Touchscreens All Day

A project log for Matrix Operator's Console

kittankittan 04/15/2014 at 07:060 Comments

04.14.2014 (Kittan)
Today I jacked with touchscreens all day. We set up a chalkboard (yes, a big flat stone you write on with a little round stone) to help organize ideas and divide up tasks, then I went back to touchscreens. I found enough parts to get six of them running on USB (previously I had 3 that were serial only). One of our screens is now parts from three or four different screens and a bit of custom circuitry - you can see the 5V buck circuit inline with the 12V power connector on it in the picture.

(technically not garbage, maybe worth a writeup of its own)

One screen had a shot inverter so I had to find a swap for that, and then cut up the housing and drill/tap/add some standoffs to mount it. Another guy, a little IBM something-or-other, I had to basically completely rebuild. It wasn't a touchscreen but it is now. Unfortunately the USB on the touch controller shot craps so it's serial only, which means I had to buy some USB-RS232 converters since the computer only has one COM. Also had some issues with two screens enumerating with the same device ID, so I couldn't run them both at the same time - probably doesn't matter since I know XP sucks at handling those problems and we're only testing with XP right now because it was already on the hard drive I stuffed in the machine. In any case, the serial converter takes the cost so far up to about $112 (priority shipping, you know; we got deadlines to meet).
(six fully functional touchscreens - three of them very custom, and one with backlight issues to be addressed tomorrow)

The next step is to strip down and, where necessary, re-jack the remaining 5 screens and get ready to start cutting out the custom housings. That should be pretty much done tomorrow.
I'm not sure what Novak's got going with code; we laid out some of the definition for the output of the city generator algorithm and I think he was working on creating and parsing sample files so we can start writing a basic rendering engine. The hardware should be done in a few days and then I'll get to sit down and write the city generator, which should be pretty ridiculous.