Round LCDs work in rack mount gauge clusters

Like many of you, we are interested in the possibilities offered by the availability of affordable round LCD panels. But beyond the smartwatches they were designed for, it’s not always easy to come up with the right app for this kind of unconventional display. The digital “steam gauge” is one of the first ideas that comes to mind, so it’s probably no surprise that [Tom Dowad] Accepted his project. But instead of just one or two gauges, he decided to all out and place eight of them in 1U rack mountable units.

Do you need eight fault-analog gauges? Beats us, but that’s not our department. Now [Tom] There is a whole range of indicators that can be used to show where he wants to look. The fact that the device is actually controlled via MIDI may give us an indication that there is a musical element (no pun intended), but then again, this is not the first time we’ve seen MIDI used as a convenience and it’s good to synchronize gadgets. Supported ways.

Outside of the eight 240 x 240 pixel panels, the unit has a Teensy 4.0, some level shifters and a 74HC138 used to select which ones to communicate with the microcontroller. In terms of software, he is using the Arduino environment with some PNG decompression routines [Larry Bank] And graphics code from [moononournation]. Gage’s background image is apparently a licensed stock photo, which may seem somewhat outstanding, but we cannot deny that the final result is very realistic.

Just last year we covered a primer to work with round LCDs, and we’ve already seen some enterprising hackers use them on custom smartwatches. Whether you’re suffering from ischemophobia, or getting sick of being confined to the same annoying displays on your gadgets, it’s exciting to see the community embrace this new technology.

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