Like a lot of you, we’re intrigued by the probabilities supplied by the provision of reasonably priced spherical LCD panels. However past the smartwatches they had been designed for, it’s not at all times straightforward to provide you with an applicable utility for such non-traditional shows. Digital “steam gauges” are one of many first concepts that come to thoughts, so it’s perhaps no surprise that’s the direction [Tom Dowad] took his project. However somewhat than only one or two gauges, he determined to go all out and put eight of them in a 1U rack mountable unit.
What do you want eight faux-analog gauges for? Beats us, however that’s not our division. Now [Tom] has an entire row of indicators that can be utilized to indicate no matter it’s he likes to regulate. The truth that the system is definitely managed through MIDI might present us a clue that there’s a musical part at play (no pun supposed), however then, it wouldn’t be the primary time we’d seen MIDI used merely as a handy and nicely supported approach of synchronizing devices.
Past the eight 240 x 240 pixel panels, the unit includes a Teensy 4.0, some stage shifters, and a 74HC138 which is used to pick out which show the microcontroller is to speak with. On the software program aspect he’s utilizing the Arduino surroundings with some PNG decompression routines lifted from [Larry Bank] and graphics code from [moononournation]. The background picture of the gauge is seemingly a licensed inventory picture, which could appear a bit extravagant, however we are able to’t deny the ultimate consequence appears very life like.
Simply final yr we covered a primer on working with round LCDs, and we’ve already seen some enterprising hackers using them in custom smartwatches. Whether or not you’re affected by aichmophobia, or simply sick of being restricted to the identical boring shows in your devices, it’s thrilling to see the group embracing this new expertise.