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Author Topic: 4D Systems OLED displays  (Read 1444 times)

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Offline WebbotTopic starter

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4D Systems OLED displays
« on: July 13, 2011, 12:27:54 PM »
I've got various graphical displays from 4D Systems - based in Australia.

They look cool and they've shipped me ones that run stand alone ie using a script stored on the SD card. I'm trying to reprogram them to use the serial protocol so that I can control them from a micro-controller via a UART. This involves uploading a new pmmc file and I'm using one of their own programming cables (which has a USB to TTL chip in it).

I've un-installed my Silicon Labs virtual com port drivers and installed the version from their site (I'm on Win XP).
I've got their latest pmmc loader utility and the latest pmmc files for the various displays I've got.
I know that the COM port I'm using is correct as I can use it successfully with an Axon bootloader.
But when I try to flash the pmmc file to the display it just sits there saying 'waiting for device'. I'm pretty certain that the display is getting something coz as soon as I hit the 'load' button the default splash screen disappears from the device. But it just sits there - I've even left it for hours with no progress.

One one display I tried unplugging and re-plugging the cable and this made it move from 'waiting for device' to 'erasing device' and again it just hung. That display is now dead ie it no longer shows the splash screen on power up or anything. Nadda.

I've checked their forums, which are rather sparse and tend to just end with un-answered questions.

So have any of you guys got any experience with them and light to shed?

They look like really cool gadgets - but having spent 3 days and got nowhere then I'm about to chuck them in the bin !!



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Offline mallster

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Re: 4D Systems OLED displays
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2011, 03:09:03 PM »
Hi Webbot,

Are you using the PMMC-loader programming tool?

Also watch out for the soft power down recomendation for these displays. Would be great if you could solve this problem with the webbot library.
I had one display only last a week but they replaced it. Have used 2 other displays with out any power down sequence many times and both still working well. Maybe a capacitor on the supply may work?

http://4d.websitetoolbox.com/post?id=2944301
« Last Edit: July 13, 2011, 03:15:09 PM by mallster »

Offline WebbotTopic starter

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Re: 4D Systems OLED displays
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2011, 05:18:05 PM »
Yep, here's what I'm using:
1. Downloaded the Win USB driver from the 4D site: CP210x_VCP_Win_XP_S2K3_Vista_7.exe and installed it. Uses COM2 and it works fine for programming my Axon
2. Running their latest PmmC Loader application (Version 1.0.0.1) and using one of their programming cables http://www.4dsystems.com.au/prod.php?id=138
3. Tried it with 3 different display modules and it doesn't work with any of them
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Offline mallster

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Re: 4D Systems OLED displays
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2011, 06:48:36 PM »

I noticed there is a tab where you change power settings for the cable.

Not sure about using cable- I used the uUSB-CE5 with no problems.

Sorry I am not much help.

Offline WebbotTopic starter

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Re: 4D Systems OLED displays
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 09:30:26 AM »
I resorted to disconnecting the RESET wire on the programming cable and using a manual jumper to short Gnd and Reset on the display.

This worked for the uLCD144
It even worked for the uOLED 128 G1 (which had been 'dead' due to previously hanging in 'erasing device' but was resurrected by successfull programming)
However: with the uLCD 28PT - it got as far as 'erasing device', hung and now the screen is always blank and it doesn't respond at all to the programmer. Which is a shame as this is the device I'm most interested in - hence leaving it till last.

Always the way !


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Offline Admin

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Re: 4D Systems OLED displays
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2011, 10:07:51 AM »
The 4D displays have a bootloader just like on the Axons. Don't turn them on until *after* you've set up the PMMC-loader programming tool and told it to update.

It took me about 30 min of confusion until I figured that out, and just on a hunch.


steps:
plug in display
load software, connect to display
tell software to update software, it'll sit and do nothing
power up display
it'll then work

Offline WebbotTopic starter

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Re: 4D Systems OLED displays
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2011, 12:50:24 PM »
The 4D support guys told me to do that (since it places the device into a reset state). But I could never get that to work either. On one occasion it made it get as far as 'erasing device' but no further - and the device then stopped responding to anything. The only way I've managed to progress is by manually shorting the RESET pin - and looking at their forums then it seems others have had to use this technique as well.

Certain other things seem slightly flakey as well:-

1. I've asked support twice as to whether you need a uSD card inserted or not when programming but not had a reply. But it seems to effect the ability to program. It could be a red-herring but one thing an SD card does is to elongate the power up time of the device and maybe that's what is effecting the bootloader.

2. I think the PmmcLoader program leaves stuff in a random state if it gets errors or you quit out of it. I've carried on trying to use it and had no success but then if I reboot my PC and start again then I get different results.

If you are going to buy these devices, and you want to control them from your micro-controller rather than just playing fixed stuff from the SD card, then make sure you buy the SGC version. Then you don't need to go through this programming hell.

Still can't get any re-action at all from the uLCD 28PT.
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Re: 4D Systems OLED displays
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2011, 01:04:22 PM »
I never tried using a uSD card on it, so can't comment on that . . . I'll remember to update firmware without the uSD in it for next time . . . :P

I don't know how their firmware update works, but I can see #2 being an issue if it corrupts something . . .

I used a FT232 serial to USB adapter when I did it. I couldn't find a SGC version of the item I wanted sold in the US, so I didn't have a choice but to update the firmware. After I figured it out, it was pretty easy and painless for me. It's a 5 minute process, but it took me an hour my first time as it was non-obvious how to do it . . .

Offline WebbotTopic starter

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Re: 4D Systems OLED displays
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2011, 01:16:39 PM »
It's a 5 minute process, but it took me an hour my first time as it was non-obvious how to do it . . .

Taken me in excess of 4 days!

Still can't figure out why, once I used the manual RESET method as suggested on their forums, that I managed to re-program 2 displays one after the other with no problem but then the third display just wont do anything at all.

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Offline WebbotTopic starter

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Re: 4D Systems OLED displays
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2011, 12:42:59 PM »
Making some good progress now.
You can either use them like any other display ie just text a surface with/without scrolling, or you can add widgets to them.
Widgets are things like a gauge control (like in your car), scrolling line graphs etc. You can fill the screen with different widgets and update them individually.  Build your own instruments!

The touch screen versions open up lots of other opportunities.

Need to start looking at their abilities to play sound and video (which they do!).

Cool gadgets.
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