Ncr4X20Vfd UsbSerialLcdSmartieAdapter Example

Ncr4X20Vfd allows you to control the NCR 7454 / Futaba M204SD01B VFD (vacuum fluorescent display) module.

This example sketch turns the Arduino into an adapter for LCD Smartie, a Windows application that displays system information, news, etc. on external text displays. This sketch can also be used with LCDProc, a similar application on Linux.

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Hardware Required

  • Arduino board with USB cable.
  • NCR 7454 / Futaba M204SD01B VFD
  • Single pin M-F header wires or similar
  • 5v 1A regulated power supply

Circuit

Follow the wiring information on the main Ncr4X20Vfd library page.

Running

Load and run the sketch located at Ncr4X20Vfd/examples/UsbSerialLcdSmartieAdapter.

To quick test that the sketch is working: Open the Arduino serial monitor and ensure it is set to 19200 baud. Enter text into the text box and hit send. Characters sent should appear on the VFD.

To configure LCD Smartie: Open the the LCD Smartie setup screen. In the Display Settings portion of the screen, set Display Plugin to crystal.dll. Set Startup Parameters to COMx,19200,1 where x=the Arduino COM port number. On the Screen tab, set LCD size to 4x20. The Contrast and Brightness settings are not used.

To configure LCDProc: Open the server .conf file (usually LCDd.conf). In the [server] section set Driver=CFontz and in the [CFontz] section set Device=<Arduino usb serial device> (usually Device=/dev/ttyUSB0), Size=20x4, Speed=19200 and NewFirmware=no. Other [CFontz] settings can be left at defaults.

Notes

The VFD does not support custom characters which are used in some cases by LCD Smartie/LCDProc. However the VFD does have a large selection of characters across its three character sets. This sketch matches certain custom characters up with similar characters supported by the VFD.

See Also

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