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  1. #1
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    7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    I see folks posting about 7 segment display and running them directly from the arduino and having to program the digits. In my quest to build an FSX radio using link2fs, I stumbled on to some nifty MAX7219 8 digit 7 segment displays. At first I was considering a TM1640 like WJH308 has posted about, his youtube vid inspired me. But I was wanting more versatility in where to place my digits.
    I went on an internet search and like I stated, stumbled onto some MAX7219 displays at dx.com. I stumbled because my search was "8 segment display" instead of "7 segment". These are 7 segment displays but will not show up at dx.com with "7 segment" search.

    What is so wonderful about these displays?
    20131029_125714.jpg
    They have 2 sets of 4 digits on each board for a total of 8 digits.
    The 4 digit displays are not soldered so you may pull them off and tether them back to the board with jumpers. This allows you to place 4 digits at a time anywhere you want.
    20131102_023537.jpg
    You can chain up to 8 of these boards together and use only 3 data pins on the arduino. Each board needs a separate +5v and ground. I have 4 boards in my Radio box setup.
    The MAX7219 chip on these boards use the Arduino LedControl library.

    Here is my some-what, finished Radio. But we all know it is NEVER finished.
    Dollar bill for scale.
    20131109_020901.jpg
    In the picture...
    Top left is Com1 Active and StandBy. Top right is Nav1 Active and StandBy.
    Bottom left is Transponder code. Bottom right is DME1 or DME2, switch selectable
    The left dial is a dual concentric rotary encoder from leobodnar.com to dial digits.
    The right dial is the function knob (rotary switch) that selects Transpoder, Com1/Nav1, Com2/Nav2, ADF, and I'm adding a temporary MCP autopilot function until I build a separate MCP.

    And now for something completely silly, but lets you see the functionality...


    I've been working to get my code cleaned and readable with detailed remarks to share.

    *** UPDATE ***
    Folks are inquiring again....
    There was an error in my remarks about pin 10, 11, and 12 and what they connect to on the Max7219 tube display.
    That error has been corrected. Here is the new file with the correction.

    ~Fess
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Fess_ter; 12-02-2013 at 05:45 PM.
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  3. #2
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    Re: 7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    Very cool functionality! I am glad that I am not the only one whose project list almost always includes spaghetti!
    http://juneaucessnasim.blogspot.com
    N58243 (virtual)- Low and Slow...

  4. #3
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    Re: 7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    Thanks AK Mongo.
    The spaghetti looks worse than what it is from all of the display tethering. But they are just straight pass thru from the MAX7219 boards to the display modules.

  5. #4
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: 7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    This is good stuff Fess and thanks for showing us what you built ,,, it makes a lot of sense to use the serial displays as it cuts down on the pins used on the Arduino and lightens it's load ,, plus it free's up all those pins for "other stuff".

    I got to admit tho ,, all those jumpers would put the willies up anyone but in reality they are just jumpers as you unplugged the LED banks and mounted them separately from the board ,, another great idea when it suits.

    We would be interested to see your code for that project as it obviously works a wee treat Fess.

    Thanks Fess ,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

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    Re: 7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    Thanks Jim,
    YOU are the MAN!
    I could not have started my project without your link2fs.
    We all thank you for that.
    I have been following your projects on your site from before your 360 degree motion platform. I had high aspirations to one day build a motion platform.....but then the fourth kid came along
    Four years later, that's still on hold... too many house projects.

    I will post my code but I would like to get it "remarked" better.

    I have been experimenting with some MCP/autopilot functions.
    The 360 degrees around the dial is a lot of clicks on the Rotary Encoder for course and heading. I figured out how to read rapid turns on the encoder to make rapid changes on what you are dialing.

    I used millis() and compared time between clicks and if the time was <250ms send the command twice
    <175ms send 3 times
    <100ms send 5 times.
    This 'wheel' has probably already been invented, but it got me jazzed figuring it out on my own.

    Fess

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  8. #6
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: 7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    Yea, I've been in this game too long Fess ,,,, it's sort of like a disease that I can't shrug off and if I do ,, it keeps coming back in one form or another.

    Great your getting all sorted there but I pricked up my ears about the acceleration of the rotary encoder ,, some time ago I released a demo for that (It's similar to what you done) but I couldn't find it until tonight ,, it's still on my web site but the only reference to it was from an old blog that I have since abandoned.

    Have a look see ,,,
    www.jimspage.co.nz/multi_accelleration_demo.zip
    I will have to include it on the rotary encoder zip file when I get a chance ,,, BUT maybe yours is more simple ????

    Keep at it Fess ,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

  9. #7
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    Re: 7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    OK Jim, here's my code so far.
    I tried to Remark the important stuff at least once, there is a lot of rinse repeat.

    When I make a video showing the encoder "acceleration", I will post it here.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Fess_ter; 03-22-2015 at 02:15 PM. Reason: There was an error in my remarks on the pins 10,11,and 12. It is corrected now.
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  10. #8
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: 7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    Thanks for that Fess ,, I've just downloaded it and will have look-see.
    It wont be for a few days tho as I'm a bit busy with plumbers around the place here at the moment.
    Also just releasing a "Multi" for the FS2004 Guys ,,, it's been a long time coming. !!!

    I look forward to your video ,,, always a good communicator videos ,,, show's it as it is.


    Thanks heaps Fess ,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

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    Re: 7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    Well explained code Fess_ter!
    Thank you for sharing your great work.
    I especially appreciate the part regarding the Rotary Switch.
    Since I'm working on, rebuilding a Saitek Radio Panel, I have begun to ponder how to solve exactly this problem.
    And your code gives me the opportunity to play around with more than one option. JMeller will appreciate that I do not ask him about all the solutions for my problems
    The fact that someone shares their codes, will make this forum even more attractive to those who visit.
    That is certainly my opinion!
    Thank you
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  13. #10
    500+ This must be a daytime job Jim NZ's Avatar
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    Re: 7 segment led displays and my Radio Box

    I grabbed a few minutes yesterday and had a look-see at the code Fess, and WOW ,, nice stuff.
    Very well explained and laid out.

    It took a few minutes for the pattern to sink into this old brain of mine and there is definitely some good stuff in there.

    Too often Guys dive in here when they have a problem but very few people show us a finished code, bar-less pictures of the actual end product ,, you've done both and it's Fantastic.

    Of course ,, there is a down side ,,,, your INO makes mine look like rubbish

    Very nicely done Fess and thanks a million ,,, Jim
    www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htm
    All this and Liz still loves me ! !

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