Re: WOW! Check out this LCD module



#2

Ok, I know it is completely irrelevant. Nevertheless, a 45s of Voyager-size with this 40x2 LCD-module built in may look like this:

Please remember: Labels in orange capitals represent menus. - Top left, there are 8 soft keys. To regain the default primary functions of these menu keys, press MENU once. Press it again to recall the last menu line displayed. - Labels A through F will become active in Integer mode. - Extensive customizing is allowed by reassignments of keys. In ALPHA mode, the 10 top keys, and the 9 rightmost keys of line 2 and 3 may be reassigned to create a QWERTY or QWERTZ or whatever keyboard. While using this mode, the functions XEQ, R/S, RDOWN, STO, RCL, x<>y, as well as the digits and arithmetic symbols are accessible via prefix f. - ...

Further explanations are available on request :)

Best regards,

Walter


#3

Nice! You sure do some fine work Walter!

This calc is tantalisingly possible to build, albeit not nearly as good looking and refined as that.

I'd personally love a non-programmable version of this (or any Phoenix class calc) with more dedicated scientific keys. But that's just trivial detail.

Dave.


#4

Thanks for your kind words, Dave! I'll postpone the non-programmable version until we see more progress in the 45s. This picture was just to show you can design a reasonable small scientific calc around this real world LCD you found.

BTW, your 2nd sentence looks incomplete to me. Did you want to include a link?


#5

Quote:

BTW, your 2nd sentence looks incomplete to me. Did you want to include a link?


I think he meant: we can build it, but it won't look as good as your image.

Edited: 12 Nov 2007, 3:20 a.m.


#6

Quote:
I think he meant: we can build it, but it won't look as good as your image.

Correctamundo.

In fact, it would be funny to photoshop the image to give it more of that DIY look!

Sadly, the image is too darn good and we all know it's just a pipe dream :-(
But I do think that a black rapid-prototype case with a nice silkscreened stainless steel key overlay would look fairly professional.
The problem might be the moulded or silkscreened key legends (could do without, but it looks more professional that way.)
Eric has hinted at a trick up his sleeve for this, and Hugh has suggested laser etching backfilled with resin.

In fact, another method would be to make the key overlay out of 0.5mm black gloss solder masked PCB like I did with my uWatch. Very cheap and easy for one-off's, and surprisingly good looking.

Dave.

#7

Very good looking! My choice for looks and form factor!

My minor suggestions:

- could the display be moved a bit to the left, so that the hardware keys are aligned with their soft key counterparts? Could there be another design for the soft key arrow, maybe a white filled rectangle to represent the soft key instead of the arrow?

- on my LCD, the f an g key color matches the color of the corresponding yellow and blue key labels. But the m key color does not match the color of the m labels at least in my eyes. Over all, I find the contrast between yellow and orange not good enough. Could the m key and labels be in an entirely diffrent color - green or something?

- the QWERTY/Z idea is VERY appealing. Have you foreseen some kind of an overlay to accompany the calculator? In this case there might be the need of some way to "click" that overlay tight to the calculator.


#8

Hallo Meenzer,

thanks for your comments and questions:

Quote:
could the display be moved a bit to the left, so that the hardware keys are aligned with their soft key counterparts?

Nö. The overall width of the display module is 108mm. Of these, 89mm are visible. Thus, there are 9.5mm buried on either side. Please add the necessary mm for the wall of the housing, incl. some shock protection means, and you'll eventually get the design I published. IMHO, there is no space left left ;)
Quote:
Could there be another design for the soft key arrow, maybe a white filled rectangle to represent the soft key instead of the arrow?

Klar doch! Ob das dann allerdings bei diesem nötigen Versatz gut aussieht? (Yes, for sure, though I doubt it will be better looking)
Quote:
the m key color does not match the color of the m labels at least in my eyes. Over all, I find the contrast between yellow and orange not good enough. Could the m key and labels be in an entirely diffrent color - green or something?

You're right. Originally, I reserved green for alpha labels, but dropped them for reducing clutter. So, it is free again/still, and I may try.
Quote:
Have you foreseen some kind of an overlay to accompany the calculator? In this case there might be the need of some way to "click" that overlay tight to the calculator.
This can be done like on the 71B or 48. No particular difficulties or, as Dave would say, trivial ;)

If there are further questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Freundliche Grüße (best regards)

Walter

#9

That looks quite nice, but I'm left wondering whether you will be able to fit a battery into the case somewhere.


