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New Color Carrier Module for 32 bit Experimenter

KibaCorp is introducing a new color carrier module for use with the 32 bit Experimenter.  Figure 1 shows this carrier module in operation with the 32 bit Micro Experimenter. The color carrier uses the 32 bit Experimenter Arduino compatible plug in interface. On board the color carrier module is the 4D Systems uLCD-144 (SGC) 65K 128×128 pixel serial interface LCD Color Display Module. No special power connections are needed as the color carrier works directly off the +5V DC supplied to the Experimenter and the Experimenter +3.3VC on board regulator output. The carrier module is fully assembled and only requires mounting of the uLCD-144 display to the carrier using two 2-54” mounting screws and associated spacers. In addition a male 9 pin header is required to be soldered to the color LCD module for mounting to the color carrier.

Download   Document : Color Carrier Module Users Guide  with a 32 Bit Experimenter

 Specifics are discussed in this document.

Download all color carrier demostration code here.

 

Figure 1 Color Carrier Module in operation with ULCD-144 and 32 bit Experimenter

The uLCD-144 used by the carrier is a 128xRGBx128 resolution, 65K true to life colors, LCD TFT screen, with LED backlight coloring, and measures 1.44” diagonal size. This uLCD-144 module can be individually purchased at 4D systems (http://www.4dsystems.com.au/ ) the carrier is available from Nuts and Volts web store. Nuts and Volts also offer a complete display/carrier combo.

The Color carrier module provides a complete ULCD-144 interface capability that includes sound, multi-position (five) input switch capability, as well as a direct PS/2 interface to the Experimenter. The sound capability includes the ability to generate any sound from 20-20K Hz for any duration up to 65K milliseconds. This sound capability easily supports simple music tones that are typically in sophisticated cell phones for operator alerts. The multi-position switch allows detection of a five input switch position from up, down, left, right and press, and, in fact, is a mimicker of a simple joystick interface.

The 4D Systems uLCD-144 (SGC) serial LCD Display Module has other capabilities not covered in this configuration. They are beyond the scope of the present demos and can be more fully covered using the 4D Systems uLCD-144 (SGC) serial LCD Display Module data Sheet from 4D Systems. The uLCD-144 Module can work standalone through an associated SD-FLASH card to do slide shows as well as video. The 4D Systems uLCD-144 (SGC) serial LCD Display Module is capable of being programmed in its own script language native to  its on board  GOLDELOX-SGC processor. Again this is beyond the scope of the present demo offering.

 Our offering focuses on the use of the uLCD-144 with the Microchip’s full color graphics library including primitives and widgets as well as an uLCD-144 extension for the multi-switch and sound generation. A hardware demo is provided just for this purpose.  When you run this demo the uLCD-144 will first clear screen and then notify you that a sound test will occur. Several sounds will be generated. After this the demo will notify you of an input switch test. Here the program will wait while you select one of the five switch positions using the carrier joystick.  A total of five switch positions will be accepted before the program enters keyboard test. Here the program will accept up to five input ASCII characters before ending and then displaying and activating an Analog meter widget.

The other demonstration code provided works with the applications described in the Nuts and Volts April 2012 article for the 32 bit Experimenter to include:

  • Multi-Button Widget Display using just two physical pushbuttons for control for five different LEDs
  • Slider Widget Control of an LED
  • Dynamic Widget Analog Meter and  Widget Digital Meter of  Potentiometer value input
  • Real Time Clock Calendar (RTCC) setting using widgets and  keyboard
  • RGB LED light control using three slider widgets
  • Full Color primitives demo with image, text, lines, circles bars

All demos are available from either the Nuts and Volts Website or the KibaCorp Website. They are preconfigured as Microchip MPLAB 8.xx version projects and the C32 ‘C’ Complier. All software tools are freely available from www. Microchip.com. and can be programmed directly into the Experimenter using a PICKIT3 or MPLAB ICE programmer/experimenter.

The 32 Bit Experimenter communicates to the uLCD-144 using UART3 asynchronous communication with 115K baud 8 bit data, no parity and 1 stop bit. The command protocol follows the ULCD-144 prescribed in the uLCD -144 data sheet and GOLDELOX-SGC Command Set – Software Interface Specification (all available for download from 4D systems).

The driver for the Color Carrier and ULCD-144 are contained in all project files as 4DDriver.h and 4DDriver.c.These files support the Microchip graphics library for both primitive graphics (text, images, fonts, circle, bars, lines etc.) as well as widgets. The supported widgets are:

  • Button
  • Static text Box
  • Edit Box
  • Check Box
  • Slider
  • Analog meter
  • Digital meter

Download  Product Description, Operation and Assembly Instructions for Color Carrier Module as used with a 32 Bit Experimenter