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Author Topic: display question
Neilyboy
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Posts: 9
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Post display question
on: October 10, 2014, 04:01
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Chris,

This is such an incredible project! I have finally got my scratch build all thrown together (just have a couple of issues to work out). I have noticed through all of your videos and my playing around with the controller is that the display is rather limiting. I am very new to arduino myself so my thought may not even be valid but I wanted to suggest it based on its price. I feel that your controller is this amazing piece of hardware that could use an upgraded screen. It may just be me but when I spin the mode dial I'm frustrated trying to decode what mode I'm in or read what's being displayed. There again I'm very new to arduino but they have some really slick oled displays with some decent libraries out there.
I myself have purchased this one for 5 bucks.
Blue/yellow: http://m.banggood.com/0_96-Inch-I2C-IIC-SPI-Serial-128-x-64-OLED-LCD-LED-Display-Module-p-922246.html

White: http://m.banggood.com/0_96-Inch-White-IIC-I2C-OLED-Display-Module-12864-LED-For-Arduino-p-932606.html

It only requires 4 wires and communicates via i2c. It would give you so much screen real estate (not to mention they just look bad ass.. and you can see them really well outdoors).

Anyway, as I have stated before I'm fairly new to the world of arduino and I'm sure you have reasons why the display that is used was chosen. But I wanted to get your thoughts on it.

I wanted again to say thank you for your excellent project that you share freely with us all. I hope to finish mine up one day and throw some vids online for others to enjoy. Take care!
Neil

Chris@Chro-
nos
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Posts: 137
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Post Re: display question
on: October 10, 2014, 14:39
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Ahhh yes, the display! People seem to have a love hate relationship with the display.

first off, no offence taken, i do get this question quite a bit, asking when it is going to step up to be on par with other systems like the MX2 and such with a larger display.

So when I first started on the controller, there was no display at all. Just a couple knobs and some buttons. it was fairly basic, and it did not take long for me to outgrow it. I had gone out of my way to develop a system that was extremely fast to use and required no menus. I am NOT a big fan of menus. I built out my own MX2 a long time ago and hated the interface. tap tap tap. tap tap taptaptap tap tap, tap, tap tap, tap tap tap tap tap. tappity tap. I couldnt stand how many buttons i had to press to get a routine going, i also was not a fan of the DC motor, i dont like playing the guessing game when it comes to motion, and i despise doing math (hmm lets see this setting gets me 1.23 inches per minute with 50 inches of travel and 5 second intervals how many shots will i have?.... hell no! I would rather tell it what i want. So i had quickly been turned off by menu systems.

The first visual feedback i added was a pair of LED's, the number of blinks represented the number of shots X100 it would take, etc. It worked well and only required me to add in 2 LED's and 2 resistors, but it really surprised me exactly how much more i could do with just a couple LED's. Th capability easily increase by 10x.

I finally gave in and started looking for a display, i was not interested in the 16x2 LCD display that everyone else uses. I wanted to be able to shoot in the col and those displays freeze. Finally i ran across this 4 DIgit LED display. It works fine at -40 degrees, it uses almost no power, and requires very very little code overhead.

It worked great, and i had a lot of people challenging me on the decision to use this display, but i could actually get a LOT out of it. Forward a year later, the code has really developed and i did find myself in a bit of a squeeze trying to figure out how to display certain things that it cannot display, such as M. hahahaha

I feel i got it worked out pretty well, and the display is adequate for the job, it is a tough little display, it has a unique look to it which helps set our system apart, it also forced me to stay away from menu systems (i hate menus) and hold onto a very fast and easy to use control system.

However, i realize it is not everyones cup of tea. I have looked into other displays from time to time, but in the end they all either use too many pins, or some libraries which take up space in the code (and right now the code size is pretty much maxed out)

So if somebody were to introduce one of those OLED displays (which i think look awesome by the way) you will run into one big problem. Code space. To overcome this you could simply use an Arduino Mega instead of the UNO, however that will not fit in our current enclosures, so you would need a custom box. After that, you would need to upload the library and update the code to display things the way you ant to display it.

If you want to take that challenge, i would be happy to lend any assistance.

In fact, i think i will go order a couple of those displays right now.

Neilyboy
Newbie
Posts: 9
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Post Re: display question
on: October 11, 2014, 01:26
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I totally hear ya and knew there was a reason for it. And agree with you on a cucumbersome menu system. I had a feeling it was memory issue while uploading the code I saw you were hitting like 98% lol. I have a mega here and want to learn more arduino programming myself so I may try to tackle it later doing nothing more than displaying what you have just in full text.. then again I took c+ in college and drank those memories away years ago. I will say it would look damn sexy displaying chronos 2.0 with battery voltage listed in the upper yellow portion of the display. The oleds are fun to tinker with either way.I pulled it out of the package and wrote my wife a love note in it to impress her with my nerdy hobbies. That's as far as I got in playing with it.
I'll keep my build log updated and appreciate your quick replies buddy. You have an awesome project that I for one love! I'm already planning on building a tiny portable rig for step focus (as I have a need for a portable step focus rig and this would be awesome!!). Take care Chris and have a great weekend.
Neil

Chris@Chro-
nos
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Posts: 137
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Post Re: display question
on: October 18, 2014, 01:11
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Let me know if you have any luck with the displays you got. I tried a couple from SainSmart, found here.

http://www.amazon.com/SainSmart-Serial-Display-Arduino-MEGA2560/dp/B00LRDZGFI/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1413594120&sr=8-9&keywords=sainsmart+i2c

Do not waste your time, they are pure shit. Wired it up using the adafruit instructions for thier instructions and code, wired it up as it should be, fried the shit out of each one and burned my thumb. Not sure what the fuck the problem is with these other than they are pure trash. I have used sainsmart in the past on several things with no problems, no clue why these things decide to burn themselves to shit.

let me know if you have any luck with those. im interested in trying to get these to work, but not nickle and dime-ing myself to death with shit displays.

(if you cant tell, these little fuckers really killed my mood)

Chris@Chro-
nos
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Posts: 137
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Post Re: display question
on: October 24, 2014, 02:40
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Ok, so i have been working with Sainsmart, i still cannot get thier display to work, but using thier code i managed to get another one of these little displays to work from amazon. Both text and intergers, so using one of these as a display is a very real possibility. The refresh rate is pretty fast, low power, super easy to read. I think i may move forward with this on the multiaxis controller, it is suprisingly easy to read.

I have an email in to sainsmart on thier displays... i think it is because neither R0 or R1 have resistors on them., and they need one on one side or the other to identify the address for the i2c

Once i have this running, making a port over using an Arduino Mega for the original controller should be fairly straight forward, it will be a bit of work, but replacing the current display with one of these certainly looks do-able.

Chris@Chro-
nos
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Posts: 137
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Post Re: display question
on: October 27, 2014, 13:39
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So i still cant get the sainsmart display working, but i CAN get another generic form working i got off amazon. This feels like sort of a mess doing all this, but i think this could be a viable replacement, but an Arduino Mega is a MUST as the libraries needed for this are about 10k, not to mention all the additional programming needed.

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