In my copious spare time I’ve actually written code to drive the Vishay Dale APG128G 128×32 pixel plasma display.
Ok, yes, that’s not exactly the physical display, but I’m pretty excited about it none the less. I wrote a pin compatible simulator that (in theory) reacts to the display driver just like the physical board will. This has allowed me to put together a display driver and a get to work on a simple screen UI package.
I still have a bit of work to do to simulate the signal timing tolerances (minimum times between rising and falling edge transitions, etc), but the basic concept is in place. Next step will be to get my sbc’s linux image rebuilt and reflash the board (to prove to myself I can accurately do it). At that point I’ll just need to hook up a few wires and see how my driver fares against the actual hardware.
While it may not seem like such a big deal, it will actually consititute a huge milestone and free up the coding of drivers and simulators for the switch matrix, lamp matrix and coils. I will make a ton more progress in my few hours between work and sleep if I can work on with simulated code that I know is working.
I discovered some very cool details about creating images for the dot matrix display (GIMP save-as C file is very helpful) which we’ll cover at some other time. I’m also pleased to report that I actually took the time to set up a CVS archive for the code, which lends a bit of seriousness to the effort. So there you have it. I’m still snail pacing along, but there is progress and I’m right happy about it.