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16  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Re: Arduino + Crystalfontz Serial LCD + buttons! on: February 19, 2008, 04:02:46 am
I'll dig up the code and clean it up a bit.. I'm also working on a small howto/hook-up guide.. Stay tuned  smiley-wink
17  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Interfacing / Arduino + Crystalfontz Serial LCD + buttons! on: June 07, 2007, 06:16:13 pm
I've been dreaming and thinking about a custom hardware interface to control my visuals. In stead of using a mouse to select parameters and change values, a dedicated controller would be a much better way to do my thing. I discovered Arduino a couple of months ago and after reading a massive amount of information about the hardware and software I decided to buy a board myself to see how far it would get me.

So last week I ordered a board from PCB Europe in Italy and I received it only 3 days later (The Netherlands). The first things I did were some standard tutorials like fading a RGB led and reading potentiometer values through hyperterminal to get familiar with everything.

After playing with Arduino for one day I think that it will suit my needs for the controller! Today I've read the Serial LCD Tutorial by DJmatic and decided to dust-off one of the LCD's that I had lying around for a couple of years.

I have the Crystalfontz CFA-643 (site, datasheet), 4x20, blue/white, with serial and USB interface. The small USB shield was mounted on the serial I/O headers, so I had to take that off first. I could have used the normal DB9 serialport that is mounted on the back, but that required a voltage between 9 and 15 volts. The serial I/O header takes 5 volts, as it's powered by USB.

I started with the code made by DJmatic, but rewrote almost every single line of code to make it work with the CF display. The display has some nice built-in routines for displaying bar graphs, very large fonts and custom characters. It's also one of the biggest 4 x 20 LCD's I've ever seen.

Interfacing the LCD with Arduino was really simple, just 4 wires! The hard part was connecting 2 input buttons to Arduino (due to the lack of a schematic or high rez picture on the button tutorial page), but I finally learnt what a pull-down resistor is, and how to connect it. smiley-wink I will update the tutorial page for other newbies once I have been granted contributor access to the wiki.

The buttons will allow me to access menus, select functions and change values of a wide range of parameters that are available in the software. The final controller will feature buttons, sliders, LED's and rotary encoders. The LCD will be used to show the parameters and their values.

So here's a picture of what I've managed to put together so far:

(larger version)

And a movie to see it in action: Quicktime (16,5mb)

I will contribute the code library for the Crystalfontz serial LCD once I have implemented all features and thoroughly tested it. A tutorial is also on its way...

Many thanks to the Arduino team and the community for making this possible..
18  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Exhibition / Re: Arduino Ethernet RFID card reader on: April 10, 2009, 06:50:45 am
The php/mysql part is far from done, I'm still working on it.. but any good php site will have dozens of examples where posted forms are stored in a database.

I got the rfid stuff from SonMicro, but Marc Boon started selling awesome kits to make RFIDuino shields:

See his site at:
19  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Exhibition / Re: Arduino Ethernet RFID card reader on: April 06, 2009, 11:46:03 am
The box runs standalone, the USB connector is only used for power and viewing serial debugging info.. It could work anywhere, as long as it has a power source and an internet connection.
20  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Exhibition / Arduino Ethernet RFID card reader on: April 05, 2009, 07:51:39 pm
I built a RFID cardreader that uploads each scanned card's unique ID to a MySQL database. This system will be used in our FabLab for membership and reservation management.

I used an Arduino Deumilanove, an Ethernet Shield, a SonMicro SM130 RFID reader module + antenna and a bunch of wires, and components.. The finished project is mounted in a custom laser cut enclosure so that it can be used on the counter next to the cash register.

More pictures and a couple of movies can be found at my Flickr photostream:

21  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / News / Re: "Arduino Mega" photos up on on: March 26, 2009, 06:01:36 am
Official announcement here:

Software (Arduino 015) here:
22  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / News / Arduino Ethernet! When? on: May 31, 2007, 02:44:51 pm
Hi all, I was reading about the arduino and I could think of 1001 things I could use it for, I really like the project and the effort everybody has put into it. I hope to contribute some things as soon as i've got it all figured out. I ordered an Arduino NG a couple of days ago, so hopefully it will arrive somewhere next week so that I can start experimenting  smiley

While browsing through all Arduino related sites I noticed the following page:

This is really what I've been looking for.. I'd like to have an internet connected interface for a project. In this case you don't need an computer to remotely control the I/O ports on the Arduino over the internet. This is more a specific question for Massimo, when will it become available?

I'm also curious about the prototyping toolkit: "We're expanding our toolkit every month, subscribers get a shipment of new "experience elements" to use in their designs."
Are these components only available to subscribers or are there plans to release this stuff to the public (via webshop/pcb layouts/schematics)?
23  Forum 2005-2010 (read only) / Frequently-Asked Questions / Videocritter on: June 12, 2007, 07:01:40 pm
I stumbled upon a site where they sell all kinds of electronic video/audio instruments. There's a lot of interesting information about how these guys managed to get the video output running.. They use a ARM7TDMI Microcontroller in conjunction with an AD725 RGB to PAL/NTSC encoder IC from Analog Devices. They run a crystal at 4 times the video burst frequency to get stable output, it still only handles 256 colors at a 160 x 128 resolution. But it looks like lots of fun to play with, it could also be interfaced with an arduino board. Programming the microcontroller itsself requires C skills and the GNU toolchain, a flash utility and an USB board (i bet the arduino can also be used as an Serial/USB interface to program this board).
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