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pyboard with a VGA display

Posted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:54 pm
by s_hatch
I have developed what I call a SuperPyBoard. It is a board for the pyboard that lets you have a high resolution VGA monitor connected to the pyboard with a UART. This frees up the pyboard to do what you really want it to do without spending a lot of time refreshing a display. Send out the character at 9600 baud and the external circuitry handles the display. It also incorporates a PS2 keyboard port that allows data to be entered in an embedded application.

The VGA display can be made into a 32 line by 80 character high resolution display, or change the software and it becomes a 14 x 32 character display with big characters that can be read from a long distance. I am currently running it on a 7" display from Adafruit, and the low resolution characters are 5mm tall, with highly visible white characters on a blue background.

My motivation came from a project that I built for a company. I couldn't find a serial display nor a reasonable keyboard so I delivered it with a laptop and the pyboard connected via USB. The company doesn't like the computer on the factory floor for a couple of reasons. One, you have to navigate to the terminal emulator package on boot up and then the process of ejecting the pyboard before shutting the machine down. Also, many of the factory floor workers are not computer experts. They wanted the pyboard to boot right into their application and begin operating immediately without having to mess around with the laptop. Now I have rectified the problem with this board. With my application in main.py, it immediately displays the application and the machine starts working immediately. This works much better.

Of course, program development still takes place on the host computer over USB, however when the program is done, it works real well on the display and with the keyboard. The board is 2.5 inches by 3.8 inches and it allows the pyboard to be stacked right on this board.

Re: pyboard with a VGA display

Posted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:21 pm
by danielm
Do you have some photos of the board and working display to show us?

Re: pyboard with a VGA display

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:34 am
by s_hatch
I have some pictures that show both the high resolution displays and the high resolution display. Also, you can get a pic of the circuit board I have had made. I can't figure out how to get them pasted into this message on the forum. I will send them to anyone who contacts me on outdoorman25@gmail.com.

Re: pyboard with a VGA display

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:37 am
by s_hatch
Looks like my two attempts were somewhat successful. Here is the high res display
High Res Display.jpg
High Res Display.jpg (208.47 KiB) Viewed 180 times

Re: pyboard with a VGA display

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:39 am
by s_hatch
Here is the circuit board. I am waiting for my pyboard from Adafruit.
SuperPyBoard.jpg
SuperPyBoard.jpg (189.3 KiB) Viewed 180 times

Re: pyboard with a VGA display

Posted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:41 am
by s_hatch
I just completed the cursor positioning and screen clear in uPython. I also have an expansion board made up for it so it can stack on top or bottom of the SuperPyBoard.

Re: pyboard with a VGA display

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:26 am
by s_hatch
Would anyone be interested in a board like this? I would like to put this board on the market. I am surprised that there are no posts to this. Am I not reading things correctly?

Re: pyboard with a VGA display

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:58 am
by dhylands
I guess it depends on what the board costs, etc.

I've switched almost everything to use HDMI, so I don't have much VGA lying around any more.