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PICList Thread
'Marquee Display'
1997\01\29@100333 by Scott Horton

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I have a project where I need a BIG scrolling-type display.  Big meaning
with text about 4-6" tall and 20 or so characters (or more) wide, ideally
with two lines possible.  It has to be bright (for viewing in very bright
ambient light).  I thought of building one with discreet LED's and
controlling with PIC's but what a chore that will be.  Does anyone know
where/who sells these already built?  OR anyone ever made one of these
using PIC's?

Thanks

Scott

1997\01\29@104735 by optoeng

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Scott Horton wrote:
>
> I have a project where I need a BIG scrolling-type display.  Big meaning
> with text about 4-6" tall and 20 or so characters (or more) wide, ideally
> with two lines possible.  It has to be bright (for viewing in very bright
> ambient light).  I thought of building one with discreet LED's and
> controlling with PIC's but what a chore that will be.  Does anyone know
> where/who sells these already built?  OR anyone ever made one of these
> using PIC's?
>
> Thanks
>
> Scott

I don't have mfgr's names ready to hand, but they can be found in the
Thomas Register on the web.

If you're talking about viewing in direct sunlight, your best bet  is
probably the mechanical 'flip-disc' type of display or similar that one
sees in stadiums and on traffic alert marquees.  Big bucks!  However,
they don't consume any power except during display changes.

The only way to make LEDs reasonably discriminable in strong sunlight is
to provide each of them with a black baffle or equivalent (e.g., 3M LCF
products), which restricts viewing angle.   And, you will need a lot of
current to drive a big display.
--
NOTE: remove asterisks from email address to reply directly

Paul Mathews, consulting engineer
AEngineering Co.

email: spam_OUToptoengTakeThisOuTspamwhidbey.com
non-contact sensing and optoelectronics specialists

1997\01\29@115915 by Miller, Steve

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Scott,

My last job was for a company called Texas Digital Systems (409-693-9378)
that specialized in LED displays.  I designed a unit  for them that is
very similar to what you are describing.  It could do up to three lines
of text in a variety of sizes.  These units are not cheap.  The system
uses muti Z80180 processors.  Texas Digital Systems caters to clients
with deep pockets.

A cheaper version of the same concept is made by a company called
Adaptive Micro Systems of Milwaukee WI.  While being cheaper in price,
the units are quite inferior in quality.     AMS holds their cost down by
using their own crude LED tiles.  LED tiles are not cheap especially in
the quantities that are required for large LED signs.

Good Luck.

---- Steve


----------
From:  pic microcontroller discussion [SMTP:.....PICLISTKILLspamspam@spam@MITVMA.MIT.EDU]
Sent:  Wednesday, January 29, 1997 9:00 AM
To:  Multiple recipients of list PIC
Subject:  Marquee Display



I have a project where I need a BIG scrolling-type display.  Big meaning
with text about 4-6" tall and 20 or so characters (or more) wide, ideally
with two lines possible.  It has to be bright (for viewing in very bright
ambient light).  I thought of building one with discreet LED's and
controlling with PIC's but what a chore that will be.  Does anyone know
where/who sells these already built?  OR anyone ever made one of these
using PIC's?

Thanks

Scott

1997\01\30@020051 by Werner Terreblanche

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Scott Horton wrote:
>
> I have a project where I need a BIG scrolling-type display.  Big
> meaning with text about 4-6" tall and 20 or so characters (or more)
> wide, ideally with two lines possible.  It has to be bright (for
> viewing in very bright ambient light).  I thought of building one
> with discreet LED's and controlling with PIC's but what a chore that
> will be.  Does anyone know where/who sells these already built?  OR
> anyone ever made one of these using PIC's?

A couple of years ago I made loads of displays exactly like this
using a PIC16C57 as the core.  I still have several of these display
boards lying around my storeroom, but I'm definetely not interested
in starting up this project again.  Also these displays of mine
worked fine indoors, but they would not have clearly visible
outdoors.

I know someone here in Cape Town who  makes excellent graphic LED
displays of any size.  His software to drive these things are
excellent, and you can display any bitmap graphics on it as well as
all the different fonts usually available under the windows operating
system.  And his displays come in all shapes and sizes and these days
he even have multi-coloured ones.  I think the prices start at about
$500 for a display like you described to about  $3500 for a really
big one of 1.5m x 1m.

If you are really interested in just a nice bright display for a
single application, I would recommend you buy it rather than try and
build it yourself.  It is a much bigger and expensive excercise than
you can imagine.  There are plenty of places selling such displays.
Just here in South Africa alone, I know of at least three sources.

Regards
Werner
--
Werner Terreblanche     http://www.aztec.co.za/users/werner
wterrebspamKILLspamplessey.co.za (work)  OR  .....wernerKILLspamspam.....aztec.co.za  (home)
Plessey SA, PO Box 30451,Tokai 7966, Cape Town, South Africa
or (Suite 251, PostNet X5061, Stellenbosch, 7599)
Tel +27 21 7102251   Fax +27 21 721278   Cell +27 837255164
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