Greetings to all - I’m a new Arduino developer, starting a project for which I hope to use a Crystalfontz CFA-633 module. Some quick googling and forum searching turned up a few references to using Crystalfontz modules with Arduino, but not a whole lot of conclusive “yep, this is how you do it” information. I’d imagine that the Crystalfontz displays aren’t too popular simply because of their cost; the only reason I’m using one is that I have two I salvaged from scrap PCs, and it’s hard to beat free. The CFA-633 does have a built in fan controller, too, which may turn out to be handy for my project.
The CFA-633 is controlled via an RS-232 interface, and the command set documentation isn’t the easiest thing to read (for me, anyway). It has some quirks that are a lot easier to figure out if you read the documentation, then use SerialMon in hex mode to see what it’s actually doing, then read the documentation again. I had several “Ohhhh, OK” moments in doing that.
So far I have the CFA-633 responding to packets I piece together manually and send from the PC. Before I can start interfacing it to the Arduino, I’ve got to do the jumper mods to bypass the CFA-633’s level converter and allow it to do TTL logic levels at the serial header.
After that, assuming it all goes well, I figure I’ll cobble together a library for the CFA-633’s command set, or at least a useful subset of it. But am I re-inventing the wheel, here? Has this already been done, and I’m just overlooking it?