Display boards received

Display Boards:

Display Boards

Display driver boards came in yesterday.  Here is a picture of two of the five showing both sides.  The Gerbers were sent to ITeadStudio on 12/5/2013, so it was about a one month turn.  That speed was choosing the slowest/cheapest shipping method.  Unfortunately, we haven’t ordered the chips yet.  That order will go in tomorrow and will end up taking another week to get the chips.  I’ve identified slightly less expensive displays which might bring the price of the build down slightly.  I’m looking forward to getting this built up, and then doing the testing on the firmware.  I should have gotten ITeadStudio to do the cutouts for the connectors, but originally I thought I could toss another project on the extra space, but there just wasn’t enough room.

Distaster info:  Lately I’ve started the Java framework for running the pinball controller.  I tossed CodeDownload into the repository (actually that will happen tomorrow) so the solenoid driver and input driver firmware can be updated without a debugger.  It is a windows application, but could easily be modified to work on a Linux box by changing some small things with serial port naming conventions.

I’m planning on making a parallel port bit banged fake SPI interface so that I can test the LED driver.  That should be very simple and should give me enough pieces to make the first “fake” pinball machine.  Basically a pinball machine with my boards giving the inputs states to a PC, and the PC showing how the pinball machine would react.  I’ll attach LEDs to the solenoid drivers to show when the solenoids are on.  That is probably going to take a good bit of coding to make that happen but it is a good next step.

I finished my design for a boost converter to try and get 50V from a 12V source, so I will be trying to “bread-board” that and see how it works.  That was an extra piece of work that I wasn’t expecting, so I might put that off for a little bit.  It seems like it is a much cleaner solution than my original solution of bridge rectifier to buck converter.


2 responses to “Display boards received

  1. Card edge connectors. A decision you will soon regret.

    Similarly, I’m sure I’ll soon regret going full LCD for my display solution. I keep telling myself how much better it is and then I think about actually building display content and promptly find something else to do…

    I sent my main IO board off to OSH a few days ago, it’s at the fab now. Parts are slowly filtering in, and I have a breadboard proof of concept (except I blew a bunch of SRs again because my prototype solenoid drivers are grounded poorly heh). Can’t wait to solder it up and make ICs go pop. Maybe I should start a blog somewhere as well.

    • Yeah, I would not have used an edge connector in a new design, but since it is a retrofit for a restoration project, it seemed like the easiest. I could have look for another connector in hopes that I could take the crimps out of the card edge connector and reuse them in a right angle pin based connector, but what are the chances? More than likely I would have simply wasted a bunch of time looking for something that doesn’t exist.

      The full LCD is already starting to give me issues. Basically I’m going to use Java as the GUI. There will be a frame which has the video running continuously (VLCJ), and then a couple of frames in front of it to display player scores and a subframe for displaying the mode (the subframe will be about the same size as a DMD display in the lower center portion of the screen.) Most of my experience is using lightweight components, and I immediately ran into the fact that you can’t use lightweight components and have video running in them) Arrgghh. After struggling with that for a couple of hours, I ended up using JInternalFrame, but now I’m struggling with getting rid of all the controls on each of the sub-frames. Hopefully, I will have something done by the end of the weekend, or maybe beginning of next week.

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