HOW TO Zalman HD135 VFD with Proper Driver
Hey All,

So I have been playing with my Zalman case for a while trying to get the VFD to work correctly, 90% of the time with the current driver (lis2 modified for connection type mplay) and works only with the current CVS version of LCDproc. Setting up this way would first off after about an hour the display would start to get garbled, missing characters and finally reboot itself to where it would only read the server screen at all times and no clients found, NOT GOOD.

Then when I started to use Mythbuntu 8.10 with the current driver it was even worse. Myth would load, and connect as a client then all I got on the display was a single dash in the top row to the far left of the screen and then the odd instance of the tv show I was trying to watch but that was it but the biggest issue with this was I lost all remote functions in myth while viewing livetv or recorded shows so off to Google I went. Oh! and I proved this was caused by LCDproc by going to the lcdproc src directory and running sudo make uninstall and then rebooting and all worked just as it should without the VFD active or LCDd running.

OK the HOW TO:

*** NOTES ***

Case = Zalman HD135 with Mplay VFD from VL systems (I am using the M$ MCESUB2 remote with the USB dongle and lirc not the Zalman Supplied remote this is not a how to for lirc but likely if you mofify your hardware.conf to use device dev/ttyUSB? and then get the zalman.lircd file floating around the web you will be good to go)
OS = Mythbuntu 8.10 all updated
Kernel = 2.6.27-11-generic
Lirc = 0.8.4a
XBMC = Intrpeid PPA
Skin = pm3.hd
VID = Nvidia 180.22 (not glx or included myth restricted drivers)
M/B = Asus P5N7A-VM Intel C2D 7300 running at 3Ghz
VID = 9300GT

*** END NOTES ***

Thanks to Sean Meiners for writing the proper driver for the device and to gazer22 on ubuntu forums for the initial lcdproc how to.



First if you have not compiled lcdproc before you will need some files so paste this in to your command line and get them. If you are sure you already have them then skip this part

sudo apt-get install build-essential automake autoconf autotools-dev libtool cvs


Now make sure you have a /usr/local/src directory and it is writeable, if not use these command to create one and make it writable by all.

sudo mkdir /usr/local/src
sudo chmod ugo+rwx /usr/local/src


Now make sure you do not have any version of lcdproc hanging around on your system.

sudo apt-get --purge remove lcdproc


Now the fun stuff, let's make it all work. You may see an IOwarrior error do not worry about it. Note that the -p0 command the 0 is a zero and not an capital O. The below will install lcdproc 0.5.2, the patch will patch 0.5.2 to use the correct driver "mplay" and it will setup up LCDd to autostart on your system for you.Big Grin

cd /usr/local/src
tar -zxvf lcdproc-0.5.2.tar.gz
cd /usr/local/src/lcdproc-0.5.2
gunzip mplay-final.patch.gz
patch -p0 < mplay-final.patch
aclocal && autoconf && automake
./configure --enable-drivers=hd44780
sudo make install
sudo cp scripts/init-LCDd.debian /etc/init.d/LCDd
sudo chmod +x /etc/init.d/LCDd


Now update your rc.0-6 files this way.

sudo update-rc.d -f LCDd remove
sudo update-rc.d LCDd defaults


We are almost finished! Let's edit your LCDd.conf file. I use vim as my editor in the example below you can use any editor you like just change vim to vi, nano etc. before we do this you should run dmesg and see what USB port your FTDI device was assigned. just run dmesg from the command line and then look through the list for FTDI or FD232L(D) assigned on ttyUSB? you will need this in your LCDd.conf file.

cd /usr/local/etc
sudo vim LCDd.conf


first in the server section


driver = curses


driver=hd44780 (make sure this is lower case for the h and the d)

then change the driver path

from server/drivers to


you can also uncomment the

#Set Server Screen=no

now scroll down to the hd44780 driver section it is about half way down the list.


Connection type to mplay (lower case)
change bit rate to 38400
change device to ttyUSB? (? = 0, 1, 2 etc)
change size to 20x2

Ok now save the file and exit.

now you can run

sudo /etc/init.d/LCDd start

and you should see LCDproc Server on your VFD now in XBMC from the mainpage goto settings - system - LCD and turn on your LCD output and configure as you like. In mythbuntu from the frontend goto utilities/settings - general and scroll through those pages until you see enable lcd at the top of the screen, click the check box and then all the settings will appear. Voila. You should not have to edit any of these at least I did not.

I have not tried this on anything but Mythbuntu 8.10. so if you want to try it on hardy or live that is up to you but it should work on live.

ALSO this VFD also supports fan control and in the driver section of the LCDd.conf file there are options for setting up your fans and it works you can turn on or off the fan control, you can set min max temps etc. Each setting is documented in the LCDd.conf file.

*** UPDATE ***

If you should ever want to remove the driver or uninstall for testing reasons. (You should not delete your source files for LCDproc) you can do the following to uninstall

cd /usr/local/src/lcdproc-0.5.2
sudo make uninstall

Now shutdown and kill the power to the box to clear the memory on the vfd and then it will start back up with Zalman written on it. To reinstall again you only have to go back the lcdproc source directory above and issue a sudo make install.

Good Luck and Have Fun.



Messages In This Thread
HOW TO Zalman HD135 VFD with Proper Driver - by rodercot - 2009-02-23, 19:42
[No subject] - by rodercot - 2009-03-08, 15:05
[No subject] - by pardes3 - 2009-04-07, 04:41
[No subject] - by rodercot - 2009-04-07, 09:24
[No subject] - by niko2 - 2009-11-12, 23:56
[No subject] - by niko2 - 2009-11-12, 23:58
[No subject] - by rodercot - 2009-11-13, 00:54
[No subject] - by niko2 - 2009-11-13, 10:48
[No subject] - by rodercot - 2009-11-13, 14:44
[No subject] - by niko2 - 2009-11-13, 23:37
[No subject] - by thecapsaicinkid - 2010-01-01, 16:55
[No subject] - by niko2 - 2010-01-07, 15:18
[No subject] - by MacUsers - 2010-10-12, 03:47
[No subject] - by rodercot - 2010-10-13, 22:26
[No subject] - by MacUsers - 2010-10-13, 23:16
[No subject] - by FreakinAye - 2010-10-14, 23:00
[No subject] - by MacUsers - 2010-10-16, 23:51
[No subject] - by MacUsers - 2010-10-20, 08:49
Zalman HD135 -- more progress - by do7phin - 2010-11-04, 06:38
[No subject] - by rodercot - 2010-11-04, 09:50
[No subject] - by lpt2007 - 2011-05-29, 12:42

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