FAQ - Frequenntly Asked Questions (mechanically scanned related)

Q - Why is the graphics area only 24x16 pixels ?
A - A bigger screen wouldn't fit into the memory. If only text and numbers were shown, greater x-resolution could be obtained. If more memory would be added, higher x-resolution would be obtained. To obtain more y-resolution, more LED's need to be added.

Q - Is it possible to make more "gray levels", not only on and off ?
A - That would probably require some DA of some sort, maybe the LED's could be turned on and of quickly, but I'm not sure it would look good. And remember that it also would require more memory when each pixel can't be stored in one bit.

Q - Could this be done in color ?
A - Yes, if you use tree LED's (red,green and blue) for each pixel, and a couple of DA's, then it could probably be possible to make a simple "tv-screen ". But it is a lot of work so I will probably not make it in the close future.

Q - By placing several layers of leds, it would be possible to do a 3D display with way, are you planning to do some projekct like that ?
A - Probably not in the close future, might do it sometime but it has very low priority.

Q - How come the order of the pins and leds are orderd as 7,0,6,1,5,2,4,3,8,15,9,14,10,13,11,12 and not in straight forward order like 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15?
A - This might seeem strange but I usually do designs like that to simplify the layout of the PCB. If you look close on the image showing the graphics card you can see a little of the layout trough the fiberglass showing that the wires are drawn in a simple curve from the upper latch through the PIC and down to the bottom latch without any wires on the component side, this simple layout could not have been done using 0..7 ordering of the bits, but the software gets a little bit more complex.

Q - I would like to learn about pic processors, how should I begin ?
A - Start looking at microchips homepage, and dowload the datasheet for PIC16F84 and read it. After that you should look at a couple of the Application notes, and then check out all the links on Alexey Vladimirov's (ORMIX) linkpage. Also have a look at the PIC/Ubicom section at devrs.com After reading all that you know everything about pic and you should  build yourself a programmer, for example Jens Madsens programmer and start making cool projects.

Q - Are you planning to make more mechanically scanned stuff ?
A - If I get time to do so I will probably make some more, but my time is very limited and if I get time to do some projects it will probably be something very different to what I've done before, because I like to move on to new ideas.

Q - Do you have more cool projects that you can give me ?
A - If I had more stuff available to give away I would already have published them on my projects page, duh!

Q - I have a programming/hardware problem with some stuff i'm doing, can you help me with it if I give you some money ?
A - Yes, I have a consulting company that might be able to help you with your problem for a fee of 99 Euro per hour plus expences. Note that making a project like my video games takes over 200h and just getting started to do something simple will take a couple of hours.