Posts with «lcd» label

Tiny TV Tells the Temperature Tale

Once upon a time, we would run home from the bus stop to watch Gargoyles and Brady Bunch reruns on the family TV, a late-1970s console Magnavox number that sat on the floor and was about 50% more cabinet than CRT. The old TV, a streamlined white Zenith at least ten years older, had been relegated to the man cave in the basement. It looked so mod compared to the “new” TV, but that’s not the aesthetic my folks were after. They wanted their electronics to double as furniture.

This little TV is a happy medium between the two styles, and for us, it’s all about those feet. But instead of cartoons, it switches between showing the current weather and the top news headlines. Inside that classy oak cabinet is an LCD, an ESP32, and an SD card module. The TV uses OpenWeatherMap and pulls the corresponding weather image from the SD card based on time of day — light images for day, and dark images for night.

We love that it shows the SMPTE color bars, aka the standard American TV test pattern as it switches between weather and news. After showing the top headlines, it automatically switches back to the weather channel. Be sure to check out the short demo video after the break.

Do you like your tiny televisions in strange places? Here’s one you can use to trim your tree this year.

Custom Instrument Cluster for Aging Car

All of the technological improvements to vehicles over the past few decades have led to cars and trucks that would seem borderline magical to anyone driving something like a Ford Pinto in the 1970s. Not only are cars much safer due to things like crumple zones, anti-lock brakes, air bags, and compulsory seat belt use, but there’s a wide array of sensors, user interfaces, and computers that also improve the driving experience. At least, until it starts wearing out. The electronic technology in our modern cars can be tricky to replace, but [Aravind] at least was able to replace part of the instrument cluster on his aging (yet still modern) Skoda and improve upon it in the process.

These cars have a recurring problem with the central part of the cluster that includes an LCD display. If replacement parts can even be found, they tend to cost a significant fraction of the value of the car, making them uneconomical for most. [Aravind] found that a 3.5″ color LCD that was already available fit perfectly in the space once the old screen was removed, so from there the next steps were to interface it to the car. These have a CAN bus separated from the main control CAN bus, and the port was easily accessible, so an Arduino with a RTC was obtained to handle the heavy lifting of interfacing with it.

Now, [Aravind] has a new LCD screen in the console that’s fully programmable and potentially longer-lasting than the factory LCD was. There’s also full documentation of the process on the project page as well, for anyone else with a Volkswagen-adjacent car from this era. Either way, it’s a much more economical approach to replacing the module than shelling out the enormous cost of OEM replacement parts. Of course, CAN bus hacks like these are often gateway projects to doing more involved CAN bus projects like turning an entire vehicle into a video game controller.

Automated Watering Machine Has What Plants Crave: Fertilizer

We’ve seen countless automated plant care systems over the years, but for some reason they almost never involve the secret sauce of gardening — fertilizer. But [xythobuz] knows what’s up. When they moved into their new flat by themselves, it was time to spread out and start growing some plants on the balcony. Before long, the garden was big enough to warrant an automated system for watering and fertilizing.

This clever DIY system is based around a 5L gravity-fed water tank with solenoid control and three [jugs] of liquid fertilizer that is added to the water via peristaltic pump. Don’t worry, the water tank has float switches, and [xythobuz] is there to switch it off manually every time so it doesn’t flood the flat.

On the UI side, an Arduino Nano clone is running the show, providing the LCD output and handling the keypad input. The machine itself is controlled with an ESP32 and a pair of four-channel relay boards that control the inlet valve, the four outlet valves, and the three peristaltic pumps that squirt out the fertilizer. The ESP also serves up a web interface that mimics the control panel and adds in the debug logs. These two boards communicate using I²C over DB-9, because that’s probably what [xythobuz] had lying around. Check out the demo video after the break, and then go check on your own plants. They miss you!

Don’t want to buy just any old peristaltic pumps? Maybe you could print your own.

