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  1. #1
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    What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    Please I need an advice from someone with electronics knowledge as I'm almost clueless on this subject.

    My goal is to build a 737NG MCP based in an Arduino board, I managed to make the switches work, now I'm trying to realize how to deal with displays.
    I would like to use those 7 segments led but they require 8 pins each, as I need 21 displays that would be 168 pins or like 3 dedicated boards just for them.
    Obviously this way is not doable, so what type of display could I use for this purpose? Something cheaper and that match the look of the original device.

    Thanks in advance for any input.

  2. #2
    300+ Forum Addict Tom_G_2010's Avatar
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    Re: What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    I'm at work now so can't spend the time to search and post the links but if you do a search here in the Link2FS sub forum with keywords like 7 Segment LED, Arduino, Link2FS you'll come across several threads that describe the wiring and coding. Most use a serial fed matrix to drive multiple 7 segment characters so the number of outputs needed from the Arduino are minimized.

    I'm about to venture down this road myself over the next couple weeks so I've been reading many of those posts, but don't yet have any practical experience to share.
    https://www.facebook.com/mycessnasim PC: Intel Core i7 Haswell @ 3.8GHz, 8Gb Ram, Win 7 64Bit, dual SSDs, GeFroce 780 SIM: FSX w/Aclrtn Pk, FSUIPC4, ASN, UTX, GEX, REX 4

  3. #3
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    Re: What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    Thank you Tom I will try to find those posts you mention.

  4. #4
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    Re: What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    7 segment displays are always multiplexed(that means each display is switched on and off rapidly in turn) to minimise the number of outputs required to drive them. That's why common anode (or common cathode) 7 seg displays are used. A typical connection for your MCP would be 7 digital outputs connected to all of the 21 LEDs in parallel, for each of the 7 segments of the digit. All of the A segments connected together all of the B's together etc.Then 21 digital outputs (one to each common) to strobe each of the displays in turn.
    This happens so fast that you can't see the displays going off and on(persistence of vision). So only a total of 28 outputs are required for your MCP displays. Of course you need the software running on the Arduino to do the multiplexing but I'm sure someone here has already done this.Can't offer more help as I use Open Cockpits stuff, much simpler but no real challenge if you enjoy writing your own software. These Arduino cards certainly attract a lot of users. Search the Interweb for sample circuits for 7 segment display connections where you should be able to see the physical connection method I mention here . Here's one example and there are lots more
    Multiplexing 7 segment LED displays with Arduino My Blog
    regards
    geoff

  5. #5
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    Re: What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    That are really good news, as you can see i'm a complete ignorant in this subject.
    Thanks a lot Geoff.

  6. #6
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    Re: What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    I finished reading the article I must say it's totally out of my scope, but who knows, maybe some day I could give it a try.

  7. #7
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    Re: What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    It`s all much easier with OC cards and SIOC
    I`ll get my hat and coat now

  8. #8
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    Re: What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    Quote Originally Posted by fordgt40 View Post
    It`s all much easier with OC cards and SIOC
    Sadly they doesn't sell in my country.

  9. #9
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    Re: What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    You cannot order from Opencockpits in Spain, ie they will not dispatch to Argentina?

  10. #10
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    Re: What kind of displays may I use for a MCP?

    Yes but import taxes are ridiculous here, plus shipping I would end paying a lot of money.
    That's why I choose the arduino path.

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