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Off the shelf controller chipset or PCB?

Discussion in 'Embedded' started by R.G., May 23, 2005.

  1. R.G.

    R.G. Guest

    Hi,

    I'm working on a control panel-like device that has a bunch of on/off
    buttons (100-200), a control knob (that drives an optical encoder) and
    an LCD display. The controller will interface with and control some
    software running on a PC via USB or CAT-5 or something similar.

    Does anyone know of some standard or off the shelf PCB/chipset solution
    for such a controller? It seems like a relatively simple design in
    terms of signal complexity and routing; just a bunch of digital IO's
    plus a counter or two, in addition to a chip to drive the LCD, all
    interfacing with a programmable CPU.

    What kind of processor will I need? Memory? The LCD chips? I've never
    done this sort of design before, and perhaps have a superficial
    understanding of what's involved. Once I have the PCB built, I feel
    this will be mainly a programming project.

    Is there a firm that specializes in this kind of glorified 'remote
    control' PCB/chipset design? Do turnkey solution exist for this
    application?

    Thank you for any advice you can provide. It is much appreciated.

    R.G.
     
    R.G., May 23, 2005
    #1
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  2. R.G.

    linnix Guest

    R.G. wrote:
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm working on a control panel-like device that has a bunch of on/off
    > buttons (100-200), a control knob (that drives an optical encoder)

    and
    > an LCD display. The controller will interface with and control some
    > software running on a PC via USB or CAT-5 or something similar.
    >


    It would be difficult to find a controller chip with 100s of I/O.

    > Does anyone know of some standard or off the shelf PCB/chipset

    solution
    > for such a controller? It seems like a relatively simple design in
    > terms of signal complexity and routing; just a bunch of digital IO's
    > plus a counter or two, in addition to a chip to drive the LCD, all
    > interfacing with a programmable CPU.


    The easiest way to do it is to use several CPLD programmed as parallel
    loaded shift registers. The controller chip enables loading 100s of
    inputs and
    shift in the data. A simple microcontroller can easily do the job, as
    well as driving an LCD.

    >
    > What kind of processor will I need? Memory? The LCD chips? I've never
    > done this sort of design before, and perhaps have a superficial
    > understanding of what's involved. Once I have the PCB built, I feel
    > this will be mainly a programming project.


    How big and what types of LCD? Dumb or smart LCD?

    >
    > Is there a firm that specializes in this kind of glorified 'remote
    > control' PCB/chipset design? Do turnkey solution exist for this
    > application?
    >
    > Thank you for any advice you can provide. It is much appreciated.
    >
    > R.G.
     
    linnix, May 24, 2005
    #2
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  3. R.G.

    R.G. Guest

    linnix wrote:

    > The easiest way to do it is to use several CPLD programmed as

    parallel
    > loaded shift registers. The controller chip enables loading 100s of
    > inputs and
    > shift in the data.


    OK. I apologize, but I'm not too familiar with this stuff, so I'm a bit
    unclear. How would the controller and my many IO's be connected to the
    shift registers? When a button is pressed, what exactly will happen in
    the shift register, and what will my controller read (and where)?

    > How big and what types of LCD? Dumb or smart LCD?


    My LCD would be at most 320x240 pixels and be programmable, so
    hopefully I can use graphics libraries to display data sent back from
    the PC.

    I hope this helps. Thanks again.
     
    R.G., May 24, 2005
    #3
  4. R.G.

    Phil W Guest

    are your switches toggle action or simply push button type actuation?

    Is more than a couple of buttons going to be operated at any one time?

    If they are simply pushbuttons and don't have many simultaneous operations
    it is possible to connect them in a matrix and scan them, maybe 15 x 15.

    Phil



    "R.G." <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > linnix wrote:
    >
    > > The easiest way to do it is to use several CPLD programmed as

    > parallel
    > > loaded shift registers. The controller chip enables loading 100s of
    > > inputs and
    > > shift in the data.

    >
    > OK. I apologize, but I'm not too familiar with this stuff, so I'm a bit
    > unclear. How would the controller and my many IO's be connected to the
    > shift registers? When a button is pressed, what exactly will happen in
    > the shift register, and what will my controller read (and where)?
    >
    > > How big and what types of LCD? Dumb or smart LCD?

