Full Member level 2
I found the whole setup superb as it comes, except there was no pound sign. Also, they need reprogramming at every power off so not Ideal. Also the text-scrolling was lame.
But, the demo board is nice in that it has holes and links for 3 analogue turnpots. The IDC connectors make PORTB available, as well as SCLK and DATA out to the LED boards which are all linked using nice IDC sockets.
There are 2 onboard switches (RC6&7), onboard FTDI Serial & Max232 serial. I am well pleased.
But, I had trouble debugging the 16f723 on an MCD2, so I started on a different chip and board. Once the SPI-Like controls were worked out things were easy... Once all worked out I just changed the DAT and CLK lines and sent it to the PIC723 board and its perfect.
The byte for each line is stored in a char array. I have a "Write Bitmap" function that sends a whole LED of data at once (256LED's) starting at a specifyable line in the source bitmap. Simple maths and logic gives a scrolling display withing minutes. Make a 1000line bitmap and just increment the starting line each time...
So, top make it EASY to make the char bitmap from text, I wrote a C# program to convert a string to its bits from an 8x8 fontfile. (PixelEditor's 8x8)
So, all in all, if you wanted 500 characters of text (and drawings if you work the binary out for what you want) on a 4x1 character display, all you would need is
This c# Program (free to anyone)
This code for the DemoBoard (free to anyone)
If you wanted more than 4 characters, its easy but I'm sure that you'd manage it if you've got that far..!