Custom PDSP-1881 32x4 LED Character Display

I have an unnatural attraction to vintage, rare, expensive, obsolete displays ... so naturally I decided to buy a bunch!

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There's something special about nixies, numitrons, and vfds that warms my hearts but I also have a fondness for LED's as well. I've had my eye on the PDSP series of character LED modules but they usually sell for ridiculous prices in one off quantities. Well I finally found a seller who was selling lots of 10 pieces for a semi-reasonable price so I knew it was now or never ...

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TinLethax wrote 09/06/2021 at 09:00 point

Really nice project! I've been hunting this on eBay for couple years not. I actually found one German sell. sadly I can't handle the shipping fees. Anyway,  AFAIK this display is capable of custom bitmap too. Would be nice to make some kind of Server / NAS status or network monitor display. Put some nice graphic icon for decoration ;D

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sjm4306 wrote 09/07/2021 at 14:10 point

Yep you can define custom characters, I've added that functionality to the 2nd revision of this project for my 16x4 display that is completely controlled with one spi interface.

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TinLethax wrote 09/07/2021 at 14:43 point

I own the SCDQ5542 and SCDQ5544 each. These Shift register based display can turns dot on and off independently, You can chain many of them and make the Graphic Dot display, but of course if you were the lucky one to find more than 2 (btw I bought it from China for 10 bucks each).

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fraggle wrote 03/30/2021 at 15:41 point

How's progress?  I have some of these displays and I'd rather not reinvent the wheel to get them working.  I had a hack up on SPI at one point but the code was lost with one of my older PC's.  I was considering something I2C to get it running this time around.

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sjm4306 wrote 09/07/2021 at 14:14 point

See the 16x4 version I made recently, I've added example code that controls the display via spi. It wouldn't be very difficult to port to i2c but would require modification to the pcb and adding a small onboard microcontroller.

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Ken Yap wrote 04/06/2019 at 23:59 point

Nice to see more display fan(atic)s here. 👍

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sjm4306 wrote 04/08/2019 at 13:19 point

I love vintage/rare/unique display technologies, just a shame that they are so expensive. I got lucky this time in finding a seller who listed lots of these displays for $40/ten pieces (instead of the usual $30 a piece), not exactly cheap but probably the cheapest I will ever find them until they become impossible to find. I could do so many interesting, complex projects if displays like these didn't tend to cost an arm and a leg.

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Ken Yap wrote 04/08/2019 at 13:38 point

It took me 30 years to get this display working again:

ell I had other things to do in the meantime. 😁

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davedarko wrote 04/05/2019 at 20:48 point

You're in the right place to share this attraction :D

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sjm4306 wrote 04/08/2019 at 13:21 point

I have a little work to do on the driver software to make it serially controllable and then I have to figure out what I want to display other than the obligatory clock I always end up making. Maybe I'll make it into some sort of wifi connected news ticker, or internet radio/plex interface display.

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