Support for Futaba display of FIC Spectra HTPC

Discussion in 'Improvement Suggestions' started by andreavb, April 20, 2007.

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  1. andreavb

    andreavb Portal Pro

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    Summary:
    I'm asking for Futaba USB 7x1 blue display mounted on FIC Spectra



    Description:
    the display is a blue VFD with seven 14 segments characters and many icons such as TV, MUSIC, REC, volume bar...it works fine with provided driver under MCE but no way to make it work under MP

    http://www.pcauthority.com.au/review.aspx?CIaRID=2724

    I have identified the PID and VID of my USB display: PID(0x7000) and VID(0x0547)
     
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  3. JoeDalton
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    JoeDalton Retired Team Member

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    Until now I haven't found a way to communicate with an USB display (that does not map to a virtual serial port) from C#.

    Perhaps someone could post some example code?

    I also started to work on an MCE compatible display plugin. Perhaps this will work for you...

    I never completed it because I had to spend too much time resolving the incompatibilities between MCE and MP. Still working on the MP internals to solve these kinds of problems though... I see you are a .NET programmer yourself, maybe you have the time to finnish it?

    Joe
     
  4. LSCOLMAN

    LSCOLMAN New Member

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    Can I second this request.

    I love using Media Portal, but have an Elonex Artisan home build, which uses the same VFD. It would be great to see it working!

    Cheers, Lee
     
  5. JoeDalton
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    JoeDalton Retired Team Member

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    Take a look at the ScaleoEV driver in SVN and replace the vendor and product ids with yours. Maybe that works too. That was the trick to get the MSI Media Live display to work too...

    Joe
     
  6. andreavb

    andreavb Portal Pro

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    Hi Joe, happy to see you again going on in developing new drivers for displays!!...I'll install a sniffer USB software to see the messages sent to my FIC Spectra Futaba Display (1 line with 7 characters and some icons), then I'll try to write a simple VB6 code to send text to the display using WriteFile api command...would it be of help to create a MP driver for this display?? I also have HID and PID and once I'll have the USB command structure would it be possible for you or someone who knows MP source code to implement this VFD??

    thanks for your great support
     
  7. JoeDalton
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    JoeDalton Retired Team Member

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    That would certainly help:)

    I hope you understand I don't have the time to look whether I can find any example code or documentation for every requested display type. I am depending on you to provide that...

    Joe
     
  8. andreavb

    andreavb Portal Pro

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    Hi Joe!!:D :D

    I got it!!!

    I've made a little VB6 program able to write characters to FIC Spectra Futaba display!!
    I've retrieved the handle of the file corresponding with this HID device PID(0x7000) and VID(0x0547), it is a composite USB device so it has three instances, I've selected the one with 65 output buffer lenght (that is the first one returned by a FindTheHid function) and then once opened with API CreateFile I've send a buffer with WriteFile

    the buffer is composed by 0x00 0x8B 0x04 0x01 0x07 xx xx xx xx xx xx xx 0x00 0x00 0x00... (filled with 00s the 65 byte buffer) where xx are the ascii codes of the characters to display...the display only supports uppercase and numbers

    attached is the VB6 code...is just a first try to get it to work but enought to display characters...I'll try also to lit the different icons of the display but I don't know if this will be possible to implement with the MP internal structure

    i.e. will it be possible to lit the REC icon when a recording is in place? or TV GUIDE icon or VOLUME bar according to MP master volume control?
     
  9. andreavb

    andreavb Portal Pro

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    OK, I've got the codes for all the icons too:

    so this is a little command list to control the display
    00 8B 04 01 07 xx xx xx xx xx xx xx -> where xx are the ASCII codes of the seven characters to display

    00 85 02 01 aa ss -> where aa is the code of the icon and ss is the state (00=off, 01=on)

    00 85 02 02 a1 s1 a2 s2 -> a1 s1 = code and state of the first icon, a2 s2 = code and state of the second icon

    00 85 02 nn a1 s1 a2 s2 .... an sn -> where nn is the number of icon values present in the buffer and then a couple of bytes for every icon to set with icon number in the first byte and state in the second one

    so here's the icon numbers list:
    01 = VOLUME icon
    02 to 0C = volume bars
    0E = SHUFFLE icon
    0F = MUTE
    10 = PHONE
    11 = REC
    12 = RADIO
    13 = DVD
    14 = VCD
    15 = CD
    16 = MUSIC
    17 = PHOTO
    18 = TV
    19 = cd/dvd disk icon
    1A = 5.1 icon
    1B = 7.1 icon
    1E = REPEAT icon
    1F = ALL icon
    20 = REW
    21 = PAUSE
    22 = PLAY
    23 = TIMER
    24 and 25 = GUIDE (double led)
    26 = HOME
    28 = eject icon
    29 = FWD
    2A = KHz
    2B = MHz

    so this will be the buffer to lit the REC icon
    00 85 02 01 11 01
    and this to turn off rec icon
    00 85 02 01 11 00

    every sent buffer has to be filled with 00 after the command to reach 65 bytes.
    P.S...all the numbers are in HEX notation
     

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  10. andreavb

    andreavb Portal Pro

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    OK, I've added the driver to the current Media Portal SVN...:D ;) :D

    here is my new ProcessPlugins.dll and the code I've changed, hope someone will add it to the new SVN and to the new distribution of MP...I have to do a little modification to the code to adjust the volume bar according to master MP volume (I have to divide it by 4 before lighting up the display bars)...I'll do it in the next days, I don't know how to publish my code so please help me...hope Joe will add it (and check it) to MP SVN

    in code.zip you have the new settings.cs into the ExternalDisplay folder, VFD_Control.cs into VFD_Control folder and FicSpectra.cs to add into the Drivers folders

    code moved to post #11
     
  11. JoeDalton
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    JoeDalton Retired Team Member

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    I've been real busy the last couple of days... Great to see that you were able to write a driver yourself:D
    People often forget that MP is open source and they can improve it themselves:)

    I'll check your modifications and add them to the SVN one of the next days. The weekend is already planned full, but the next week has a few holes left...

    Joe
     
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