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 Post subject: iMON VFD: Any plans on implementing support?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:30 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:41 am
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Hi!

I am in the process of putting together a Media PC System, which is based on the HFX Media PC case that includes an iMON VFD display. I am considering Albumplayer as the main software for managing my audio files.

For everyone new to VFDs, here are two pictures of the case and the display, currently displaying track 1 of 1 (1/1) and the filename "Sting - Inside", as well as the current track position (0:00:29 in the first pic).

Image

Image

The VFD display currently only displays information from the integrated media player as well as Winamp (tried it with Albumplayer, did not display any information).

My question is: Would it be possible to support the VFD from within Albumplayer?

The website of the VFD manufacturer (http://www.soundgraph.com) offers an API written in Visual C++ 6.0 that can be downloaded on that site (direct link iMON_VFD_API.zip).
Via this API, it should be possible to display any information on the VFD.

Here's the description of the API from the soundgraph website:
The 'iMON_VFD_API.zip' file inlcudes 5 files ('Demo_Program.zip', 'iMON_VFD_Demo.exe', 'SG_VFD.dll', 'SG_VFD.h', and 'SG_VFD.lib'). The 'Demo_Program.zip' file is a sample source of the 'iMON_VFD_Demo.exe' program, 'iMON_VFD_Demo.exe' is an executable file, the 'SG_VFD.dll', 'SG_VFD.h' and 'SG_VFD.lib'files should be copied to your project folder.

I would be happy to help testing the VFD integration during development.

Thanks in advance for your feedback,

with kind regards,
Marc Hinzpeter


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:59 am 
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It should not be to difficult to implement this, but it can be done best as an add-on. Are you an software developer yourself? The AlbumPlayer has a simple add-on interface (http://www.albumon.com/attachments/AP_info_interface.txt) . In such an add-on you could even scroll the text over the display at time base (would be nice because it is small).


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 9:12 am 
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I had some closer look at it, but I see there is also a possibility to display equalizer data on it, which would not be supported through the proposed inerface.

In case you use winamp, I assume you use a winamp add-on. Which one is that? It is possible when I add support for winamp visual plug-ins it would work too.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:43 pm 

Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 2:41 am
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Hi !

Thanks for your quick reply.

Although I studied computer science, I ended up in interactive marketing, so I am not really a software-developer :wink:. Nevertheless, I do have some knowledge of the Visual Basic programming language, but haven't done anything in C++ yet. I first would have to get the Visual C++ API running in Visual Basic - if I manage to do that, I think using the add-on interface would be the best solution.

Winamp is supported by the iMON VFD without any additional plugins. It seems that the iMON application has the possibility to read the media information directly from Winamp.

Regarding equalizer data: I personally think that the title information and the track progress is much more important than an equalizer. Both cannot be displayed at the same time anyway.

I will keep you updated if I manage to get this thing working!

With kind regards,
Marc Hinzpeter


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2007 12:50 pm 
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I think Carlos who is the developer for the CD-Art-Display add-on uses visual basic too. May be he can supply you some basic code to connect to the albumplayer and read the data. His name at the forum here is Carlospr ( http://forum.albumon.com/profile.php?mo ... file&u=190 )

Carlos might also know how to invoke DLL calls from VB .

I would not use VC++ 6.0 , then a better alternative would be Visual Studio .Net with VB.Net . But I think it is wise just to use VB because you are familiar with it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:45 pm 
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Hi ! 2 years later, I would like to know if there is any change on this topic. Is any user take time to develop or adaptapt a plug in to deal with iMon remote display for HTPC ? If not perhaps I will find time to do it but if it's already done ... 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 10:31 am 
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(I moved the discussion to add-on section)

I don't have the time to look into this subject. Is this something similar as the BetaBrite support? http://forum.albumon.com/viewtopic.php?t=1117
If so, may be the developer of the add-on can help you with this to start or even add the support for your type of display? As mentioned I did not look into the subject so may be I am talking rubbish.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:56 pm 

Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:29 pm
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I have no skill in development unfortunately but VFD Imon plugin would be a very nice addon to Albumplayer.

And remember that Imon is the most VFD screen used as most of the case resellers are integrating this technology in their products. You can even buy a stand alone VFD to be integrated into a 3"1/2 location.

So a lot of people should be intersted in.


Cyril.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:20 pm 
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I recently bought an Antec micro fusion 350 with an LCD iMon on front.

http://www.antec.com/ec/productDetails.php?ProdID=08744

I have some (old :oops: ) skills in C developement and in Delphi so perhaps I will have a look if I find time. After a first look, I'm not worried for AP side, I have more problems with iMon side. I downloaded a lot of pieces of code, some demo programs etc ... but none of them are able to manage my display on my case so I hesitate.

http://www.soundgraph.com/Eng_/Supports ... rchString=


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:35 pm 
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I had a very quick look at it. I see that there is also spectrum analyzer stuff. (16 band EQ) . Should that work too? Currently this data is not available outside AP. If this is desired too, then how would you propose to switch between modes (Text/EQ)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 1:47 pm 
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Other question: Does the display do "auto scroll". I mean when the text is to long does it scroll itself?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:13 pm 
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Yes, it's a scrollable display. In factory configuration, it display some system information, web news etc ... and all this is scrolling at a variable speed.
API provided by iMon seems to be as follow :

Code:
EXPORTS TABLE:
   Name:    SG_VFD.dll
   Characteristics:    00000000h
   TimeDateStamp:    41AE7630h    -> 02/12/2004  02:56:00 
   Version:   0.00
   Ordinal base:    00000001h
   # of functions:    00000009h ( 9 )
   # of Names:    00000009h

   Entry Pt     Ordn     Name
   00001280h           1     iMONVFD_CheckDign
   00001000h           2     iMONVFD_Init
   00001420h           3     iMONVFD_IsInited
   00001A00h           4     iMONVFD_SetAlarmOFF
   00001760h           5     iMONVFD_SetAlarmON
   00001920h           6     iMONVFD_SetAlarmON_Abs
   00001AD0h           7     iMONVFD_SetEQ
   00001430h           8     iMONVFD_SetText
   00001380h           9     iMONVFD_Uninit


Peter, is the API described in file "AP_info_interface.txt" still acurate ? In some old posts, I saw also mentionned a file called "ap_info.txt". I think it's not existing anymore, I find it in old backups of AP but no more in v5+.
And, last point, where is the "squeletton" that can be used as stating point for a new plugin ? Some people mention it but I didn't found it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:56 am 
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You find add-on interface information here:
http://forum.albumon.com/viewtopic.php?p=3089

"AP_info_interface.txt" can not be used anymore!

But may be I will give it a very quick try to implement it directly in AP. Do you have V5.0 beta 6 installed? I need somebody to test it because I don't have the display.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:51 am 
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Ok, I saw this post but I was no sure about obsolete or not datas. I use v5b6. My main concern actually is that I'm not comfortable with this display. It seems to exist a lot of different drivers, DLL, apps with different interface, different version ... it's a maze. And none of the little apps I found as example are able to drive my LCD so ...
I have doubts also about langages. C# seems to be a a good candidate for both side.
Last point, I don't think I have the time right now but it would be funny to try to do something. I will have a look punctually and perhaps if I can find some doays, I will start something.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 9:53 am 
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Ok, I leave it for this moment. First it should be posible to set any text on the display before thinking of connecting to the AP.


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