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Arduino and Max7219  7 segment displays
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Using 7-segment displays with Arduino and FSX Already some time there is a lot of interest for the Arduino boards in combination with Flight Simulator FSX. Arduino is a small microprocessor board which can be programmed very easy. A lot of people are playing with these boards and there are also numerous examples available so that you could do almost anything without to much trouble. This is a totally different adventure than the PoKeys cards in that the Arduino does nothing without you programming it. These boards are also in no way compatible with the PoKeys cards. Because a lot of people from the flightsim comunity are using this microprocessor, we decided to create a few add on boards for use with Arduino and the first of this will be a 7-segment board based on MAX7219. It will be able to drive 2 sets of 8 digits, so 16 digits with one board. The boards can be coupled to a maximum of 4, so 64 digits can be adressed from 3 ports on a Arduino board. Where to find general information about Arduino... A good starting point for general info: A lot of tutorials with schematics and how to's: Fun things to do with Arduino Again lots of examples Freeware program with lots of examples Arduino in combination with FSX Flight Simulator A must see if you use FSX A very busy forum about Flightsim FSX and Arduino
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How about the programming code to drive the MAX 7-segment boards... So here is a standard testing program to see how it works. In this example there is no connection with FSX //We always have to include the library #include "LedControl.h" /*  Now we need a LedControl to work with.  ***** These pin numbers will probably not work with your hardware *****  pin 11 is connected to the DataIn  pin 12 is connected to the CLK  pin 8 is connected to LOAD  We have only a single MAX72XX.  */ LedControl lc=LedControl(11,12,8,1); /* we always wait a bit between updates of the display */ unsigned long delaytime=250; void setup() {   /*    The MAX72XX is in power-saving mode on startup,    we have to do a wakeup call    */   lc.shutdown(0,false);   /* Set the brightness to a medium values */   lc.setIntensity(0,8);   /* and clear the display */   lc.clearDisplay(0); } /*  This method will display the characters for the  word "Arduino" one after the other on digit 0.  */ void writeArduinoOn7Segment() {       lc.setChar(0,0,'a',false);   delay(delaytime);   lc.setRow(0,0,0x05);   delay(delaytime);   lc.setChar(0,0,'d',false);   delay(delaytime);   lc.setRow(0,0,0x1c);   delay(delaytime);   lc.setRow(0,0,B00010000);   delay(delaytime);   lc.setRow(0,0,0x15);   delay(delaytime);   lc.setRow(0,0,0x1D);   delay(delaytime);   lc.clearDisplay(0);   delay(delaytime); } /*   This method will scroll all the hexa-decimal  numbers and letters on the display. You will need at least  four 7-Segment digits. otherwise it won't really look that good.  */ void scrollDigits() {   for(int i=0;i<13;i++) {     lc.setDigit(0,3,i,false);     lc.setDigit(0,2,i+1,false);     lc.setDigit(0,1,i+2,false);     lc.setDigit(0,0,i+3,false);     delay(delaytime);   }   lc.clearDisplay(0);   delay(delaytime); } void loop() { /*  writeArduinoOn7Segment();   scrollDigits();   */     lc.setDigit(0, 0, 1, false);   lc.setDigit(0, 1, 1, false);   lc.setDigit(0, 2, 7, true);   lc.setDigit(0, 3, 4, false);   lc.setDigit(0, 4, 2, false);   delay(1000);   lc.setDigit(0, 5, 6, false);   lc.setDigit(0, 6, 7, false);   lc.setDigit(0, 7, 8, true);   delay(1000);     } That's it, nothing fancy Here is a little snipped how it is done in combination with FSX and Jims excellent program Links2FSX case 'C':    //COMM2 Active         Count = 0;         while (Count < 5 )         {           Digit = "";           Digit += getChar();           if (Digit ==".")             {               Digit = "";               Digit += getChar();             }           Com2Active[Count] = Digit.toInt();           Count++;         }         if (Rotary ==4)         {           //here the frequency is set to the 7-segment displays            led_Display_1.setDigit(0,7,Com2Active[0],false);            led_Display_1.setDigit(0,6,Com2Active[1],false);            led_Display_1.setDigit(0,5,Com2Active[2],true);            led_Display_1.setDigit(0,4,Com2Active[3],false);            led_Display_1.setDigit(0,3,Com2Active[4],false);         }             break;
The boards used in this video were experimental boards, above this text are the real ones
Arduino MicroController page ------------------------------------------------ Using Arduino with MAX7219 boards ------------------------------------------------ Using MicroDrivers 7 segment with Arduino ------------------------------------------------