    >
    > My LCD would be at most 320x240 pixels and be programmable, so
    > hopefully I can use graphics libraries to display data sent back from
    > the PC.
    >
    > I hope this helps. Thanks again.
    >
     
    Phil W, May 24, 2005
    #4
  5. R.G.

    R.G. Guest

    Many are toggle, but there are also many that are pushbutton action
    (i.e. something happens after a quick press and release). Some of the
    pushbutton action switches will be used together to invoke special
    functions, like a Shift or Alt key.
     
    R.G., May 24, 2005
    #5
  6. R.G.

    linnix Guest

    R.G. wrote:
    > Many are toggle, but there are also many that are pushbutton action
    > (i.e. something happens after a quick press and release). Some of

    the
    > pushbutton action switches will be used together to invoke special
    > functions, like a Shift or Alt key.


    Perhaps you can use a combination of scanned matrix and true registered
    input. Shift and Alt types needed to be registered, but action keys
    does not. Another question is whether the state of your switch board
    need to be preserved during power cycles. If so, scanned matrix won't
    work.
     
    linnix, May 24, 2005
    #6
  7. R.G.

    Neil Kurzman Guest

    "R.G." wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm working on a control panel-like device that has a bunch of on/off
    > buttons (100-200), a control knob (that drives an optical encoder) and
    > an LCD display. The controller will interface with and control some
    > software running on a PC via USB or CAT-5 or something similar.
    >
    > Does anyone know of some standard or off the shelf PCB/chipset solution
    > for such a controller? It seems like a relatively simple design in
    > terms of signal complexity and routing; just a bunch of digital IO's
    > plus a counter or two, in addition to a chip to drive the LCD, all
    > interfacing with a programmable CPU.
    >
    > What kind of processor will I need? Memory? The LCD chips? I've never
    > done this sort of design before, and perhaps have a superficial
    > understanding of what's involved. Once I have the PCB built, I feel
    > this will be mainly a programming project.
    >
    > Is there a firm that specializes in this kind of glorified 'remote
    > control' PCB/chipset design? Do turnkey solution exist for this
    > application?
    >
    > Thank you for any advice you can provide. It is much appreciated.
    >
    > R.G.


    Almost Anything 8 to 32 bits. If you are only building 1 and do not want
    to make boards go big with a PC104 set up or an industrial PLC. If you
    want to build a PCB smaller CPUs are OK. You can Poll Shift Registers or
    latches. If you want to use a matrix you will need diodes so you can read
    all possibilities.
    TCP/IP or USB find something that inclues it, or it is a lot of work. You
    can use a n RS232 to USB chip (FDTI or SiLabs) to avoid and work on it.

    Good Luck
     
    Neil Kurzman, May 24, 2005
    #7
  8. R.G.

    Luhan Monat Guest

    linnix wrote:
    > R.G. wrote:
    >
    >>Hi,
    >>
    >>I'm working on a control panel-like device that has a bunch of on/off
    >>buttons (100-200), a control knob (that drives an optical encoder)

    >
    > and
    >
    >>an LCD display. The controller will interface with and control some
    >>software running on a PC via USB or CAT-5 or something similar.
    >>

    >
    >
    > It would be difficult to find a controller chip with 100s of I/O.
    >
    >
    >>Does anyone know of some standard or off the shelf PCB/chipset

    >
    > solution


    Yea, a $10 keyboard for a PC plugged into a micro controller which
    drives a standard LCD module. 2 lines needed for keyboard, 6 lines for
    LCD. Quadrature encoder uses 2 more lines. 1 line to transmit serial
    data. PIC16F628 should do the trick. If you need a few more lines for
    other stuff, use the PIC16F870. Both have hardware UART function.

    --
    Luhan Monat: luhanis(at)yahoo(dot)com
    http://members.cox.net/berniekm
    "Any sufficiently advanced magick is
    indistinguishable from technology."
     
    Luhan Monat, May 24, 2005
    #8
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