#10

To take care of some comments: after some trivial moves I get this

For the orange and golden labels: Orange labels are on the keyplate only, yellow ones exclusively on keys. So, while maintaining optimum readability, unambiguousness is guaranteed even though JPG reduced contrast between golden and orange prints.

Of course, this is still pipe-dreaming around a real LCD and within real Voyager dimensions using real Voyager keys (except ENTER; most need some reprinting). But perhaps it's interesting for somebody who is watching and has the right means ... maybe adding just the necessary momentum to his/her thoughts, to the benefit of many of us ...


#11

Again, it looks very nice! Putting "MoHPC Open 45s" on it instead of the HP label is very good thinking!

Still, I have some dificulties with the relative positionong of the menu labels on the LCD and their physical access keys. Would you consider designing it with 7 instead of 8 menu keys and putting the respective menus directly over the "y^x SQR sin cos tan 7 8" keys, leaving out some pixels to the left and to the right?


#12

No problem at all. You simply lose 1 menu key and some letters in the menu line, and gain aesthetics. I'd prefer a LCD with less excess length on the left, however, or (better) a full dot matrix, which may be too much wishful thinking.


#13

Quote:
I'd prefer a LCD with less excess length on the left, however, or (better) a full dot matrix...

I'd second that.

#14

I love the way that looks. I think it would be horrible to use, though, since each character would be tiny, smaller even than the numbers on the keys themselves.

The original Voyagers have a display which is just about my favorite small numeric LCD. The characters are fat and bold, with thick, meaty segments. The commas and periods are easily distinguished. The display itself is very high contrast, and very, very readable, in most any kind of light. I was somewhat disappointed, but not surprised, by the new displays made for the Chinese-designed Voyagers, the 12C Platinum and its stablemates. They still have a source for the old LCD, since they still make the 12C, but when they needed to add annunciators for the Platinum, they reduced the stroke width and character width on the numbers themselves, which wasn't necessary; I think it was probably just preference on their part. (I have noticed that most Chinese and Japanese displays and documents that feature Roman characters, tend to use very light stroke-width typefaces. I presume that the reason is that their own characters are far more complex than Roman characters, and must use thinner strokes to be distinguishable, so that thin strokes just "look right" to them.)


#15

Quote:
I love the way that looks. I think it would be horrible to use, though, since each character would be tiny, smaller even than the numbers on the keys themselves.

The original Voyagers have a display which is just about my favorite small numeric LCD. The characters are fat and bold, with thick, meaty segments. The commas and periods are easily distinguished. The display itself is very high contrast, and very, very readable, in most any kind of light. I was somewhat disappointed, but not surprised, by the new displays made for the Chinese-designed Voyagers, the 12C Platinum and its stablemates. They still have a source for the old LCD, since they still make the 12C, but when they needed to add annunciators for the Platinum, they reduced the stroke width and character width on the numbers themselves, which wasn't necessary; I think it was probably just preference on their part. (I have noticed that most Chinese and Japanese displays and documents that feature Roman characters, tend to use very light stroke-width typefaces. I presume that the reason is that their own characters are far more complex than Roman characters, and must use thinner strokes to be distinguishable, so that thin strokes just "look right" to them.)


I have to agree. I love big bold 7 segment LCD's, and I love having a clearly defined and separate exponent display. But you basically give up that luxury option when your calc becomes a powerful programmable. In that case dot matrix is the only real way to get the required alpha and other functionality.

No need to worry about a source for an LCD at the commercial level, you simply get it custom made to your specs.

Dave.

#16

Dave J. brought this 2-line LCD module to our attention in this very thread above. It seems to be the *only* available LCD found and posted here so far enabling the use of softkeys as shown in my draft. This draft is presented for demonstration only as stated above. Of the other displays discussed here just the OLED features sufficient resolution to support soft keys.

If you want to have a menu-driven calc, the good old Voyager displays simply won't do, though they have their merits for sure (and I agree with you on these merits). Obviously, a *real* dot matrix would be a lot friendlier to the user than this 40x2. IMHO, however, as long as you can read the shifted labels on the keyboard, you will be able to read even this display. And when you cannot anymore, then it's time to take another calc :)


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