Classical Poultry Conditioning is a Bird-Brained Scheme

A while back, [Kutluhan Aktar] was trying to hack their chickens, quails, and ducks for higher egg production and faster hatching times by using a bit of classical conditioning. That is, feeding them at the same time every day while simultaneously exposing them to sound and light. Once [Kutluhan] slipped enough times, they hatched a plan to build an automatic feeder.

This fun rooster-shaped bird feeder runs on an Arduino Nano and gets its time, date, and temperature info from a DS3231 RTC. All [Kutluhan] has to do is set the daily feeding time. When it comes, a pair of servos and a pan-tilt kit work together to invert a Pringles can filled with food pellets. A piezo buzzer and a green LED provide the sound and light to help with conditioning. Scratch your way past the break to see it in action.

If [Kutluhan] gets tired of watching the birds eat at the same time every day, perhaps a trash-for-treats training program could be next on the list.

Via r/duino

Greeking out with Arduinos

Learning a new language is hard work, but they say that the best way to learn something is to teach it. [Angeliki Beyko] is learning Greek, and what better way to teach than to build a vocabulary flash-card game from Arduinos, color screens, 1602 text screens, and arcade buttons? After the break, we have a video from the creator talking about how to play, the hardware she chose, and what to expect in the next version.

Pegboard holds most of the hardware except the color screens, which are finicky when it comes to their power source. The project is like someone raided our collective junk drawers and picked out the coolest bits to make a game. Around the perimeter are over one hundred NeoPixels to display the game progress and draw people like a midway game. Once invested, you select a category on the four colored arcade buttons by looking at the adjacent LCD screens’ titles. An onboard MP3 shield reads a pseudo-random Greek word and displays it on the top-right 1602 screen in English phonetics. After that, it is multiple choice with your options displaying in full-color on four TFT monitors. A correct choice awards you a point and moves to the next word, but any excuse to mash on arcade buttons is good enough for us.

[Angeliki] does something we see more often than before, she’s covering what she learned, struggled with, would do differently, and how she wants to improve. We think this is a vital sign that the hacker community is showcasing what we already knew; hackers love to share their knowledge and improve themselves.

Typing Greek with a modern keyboard will have you reaching for an alt-code table unless you make a shortcut keyboard, and if you learn Greek, maybe you can figure out what armor they wore to battle.

Cybercube Makes a Great Computing Companion

Oh, sure, there have been a few cube-shaped PCs over the years, like the G4 and the NeXT cube. But can they really be called cubes when the display and the inputs were all external? We think not.

[ikeji] doesn’t think so either, and has created a cube PC that puts them all to shame. Every input and output is within the cube, including our favorite part — the 48-key ortholinear keyboard, which covers two sides of the cube and must be typed on vertically. (If you’ve ever had wrist pain from typing, you’ll understand why anyone would want to do that.) You can see a gif of [ikeji] typing on it after the break.

Inside the 3D printed cube is a Raspberry Pi 4 and a 5″ LCD. There’s also an Arduino Pro Micro for the keyboard matrix, which is really two 4×6 matrices — one for each half. There’s a 6cm fan to keep things cool, and one panel is devoted to a grille for heat output. Another panel is devoted to vertically mounting the microcontrollers and extending the USB ports.

Don’t type on me or my son ever again.

When we first looked at this project, we thought the tiny cube was a companion macro pad that could be stored inside the main cube. It’s really a test cube for trying everything out, which we think is a great idea and does not preclude its use as a macro pad one of these days. [ikeji] already has plenty of plans for the future, like cassette support, an internal printer, and a battery, among other things. We can’t wait to see the next iteration.

We love a good cyberdeck around here, and it’s interesting to see all the things people are using them for. Here’s a cyberduck that quacks in Python and CircuitPython.

