how hard would it be to drive a nkk smartswitch with an AVR?

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Hi - how hard do you think it would be to control a NKK Smartswitch
(datasheet here: http://www.nkksmartswitch.com/PDF/IS15AHDP4B.pdf , protocol
here: http://www.nkksmartswitch.com/pdf/protocol.pdf ) with an AVR? Keep in
mind I am recieving my first AVR programmer sometime later this week - so
the whole AVR thing is all very new to me. I know it won't be possible as a  
first project - but as a later project perhaps? Thanks for your input,

Michael

Re: how hard would it be to drive a nkk smartswitch with an AVR?
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It depends on what you want to do. I managed to drive a smartswitch
display with just a PIC (16F628). If you are just doing fixed text
messages or static patterns, you don't need a lot of RAM. If you are
trying to do graphics that change (such as a graph of sensor readings)
you should think about buffering the display in RAM. Buffering the
whole display takes about 120 bytes.

The timing for driving the display is pretty ugly. It may not be
obvious to you from the datasheets, but you have to continuously
refresh the display at least 30 times a second.

I hope I'm not being too discouraging. If you are new to embedded
projects, you may want to try something easier first.

Mark

Re: how hard would it be to drive a nkk smartswitch with an AVR?

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I've seen them used on large proffesional A/V mixing consoles.
What are the prices for these little beauties?


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Thanks,
Frank Bemelman
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Re: how hard would it be to drive a nkk smartswitch with an AVR?
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$50 each when I asked (roughly; depends on the version)

Re: how hard would it be to drive a nkk smartswitch with an AVR?
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I'll keep it in mind, when I need something to play
with ;) Thanks!


--
Thanks,
Frank Bemelman
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: how hard would it be to drive a nkk smartswitch with an AVR?
$28910$ snipped-for-privacy@news.euronet.nl:

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I heard $40 each - but that may be for the ones that are display only.
Anyone know if these wear out at all? It's so purty...

Re: how hard would it be to drive a nkk smartswitch with an AVR?
snipped-for-privacy@hvc.rr.com (mark hahn) wrote in

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You mean external RAM, correct? Are there any AVRs with that internally?
Sorry - in a couple weeks my questions will stop sounding quite so
stupid when I gain some actual experience with AVRs...

Re: how hard would it be to drive a nkk smartswitch with an AVR?
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No, on most PICs (and smaller AVRs), the only RAM available is what's
on the chip. The 16F628 has 224 bytes of RAM. Some of the MegaAVRs
come with up to 4K of RAM.

If this is one of your first micro projects, I'd start with a part
with lots of RAM and ROM. If you use a fast enough part, you might get
away with writing the whole thing in C.

Mark

Re: how hard would it be to drive a nkk smartswitch with an AVR?

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It is quite easy. I have them in service in a mass produced product,
controlled by one of the small 8051 look-alikes. That includes the font
generation, so characters are sent to them via a standard asynchronous
serial interace. The firmware was written in Keil C.

It should be no problem with an AVR.

You might also consider the RTI (formerly HE) LCD Key 24.2. This is very
similar, but has the advantage that it does not require the pixel data
to be refreshed every frame. Both the RTI and the NKK keys require
continuous clocking, unsurprisingly.

Here in the UK, I think the RTI parts are available from Farnell, but I
seem to recall problems finding a NKK distributor.

Richard

------------Richard Dungan-------------
Radix Electronic Designs, Orpington, UK
    ngsATradixDASHdesignDOTcoDOTuk
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