And I found something useful here. Although the example that came with it was targeted for a Gadgeteer Extender Module (which I don’t have), I had no problems getting it to work. I created an additional constructor that would accept pin numbers, like this:
SerialLCDDisplay lcd = new SerialLCDDisplay( FEZ_Pin.Digital.Di21, // RS FEZ_Pin.Digital.Di23, // ENABLE FEZ_Pin.Digital.Di25, // DB4 FEZ_Pin.Digital.Di27, // DB5 FEZ_Pin.Digital.Di29, // DB6 FEZ_Pin.Digital.Di31); // DB7
It took me some time to figure that out, but within the hour I had the LCD running. I added an endless loop with an increasing counter and a delay of 1 second and let the
sketch program run; at the time I took the picture it had been running for more than 4 hours.
One thing I noticed was that the LCD sometimes displayed garbage when the Panda was rebooted; after that everything worked OK, but startup looked a bit ugly. Maybe give the hardware connected to the Panda some more time to settle? I don’t know yet; we’ll see about that later. Another thing I need to have a look at is the fact that this SerialLCDDisplay class was apparently written for an LCD with 2 lines; cause line 0 (first line on the LCD) and 1 (second line on the LCD) were OK, but output destined for line 2 were shown on the first line of the LCD again – probably a minor issue.
And since I’ll have to change the class code for that anyway, I’ll also add 2 additional parameters with which I can set the number of rows and columns of the LCD – cause I have both 20×4 as well as 16×2 LCDs!
Oh, and I saw these automatically generated Debug messages appearing in the Debug output window in Visual Studio on my PC:
GC: 4msec 12132 bytes used, 52248 bytes available Type 0F (STRING ): 96 bytes Type 11 (CLASS ): 1596 bytes Type 12 (VALUETYPE ): 60 bytes Type 13 (SZARRAY ): 108 bytes Type 15 (FREEBLOCK ): 52248 bytes Type 17 (ASSEMBLY ): 7560 bytes Type 18 (WEAKCLASS ): 48 bytes Type 19 (REFLECTION ): 24 bytes Type 1B (DELEGATE_HEAD ): 72 bytes Type 1D (OBJECT_TO_EVENT ): 168 bytes Type 1E (BINARY_BLOB_HEAD ): 156 bytes Type 1F (THREAD ): 384 bytes Type 20 (SUBTHREAD ): 48 bytes Type 21 (STACK_FRAME ): 828 bytes Type 27 (FINALIZER_HEAD ): 168 bytes Type 31 (IO_PORT ): 252 bytes Type 34 (APPDOMAIN_HEAD ): 72 bytes Type 36 (APPDOMAIN_ASSEMBLY ): 492 bytes
This must be some diagnostic information from the GC process kicking in. 12 KB used? Woow… that’s 20%. But what’s the baseline of used memory, e.g. what does a program with an ‘empty’ main() use in terms of memory? Sounds like a good subject for another post..