Over-Engineered Single Button Timer

Feature creep is typically something to be avoided, since watching a relatively simple project balloon into a rat’s nest of complexity often leads to ineffective, or even abandoned, projects. On the other hand, if you can maintain a tight focus, it’s not always a bad thing. [cbm80Amiga] shows us how to drill down and add specific features in this single-button timer without losing focus on what the original project was all about.

The timer is based on an Arduino Pro Mini and an HX1230 LCD with a simple piezo speaker for audible alerts. A single button controls operation of the timer, with short presses incrementing each digit and long presses moving on to the next digit. Controlling button presses this finely is a project in its own, but then [cbm80Amiga] moves on to other features such as backlight control, low power modes which allow it to operate for around two years on a single battery charge, preset times for various kitchen uses, and different appearance settings.

Honestly we aren’t sure how you could cram any more features on this timer without fundamentally altering the designed simplicity. It doesn’t fall into the abyss of feature creep while being packed with features, and it’s another example of how keeping things simple is often a recipe for success.

Thanks to [Hari] for the tip!

Score Big Against Boredom with Tabletop Bowling

Bowling has been around since ancient Egypt and continues to entertain people of all ages, especially once they roll out the fog machine and hit the blacklights. But why pay all that money to don used shoes and drink watered-down beer? Just build a tabletop bowling alley in your spare time and you can bowl barefoot if you want.

Those glowing pins aren’t just for looks — the LEDs underneath them are part of the scoring system. Whenever a pin is knocked out of its countersunk hole, the LED underneath is exposed and shines its light on a corresponding light-dependent resistor positioned overhead. An Arduino Uno keeps track of of the frame, ball number, and score, and displays it on an LCD.

The lane is nearly six feet long, so this is more like medium-format bowling or maybe even skee-bowling. There are probably a number of things one could use for balls, but [lainealison] is using large ball bearings. Roll past the break to see it in action, but don’t go over the line!

Can’t keep your balls out of the gutter? Build a magic ball and make all wishful leaning more meaningful as you steer it down the lane with your body.

Tutorial – Using the 0.96″ 80 x 160 Full Color IPS LCD Module with Arduino

The purpose of this guide is to get your 0.96″ color LCD display successfully operating with your Arduino, so you can move forward and experiment and explore further types of operation with the display. This includes installing the Arduino library, making a succesful board connection and running a demonstration sketch.

Although you can use the display with an Arduino Uno or other boad with an ATmega328-series microcontroller – this isn’t recommended for especially large projects. The library eats up a fair amount of flash memory – around 60% in most cases.

So if you’re running larger projects we recommend using an Arduino Mega or Due-compatible board due to the increased amount of flash memory in their host microcontrollers.

Installing the Arduino library

So let’s get started. We’ll first install the Arduino library then move on to hardware connection and then operating the display.

(As the display uses the ST7735S controller IC, you may be tempted to use the default TFT library included with the Arduino IDE – however it isn’t that reliable. Instead, please follow the instructions below). 

First – download the special Arduino library for your display and save it into your Downloads or a temp folder.

Next – open the Arduino IDE and select the Sketch > Include Library > Add .ZIP library option as shown below:

A dialog box will open – navigate to and select the zip file you downloaded earlier. After a moment or two the IDE will then install the library.

Please check that the library has been installed – to do this, select the Sketch > Include Library option in the IDE and scroll down the long menu until you see “ER-TFTM0.96-1” as shown below:

Once that has been successful, you can wire up your display.

Connecting the display to your Arduino

The display uses the SPI data bus for communication, and is a 3.3V board. You can use it with an Arduino or other 5V board as the logic is tolerant of higher voltages.

Arduino to Display

GND ----- GND (GND)
3.3V ---- Vcc (3.3V power supply)
D13 ----- SCL (SPI bus clock)
D11 ----- SDA (SPI bus data out from Arduino)
D10 ----- CS (SPI bus "Chip Select")
D9 ------ DC (Data instruction select pin)
D8 ------ RES (reset input)

If your Arduino has different pinouts than the Uno, locate the SPI pins for your board and modify as appropriate.

