The QVGA Controller and 320×240 Display will be an integral part of the local HF SuperPacker Pro V3 control. The board set is approximately 3 x 4.5 x 0.5 inch. In my last status report, I mentioned that I had to remake the circuit boards due to my error in specifying the number of active layers. The new boards arrived and the controller board is built up. However, the display board had some internal layer shorts to the ground plane. It was a fabrication error and the pc shop is expediting replacement boards for that. We did manage to put together this photo shoot for you so you can see what the package looks like.
As you can see in the picture above there are two boards sandwiched together. You are seeing the 320×240 display area. The glass portion and metal frame will pass through a slot in the front panel. It will be covered with an overlay. Built-in is a 4–wire touch screen. This eliminates the need for other front panel controls. An assembly jig has been developed to aid in the placement of the screen on the display pcb so that we will have an accurate and consistent assembly.
This image shows you a side view of the two boards. The spacer are 5/16 inch length to give you some size perspective. Note the wrap around interface cable linking the glass with the electronics.
This is the backside of the two-board set. You are looking at the microcontroller in the center. The other chips are flash memory and static ram that holds screen images and program. There is a serial connection between this module and the MPU of the amplifier module. The silver connector on the left is a USB connection point. You will be able to upgrade the software by using a memory stick. The development computer plugs into the black connector at the bottom. This board is being developed in a joint venture with a local electronics instrument company.
My software development for the project has been an up-hill battle but I am beginning to get control over it. I am working in a vacuum of C programming knowledge and must rely heavily on others on-line. Concepts I understand very well but implementation with all the nuances is problematic. I have the C implementation of the MODBUS communications interface complete. This is a protocol that allows the amp to be controlled by PC DashBoard program for the Amp. It is a very secure network that allows the amp to be linked into the Internet as an example. We will have multiple interfaces including Kenwood CAT commands, etc.
My current task is working on linking the screen widgets to the communications protocol. Getting the first interface of a type done serves as a broad prototype to implement other widgets. Something simple as controlling and indicator from our network can be a week-long battle.
These boards will not obviously be a kit item due to the SMD technology. They will be machine assembled in the final analysis.
Thank you for your support and 73,