

I am thinking of some sort of stealth housing for the display -- some sort of black aluminum box that would retract in some fashion. With no handle needed, the dimensions are reduced quite a bit..

I started looking at ways to get one-off aluminum pieces made and I found this place, eMachineShop. Have they come up before? Anybody have any experience with them? They have their own proprietary Windows CAD software that will let you design, select materials. They do have AutoCAD DXF import, too.

edit: yes, I see that outfit has come up at least a few times


Edited by jimhogan (16/02/2007 01:31)
_________________________
Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#292751 - 18/02/2007 22:54 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: pca]
AndrewT
old hand

Registered: 16/02/2002
Posts: 867
Loc: Oxford, UK
Do you have a bare PCB set that you'd be willing to sell? I already have a spare VFD and I recon that, over time, I can aquire most of the other bits freely/cheaply without SWMBO noticing (expenditure-wise)!

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#292752 - 19/02/2007 10:13 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: AndrewT]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1084
Loc: UK
Bear in mind that this system requires a complete display board, not just a VFD. The display board is removed from the empeg and connected to the receiver end of the extender, while the transmitter end replaces the display in the empeg.

pca
_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

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#292753 - 19/02/2007 10:14 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: Mach]
pca
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1084
Loc: UK
I have three board sets left. I'll match stuart's pricing, although it will be a week or so before I have time to build the boards.

pca
_________________________
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

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#292754 - 19/02/2007 14:21 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: pca]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Yours will probably be available first. We are still waiting on the slow mail service to deliver the filters and since we don't have mail today it will be at least tomorrow before we can test the first set of boards. So it will probably be at the earliest, next week before we order more parts.

Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292755 - 19/02/2007 14:50 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: Mach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
I've arranged to obtain my set from PCA, so you can drop me from the list.

Thanks.

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#292756 - 20/02/2007 11:10 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: pca]
jarob10
enthusiast

Registered: 07/01/2002
Posts: 272
Loc: Stockport, UK
As I am in the uk, maybe it would make more sense for me to procure from PCA also?
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A coward you are, an expert on bulls you are not.

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#292757 - 20/02/2007 11:27 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: jarob10]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Greetings!

I am coming in on this a bit late, but I would like to add myself to the waiting list. Is there any kind of pricing? I would be interested in at least one, probably two.
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

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#292758 - 20/02/2007 11:30 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: pgrzelak]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
$260 with 20 feet of ribbon cable plus shipping.

Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292759 - 20/02/2007 11:31 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: jarob10]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Probably, but remember he only has three sets.

Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292760 - 20/02/2007 14:00 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: pgrzelak]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Updated waiting list:

1-MarkM (2)
2-Mach (2)
3-caseyse (2)
4-juenk (1)
5-EtN (1)
6-music (1)
7-jarob10 (1)
8-JimHogan (1)
9-TigerJimmy (1)
10-brabax22 (1)
11-pgrzelak (2?)
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#292761 - 22/02/2007 20:22 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
It's alive! We got our original shipment of the two filters in today and slapped them into the one set of extenders we built and they work great! I'll post pictures in a bit, but anyway, it looks like we should be able to proceed soon. The only oversight I now see is that we need 4 female to female hex standoffs on the receiver end, but that should be easy enough to find.

More to come,
Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292762 - 22/02/2007 20:46 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Sadly the illumination kit does NOT work with the extenders. We will try to find out why, but no idea so far. It tries to come on, with a flash about 2 seconds after setting the level, but it does't stay on.

Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292763 - 22/02/2007 20:48 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Quote:
Sadly the illumination kit does NOT work with the extenders. We will try to find out why, but no idea so far. It tries to come on, with a flash about 2 seconds after setting the level, but it does't stay on.

Stu


Mmm.. I'll debug that once I get my own set of extenders from Patrick. First things to do are (1) check the +5V level at the display board, and ensure the capacitor-fix has been applied to the display board.

Cheers

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#292764 - 23/02/2007 00:31 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: mlord]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Quote:
Quote:
Sadly the illumination kit does NOT work with the extenders. We will try to find out why, but no idea so far. It tries to come on, with a flash about 2 seconds after setting the level, but it does't stay on.

Stu


Mmm.. I'll debug that once I get my own set of extenders from Patrick. First things to do are (1) check the +5V level at the display board, and ensure the capacitor-fix has been applied to the display board.

Cheers

Very interested to see this issue come up. I am rooting for you!

It is a coincidence, but last eve I was noodling what I might do to situate the display in the WRX. My first thought as a custom, rectangular aluminum faceplate with a 1/16" smoke lens. But then I started to wonder: What if I made the whole faceplate out of 1/4" smoke polycarbonate? Then I started wondering what might happen if I tried to put some EL backlight material behind the lexan/polycarb -- rather than light the *buttons*, light the *outline* of the buttons. I know EL material comes in custom shapes (watchfaces, say) but can you simply cut it?

One part of the appeal is that even a jamoke like me can machine some polycarb, and I could afford to throw away some failed experiments. Even if the illuminated buttons are made to work, I might pursue using this material for the install.

P.S. I am pleased to see the expected pricing on this. At a time when I shouldn't be spending the money, it is going to be less painful than I might have reasonably expected. Thanks!
_________________________
Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#292765 - 23/02/2007 02:10 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: mlord]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Quote:
First things to do are (1) check the +5V level at the display board, and ensure the capacitor-fix has been applied to the display board.


My first thought was low voltage too. Tomorrow I'll measure the 5 volt line and also see what happens with 12 volt supply to the receiver. Not sure about the capacitor fix. This display I am using does not have it, but then it has never had any issues. Does the likelihood of needing the fix increase with lower voltages?

Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292766 - 23/02/2007 02:13 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: jimhogan]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Quote:
I know EL material comes in custom shapes (watchfaces, say) but can you simply cut it?


From what I've read it can be cut with scissors. Sounds like a neat project. Good luck with it and keep us posted!

Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292767 - 23/02/2007 13:04 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
The voltage on the +5V line is 4.8 volts which I don't think should be a problem. I get weird behavior with the aux power input. The standyby LED flashes rapidly and the IR transceiver LED glows a visible deep red. Since that doesn't sound like something that should be happening, I have not tried that again. I have checked and the regulators work fine outputing 5 and 3.3 volts respectively. I had the jumpers moved to the lower position which puts the regulator outputs in circuit. I do not know what the proper power up sequence is for the aux power supply or if the flashing I was seeing would go away when the Empeg is turned on, but without some input from Patrick or MarkM on how the aux input works, I think I will stay away from it for now.

Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292768 - 23/02/2007 16:44 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I've applied the dimmer fix, but this did not help. One other bit of weirdness I noticed was that while in the Illumination level menu, the display will sometimes dim to almost invisible (0 percent level) and then later go back to regular level after a short period. When in DC mode, the dimmer menu is very unresponsive and hard to control. In fact it really doesn't like to display anything but 100 percent brightness, even if set to 0 percent. All the while the dimmer is adjusted, the button LEDs flicker on and off as if the microcontroller is having some sort of trouble interrpreting the commands. Timing issues? I think Mark was on to something with the dimmer fix, but unfortunately, the dimmer fix doesn't fix this.

Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292769 - 23/02/2007 20:23 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Quote:
I've applied the dimmer fix, but this did not help. One other bit of weirdness I noticed was that while in the Illumination level menu, the display will sometimes dim to almost invisible (0 percent level) and then later go back to regular level after a short period. When in DC mode, the dimmer menu is very unresponsive and hard to control. In fact it really doesn't like to display anything but 100 percent brightness, even if set to 0 percent. All the while the dimmer is adjusted, the button LEDs flicker on and off as if the microcontroller is having some sort of trouble interrpreting the commands. Timing issues? I think Mark was on to something with the dimmer fix, but unfortunately, the dimmer fix doesn't fix this.

Stu


The timing for sending commands to the PIC is marginal at best when installed inside the empeg chassis. With the same signals travelling 20' or more, trouble is a definite possibility.

Cheers

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#292770 - 24/02/2007 14:37 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: mlord]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Here's a picture of it in operation.

Stu



Attachments
294814-ext_1.jpg (717 downloads)

_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292771 - 24/02/2007 14:39 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Here's another.

Stu



Attachments
294816-ext_2.jpg (763 downloads)

_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292772 - 24/02/2007 14:40 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
And one more.

Stu



Attachments
294817-ext_3.jpg (746 downloads)

_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292773 - 24/02/2007 15:36 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
MarkM
stranger

Registered: 11/12/2000
Posts: 105
Loc: Seattle, WA USA
Stu,

These look fantastic. It's nice to see shiny new extenders again since ours are 5-6 years old now.

You might try switching the jumper and supplying local power to the 12v connector on the display end and see if the illuminated buttons work. Patrick added this as a contingency - we never used the power connector on the display side, so I have no real world feedback.

Mark

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#292774 - 24/02/2007 19:10 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: MarkM]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Thanks Mark! I just made up a proper cable to connect from the AUX input to one of our bench supplies. We still get strange operation with the IR transceiver, but it goes away once the Empeg is turned on. We still don't any lights and the dimmer control still doesn't work. If anyone is curious, the display and receiver half of the extender draws 270 mA, except when running with the Empeg turned off. Then it jumps to 420mA. As for power up sequence, it's probably best to have the power going to the display first. We booted up the Empeg first and noticed the display faintly running with no power. Now that's some serious drive on the signal lines.

Mark, does the dimmer work properly with yours? We can set the dimmer to any value we want, but the display remains at 100 percent brightness except maybe for a brief blip of 0 percent level. It's as if the control PIC is not sending the proper bits out to the digital potentiometer. Since the same PIC also controls the LEDs on the illumination kit, the propblem is clearly related. Please let us know if you can check the dimmer.

Thanks,
Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292775 - 24/02/2007 19:31 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
jimhogan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 06/10/1999
Posts: 2591
Loc: Seattle, WA, U.S.A.
Quote:
And one more.

Stu



I'm too sexy for my car too sexy for my car
Too sexy by far
_________________________
Jim


'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

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#292776 - 24/02/2007 20:56 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
Once mine arrives here I'll put the logic analyzer onto the PIC signals and see what's up. With a little luck we can relax the timing slightly (software), which would give it more rise time to cope with the long cable.

Meanwhile, maybe try it with a 10' cable instead of 20' ?

Cheers

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#292777 - 24/02/2007 21:04 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: mlord]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I was thinking a shorter cable also. Right now it is 20 feet, I only have the one set of connectors which I don't think can be uncrimped. I believe the only signal that is affected is the control line from the motherboard, but why this should be a problem I don't know. Everything else seems to work. I'm wondering what the symptoms would be if there was no control line?

Stu
_________________________
If you want it to break, buy Sony!

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#292778 - 24/02/2007 21:26 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: maczrool]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13506
Loc: Canada
The control line is used to manage the brightness for the display and for the buttons. I don't think it is used for anything else.

Cheers

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#292779 - 24/02/2007 21:39 Re: Display Extender Interest [Re: mlord]
maczrool
pooh-bah

Registered: 13/01/2002
Posts: 1626
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Since the dimmer doesn't work it makes me wonder about it. Also, is the control line really used for the buttons? I thought the button commands were sent over the IR line.

Stu


Edited by maczrool (25/02/2007 01:39)
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