Demonstration sketch

Open a new sketch in the IDE, then copy and paste the following sketch into the IDE:

// https://pmdway.com/products/0-96-80-x-160-full-color-lcd-module
#include <UTFT.h>

// Declare which fonts we will be using
extern uint8_t SmallFont[];

// Initialize display
// Library only supports software SPI at this time
//NOTE: support  DUE , MEGA , UNO 
//SDI=11  SCL=13  /CS =10  /RST=8  D/C=9
UTFT myGLCD(ST7735S_4L_80160,11,13,10,8,9);    //LCD:  4Line  serial interface      SDI  SCL  /CS  /RST  D/C    NOTE:Only support  DUE   MEGA  UNO

// Declare which fonts we will be using
extern uint8_t BigFont[];

int color = 0;
word colorlist[] = {VGA_WHITE, VGA_BLACK, VGA_RED, VGA_BLUE, VGA_GREEN, VGA_FUCHSIA, VGA_YELLOW, VGA_AQUA};
int  bsize = 4;

void drawColorMarkerAndBrushSize(int col)
{
  myGLCD.setColor(VGA_BLACK);
  myGLCD.fillRect(25, 0, 31, 239);
  myGLCD.fillRect(myGLCD.getDisplayXSize()-31, 161, myGLCD.getDisplayXSize()-1, 191);
  myGLCD.setColor(VGA_WHITE);
  myGLCD.drawPixel(25, (col*30)+15);
  for (int i=1; i<7; i++)
    myGLCD.drawLine(25+i, ((col*30)+15)-i, 25+i, ((col*30)+15)+i);
  
  if (color==1)
    myGLCD.setColor(VGA_WHITE);
  else
    myGLCD.setColor(colorlist[col]);
  if (bsize==1)
    myGLCD.drawPixel(myGLCD.getDisplayXSize()-15, 177);
  else
    myGLCD.fillCircle(myGLCD.getDisplayXSize()-15, 177, bsize);
    
  myGLCD.setColor(colorlist[col]);
}
void setup()
{
  randomSeed(analogRead(0));
  
// Setup the LCD
  myGLCD.InitLCD();
  myGLCD.setFont(SmallFont);
}

void loop()
{
  int buf[158];
  int x, x2;
  int y, y2;
  int r;

// Clear the screen and draw the frame
  myGLCD.clrScr();

  myGLCD.setColor(255, 0, 0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(0, 0, 159, 13);
  myGLCD.setColor(64, 64, 64);
  myGLCD.fillRect(0, 114, 159, 127);
  myGLCD.setColor(255, 255, 255);
  myGLCD.setBackColor(255, 0, 0);
  myGLCD.print("pmdway.com.", CENTER, 1);
  myGLCD.setBackColor(64, 64, 64);
  myGLCD.setColor(255,255,0);
  myGLCD.print("pmdway.com", LEFT, 114);


  myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
  myGLCD.drawRect(0, 13, 159, 113);

// Draw crosshairs
  myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
  myGLCD.setBackColor(0, 0, 0);
  myGLCD.drawLine(79, 14, 79, 113);
  myGLCD.drawLine(1, 63, 158, 63);
  
 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);
 
  for (int i=9; i<150; i+=10)
    myGLCD.drawLine(i, 61, i, 65);
  for (int i=19; i<110; i+=10)
    myGLCD.drawLine(77, i, 81, i);
    

// Draw sin-, cos- and tan-lines  
  myGLCD.setColor(0,255,255);
  myGLCD.print("Sin", 5, 15);
  for (int i=1; i<158; i++)
  {
    myGLCD.drawPixel(i,63+(sin(((i*2.27)*3.14)/180)*40));
  }
  
  myGLCD.setColor(255,0,0);
  myGLCD.print("Cos", 5, 27);
  for (int i=1; i<158; i++)
  {
    myGLCD.drawPixel(i,63+(cos(((i*2.27)*3.14)/180)*40));
  }

  myGLCD.setColor(255,255,0);
  myGLCD.print("Tan", 5, 39);
  for (int i=1; i<158; i++)
  {
    myGLCD.drawPixel(i,63+(tan(((i*2.27)*3.14)/180)));
  }

  delay(2000);

