"SHOW3" ideas

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"SHOW3" ideas

Unread postby movax » Sat Jun 02, 2018 4:57 pm

Hi,

I really like the SHOW2, and it serves me well, but there are few things that would make it even better.

1) USB connector on the side, not on the top. So SHOW can be used horizontally on a desk as an auxilary screen, with cable sticking on a side, not top.

2) Higher serial console bitrate. 2Mbps would be awesome. (more the merrier, but 5mbps is probably hard to do with utilizing other interface between uC and USB chip). 2Mbps is 250k characters per second, which with clock of 16 or 20MHz should still give plenty of CPU to do ANSI parsing, processing and sending to display, acking back, etc. maybe not plenty, but with well optimized code this gives about 80 instructions, cycles per input character. Not a lot, but doable. I am happy to provide C optimization expertise to do it!

3) Ability to control backlight intensity and off/on via serial port using special ANSI escape codes.
UPDATE: Please ignore 3). This actually works already on SHOW2, it was just not well documented on wiki!

4) No protruding elements above the surface / level of screen. This mostly applies to the high pins (i.e. for ISP programmer, weather board addon, etc), so one can build a plastic case with display flush. Even better, put all electronics and connectors on another side of the board instead, with front only having LCD, LEDs and user buttons. (but no on/off or reset button).

5) User buttons should be oriented differently, either at the top (above the screen not below), or make them a push buttons (below the screen or on a side, preferably right, which should be possible after following point 4) instead at the bottom.

6) Put single RGB led with intensity and blinking/breathing ability controlable passively via serial port using special ANSI escape code.

7) The ON led (close to battery connector) is a bit annoying sometimes, but I guess I can desolder it myself (kind of as it is very small thing), so not a big deal. I am not sure it is really needed actually. At least make it possible to remove it (or its current limiting resistor) easier.

8) The extension connector (for weather board) should use angled pins, so the profile of the board assembly (when weather board is installed on SHOW2) is much thinner. (I wouldn't mind making weather board components integrated into SHOW2, but that would make price too much for some people, and there are situations where one wants to use extension cable between display itself and the sensors. Again, angled connector would make it easier to connect a cable.

9) Stretch goal. A bit higher resolution (480x360) / few more fonts styles (or at least normal, bold, italic, undelinned) / sizes / better unicode support (I know, probably not enough memory in the uC to support that, and not enough resolution to really make use of it), hardware flow control, larger FIFOs, wider (but not taller) panel (i.e. 2:1 aspect ration, aka 480x240, again a stretch, as this is probably hard to obtain, and one can just use two SHOW boards to achieve almost the same thing). It would provide many awesome applications, like showing graphs, making osciloscope, sounds / spectrum analyzer, stock price monitoring, showing tweets, etc.

10) Ability to add small piezo buzzer, that reacts to bell ASCII character or something. ;) (As a bonus firmware can be updated to also blink quickly and brightly one of LEDs for 2 seconds instead).

11) Personal: As far as I am concerned I do not need battery / charging circuit. If somebody really wants to utilize it as portable device, one can use external power bank, or small battery with external charging and feed power via some other pins (i.e. 3.3V) or via USB (5V). I think there is limited utility of using battery with just SHOW. i.e. there is no data storage, so it cannot be used for logging when mobile.

12) Firmware related: Support 256 color pallet in ANSI escape ( "\x1b[48;5;%dm" for background color set, where %d is 0 to 255 ), and/or full 24-bit color for setting foreground and background colors. Even if display is probably just ~15 bits. The standard colors are really simple and saturated (these are just few combinations of 0% or 100% of base colors). Ability to reprogram pallet table for 8 color pallet or 256 color pallet would also be useful. https://askubuntu.com/questions/821157/ ... nal#821163 for examples.

13) Firmware related: Blinking colors support (foreground and background color).

14) Firmware related: Ability to upload / temporarily update font glyphs from host computer. I.e. this would allow me to upload few special characters, like boxes borders, or various level indicators or small icons. I know I can reflash the board with my custom firmware and libraries edited to have my own glyphs, but come on, lets make it universal. ;)

15) A bit faster uC with more FLASH/EEPROM/SRAM to accommodate for these various feature, or extending new custom features by users (i.e. connecting custom stuff over I2C or SPI buses). atmega4808 http://www.microchip.com/wwwproducts/De ... ATMEGA4808 sounds like interesting and cheap option (1$), benefits

16) Expose unused uC pins so they can be used as ADC/DAC/PWM/INTERUPTS and used via some simple ANSI based protocol. That opens a lot of new abilities and programability from host computer.

All these changes will still allow using SHOW2 as stacked above the odroids SBCs, but it will also make SHOW2 excellent choice as a standalone device for mini weather station or auxilary PC screen. It will for example make easier to build a plastic 3d printer case around it.

I guess my idea is to make it versatile passive terminal device, with color support, and ease of scripting (from bash, python, C, etc), keep it small, and powered over the same usb as used for communication. :)

I would be happy to buy at least 4 with some of the improvement listed above. Even pay a bit more than current version. ;)

For the firmware related updates, I am will probably work on them myself. Definitively points 12 and 13, as these should take VERY little space in code. As for the point 14, it depends how much memory is available still in hardware.

PS. Height and overall size of the SHOW2 is ideal. (I am fine making it wider, but not taller).
Last edited by movax on Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "SHOW3" ideas

Unread postby mad_ady » Sat Jun 02, 2018 5:23 pm

I don't know what their plans with regard to show2/3 are, but it seems HK is secretly working on something related: https://r.tapatalk.com/shareLink?url=ht ... are_type=t
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Re: "SHOW3" ideas

Unread postby rooted » Sun Jun 03, 2018 5:38 am

I think a lot of that will be addressed with the Go (assuming it will be realised).
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Re:

Unread postby movax » Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:21 am

rooted wrote:I think a lot of that will be addressed with the Go (assuming it will be realised).

I think Go is intended for other purposes. It clearly is going to be a bit bigger device, with more buttons, and possibly wireless communcations, etc. It is not exactly going to be replacing SHOW in many applications.
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Re: "SHOW3" ideas

Unread postby rooted » Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:22 am

movax wrote:
rooted wrote:I think a lot of that will be addressed with the Go (assuming it will be realised).

I think Go is intended for other purposes. It clearly is going to be a bit bigger device, with more buttons, and possibly wireless communcations, etc. It is not exactly going to be replacing SHOW in many applications.
Of course but anything with esp32 is going to have wireless.
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