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LapTimer

Page history last edited by mckgyver@... 9 years, 6 months ago

Mobile Lap Timer for Track and Field Events

 

 

 

       

 

   

 

I happened to have an old AMS (Betabrite) LED marquee sitting around, so I decided to configure it as a large readout. The sign is controlled via rs232 with an Arduino RBBB. A Betabrite sign can read/write text, dots, strings, or configuration commands. A text message is the easiest to configure and is a good starting point (see resources below for examples). However, the sign will blink every time a text message updates. The sign blink isnt a problem for things that update infrequently, but it becomes annoying for a clock (that updates once a second).

 

Strings are designed to be rapidly updated, but are more challenging to implement.

Here is the basic sequence for using strings:

1) A space in sign memory is allocated for a string.

2) A text message is saved in memory. This message will call the string as a variable. (e.g. Text:The Temperature is XX degrees Celsius, String: XX = 12)

3) A string is sent to the sign, every time display data updates.

 

See my string example code for an implementation for Arduino.


Resources

I came across a few good resources that covered interfacing with Betabrite signs:

Good resource for basic hardware configuration (cable fabrication and test code)

http://www.i-hacked.com/content/view/225/90/

 

Someones test code (good for verifying cable integrity)

BetabriteHelloWorld.exe

 

Helpful discussion of Betabrite communications protocol (useful example code)

http://dens-site.net/betabrite/betabrite.htm#basic_proto_overview

 

Another discussion of Programming LED signs

http://wls.wwco.com/ledsigns/alpha/protocol.html

 

Here is a copy of the Alpha Sign Communication Protocol. The manual is a bit cryptic at first, but there are a few good code examples.

Alpha Sign Communication Protocol (PN 97088061).pdf

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