  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);
  myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
  myGLCD.setBackColor(0, 0, 0);
  myGLCD.drawLine(79, 14, 79, 113);
  myGLCD.drawLine(1, 63, 158, 63);

 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);  

// Draw a moving sinewave
  x=1;
  for (int i=1; i<(158*20); i++) 
  {
    x++;
    if (x==159)
      x=1;
    if (i>159)
    {
      if ((x==79)||(buf[x-1]==63))
        myGLCD.setColor(0,0,255);
      else
        myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
      myGLCD.drawPixel(x,buf[x-1]);
    }
    myGLCD.setColor(0,255,255);
    y=63+(sin(((i*2.5)*3.14)/180)*(40-(i / 100)));
    myGLCD.drawPixel(x,y);
    buf[x-1]=y;
  }

  delay(2000);
 
  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);
  
 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);  

// Draw some filled rectangles
  for (int i=1; i<6; i++)
  {
    switch (i)
    {
      case 1:
        myGLCD.setColor(255,0,255);
        break;
      case 2:
        myGLCD.setColor(255,0,0);
        break;
      case 3:
        myGLCD.setColor(0,255,0);
        break;
      case 4:
        myGLCD.setColor(0,0,255);
        break;
      case 5:
        myGLCD.setColor(255,255,0);
        break;
    }
    myGLCD.fillRect(39+(i*10), 23+(i*10), 59+(i*10), 43+(i*10));
  }

  delay(2000);
  
  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);
  myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);   

// Draw some filled, rounded rectangles
  for (int i=1; i<6; i++)
  {
    switch (i)
    {
      case 1:
        myGLCD.setColor(255,0,255);
        break;
      case 2:
        myGLCD.setColor(255,0,0);
        break;
      case 3:
        myGLCD.setColor(0,255,0);
        break;
      case 4:
        myGLCD.setColor(0,0,255);
        break;
      case 5:
        myGLCD.setColor(255,255,0);
        break;
    }
    myGLCD.fillRoundRect(99-(i*10), 23+(i*10), 119-(i*10), 43+(i*10));
  }

  delay(2000);
  
  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);

 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);  
// Draw some filled circles
  for (int i=1; i<6; i++)
  {
    switch (i)
    {
      case 1:
        myGLCD.setColor(255,0,255);
        break;
      case 2:
        myGLCD.setColor(255,0,0);
        break;
      case 3:
        myGLCD.setColor(0,255,0);
        break;
      case 4:
        myGLCD.setColor(0,0,255);
        break;
      case 5:
        myGLCD.setColor(255,255,0);
        break;
    }
    myGLCD.fillCircle(49+(i*10),33+(i*10), 15);
  }

  delay(2000);
    
  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);
  
 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);    

// Draw some lines in a pattern
  myGLCD.setColor (255,0,0);
  for (int i=14; i<113; i+=5)
  {
    myGLCD.drawLine(1, i, (i*1.44)-10, 112);
  }
  myGLCD.setColor (255,0,0);
  for (int i=112; i>15; i-=5)
  {
    myGLCD.drawLine(158, i, (i*1.44)-12, 14);
  }
  myGLCD.setColor (0,255,255);
  for (int i=112; i>15; i-=5)
  {
    myGLCD.drawLine(1, i, 172-(i*1.44), 14);
  }
  myGLCD.setColor (0,255,255);
  for (int i=15; i<112; i+=5)
  {
    myGLCD.drawLine(158, i, 171-(i*1.44), 112);
  }

  delay(2000);
  
