A new design phi-panel

I am working on a panel that a microcontroller like arduino or even PIC or a PC (via USB TTL adapter) will be able to talk to over serial. Just imagine the old computer terminal with a display and a keyboard, that is what this panel is trying to mimic. The arduino sends out strings to display on the LCD and the panel displays it with line wrap and auto scroll. Arduino is also able to control the position of the cursor and brightness of the back light like serial LCDs besides basic printing. It also sends key presses to arduino for processing. A beginner without programming skills necessary to write a button code or understanding of how to hook up an LCD or matrix keypad can simply leap from the arduino serial.print examples of printing to serial window to displaying on the LCD and processing key presses. If a user presses the zero (0) key on the panel, arduino will receive ‘0’ in the serial port so the simplest interaction could be this simple:

Serial.print(“Menu\n1.Start motor\n2.Stop motor\n3.Set speed); // The ‘\n’ represents new line so the menu is displayed on 4 rows of a 20X4 display



if (Serial.available())


char response=Serial.read();

if (response==’1′) move_motor(); // Do stuff to move the motor

if (response==’2′) stop_motor(); // Do stuff to stop the motor

if (response==’3′) set_speed(); // Do stuff to change motor speed setting



To be honest, I think this is an awesome project that will empower electronics beginners like what arduino did to all of us. Just think about it, who else can make a menu this quick and easy before?


I’ll post more info once I get the PCBs and finish my software.