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Author Topic: MicroVGA-TEXT and Arduino support  (Read 4449 times)
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Due to several requests from Arduino users who bought our MicroVGA-TEXT module (http://www.microvga.com/), we have created Arduino MicroVGA library http://www.microvga.com/arduino with two demos (simple menu-driver application and tetris game). The MicroVGA uses SPI mode, which means you can connect it even to AVRs with one UART (such as one in Duemilanove). The SPI can be shared with other devices as CS# (SS#) signal is provided.

You can use MicroVGA-TEXT to interface VGA monitor (or a television) and PS/2 keyboard from Arduino. It allows you to display data, create complex "dos/unix/terminal-style" user interface, or even create interactive games (see tetris in our demos):



It would be good if the library gets included in main Arduino distribution some day and someone takes over development. We have no capacity to do this nor have enough experience with Arduino.

Playground wiki entry is here: http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Main/MicroVGA.

More information on MicroVGA:
http://www.microvga.com/ homepage
http://www.microvga.com/docs documentation
http://www.microvga.com/arduino arduino page (library download)
http://www.microvga.com/uvga-images images/screenshots
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Looks good. But a bit too pricey for my liking.
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yeah, cool but expensive just for playing around smiley-sad
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About £21 seems OK to me for what you can do with it. I thought one neat aspect is that it doesn't use the serial connection so that's still available for programming, debugging etc.

Andrew
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It's more than £21 with shipping.
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C'mon people, its £21 for a fat ass monitor resolution + keyboard smiley  LCD shield with 5 buttons is £12, for 2 lines :/
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that sound great, and the price seems quite correct assuming the conio library mantionned is included... that said I just have two question...
1- can you modify the color palette?
2- can you use your own char set? (or is there at least a few customisable chars?)
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1) The color palette is fixed (unless you de-solder resistors from the board and change them...). It's standard VGA text mode palette as used in DOS or Windows console mode.

2) You can choose from various pre-defined fonts, but not define your own.

The module is primarily intended for creating user interface in "text/console mode", not to output any graphics/etc (saying this I should also add that it can display ANSI arts so my statement is not 100% true). You can create menu using few lines of code, the same for dialog, etc. Have a look here: http://www.microvga.com/uvga-demo-images
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I think the price is great if you think about what you can do with it...

I agree with Reggie, £12 you get 2 lines.... with this you get a whole monitor....


Cheers.
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£12 you get 2 lines.... with this you get a whole monitor....
No - you don't. You still need to buy a monitor.

And if you need a full size monitor for a project, you would certainly be better off looking at other platforms than Arduino.
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You still need to buy a monitor.

No - I don't.  I have a whole stack of them in the closet  smiley-wink  I'd guess many other people do too.  Seems to fill a niche and the price is reasonable to me.
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and if your arduino is doing something related to your PC, a screen switch might be used to display either the PC desktop or the arduino screen on the same monitor...


that product is cheap, and great... now of course it's only for diy stuff... there's no way to integrate this in a sellable product
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Ok I bought one of these things and can't get it to work with Arduino.
The setup (power it up and short the two pads) works ok -- I think.
At least I can navigate the menu, look at the character sets etc. However there is no feedback as to what the thing is set to! Asterisks simply show what the default settings are.

I tried the examples but first set the MicroVGA to SPI -- or at least I think I did. I selected the communication menu, scrolled down to SPI and pressed Enter. Then I saved the settings.

I wired the module per the instructions in the readme and on their website (I tried it both with a Duemilanove 328 and a BBB 328)

Code:
1 GND -> Arduino GND
2 +5V -> Arduino 5V
3 +3V3  NOT CONNECTED
4 CS# -> Arduino Digital 8
5 SCK -> Arduino Digital 13
6 RDY# -> Arduino Digital 9
7 MISO -> Arduino Digital 12
8 MOSI -> Arduino Digital 11


I uploaded the tetris sketch and it just sits there with the MicroVGA version displayed (same thing you get with only power applied) and a blinking cursor.

I tried the menu sketch. Same thing.

Thinking maybe bad solder connections (mine) or jumpers I checked continuity all the way to the component pads on the MicroVGA. Good. No shorts.

Not sure what's wrong but it isn't working for me.

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Did you see this under the wiring diagram:

Important notice: You must select SPI communication mode in MicroVGA setup (short-circuit "SEUP pad" with power applied). ?

I'm interested in toying with this, let me know if you get it working with Duemilanove.
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Did you see this under the wiring diagram:

Important notice: You must select SPI communication mode in MicroVGA setup (short-circuit "SEUP pad" with power applied). ?

I'm interested in toying with this, let me know if you get it working with Duemilanove.

Yes. Saw that. Did that. No joy.
Roy
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