  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);
  
 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);    

// Draw some random circles
  for (int i=0; i<100; i++)
  {
    myGLCD.setColor(random(255), random(255), random(255));
    x=22+random(116);
    y=35+random(57);
    r=random(20);
    myGLCD.drawCircle(x, y, r);
  }

  delay(2000);
  
  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);
  
 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);    
  

// Draw some random rectangles
  for (int i=0; i<100; i++)
  {
    myGLCD.setColor(random(255), random(255), random(255));
    x=2+random(156);
    y=16+random(95);
    x2=2+random(156);
    y2=16+random(95);
    myGLCD.drawRect(x, y, x2, y2);
  }

  delay(2000);
  
  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);
  
 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);    

// Draw some random rounded rectangles
  for (int i=0; i<100; i++)
  {
    myGLCD.setColor(random(255), random(255), random(255));
    x=2+random(156);
    y=16+random(95);
    x2=2+random(156);
    y2=16+random(95);
    myGLCD.drawRoundRect(x, y, x2, y2);
  }

  delay(2000);
  
  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);
  
 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);  
 
  for (int i=0; i<100; i++)
  {
    myGLCD.setColor(random(255), random(255), random(255));
    x=2+random(156);
    y=16+random(95);
    x2=2+random(156);
    y2=16+random(95);
    myGLCD.drawLine(x, y, x2, y2);
  }

  delay(2000);
  
  myGLCD.setColor(0,0,0);
  myGLCD.fillRect(1,14,158,113);
  
 myGLCD.setColor(0, 0, 255);
 myGLCD.drawLine(0, 79, 159, 79);  
 
  for (int i=0; i<5000; i++)
  {
    myGLCD.setColor(random(255), random(255), random(255));
    myGLCD.drawPixel(2+random(156), 16+random(95));
  }

  delay(2000);

  myGLCD.fillScr(0, 0, 255);
  myGLCD.setColor(255, 0, 0);
  myGLCD.fillRoundRect(10, 17, 149, 72);
  
  myGLCD.setColor(255, 255, 255);
  myGLCD.setBackColor(255, 0, 0);
  myGLCD.print("That's it!", CENTER, 20);
  myGLCD.print("Restarting in a", CENTER, 45);
  myGLCD.print("few seconds...", CENTER, 57);
  
  myGLCD.setColor(0, 255, 0);
  myGLCD.setBackColor(0, 0, 255);
  myGLCD.print("Runtime: (msecs)", CENTER, 103);
  myGLCD.printNumI(millis(), CENTER, 115);

  delay (5000);   
}

 

Once you’re confident with the physical connection, upload the sketch. It should result with output as shown in the video below:

Now that you have succesfully run the demonstration sketch – where to from here?

The library used is based on the uTFT library by Henning Karlsen. You can find all the drawing and other commands in the user manual – so download the pdf and enjoy creating interesting displays.

This post brought to you by pmdway.com – everything for makers and electronics enthusiasts, with free delivery worldwide.

To keep up to date with new posts at tronixstuff.com, please subscribe to the mailing list in the box on the right, or follow us on twitter @tronixstuff.

Tronixstuff 29 Aug 09:15

Simulating a flip clock on an Arduino-driven LCD screen

Although flip clocks may be extremely interesting electromechanical devices, with rolling flaps to show what time it is, they’re also fairly complicated if you want to build one yourself. Mark Wilson, however, took a different approach with his project, simulating the output on a 320×240 LCD display.

The clock is powered by an Arduino Uno and a DS3231 RTC module, allowing it to show the time, date, a blinking colon, and even the days until the trash/recycling needs to be put out. Alternate screens are available as well, including a Pong clock, triangle clock, and cube clock, which can be individually selected or set to randomly cycle if you so desire. 

For its housing, Wilson chose a minimal acrylic/standoff design that seems to suit it well, and you can see it in action in the short demo clip below.