The evolution sometimes shows, that not everything “new” is automatically better than something „well-proven“. One of examples was also a „boom“ of digital panel meters, when it seemed for a while, that the life of analog panel meters is coming to an end. However it showed very soon, that an analog display has a huge advantage in a very fast legibility – i.e. already a brief look at a meter is enough to realize the position of a needle of a meter. Naturally, accuracy of reading of value from an analog meter is lower, than that of a digital (7-sgment) display. mainly at the beginning of a range, but this doesn´t matter in many cases and a certainty of a fast check, whether for example a given variable is in normal is often much more important.
Fortunately, classic electromechanical panel meter can be replaced by graphic displays thus obtaining a free hand at design of your own panel meter. At the same time, the combination of an analog and a digital meter can be created this way. Perhaps the best “replacement” for analog meters is a round display, which has a minimum space requirement in a target device. Novelty in this segment is the uLCD220RD (round) display module with a circle active surface (circle 220 px, 1,38“). Despite the fact, that it´s a small size display, it´s driven by the most powerful processor from 4D Systems – Diablo 16, which gives it a big versatility of usage, many interfaces and GPIO pins.
New version of a well known SW package for development of graphic applications – 4D Workshop IDE from 4D Systems already supports this new module even in the Visi Genie environment, enabling a „drag&drop“ development of application. In praxis a 220 px circle is able to display a considerable amount of information. On attached pictures we bring you a small demonstration of uLCD220RD module imaging.
Round panel meter by means of a display? - [Link]
Customizable, hackable real-time display used to inform you of notifications, tasks, metrics, emails and many more! by Jack Trowbridge:
Noteu is one of the first customizable, hackable real-time displays that keeps you updated in life, social media and business. Instead of needing to check multiple websites, apps or open any windows Noteu tells you what you need to know at a glance all in one place. With its easy to use Java application compatible on Windows, Mac and Linux you can choose amongst a wide range of updates and alerts with huge customization. Noteu being Open Source, based on the Ardunio platform, interfaceable with Java API’s and a simple serial protocol allows for infinite hacking.
Noteu: USB Hackable Real-Time Display - [Link]
Flat displays of the EA DOG series are now available even with a bigger resolution or with more characters.
EADOG series is familiar to many of you and probably it´s your favorite one from these main reasons:
- displays are unusually flat (thin)
- the have a very low power consumption of 100-s uA (without backlight)
- wide possibilities of backlight, monochrome and also RGB
- some types are well legible even without backlight
- simple communication through 4/8 bit or SPI interface and newly even I2C
So far, types with up to 128x64px or 3×16 characters were available. The most recent additions to the EADOG family are bigger types with resolution of 160x104px (EADOGXL160), 240x64px (EADOGM240), 240x128px (EADOGXL240) and 4×20 characters (EADOGM204) and appropriate backlight modules EALED66x40, EALED94x40 and EALED94x67. Also these new types maintain a low profile – only 5.8 or 6.5mm with backlighting. A positivity is that even these new types are based on standard LCD controllers.
A guide at a choice of a suitable combination of display +backlight will provide you the application described in our article – Start with the EA DOG displays for free.
Detailed information will provide you the datasheets at particular types.
EA DOG displays with a minimal power consumption now available in bigger sizes - [Link]
Viewing angle around 160°-170° and an excellent contrast say in favor of character displays with OLED technology.
OLED technology (Organic LED) slowly but surely finds its place even in industrial devices. After a big success at mobile phones, where they convince by high contrast and an excellent viewing angle, this technology becomes price-affordable and technologically advanced even for industrial applications.Benefits in short:
- OLED means, that every pixel is principally one „planar“ LED, thus each pixel emits light (white, RGB or some color). That means, that OLED doesn´t have / doesn´t need backlight and it also helps to a high contrast, as there´s no problem with a light bleeding through “off” (black) pixels, as it is often at LCD displays. High contrast also ensures excellent legibility even at a strong daylight.
- wide viewing angle. As every pixel (point) is itself a light source, it shines in all directions (half-globe) and it provides an extreme viewing angle near to a theoretical maximum of 180°
- extremely wide operating temperatures range, frost doesn´t “slow down” display response time
- the same color from every viewing angle. This is vital at color (RGB) OLED displays and it means almost zero color shift at viewing from various viewing angles, so well-known from TFT LCD displays
- low power consumption, partially dependent on a display content (number of switched-on pixels and their intensity)
New character displays from company Winstar belong to advanced displays with declared features. In our stock can be found types for example WEH001602ABPP5N00000 (16×2, blue), WEH001602AWPP5N00000 (16×2, white), WEH002002ALPP5N00001 (20×2, yellow/orange – „amber“) and WEH002004ALPP5N00000 (20×4, yellow/orange – „amber“) and other. They all have 8-bit parallel interface „6800“ and a modern controller WS0010. Direct comparison of OLED display with an FSTN LCD is best illustrated in the attached video.
