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Programming Info for Toshiba LCD Module? 8

Posted by Cliff
from the one-needle,-many-haystacks dept.
Cheeze asks: "I found a odd piece of hardware that is a USB LCD Control Module made by Toshiba. There is no info on this device anywhere that I could find, and there are no FCC numbers on the device to look up. The device is an embedded lighted LCD with 1 silver button on the left side, 5 non-labeled black buttons on the top, one volume knob on the right side, and 6 buttons labeled 'internet' on the bottom. When plugged in under Windows 2000 Pro, it shows up as a Human Interface Device, installs some basic windows software, but doesn't actually control the hardware. If something like this is programmable, that would be REAL nice, but if I could find ANY control software for it for any operating system, I would be happy."

"The only descriptors on the back label are:

LCD Control Module
MODEL NO. PMD-C0014
D/M: S9728-3
KTC M/N: E03794004

I looked all over for those numbers and didn't find any info."

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Programming Info for Toshiba LCD Module?

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  • LCD for Linux (Score:4, Informative)

    by Snowfox (34467) <snowfox&snowfox,net> on Thursday October 04, 2001 @10:32AM (#2388120) Homepage
    Something that's easier to work with, and more readily available for Joe Linux User is an LCD from Crystal Fontz [crystalfontz.com]. You can control these over a serial line with a pretty basic protocol. They even have one with a Linux name plate.

    I've been trying to stop myself from wasting money on one of these for a while now. Maybe posting a link to Slash means they'll sell out before I make the wasteful decision... neat toy, but so are the other 1,001 things sitting about which I haven't found time for!

    • Re:LCD for Linux (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      there are a LOT of LCDs for linux users. Matrix Orbital is the best and lcdproc controls it. its already written for it.
  • Linux HID Core (Score:4, Informative)

    by shorti9 (307602) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:12PM (#2388839)
    Under the 2.4 series kernels (and maybe 2.2 now..i don't really follow those), you can use USB Keyboards, Mice, and Joysticks (HID devices). My suggestion would be to get a 2.4 series kernel working with the HID stuff, add the vendor/product ID Magic Numbers to a table in one of the drivers, and see what it does. Linux will give you "Invalid scancode" when it sees invalid button presses, and hopefully that will give you a clue as to how to get the LCD panel to work.

    Of course, knowing the USB specs, this type of device probably has a very explicit protocol defined for it. You might be best served to send email around to the linux-usb (linux-usb.org) people to see if they have any clues.

    -josh, who likes to play with USB every so often, but really doesn't like it enough to actually work on it.
  • Another sthing (Score:5, Informative)

    by shorti9 (307602) on Thursday October 04, 2001 @02:16PM (#2388859)
    Run this through google: Toshiba LCD USB -camera HID Infinia [google.com]. If you remove the "Infinia" you get a lot more results, but they're a lot less pertinent.

    Included are directions to working with it under win9x; you could probably bug the linux guys about it based on that knowledge.

    Good luck, i'd like to know where to get my hands on one of these! =)
  • So how often do you "find" high-end items like this?

    And where, so I can look there too.

  • Have you tried... (Score:3, Informative)

    by cr0sh (43134) on Friday October 05, 2001 @02:00PM (#2392931) Homepage
    Calling or emailing Toshiba? Sometimes you might be able to be routed to someone a little bit clueful, who might even be kind enough to send a spec sheet to you - sometimes for a little money, sometimes for free.

    Couldn't hurt to try. You might also ask them if they know what the device is - and who made it originally - maybe you can find out more that way.

    I have an LCD module that I picked off a junk pile at a local electronics recycler (Apache Reclamation here in Phoenix). I took it home, took it apart - had a bunch of buttons and LCDs - looked like it might be interesting. I started to do some looking on the controller part - and found that it was some type of segment LCD driver (and not dot-matrix - damn!), but couldn't get a pinout.

    Being damn persistant, I finally managed to find an individual in Germany who sent me a PDF of the controller. At that point it was easy to trace lines back to determine what the keyboard operated, and what controlled the LCD.

    Turned out it was backlit, and when powered up, looked like some kind of temp/pressure control for med equipment or something. Not terribly useful for anything "normal", but I might find a use for it someday.

    So, be persistant - it will pay off in the end.

You can tell how far we have to go, when FORTRAN is the language of supercomputers. -- Steven Feiner

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