The user interface


Getting the LCD to work…

LCD

The backlight works. Great. I can proceed further.

Okay so then I hooked up all the wires…

The wiring

Note that this image doesn’t show the right wiring exactly. I actually had to add a few more after I took a photo.

And I didn’t get much further than that. I have tried and tried again with this LCD and have not gotten it to work. I think I’ll have to put this off and play with it at a later date. I have double and triple-checked the wiring and it is all correct. It’s a pain and I think the problem is that I got it from a chinese ebay store. It’s the only thing in the box of parts that I got that doesn’t work.

Oh well.

Change of plan

Moving right along now…

So with the LCD scrapped I decided to implement a simple communication system for letting me know when people are online, the server’s status etc.

I went back to good old LEDs for this. I was going to use this funky  7 segment display (seen in the background of the photo below) until I discovered I didn’t have enough pins left because the ethernet had gobbled them up. I could use a multiplexer but that is just adding complexity and I like to keep it simple stupid (KISS).

Okay so here’s the basic electronics that the server has onboard. I didn’t put the wiring in because that would only confuse things for you guys.

  1. It’s got 3 LEDs – red for fail, green for good and yellow for connected or notifications (or SD card).
  2. An LM35 temperature sensor ( the transistor look-alike)  for logging weather.
  3. A green tilt sensor to detect whether the server has been stolen or manhandled.
  4. A button to turn it on or to dismiss a warning. There’s another on the protoboard.
  5. An IR receiver to read signals sent from my remote control.
  6. A piezo buzzer so I can annoy my parents from anywhere in the world.

So that’s pretty much all I need to get started on the code on Thursday. I won’t be able to work on it on Wednesday because I’m teaching kiddies how to build robots 🙂

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