LCD2USB - can it be used with MP anyhow? (1 Viewer)

UserXYZ

New Member
July 3, 2009
2
0
Dear all,
I've been cracking my head for days trying to figure out how to connect couple of components in my HTPC which work separatelly, but can't be tied up together.

I have a regular HD44780 20x4 LCD for which I have created a board with Atmega8 AVR that does in-software translation from USB to 4bit LCD data transfer, using LCD2USB project (LCD2USB - LCD to USB converter).
That combo works like a charm using LCDPROC and lcd4linux on Linux, and also works lovely under windows using LCD Smartie and libusb-win32 driver.

But, to my great dissapointment, MP team decided to go with LCD Hype which has very little support (actually, none) for HD44780 compatible LCDs unless they are connected to a PARALLEL port and is quite old (out of date, can be said).

Now, in this day and time, LPT port is practically dead, and the same fate smiles upon serial (RS232) port - everything goes through USB. To make matters worse, converters you can buy are based on some stupid Prolific chip that uses USB Printing Class under windows and do not provide LPT port emulation - so you can not make LCD Hype use it.
Using PCI card is also cumbersome since I do not quite have enough place in my HTPC case, and even if I had, I might come in a situation to need that PCI slot, while on the other side I have at least 3 USB ports to spare (this is even impossible if using some small custom case/computer, like Shuttle makes).

Since I live in a country where obtaining even "normal" LCDs is hard, not to mention serial or something fancy, and I believe that is the case with many of you, I'm kind of furios that all the development has gone into supporting some fancy-shmancy Crystalthis and Matrixthat and iMon compatibles (which, as I suspect, can only be found in HTPC cases where they are charged at least double their price, not to mention that enormous number of cases do not usually have them/can use them)...

So, I've looked for some MP plugin that would allow me to use LCD Smartie or any other windows LCD software and I've found two from 2006. when they worked with some pre-1 versions of MP, but are totally unusable now.
One is LCD Smarte Plugin and the other is C.All (both can be found under INPUT plugins section).

Since not one of them was working, I started to get annoyed with the fact that MP has changed so much and/or these plugins have not kept up with MP that I even considered developing some driver for LCD Hype that would interconnect with LCD2USB interface.
I even downloaded LCD Hype's SDK but since I'm not windows programmer, I have no idea where to start, especially because I haven't found any simple examples for a beginner.

So, what can I do?
Does anybody have any info, suggestion or aything to help me out?

Maybe somebody is willing to develop further his/her programming skills and write a driver for me and anybody else that might come in this kind of a pickle? Or even rewrite/adjust C.all plugin since the source is given for it (not for Smartie plugin, unfortunatelly)?

Sorry for the long post, but I'm really starting to get crazy 'bout all of this... :mad:
 

UserXYZ

New Member
July 3, 2009
2
0
Sheesh guys, is there really nobody that can help with this?
Are we all really doomed to having LPT ports just for the sake of using simple LCDs?

Just to mention that I've made C.All plugin work with MP, but when loading plugns, MP (configurator as well) reports it has crashed and after a dialog about sending a report to M$, pressing Cancel gets everything actually working...more or less...
So, maybe a simple code tweak from some MP code guru here would be enough?

This happens on Vista, can that be the problem?
 

K1lo

Portal Member
November 22, 2008
31
0
London
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Hi,

I have just bought one of these USB lcds so I have the same query. I have taken a look at the C/C++ DLL demo and it should be very easy for me to knock something together, however I don't know the best way to read state from Mediaportal - can someone advise me?

Thanks,

EDIT: By the C/C++ demo I mean from LCD Smartie.
 

chemelli

Retired Team Member
  • Premium Supporter
  • September 28, 2006
    6,159
    2,264
    46
    Milano, Italy
    Italy Italy
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    Hi,

    I have just bought one of these USB lcds so I have the same query. I have taken a look at the C/C++ DLL demo and it should be very easy for me to knock something together, however I don't know the best way to read state from Mediaportal - can someone advise me?

    Thanks,

    EDIT: By the C/C++ demo I mean from LCD Smartie.
    Look into MiniDisplayLibrary, you should find all you need there :p

    Simone
     

    tototatatiti

    Portal Member
    February 28, 2008
    17
    1
    Hi all,

    Same query for me.
    I bought a LCD2USB 2 weeks ago, and impossible to use it in MP.
    Is there a plugin ?

    Regards
     

    stalkersvr

    Portal Member
    April 12, 2009
    49
    16
    Hi!

    I just made LCD2USB device and rewrote original LCD-Smartie plugin for work with LCDHype.
    And now Mediaportal can use this display, because Minisplay plugin works with LCDHype display plugins.

    Put lcd2usb.dll in \program files\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\plugins\process\LCDDrivers\

    PS: Buttons in lcd2usb device is not working, because i don't know how LCDHype works with buttons on LCD module
     

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    icerg

    Portal Member
    March 20, 2009
    40
    8
    Liverpool
    United Kingdom United Kingdom
    Hi!

    I just made LCD2USB device and rewrote original LCD-Smartie plugin for work with LCDHype.
    And now Mediaportal can use this display, because Minisplay plugin works with LCDHype display plugins.

    Put lcd2usb.dll in \program files\Team MediaPortal\MediaPortal\plugins\process\LCDDrivers\

    PS: Buttons in lcd2usb device is not working, because i don't know how LCDHype works with buttons on LCD module

    Ok, I am trying to get one of these devices working in MP, when I carry out the above it shows up as disabled in the Minidisplay setup page.
    is there something I am missing?
     

    tototatatiti

    Portal Member
    February 28, 2008
    17
    1
    Hi,
    what is your version of MP ?

    I'm using the plugin on 2 PCs without problem :D

    -1 windows XP with MP 1.1.0 RC5
    -1 windows 7 with MP 1.1.0 RC5
     

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