Friday, August 16, 2013

N54L LCD-Mod with U204FR-A3 (LCDModkit) and lcdproc (II)

Here it goes. I was looking for an LCD display for my microservers 5,25'' bay and found this neat post. The manufacturer of the LCD display used there provides different displays for this purpose. I've decided for an U204FR-A2 in black with a red backlight. It left Hongkong around five days later and arrived here another 6 days later. All in all: I got it after 11 days.

I unpacked the LCD device. It comes with an internal USB connector and is driven by an Hitachi HD44780 LCD controller. The connection wasn't a problem at all. I've already put a Silverstone SST-EC04-P PCIe card with two USB 3.0 external ports and an internal 19pin dual port connector into the systems PCIe 1x slot. Now to connect the LCD with this card I've bought an Inline 19pin USB 3.0 header to 8pin double USB 2.0 header adapter and connected the card with the LCD display. Easy, right?

To make the display "attached" to the case - it comes with two steel sheets and two screw holes each, that cannot be attached to anything in the microserver case - I've used a small workaround: double-faced adhesive tape and two halfs of a matchbox - one can also use small scantlings - and created a bonding between the steel sheets and the case.

That's it. I put the cover plate carefully back - the steels sheets of the LCD display and the LED of the server will bump to each other!

There are two programs to output information to the LCD display. These are lcdproc and lcd4linux. I started with the first one which only provides pre-defined screens. Seems with the latter one can create own screens. This is an option for the future.

lcdproc consists of two programs. First there is a daemon called LCDd. It controls the driver, contrast etc.pp. The relevant parts of its configuration file /etc/LCDd.conf look like as shown below. Note that I did not change the default values for contrast or brightness.



To print something to the screen one can use the lcdproc command, which is configured via /etc/lcdproc.conf. I've enabled the Iface, TimeDate, SMP-CPU, and MiniClock screens. The program is started during startup via cron. The file /etc/cron.d/lcdproc simply contains this:

@reboot root    lcdproc

The following pictures show the resulting screens, which change every 25 seconds. That's it.

1 comment:

  1. Hello:

    I was trying to put an lcd screen for the same purpose as you IN THE SAME MODEL. I've just discover the solutions in LCD-Mod and I was wondering if the hardware they provided will work under lcdproc (I'm using an Nas4Free solution and I've been able to make work and old L.I.S. serial display). Your post makes me go on and order a unit to test.
    Thank you