Support for Futaba DM140GINK (1 Viewer)

Stéphane Lenclud

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    I can't make much sense of the driver code TBH so I rather not touch it at all unless I have access to the hardware but that's not going to happen.
    I found one guy selling those displays but it's some specific connector rather than generic USB so I won't bother sourcing one of them.

    Just let me know if you want to try getting CIC to work with your hardware.
     

    rsbrux

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    Attaching the specs from Futaba and they are similar to the ones from that MDM166 VFD.
    So apparently your display is an MDM140AA.
    Congratulations! I am very impressed that you found such good docs so quickly!
    Are any icons working outside of the volume ones?
    Do you get any icon when doing recording?.
    I don't recall seeing any other symbols work since trading in Windows XP MCE 2005 for MP ;-)
    If you are interested in collaborating with me on that one I could add support for your VFD to CIC which supports MP1 through the SharpLibDisplay driver.
    It would be an honor! How can I help?
    Yes that's what it looks like. However you mentioned the volume indicator is working.
    Is it always working or just when MP1 is running?
    It only shows when MP is running after a fresh start. When MP isn't running, or after a wake-up, the display only shows the computer name "SCALEO E" (as shown in my photos). This is true even after replacing inpout32.dll with the new version from http://www.highrez.co.uk/Downloads/InpOut32/. Presumably this has to do with the already documented bug on MIniDisplay's failure to redisplay after wake-up.
    Just let me know if you want to try getting CIC to work with your hardware.
    Yes, indeed (and sorry for the slow response)!
     

    Stéphane Lenclud

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    How can I help?
    Here is how it goes. We will first try to determine if that project is at all doable.
    • You will need patience as it could take a lot of back and forth communication between you and me. Any of us could also get unresponsive from time to time.
    • Failure is an option.
    • I have concerns about you using Windows 7 as I'm not too keen on supporting older OS versions. Did you ever consider upgrading to Windows 10?
    • Download and install CIC, see if it runs on Windows 7 and report your results. Just starting it without crash should be good enough for now.
    • Download and install the HID Demo, go to devices tab and try to locate devices with the following vendor ID/product ID: 0x040b/0x7001
    • Go to the HID Demo logs tab, copy its content and post it here.
    • Optional: Clear the HID Demo logs, go to the messages tab, press each the media buttons below your display one after the other, copy the logs and post them here.
     

    Stéphane Lenclud

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    If the above works we will need to make sure we can get exclusive access to your display.
    To that purpose I would like to understand where that "SCALEO E" text is coming from.
    Is it coming from a third-party software or driver?
    Did you install specific drivers and software for your machine?

    It could just be that "SCALEO E" is just the default text hard coded in the display firmware, in which case we should be good.
    Does it show up as soon as you turn on your computer and even before Windows 7 is booted up?
     
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    rsbrux

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    • You will need patience as it could take a lot of back and forth communication between you and me. Any of us could also get unresponsive from time to time.
    • Failure is an option.
    understood
    • I have concerns about you using Windows 7 as I'm not too keen on supporting older OS versions. Did you ever consider upgrading to Windows 10?
    I understand your misgivings, and I have considered using WIndows 10. In fact, I got the Intel Compute Stick mentioned in my system specs with Windows 10 preinstalled in order to play around with it. However, I have many reasons for preferring Windows 7, which I will be happy to share with you in another post. Unfortunately, my reasons appear irrelevant, in view of the results described below. If Windows 7 is not viable, I would still prefer Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, if that is an option
    • Download and install CIC, see if it runs on Windows 7 and report your results. Just starting it without crash should be good enough for now.
    Unfortunately, no joy {:-(
    The results were sobering, to say the least. To avoid cluttering up this post, I have attached a text file describing the various error messages received, including the text from their "details" panes.
    • Download and install the HID Demo, go to devices tab and try to locate devices with the following vendor ID/product ID: 0x040b/0x7001
    • Go to the HID Demo logs tab, copy its content and post it here.
    • Optional: Clear the HID Demo logs, go to the messages tab, press each the media buttons below your display one after the other, copy the logs and post them here.
    Is it still worthwhile to do any of this, given the failure to install CIC?

    P.S. I was able to start CIC, which again displayed a window containing sub-elements, as well as a dialog offering an update, before crashing with another .NET unhandled exception.
    The link in your post installed v2.2.10; the update offered was v2.2.11. After restarting CIC, I succeeded in clicking the update button before it crashed. This appeared to perform the update and peresented a Windows Firewall dialog asking me to allow the new version (which I did). Now starting CIC shows a window with the newer version number. However, the new version also produces an immediate .NET unhandled exception. I am running .NET Framework 4.6.1 because of known problems reoprted against later versions.

