I got 2 register displays. Now I want to connect 1 of them to a pc and control them with lcdsmartie.
Now is the problem that these displays are not supported by lcd smartie. The display is kind of "stupid". It can only receive text on a serial interface at 9600 Baud. With only text I mean that it does not know commands to determine the position of the cursor. If you want to go to the first character then you need to send characters until you are there.
I'm not very good at programming for pc's so I made a circuit with a pic to translate the commands that are normally intended for a Matrix Orbital lcd to continuous sending of text. The circuit is based on a 16F627A, and is connected to the pc via a FT232. The display is connected through a MAX232. I could do it without the MAX232 if I would desolder the MAX232 on the display itself and connect my signal there but I opted to change nothing on the vfd itself.
The circuit of my controller:
Video of the vfd working:
Sorry for the bad picture quality, it is filmed with my cell phone because the battery's of my camera where empty.
I made a case from aluminum around the original case:
After some filler, sanding, filler, sanding, painting, sanding, painting:
The back side (other color):
I had to much voltage drop over the usb-cable (The display uses 500mA). Therefore I made an extra cable that provides 12V from a molex plug inside the pc. In the display case I've put a switchmode 5V regulator.