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[Lcdproc] OSX + MtxOrb Driver

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  • From: kdogden at (Kevin Ogden)
  • Subject: [Lcdproc] OSX + MtxOrb Driver
  • Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2008 14:21:14 -0400

> I'd rather not apply the patch you virtually attached to this mail
> in its current form.

I wouldn't either, it's disgusting. I was just trying to show what I
ended up changing to get it to work on my odd machine with my poorly
documented LCD hardware. I'm a far from elegant C coder. I do more
in LISP and TCL than anything else. I wasn't really trying to submit
an "official" patch ;-)

> I consider the patch a mix that tries to tackle multiple issues at
> once:
> - backlight command
> - new option GPOs
> Let's start with the backlight command:
> Although the command in LCDproc is called MtxOrb_backlight,
> it does not switch the backlight on & off, but simulates this
> only by changing the brightness of the display: When set
> to on, the value of the config setting "Brightness" is used,
> while when set to off, "OffBrightness" is used.
> This allows more flexibility, and makes newer revisions of
> LK202-25 (and others) displays work where the x42 command
> is called "display off" (and does that).
> Unfortunately this command is not documented (maby not even
> implemented) in some older revisions of LK202-25.

It seems that this product line received several nearly-compatible
revisions. Changing the MtxOrb_backlight command to x42 seemed to
work for me though.

> What exact revision do you own ?

It's pretty damn old. I think I bought it in 2001 or 2002. Not sure
of the rev number but I could probably find out for you tonight.

> What are the symptoms you experience when you change
> the value back to its original value ?

A "V" replacing the character at the beginning and end of most
screens and occasionally a couple scattered throughout the display.
Sometimes the "V" was followed by an underscore or vertical line
character. If I just sent some text to the display via screen
(screen /dev/tty.serial1 19200) there was no garbage characters.

> Do I need to tell that I hate the various different revisions
> of manuals for each of the zillions of MatrixOrbital display
> types. If thy only had a consistent notation for the commands:
> sometimes hex, sometimes decimal, sometimes ASCII, ...
> I literally spent weeks finding the compromise that is currently in
> LCDproc.
> (Not even MatroxOrbital was able to provide me with a concise
> set of commands available in what revison of what display type)

I feel your pain. I was getting really frustrated with this myself.
I was getting ready to just say screw it and write a simple uptime/
cpu graph toy in TCL and just throw in a couple of LCD commands I
really needed (for clearing the screen, contrast, etc.).

It's a real pretty little red display with GPOs and keypad input BUT
was really expensive and poorly documented.

> If it is necessary, can you define it in a way that keeps
> the default values to those hat are currently used as the
> values for the different display types (for compatibility's sake) ?
> And can you pleas add the necessary documentation to
> docs/lcdproc-user/drivers/mtxorb.docbook
> so that other users can profit from your work ?

The GPO patch was someone else's work that was dug up on the
archives. Ethan pointed it out to me and it didn't quite solve the
problem I was having but I left it in because to me it seemed to make
sense. Anything that gives me options I can tweak without
recompiling is a good thing IMHO.

>> I think you said that O_NDELAY flag to the open call may not be
>> necessary if you use /dev/cu.serial1 though. I really don't want to
>> mess with it at the moment now that it's working though.
> Would you mind testing this ?

I can probably test it sometime tonight or tomorrow.

> I'd rather not apply the patch blindly because it helps you
> but may hurt other users with different operating systems.
> Especially as Ethan wrote that it works for /dev/cu.serial1
> without the patch.

I can test it. Hopefully it works fine without that change and I
suspect it will. I was just trying everything I could to make this
go and this probably wasn't necessary but that's where I started when
trying to get this display going. I didn't know the cu.serial1
device even existed until I went looking for it after it was
mentioned. It kinda makes sense, under FreeBSD, my serial port is /

> So,with respect to the GPOs I am open fr a patch that keeps
> compatibility and contains documentation,
> with respect to O_NDELAY I am very dubious,
> and with respect to the backlights, I need more information.

I don't think O_NDELAY is quite necessary but the backlight command
hack DID solve my problem with this display under both FreeBSD and
MacOS X.

Kevin D. Ogden

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