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Sylvester

Registered: 22/10/11
Posts: 6
 #1 
Hi,
I've just started with these displays with the use of the devboard and been playing with it for a couple of days.  The displays are great but nothing about getting up and running is made easy by the dev kit.  Rather than moaning I thought I'd jot my experiences down for other users and hopefully someone from 4d can take this as constructive feedback.



The following is for the DK-160G1(GFX) kit.  To start, I just wanted to get up and running as quickly as possible by putting some code directly on the unit that would do something (anything!)

Things you get in the kit:

Things that you should also get in the kit but you don't:
  • Essential: USB cable.
  • Essential: Micro-sd card converter (ideally a USB to micro-sd or at least a SD-micro-sd adaptor.
  • Essential: Jumpers for the dev board.
  • Essential: Quick start guide.
  • Useful: CD with drivers.
  • Useful: Power supply
It is fair enough for the actual displays to come with no extra parts as this keeps them low cost and better for us all.  But I would far prefer to spend an extra $50 on a development kit that has all the parts needed to get things running easily.  With this sort of technology, if you can't get up and running with your first program within 30 minutes of plugging the power in, then the dev kit needs work.

The micro-sd card adaptor is essential for anything you want to do with your display that includes background pictures or fonts.  I haven't gone into how to display a picture here but it was another challenge to find all the information needed.  I'll do a thread on that at a later date.

The documentation and software you need to get you up and running is spread all over the 4d site so I'll try to summarise here:

  1. Install the USB drivers from here: http://www.silabs.com/pages/DownloadDoc.aspx?FILEURL=Support%20Documents/Software/CP210x_VCP_Win_XP_S2K3_Vista_7.exe&src=SupportDocLibrary
  2. There is actually a dev kit user guide, it is just not linked to on all the dev kit pages.  Rather than searching on the product page for, say, the DK-160G1(GFX) user guide, you should try here: http://www.4dsystems.com.au/downloads/DEVBOARD-G1/Docs/DEVBOARD-G1_Users_Manual_Rev1.0.pdf 
  3. Find some jumpers from somewhere (back of an old hard drive or take a trip to the shops) and put them across the RX and TX pins as shown on page 9 of the dev kit guide.
  4. Use the user guide to correctly plug your μUSB-MB5 and your display in. 
  5. Now connect the devboard to your PC with the USB cable.  The drivers should auto install.
  6. Before you can do much, you need to load a file onto the display (via the devboard) to enable it to work as a stand alone module.  This file is a .PmmC file.  The file for your display will be found on your display's product page, e.g. http://www.4dsystems.com.au/prod.php?id=85 (under the downloads tab).
  7. To load the file to the display, you need the PmmC loader program found here:  http://www.4dsystems.com.au/prod.php?id=46
  8. For all of the programs, you need to run as administrator if you are using windows 7 (or I think you can disable UAV for the same effect).  To do this, right click on the file to run and select 'Run as Administrator'.
  9. Choose the correct Com port (probably COM10), browse for the .PmmC file you downloaded that suits your display and click 'load'.  The Loader program will tell you if it worked.  One tip, make sure the green light is on on the Devboard (i.e. the power is switched on).
  10. Now to chuck a program on the beast.  You need to download the 'workshop' tool from http://www.4dsystems.com.au/prod.php?id=111
  11. When installed, open a file, say, gfx2_clock.4dg from the 'test' directory. 
  12. Change the Com port at the top of the screen to the right one (e.g. COM10). 
  13. Click the 'compile'n load' button at the top of the screen and hopefully the clock code will be dropped onto the display and you'll see a clock.
  14. In order to develop your own code, you'll need the software reference manual that should be linked to on your displays product page under the 'downloads' tab.  e.g.
  15.      - GOLDELOX-GFX2-4DGL-Internal-Functions-rev2.pdf
         - 4DGL-Programmers-Reference-Manual-rev2.pdf
Well I hope that gets you up and running faster than the two days of hunting a trial and error it took me!


4DTechSupport2

Moderator
Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 7
 #2 
Dear Sylvester,

We greatly appreciate the effort you have made to share your experience with 4D products on the forum. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our customer experience and it is through feedback such as this, that we can work towards providing a better service.
I would like to share with you that we have been developing an extensive range of Application Notes that are due for release on our website soon. This is a compilation of all the applications that will help a user achieve various tasks. eg. How to Display an Image using 4DGL; How to play a sound using 4DGL; How to parition your uSD card etc etc. 
Each one will address a different issue and is designed to provide as much detailed information about using 4D products as possible. This will be a focal point for users looking for answers to their questions. 
An initial range will be released, which will be added to periodically.

I'd like to thank you again for writing such a detailed response and we wish you all the best with your development.

Kind Regards,

Mitch - 4D
Sylvester

Registered: 22/10/11
Posts: 6
 #3 
Hi there Mitch,

That's great news.  I know it can be very hard to get the time (and newbie perspective!) to generate basic guides to advanced hardware systems.  For the future dev kits I hope that you will try to throw in at least the jumpers needed and a cd of these application notes (or something that provides links to all the lastes copies). 
The last thing any of us want is people putting dev kits on the shelf because they couldn't get them to work :-)

Cheers
S
4dTechSupport

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered: 23/02/09
Posts: 379
 #4 
Sylvester,
Are you talking about the jumper shunts or the jumper leads?
-Bilal

Sylvester

Registered: 22/10/11
Posts: 6
 #5 
Hi there Bilal,

The jumper shunts that connect the RX and TX up on the devboard.  I have plenty of the jumper leads.

Thanks
S

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