Tapewise

Configuration

The configuration screen is in three major areas, the top bar, the section selection on the left, and the right hand side that shows you the options for that selection. The top section has four options:

  • Door: Closes the configuration screen, only available if you have not changed a value on the screen
  • : Save changes made, once you alter a value on the screen, you will either need to save and apply them or cancel them
  • : Cancel changes made.
  • Pencil: Brings up the LCDC command editor - this is for advanced users to change the prebuilt definition files available with LCDC, this should be used with extreme caution, and I will only help with command where the screen is an MO one.
  • Help Icon: Brings up this help file!

Depending on the currently selected section there will also be additional options available which are explained below:-

LCD connection


Note: You may not see all the options in this screen, it depends on your system and definition file selected

This section is used to tell LCDC what type and how your display unit is connected to your PC the options on here are:

  • Com speed: The Com port speed to use to talk to the display, the default for this is 19200 which is the standard for MO displays.
  • Com port: Which Com port the display unit is attached to, in most cases this will be COM1 (the default)
  • Definition file: In order for LCDC to best drive your display to the edge, you should select the profile that matches the screen you have installed. This file contains such information as number of lines / characters etc. These files are pre-programmed by us and are limited to mostly Matrix Orbital who we are in contract with
  • LCD Settings only :-
    • Contrast: Allows you to set the default contrast that LCDC will use on a LCD screen. It will only change the contrast when you "Start" it from the main menu.
    • Backlight intensity: The newer Matrix Orbital screens have a variable backlight as oppose to the older ones of off/on only. Use this to set a level for these screens.
  • VFD Settings only:-
    • Brightness: Allows you to set the default brightness that LCDC will use on a VFD screen. It will only change the brightness when you "Start" it from the main menu.

In addition to these options, there are two extra buttons placed on the main top bar:

  • Test display: Attempts to connect to the display with the settings in place and then allows you to send test messages to it etc. the system is now in "Test mode" and you have a new set of options.
  • Back: Once you are in "test mode" this option takes you back out.

LCDC Defaults

There are no options on this page, so please select one of the sub-pages. The following two subpages control general settings that effect the way LCDC formats data and does various things.

