Character mode support offers the ability to use other technologies rather than graphic VFD it was originally designed for. Note that the display window is originally designed for VFD so this does impact the brightness of the display when using LCD or OLED.
SuperSynthProjects has managed to purchase a batch of OLED character displays specially made to order with the correct form factor and configuration.
The pictures below, show the OLED display installed in an MKS70. The brightness is not as high as LCD but does benefit from higher contrast.
LCD modules with a few carefully made modifications can offer a great low cost option.
The pictures below show how the LCD looks when installed in a JX10 instrument.
LCD is no longer available for MKS70 due to difficulty fitting inside a cramped space.
Go Your Own Way?
For hobbyists who want to find their own route, the PCB software supports character mode LCD, OLED and VFD display modules in addition to the Noritake GU280 graphic VFD. With these types of displays a configuration link is set on the Display PCB to inform the software that it has a 2 line character display connected instead of a graphic.
For examples; the Futaba M402SD10FJ 40 character x 2 line VFD module or Winstar OLED 40×2 WEH004002A are potential options and do functionally work. However, note that they are a complex fit because the components on the rear are tall and huge holes have to be strategically drilled in the instrument display board. Note that the Winstar OLED 40×2 does not fit inside the MKS70 because it has a large PCB that fouls the top of the enclosure. One customer has successfully fitted a Futaba 40×2 with a great deal of modification.
Interestingly, the GU280 module recommended also has 2 line character mode support and works in this configuration if users prefer it to operate this way or wish to try it out for interest.
From time to time, character based VFDs are available at low cost on eBay as a surplus items. Noritake also do a range of them too.
The displays achieved in this mode look like the ones above and below the JX10 window in the images below:
The display in the middle is the GU280 graphic VFD behind the JX10 window with two other displays placed on top of the instrument without a window.
Top display is a Noritake 40 character x 2 line VFD module.
Bottom display is a low cost FFSTN LCD with a simple contrast control and backlight circuit added.
If using other display types than the recommended GU280X16G-7806A then it is important that the maximum height limitation of 15mm in the JX10 is not exceeded. This is explained in the fitting and build guides.
Copyright © 2020 Super Synth Projects, Guy Wilkinson