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Project: Low-Cost Hex Displays

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  • Systems Glitch
    I ve been working on actually finishing a project I started three years ago: creating a Microchip PIC based display driver for displaying hex digits on
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 28, 2013
      I've been working on actually finishing a project I started three years ago: creating a Microchip PIC based display driver for displaying hex digits on multiplexed 7-segment LED displays. Here's my progress so far:

      http://www.glitchwrks.com/temp/display/

      I acquired a large quantity of the bubble-magnified displays seen above by accident -- bought what I thought was a lot of 20, but it was a lot of /20 bags of 10/, plus some loose displays! I thought they would make a nice retro-looking alternative to expensive/harder-to-get smart displays like the TIL311. They also draw a /lot/ less current -- 100 mA with all segments on for 8 characters.

      Anyway, the prototype seems to work well! It will take data as 24 parallel bits and display six hex characters. The display is fully driven so the blanks are just 0x00 in the display buffer. Since it's implemented with a bitmapped buffer, it's possible to alter the firmware to take input from other devices on the PIC (i2c, SPI, parallel slave port, RS-232, et c.).

      I'm currently assessing interest in a run of PC boards for this project. Point-to-point wiring fills my needs, but I'd imagine that other hobbyists are interested in cheap hex displays too!

      Thanks,
      Jonathan
    • Kyle Owen
      ... I had bought some similar displays on eBay, was was disappointed to find the lack of a decimal place. I was going to use them for a calculator, but no
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 28, 2013
        On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 3:36 PM, Systems Glitch <systems.glitch@...> wrote:
         

        I've been working on actually finishing a project I started three years ago: creating a Microchip PIC based display driver for displaying hex digits on multiplexed 7-segment LED displays. Here's my progress so far:

        http://www.glitchwrks.com/temp/display/

        I acquired a large quantity of the bubble-magnified displays seen above by accident -- bought what I thought was a lot of 20, but it was a lot of /20 bags of 10/, plus some loose displays! I thought they would make a nice retro-looking alternative to expensive/harder-to-get smart displays like the TIL311. They also draw a /lot/ less current -- 100 mA with all segments on for 8 characters.

        Anyway, the prototype seems to work well! It will take data as 24 parallel bits and display six hex characters. The display is fully driven so the blanks are just 0x00 in the display buffer. Since it's implemented with a bitmapped buffer, it's possible to alter the firmware to take input from other devices on the PIC (i2c, SPI, parallel slave port, RS-232, et c.).

        I'm currently assessing interest in a run of PC boards for this project. Point-to-point wiring fills my needs, but I'd imagine that other hobbyists are interested in cheap hex displays too!

        Thanks,
        Jonathan

        I had bought some similar displays on eBay, was was disappointed to find the lack of a decimal place. I was going to use them for a calculator, but no longer. I guess they'll remain in my parts bin until I need some alphanumeric displays. The original HP calculator displays are not only hard to get, but expensive when they are available. These were very cheap for the number of digits you could get, though.

        Kyle 
      • Dan Roganti
        cool project. Have you tried the DL1416 bubble displays, with the alphanumeric segments. those are real nice too Dan
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 29, 2013
          cool project.
          Have you tried the DL1416 bubble displays, with the alphanumeric segments.
          those are real nice too
          Dan


        • Dave McGuire
          ... DL1416s are fantastic. I was very lucky to be able to score a big pile of them at Skycraft Surplus in FL a few years ago. -Dave -- Dave McGuire, AK4HZ New
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 29, 2013
            On 08/29/2013 08:20 AM, Dan Roganti wrote:
            > Have you tried the DL1416 bubble displays, with the alphanumeric segments.
            > those are real nice too

            DL1416s are fantastic. I was very lucky to be able to score a big
            pile of them at Skycraft Surplus in FL a few years ago.

            -Dave

            --
            Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
            New Kensington, PA
          • Systems Glitch
            ... They sure are, I use members of that family of displays in many projects! I ve got DL1414, DL1416, DL2416 and HDSP2416 (dot matrix replacement for DL2416).
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 29, 2013
              > DL1416s are fantastic. I was very lucky to be able to score a big
              > pile of them at Skycraft Surplus in FL a few years ago.

              They sure are, I use members of that family of displays in many projects! I've got DL1414, DL1416, DL2416 and HDSP2416 (dot matrix replacement for DL2416). They make an excellent debug tool, especially when you're not sure how functional a system is. No setup, no checking status registers...just push ASCII out and it's displayed.

              The hex display project also lays the groundwork for another display-related personal project.

              Thanks,
              Jonathan
            • jeff_s_jonas
              I too have a merry collection of vintage displays. Just the LEDs with photos & spec sheets: http://ferretronix.com/tech/led/ Neon and flluorescent displays
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 30, 2013

                I too have a merry collection of vintage displays.


                Just the LEDs with photos & spec sheets:

                http://ferretronix.com/tech/led/


                Neon and flluorescent displays too:
                http://ferretronix.com/tech/

                Kyle: too late, I sold the 9 digitArcher display module on ebay a while ago.

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