LCDC Defaults : Page 1

This section is used to define some standards for LCDC, these are as follows :-

  • Load at startup: Use this to get your system to automatically start LCDC when your system starts. If this is set to No you will need to start LCDC manually from your "Start" bar.
  • Menu at startup: This option can be used to send the menu straight to the tray (the little box where the time is shown, in the bottom right of the screen) rather than show it on the screen.
  • Command file: This allows you to select any of the files you have designed in the "Screen Builder" so that LCDC will load it up automatically when LCDC loads.Note: If this is set to "N.A." then LCDC will attempt to load the last file you loaded up on the Screen builder.
  • Date format & Time format: The default date value for this is DD MMM YYYY, and the time value default is "hh:mm:ss". To see what it would look like just put the mouse cursor over the entry part and you will see what it looks like. The time format can be set in the same manner, however there is also a list of predefined options already there for you to select from. You can define this using any of these formats:
    • d Displays the day as a number without a leading zero (1-31).
    • dd Displays the day as a number with a leading zero (01-31).
    • ddd Displays the day as an abbreviation (Sun-Sat) using the strings given by the ShortDayNames global variable.
    • dddd Displays the day as a full name (Sunday-Saturday) using the strings given by the LongDayNames global variable.
    • ddddd Displays the date using the format given by the ShortDateFormat global variable.
    • dddddd Displays the date using the format given by the LongDateFormat global variable.
    • m Displays the month as a number without a leading zero (1-12). If the m specifier immediately follows an h or hh specifier, the minute rather than the month is displayed.
    • mm Displays the month as a number with a leading zero (01-12). If the mm specifier immediately follows an h or hh specifier, the minute rather than the month is displayed.
    • mmm Displays the month as an abbreviation (Jan-Dec) using the strings given by the ShortMonthNames global variable.
    • mmmm Displays the month as a full name (January-December) using the strings given by the LongMonthNames global variable.
    • yy Displays the year as a two-digit number (00-99).
    • yyyy Displays the year as a four-digit number (0000-9999).
    • h Displays the hour without a leading zero (0-23).
    • hh Displays the hour with a leading zero (00-23).
    • n Displays the minute without a leading zero (0-59).
    • nn Displays the minute with a leading zero (00-59).
    • s Displays the second without a leading zero (0-59).
    • ss Displays the second with a leading zero (00-59).
    • am/pm Uses the 12-hour clock for the preceding h or hh specifier, and displays 'am' for any hour before noon, and 'pm' for any hour after noon. The am/pm specifier can use lower, upper, or mixed case, and the result is displayed accordingly.
    • a/p Uses the 12-hour clock for the preceding h or hh specifier, and displays 'a' for any hour before noon, and 'p' for any hour after noon. The a/p specifier can use lower, upper, or mixed case, and the result is displayed accordingly.
    • ampm Uses the 12-hour clock for the preceding h or hh specifier, and displays the contents of the TimeAMString global variable for any hour before noon, and the contents of the TimePMString global variable for any hour after noon.
    • "h" use quotes around strings so that they are not used as part of the translation e.g. to produce 09h13m12s use hh"h"mm"m"ss"s" you can even use special characters and animated characters hh"[#$Cha!An1]"mm"[#$Cha!An1]"ss
  • Repeat separator: For any lines that use scrolling, to mark the end of the entry and the repeat of the next, LCDC will use this to mark it. As a default it is " | " but you can use anything you want, including the animated characters.
  • Barograph size: For any bargraph drawn by LCDC this is how big it will be, by default this is 10 characters.
  • I.C.M file: (International character mapping) Most displays are incapable of displaying non English alphabet letters, those that are will normally have them in a different place to the standard ASCII character set. By selecting a file form this list you can change those characters that fail to display correctly to either something close or to the new correct offset. For example on a VFD character 128 is the equivalent of character 196 (Ä), so to map this the file would contain the line 196=128 (ASCII character=Mapped character). A basic ASCII->VFD file for the MO displays is included as an example (please send me any files you do for this), and these files must be stored in the ICM sub directory. Thanks goes to Norbert Riedel for this file, and also for providing and helping develop this feature.
  • Decimal precision: Allows you to change what precision LCDC uses for MB/GB numbers, e.g. 2 would display "1.21mb" 1 would display "1.2mb" and 0 would display "1mb"
  • Data formatting: Allows you to customise the format in which to show any figures in LCDC where MB/KB etc. are in use.

LCDC Defaults : Page 2

This section is used to define some standards for LCDC, these are as follows :-

  • Default FPS rate: This sets the default "Frames Per Second" rate that LCDC will use to update the LCD/VFD with, this can be overridden in the screen builder on a per screen basis depending on what needs to be shown.
  • Uptime format: Allows you to decide how to display the uptime. This option also directly effects the output of the "PUT-Part uptime", e.g. if you have not set the uptime format to Weeks then the weeks part of the uptime will nto display.
  • Keyboard shift state: Sets the text to report back for showing the status of the keyboard shift.
  • Delay at startup: Allows you to put a delay at boot time before LCDC initialises the COM port etc.
  • Play keypad sounds: Tells LCDC to play a selected wav file each time you press a key on the keypad of an lcd/vfd.
  • WAV sound file: The actual file name to play, LCDC comes with a selection of about 5 key click type sounds, you can use the [>] button to play this file
  • Net detection: LCDC tries to monitor if you are connected to the internet for checking of e-mail and updating web fields etc.
  • Never change icon: Stops LCDC from updating the tool tray icon to allow it to be hidden in XP

System clock

The system clock configuration allows you to setup LCDC to update your PC clock using the time from a NTP server. This will keep the time on your PC 100% accurate.

There is very little on here to configure, but they are :-

  • Update clock: Either Yes or No which basically defines if you want to use this feature or not.
  • NTP address: The network server address, find a local server in your time zone, a good source of addresses on the web is http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp/servers.html
  • Test NTP address: Once you setup an address you can use this to test it, the results are shown at the bottom of the screen.
  • Display date icon: Allows you to have an addition tool try icon that shows you the date/day or date/month

Animated characters

The animated characters is a slightly unique feature of LCDC, it allows you to add basic animation to your display, be this a flashing separator or a spinner separator. At present LCDC can currently support 50 (0-49) animated characters.