OLED displays can be read even “from a side” - [Link]
Jared Sanson @ jared.geek.nz writes:
So it’s been a while since I last posted about my OLED watch, and I’ve done a lot of work on it! (And also broke it multiple times)
It’s taken me a lot of work to get this far, and I developed EVERYTHING from the ground up. The electronics design, the PCB layout, the RTOS and firmware drivers, the graphics engine, the user-mode app code, and even USB communications apps. I’ve used C, C#, and Python extensively in this project, and Altium Designer for the schematic and PCB.
Overall it has been an awesome learning experience, and if I was to make another one I would do a lot of things differently!
OLED Watch Is Alive! - [Link]
3,5″ display with the processor Diablo16 from company 4D Systems can handle even applications, where processor Picaso is not sufficient.
So as to make it right – it´s still true, that processor Picaso is a relatively very powerful graphic processor able to manage demanding applications with graphics, animations, sound, video,… Naturally, like each processor, there are applications where its power is sufficient with a reserve and for someone already not. If you suppose, that processor Picaso wouldn´t suit to you by its features, or at least it wouldn´t enable eventual further enhancing of functionality, then the Diablo16 processor will meet even high requirements.
In behalf of processor Diablo16 says not only the computing power itself, but also the other functionality as a memory size, communication interfaces, analog inputs, GPIO and other. Until now, the power of Diablo 16 could be used in two ways – in the uLCD-70DT module (7“, 800×480), or in your own design using the processor itself. Now, company 4D Systems comes also with a 3,5“ module (480*320px) uLCD-35DT, „driven” by this powerful processor.
Another good news is availability of a new CMOS VGA camera module – uCAM-II with a serial output (UART TTL). As a standard, the camera is equipped with an optics with a 56° viewing angle. Also available is the exchangeable optics, with a 76° and 116° viewing angle.
Similarly like at all 4D Systems modules with Picaso and Diablo16 processors, also in case of uLCD-35DT module can be used for development of application a powerful software package – Workshop4 IDE.
Try the hell power boxed up in 3,5″ - [Link]
Raspberry Pi PiTFT Weather Station:
More tinkering with the wonderful Adafruit 2.8″ Touchscreen TFT module (PiTFT) for the Raspberry Pi. This time a weather station drawing data from weather.com.
Luckily there’s a wonderful python module to extract data from three popular weather services; python-weather-api supports NOAA, Yahoo! Weather and weather.com. This makes life so much easier.
Download the module and install in the usual way; there are instructions in their wiki.
A simple way to display the raw data in a more readable form is to use Pretty Print (pprint) which is installed by default on Respbian. Just change the code in the call to weather.com in the script below to your town which can be found in the URL if you use the weather.com web page….
PiTFT Weather Station - [Link]
Arthur Guy made this mini LCD backpack for the smaller display screens:
This is an LCD backpack but it is for the smaller displays with the double row of pins rather than the single line.
I made this adapter as I was working with some small displays and needed a simple way of connecting it to a microcontroller. There are plenty of adapters for the standard single row displays but I couldn’t find any for the smaller dual row displays
This adapter works with existing libraries built around the PCF8754 shift register
Mini LCD Adapter Backpack - [Link]
praveen @ circuitstoday.com writes:
LCD modules form a very important part in many arduino based embedded system designs. So the knowledge on interfacing LCD to arduino is very essential in designing embedded systems. This article is about interfacing a 16×2 LCD to Arduino. JHD162A is the LCD module used here. JHD162A is a 16×2 LCD module based on the HD44780 driver from Hitachi. The JHD162A has 16 pins and can be operated in 4-bit mode or 8-bit mode. Here we are using the LCD module in 4-bit mode. First, I will show you how to display plain text messages on the LCD module using arduino and then few useful projects using LCD and arduino. Before going in to the details of the project, let’s have a look at the JHD162A LCD module.
Interfacing LCD to Arduino uno - [Link]
During SOS webinar with 4D Systems you could find out how graphic processor Diablo 16 can make our work easier and shorten time necessary for the development.
Get to know the performance and user-friendly graphic processor Diablo 16 - [Link]