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  • Worked out of the box, but not for beginners!

    posted by tocsa135ls on 07/22/2012
    1 0

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 day to 1 week

    Pros:

    works on first sight
    all components soldered nicely
    power connector onboard
    absolutely no soldering needed to work
    ISP header
    Atmega8 onboard
    begins autoscrolling after some time (SW)
    brightness adjustable (SW)
    provision on the board for an RTC clock with battery+crystal
    provision on the INT1 input on the atmega for possibly IR receiver

    Cons:

    well, the month/day character is in chinese, but as the unit is from China, I'm not sure if this is a con; next time maybe just use a dash, ok?
    no voltage regulator! caution, you will fry at least the mega8 with a cheap wall-wart!
    no documentation
    not for beginners
    leading 0 in time mode not blanked out, ex. 09:22 (SW)

    OtherThoughts:

    Definitely not for the beginner! The power socket onboard is NOT regulated in any way, there is no space on the board for a VREG either. You will have to build/use an external 5V regulated power supply. The atmega uses an external "clock" 32.768kHz crystal. Lockbits in the mega8 not set, so I now have the code for the clock, not sure if I only use the connections from it, or some of the code... will have to spend some time on it.
    The HT1632C has its own documentation and I think I saw an Adafruit library for it, sadly for Arduino not native AVR, so that will need fettling.

    Bottomline:

    Positive for the price, definitely _worth_ _every_ _cent_, in shops the individual components would cost double that.
    Negative for the lack of any kind of documentation, the PCB design files would help to know what pin of the atmega is connected where.

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