The screen consists of 50 entries accessible by using the scroll bar on the right, you can use them to define things like:

  • ":[##32" (or ": ") :
  • "-+" :
  • ".:" :
  • "0123456789" :
  • etc. etc...!!

These can now also be emulated in LCDC using the format command and having a scroll set to only one character in length.

E-Mail configuration

This screen allows you to define any e-mail accounts you would like LCDC to check for messages on, and how often to check for messages (LCDC can check upto 5 accounts). Additional options at the top of the screen are:

  • [+]: Add a new e-mail account to check, only available if there are less than 5 accounts setup.
  • [-]: Delete an account, only available if you select an account
  • [^]: Update an account, if you have selected an account then this option will allow you to update it, it will only be available if you select an account
  • : Save changes to an account, this option is only available when you are editing or adding an account.
  • : Cancel changes to an account, this option is only available when you are editing or adding an account.
  • [/]: Test an account, this option will allow you to check that the details you have added are correct. The result of the test will be displayed at the bottom of the screen.

The main E-Mail configuration screen shows you the following :-

  • Check Every: Select from the list how frequently you would like LCDC to check your POP3 e-mail accounts.
  • Events to trigger: You can elect to have LCDC work in two deferent ways on the mail check. In standard form it will check for mail every x mins and run the events corresponding to mail/no mail. However you can also set this up so that if the mail count has not changed (e.g. it's at 1) the event only gets reported once until it changes to 2 or 0 etc.
  • New mail icon: Allows you to select which icon you would like to see in the tool tray when you have new mail
  • List of e-mail accounts: Shows you a list of all the e-mail accounts you currently have setup, once you select one you can modify/test it.

If you add an account, or update an account the screen will show the following:

The details for an account are :

  • Name: A friendly name for the account.
  • Type: The type of account, most standard accounts with use POP3.
  • Host: The POP host address to check for email, for example : pop3.anaddress.com
  • Account: The account name to use for logging onto the pop server
  • Password: The password for this account, this is shown as "******" for security.

Once you enter these details you can use the "Lightning" button to test the connection information.

Plugin configuration

On it's base level when installed, LCDC will not have ANY plugins available, and the only options are those native to LCDC. Plugins are essential to the abilities of LCDC! each Plugin can expand LCDC in three ways :-

  • Variables : Anything they you want to display on your screen will be sent back as a variable e.g. [#$SysNetI.P] for you local IP address.
  • Events : Events allow actions to occur, for an example one event is called "On Keypad press" and if your display has a kepyad connection with a keypad attached, then when you press one of the keypads keys it will set of an action.
  • Actions : For every event an action will take place, for example an action on the MUL (Multimedia) plugin is "Play->Sound" which allows you to point to a wave file, and when that event happens it plays a sound (I use this to let me know when I have mail!)


Blue jigsaw piece represent official plugins, Purple are for 3rd party plugins

The list shows you all plugins available on your system (located in the LCDC\Plugins directory), there are two additional options at the top of the screen :

  • Refresh list: If you add a new Plugin to the LCDC\Plugin directory then you can use this to refresh the available list and hopefully see it.
  • Configure: Some (not all) of the plugins are configurable, if you select a plugin from the list and this option is available (it will be in colour) then you can click on it to configure that plugin independently. Each plugin should have it's own documentation as to how to configure it etc.

Plugins are only enabled if the have a tick (check mark) in the box next to them. Selecting any plugin will give you some basic details about it, like the author and version.

