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[Lcdproc] Gen III Cobalt with VFD, Works well so far.

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  • From: avionicsdv AT (David W Studeman)
  • Subject: [Lcdproc] Gen III Cobalt with VFD, Works well so far.
  • Date: Mon Jan 28 00:43:02 2008

In my quest to get LCDproc working on these units, in addition to trying an
aftermarket lcd, I picked up a Matrix Orbital parallel 16x2 VFD and
soldered the pin header in. This unit is HD44780 compatible so I used the
HD44780 driver with the winamp option. It was a direct drop in as the
original Goldentek GC-1602F1 that comes with these units only uses 14 pins.
I slaved in a spare front panel board into a running spare box I have a
full IPCop devel version running on so I can compile, make changes and
recompile as needed. The thing has been running for almost two days without
garbaging out on me. Studying the char maps, there are differences between
the standard HD44780 char map and the one for the VFD but the main
characters such as the upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols
one would get on a western keyboard are all in the same location but there
are extra characters in the first row that I have never seen on an LCD char
map such as music symbols and so forth. BTW, the Matrix Orbital unit is a
Noritake 16x2 parallel 14 pin unit. Why is this working better than the LCD
was? Is there something more tolerant in VFD?
I still want to get to the bottom of why the rather obscure LCD model that
comes with Gen III Cobalts and my cheap Sure Electronics units go garbage
on me. Supposedly the Gen V namely the Raq 550 doesn't garbage up easily
with LCDproc.
Another observation is that when I have a front panel slaved in and running
outside the box, the back of the panel behind the 74F245 chip that is an
octal bi-directional receiver with 3-state outputs, gets pretty hot with
the lcd units plugged in but only warm with the VFD plugged in. Of course
with the unit in the box, it gets adequate cooling with the lcd unit. As
near as I can tell, the receiver chip is a go between for the button pad.


  • [Lcdproc] Gen III Cobalt with VFD, Works well so far., David W Studeman, 01/28/2008

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