New design of phi-panel

After getting feedback from arduino forum, I decided to add a new design to my existing phi-panel, a compact panel with a 16X2 display. Here’s a couple of concept pictures:

The compact version will be offered soon. I just sent out the PCB order. This version complements the full version, which is the following:

The compact panel will have to lose some features but I made an effort to keep all essential functions, minus the following:

1) Optional EEPROM. Since the display is small, I don’t expect anyone to read long articles on them so storing long messages on board the panel seems non-essential.

2) Optional 5V voltage regulator. To keep it compact, I dropped the voltage regulator, power barrel, decoupling capacitors, and power switch. This will make the panel compact enough.

3) Pin out for the additional 4 digital output from the second shift register, pin out for SPI bus and I2C bus are also not available, which I don’t think diminish any of its value.


I wish to find a smaller 20X4 displays since 16X2 is a bit small to fully appreciate the phi_prompt functions. On the bright side, it is really compact and still has all essential functions and fits everywhere a regular display fits so more project can incorporate this panel without having to redesign the project box. Also, the cost of the smaller display is also less so I will be offering this panel kit at $29.95. Only a few bucks more than the sparkfun serial LCD. They don’t have keypad, buzzer, LEDs. More importantly they don’t have anything firmware-wise to compare to my panel. If you keep Serial.print() stuff away, the sparkfun serial LCD will not display any info correctly past the first 16 characters. If you do that on my panel, you get auto line wrap, scroll etc. Plus all the interactive features.





2 Responses to New design of phi-panel

  1. JasonT says:

    Is there any chance to port to .Net Micro Framework? Would love to use this in a current project using a FEZ Panda II.

    • liudr says:

      En, done!

      This panel talks to TTL-level serial port so any MCU board including FEZ Panda II can talk to it over serial to exert control or sense buttons. Buttons pressed simply come through serial port as characters 🙂 Any functions are received via serial.print
      In a direct way, you can even use it on a PC without MCU as long as you write a program on PC to communicate via serial. The panel doesn’t have TTL-USB adapter so if you want to connect directly to PC you will need one. If you connect it to MCU, no need for any additional hardware, just connect it to one of the MCU’s serial.

      I will be offering these for sale in a few days on 🙂

      The panel has on board menu (press escape) and you can change baud rate on the on board menu or via serial port with command included in the documentation.

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