Virtual display

As an option you may have a virtual display onscreen to show you what the LCD/VFD screen is displaying. This is not 100% accurate and does not show bitmaps etc. but does try to emulate it as best as possible. This is good for debugging, and if you don't have a LCD/VFD screen then you could just use this instead! Across the top of the screen you have the additional options as follows :-

a: Swap text and background colours.
b->g
: Default colour presets

There are various options available on this that allow you to change the style of it, the position of the Virtual screen is remembered automatically by LCDC. The options are :-

  • Text colour: The colour to use for the text, use the diamond in the box at the end to use the standard windows colour picker - this is a hexadecimal number!
  • Background colour: Which colour to use for the background of the text area, instructions are identical to the text colour.
  • Master BG: The colour to use around the display (seen as lines between the characters)
  • Virtual keys A-E: From the virtual display you can send fake keypad strokes to LCDC to perform actions on. As a default A will send back A etc, however you can change what they send by changing the letter next to the virtual letter.
  • GPO status: Allows you to turn on/off small pictures displaying the current status's of the GPO's (on/Off) useful if you are trying things out and are not sure what does not work!!
  • Show buttons: Sets the default setting of the button on the virtual display, double clicking the display turns these off and on however those settings are not saved.
  • Transparency: This setting is only visible on Windows 2000 & XP and allows you to set the virtual panel up so that you can see through it :) this makes it less intrusive on the desktop.
  • Use transparency: Turns on and off the ability to use this

If you don't like the little on/off pictures, then you can draw your own ones 8x8 pixels, and save them in the LCDC folder as GPOOn.bmp and GPOOff.bmp they are draw in a transparent mode and the bottom left pixel is used to determine this colour.

GPO status

This screen allows you to set various information relating to the GPO's. For example you can tell it what to display on screen for the different status of the GPO's.

This screen controls the basics for GPO control and what is reported :-

  • Off/On/Flash/Inverted flash/Strobe/Inverted strobe : Allow you to change the text for the status of a GPO that will be displayed, e.g. "GPO 1 Status=[#$GPO1]" will display on screen "GPO 1 Status=Off" or "GPO 1 Status=On" etc.
  • GPO selector: This is a drop down list based on how many GPO's are on your LCD/FCD screen. Depending on the configuration of them (you may have it controlled by advanced GPO as I do above, so start/stop status is not available) you can do the following :-
    • Name : Put a friendly name on for the GPO
    • Start status : Tells LCDC to turn on or off this GPO when you hit Start
    • Finish status : Tells LCDC to turn the gpo on or off when you hit stop (or close LCDC)

Password locking

If you would like LCDC to run, but now allow others to mess bout with settings or screens, then this screen allows you to set a password and which areas to protect with it.

The options on this screen are as follows :-

  • Enabled: Simple choice of Yes or no.
  • Password: Enter the password you want to use here. Please note that only * show while typing.
  • Verification: Re-enter you password here, if it does not match your password then you will not be able save. Please note that only * show while typing.
  • Functions to password protect: There is a selection of tick/check boxes here, just places ticks/checks in the areas you want to protect with a password.

Example : If you want the display to run and not allow anyone to stop it/exit etc. enable the passwords (and enter a password) then enable all the protection. No once you start the display running no one will be able to stop it or change it without entering your password.

This is quite basic security however, but it is intended to stop the basic users changing anything. Obviously [CTRL-ALT-Delete] will bring up a task manager where it could be killed still.

Proxy settings

If you access the internet via a Proxy server, then you will need to tell LCDC what those settings are. Most users will not need this, if you do, your system administrator should be able to tell you what values to use. All the plugs will request information via LCDC and therefore you should only need to configure this once for any web based information.

The options on this screen are as follows :-

  • Enabled: Simple choice of Yes or No to enable the use of a proxy server.
  • Address: The address of the Proxy server
  • Port: The port to use on the proxy server
  • Username: If applicable, enter a username here
  • Password: If applicable, enter a username here
  • Basic authentication: Allows you to change the type of authentication to use if needed (the default of NO should work for most!)

Advanced MXx features

PLEASE NOTE these pages are only available if you have a LK202-24-USB or MX2 LCD PCB revision 1.3 or later.

There are no choices on this page, please select one of the two sub pages for this.

GPO PWM/RPM control

This screen allows you to define some advanced options for the high powered GPO outputs. Please note that this should only be used when the jumper on the module is in the "High Power" position and there is a floppy connection to the lcd.