    P.P.S. The problems I reported were apparently due to installing and running CIC in an RDP session. After uninstalling, rebooting, reinstalling and updating, it now appears stable (at least running locally). I will proceed with the HID SW.
     

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    rsbrux

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    If the above works we will need to make sure we can get exclusive access to your display.
    To that purpose I would like to understand where that "SCALEO E" text is coming from.
    Is it coming from a third-party software or driver?
    Did you install specific drivers and software for your machine?
    I don't recall needing any drivers or additional software since migrating to Windows 7.
    It could just be that "SCALEO E" is just the default text hard coded in the display firmware, in which case we should be good.
    Does it show up as soon as you turn on your computer and even before Windows 7 is booted up?
    This appears to be the case. "SCALEO E" appears on the VFD display even before the BIOS splash screen appears on the monitor. Since I have already replaced the motherboard (twice:)), I presume that this message is programmed into the display board. IAC, MiniDisplay had no trouble replacing it with its own text.
     

    rsbrux

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    • Download and install the HID Demo, go to devices tab and try to locate devices with the following vendor ID/product ID: 0x040b/0x7001
    No devices with those IDs. Two devices named "DM-140GINK Demo", both 0x925d/0x1509. The first one is unchecked. The second, with the added text "(Consumer, ConsumerControl)" at the end of the name, is checked.
    • Go to the HID Demo logs tab, copy its content and post it here.
    This is difficult, as it is hard for me to do detailed editing work locally on my HTPC. This is why I use RDP for maintenance. I tried to switch the running session to RDP, but could not copy the text from the logs tab because of repeated unhandled exception errors of the form "HidDevice: CreateFile failed: 3." Isn't the log stored in a file somewhere?
    • Optional: Clear the HID Demo logs, go to the messages tab, press each the media buttons below your display one after the other, copy the logs and post them here.
    I will try to switch back to a local session for this, but I am posting now in case I lose my browser session.

    P.S. I don't find a way to do this: If I uncheck all boxes except for "DM-140GINK Demo (Consumer, ConsumerControl)", clear the log and carefully put down the keyboard, I get events in the log from the media keys under the display. However, the log also continues to collect events from my keyboard (which also has media keys) and mouse (which is part of the keyboard). Therefore, any attempt to select text in the logs tab updates its contents and resets the selection.
     
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    Stéphane Lenclud

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    RDP session
    I have no idea what that is, but yeah avoid doing dodgy stuff :)
    The source code of CIC is available on GitHub. It uses network to perform the following:
    1. Check for updates
    2. It runs a local WCF server on 127.0.0.1 to which various clients including MP MiniDisplay connect to. That enables sharing your display with multiple clients.
    "SCALEO E" appears on the VFD display even before the BIOS splash screen appears
    Just as I thought so I guess we are good to go.

    Isn't the log stored in a file somewhere?
    I'm afraid it's just shown in that tab.

    both 0x925d/0x1509. The first one is unchecked.
    That must be your display. I'm gonna try run with those IDs.

    To sum up:
    • It looks like both CIC and HID Demo are working, just not through RDP.
    • With RDP they both have the same issue with that HidDevice: CreateFile failed: 3 issue.
    • Your media buttons on the panel appear to be working even though you could not get the logs. That's cool, was just curious about that. "No, I don't need that leg".
    If you disable all the devices you should be able to copy the logs. Alternatively you could also try taking a screenshot of the devices tab.
    • I'm going to try and fix your RDP CreateFile issue at some point.
    • I should be able to try and support your display with the following IDs: 0x925d/0x1509 (Can you clarify which one is product ID and which one is vendor ID?)
    • It could be a while before I find time to do my part. Feel free to ping me from time to time.
    It's looking good but I really wonder how MP1 MiniDisplay manages to communicate with your display without the proper IDs...
     

    Stéphane Lenclud

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    I've attached a ZIP file containing an executable. You should be able to use it to test basic functions of your display.
    • Unzip archive.
    • Launch MiniDisplayDemo.exe
    • Click open - see if that works.
    • Try various stuff: fill, clear, set pixel and brightness adjustment.
    • Report back what's working and what is not.
    • Report back the frame rate.
    • Post a screenshot.
    Your display resolution is 112 per 16 pixels. Using the set pixel function make sure you test at least all four corners.

    If that's working the next step would be to improve this tool to test the various icons.
     

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