The screen is set into two parts, the top part allows you to select one of the advanced GPO's and has the following options :-

  • GPO number: This controls which high powered GPO we are dealing with
  • Report RPM : If you have a three wire fan attached to this GPO then the fan can send back pulses as to how often it is revolving. By enabling this option you are asking LCDC to get this information and alloy you to display it as a variable. You should only set this function when a fan is attached otherwise it can cause stuttering on the display. (RPM=Revolutions per minute)
  • Divider : Some fans report the pulses differently based on the number of magnets in them. If you feel the reading is to high you can use change this divider to get an accurate reading. This option is only enable is Report RPM is on.
  • Advanced control : These GPO can work in one of for different modes, these are :-
    • None : LCDC will operate this GPO as normal, e.g. Flash / pulse etc. There are no further settings for this as they are all made in the GPO settings screen or in the action part of an event in the screen builder.
    • Manual, set in screen builder: This enables the advanced controls within the actions part of an event in the screen builder. The only options in here is as follows :-
      • Start/Stop setting: This is the PWM value to set the GPO to when you start and stop (or quit) LCDC
        However in the screenbuilder you will see the following new actions:-
        • GPO->Advanced->Set PWM : Allows you to directly set the PWM of a GPO (Pulse width modulation) to a percentage.
        • GPO->Advanced->Increase Pwm : Increases the PWM of a GPO by a percentage
        • GPO->Advanced->Decrease Pwm : Decreases the PWM of a GPO by a percentage
    • Auto, temperature based (Digital baybus) : This option will intelligently monitor a LCDC temperature variable supplied by any plugin and automatically increase/decrease the PWM to a gpo based on that to try and keep a target temperature. The options in here are :-
      • Variable : This is the variable that LCDC will use to determine if it should increase or decrease PWM on this fan. Click on the diamond to go into the Text Definition Screen. Make sure you only select a single variable and it should report back a number, e.g. in the picture above I have selected my CPU temperature variable
      • Target temp : This is the number that lcdc will use as a bases of it's automatic control. For example in the picture above I have 46 (I work in Celsius) so LCDC will try and keep the CPU at 46c by increasing and decreasing the PWM. Every second LCDC will check the "Variable" against the "Target temp" and decides if it needs to increase or decrease the PWM.
      • Minimum PWM : Allows you to define a low % threshold for the fan. Some fans require more juice to get going and this stops the fan dropping to too low power.
      • Start/Stop setting : This is the PWM value to set the GPO to when you start and stop (or quit) LCDC
    • Auto, percentage based : This option allows you to set the PWM of a GPO based on any LCDC variable. It is intended for use on % returned variable, like CPU usage etc. The options for it are :-
      • Variable : This is the variable that LCDC will use to set the PWM rate at. Click on the diamond to go into the Text Definition Screen. Make sure you only select a single variable and it should report back a number.
      • Start/Stop setting : This is the PWM value to set the GPO to when you start and stop (or quit) LCDC


The advanced MXx features only show once enabled

Dallas one wire

At present LCDC is only fully tested with DS18S20 sensor. LCDC will first need to be taught about sensors attached OR REMOVED from the LCD/VFD module. To do this use the "Scan Interface" option at the top of the screen. This is a simple 3 stage process much like the auto detect and will show as screen like this:-


Auto detect in progress

Once this is complete LCDC will check for new probes and allow you to add them, and also remove any probes from the list as well. It is quite important to keep this list uptodate as LCDC will otherwise try to ask probes for data that do not exist. This can cause scrolling text to jump or slow down. Each probe will be given a unique reference by LCDC as so 001, 002, 003 etc.

As you can see the screen selection is quite basic once the probes have been setup. At the top of the screen you can select to show the reported temperatures in Celsius or Fahrenheit and :-

  • Sensor x/y : This is a drop down list of all the sensors attached to your system. If this says {scan now} in it use the "Scan interface" method as mentioned above. There are no probes by default attached to any LCD/FVD module!
  • Name : Allows you to give the probe a friendly name, in this case "In air temp" to show me the temperature of the air coming into my case.
  • SID : Sensor ID, this shows you the LCDC sensor ID and also the actual probes unique serial number, this is not changeable
  • Sensor type : By default the first to digits of the probes serial number are the type of sensor (in this case 0x10, hexadecimal 10). This box allows you to change the data reported by the sensor although at this time the choice is a type 10 or none. For type 0x10 sensors there is a small diagram showing you how to wire up the sensors.