SoundGraph VF310 15c2:0036 Linux / XBMC

SoundGraph VF310 15c2:0036 Linux / XBMC

I have an OrigenAE M10 HTPC case which has a SoundGraph IR/VFD unit – Model: VF310 15c2:0036. This is the LCD display on the front of the HTPC case. Before I attempted to get the LCD display working under Linux Ubuntu 12.10 minimal and XBMC V12.0 Frodo, I had read several forum threads and it sounded very difficult to set this up under Linux especially with this particular model, however it turned out to be quite simple.

I already have the IR receiver working in MCE mode, I did have difficulties with this and was having issues with double presses / commands from the remote being sent to XBMC. I had installed LIRC initially and I think that and the inbuilt modules in the kernel for iMon where conflicting, in the end I uninstalled LIRC and only used the in kernel modules. I followed this user guide here and the “Do everything completely in-kernel”” option to get the MCE (Logitech Harmony) remote control working properly. You can see some comments I made on that thread here. I am not going to cover the setup of the remote control here as I had allot of problems with it.

Anyways I am looking at the LCD display today not the remote control setup. This is how I got it working. I also started a thread about it here on the XBMC forum.

To double check which VFD unit you have from terminal type

lsusb

Bus 002 Device 003: ID 15c2:0036 SoundGraph Inc. LC16M VFD Display/IR Receiver

1. From terminal I installed LCDProc

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install lcdproc

I then read the relevant parts of the LCDProc user manual here.

2. Edit the LCDd.conf file located in /etc

cd /etc

sudo nano LCDd.conf

Scroll down to the [Server] section and change this line from:

Driver=curses

To:

Driver=imon

Note: There is also an imonlcd driver I tried this initially but I just got garbled text on the display.

Scroll a bit further down to the Welcome and Goodbye messages, change these to suit your requirements. These messages are displayed when the HTPC is turned on from shutdown and when it is shutting down.

# Hello message: each entry represents a display line; default: builtin
#Hello=”  Welcome to”
#Hello=”   LCDproc!”

# GoodBye message: each entry represents a display line; default: builtin
#GoodBye=”Thanks for using”
#GoodBye=”   LCDproc!”

Change this setting:

# If yes, the the serverscreen will be rotated as a usual info screen. If no,
# it will be a background screen, only visible when no other screens are
# active. The special value ‘blank’ is similar to no, but only a blank screen
# is displayed. [default: on; legal: on, off, blank]
#ServerScreen=on

To:

ServerScreen=blank

You need to remove the comment # in front of it to make the setting active.

I wanted to slow down the speed that the text scrolls across the LCD display, I tried changing this setting but it does not seem to do anything?

# set title scrolling speed [default: 10; legal: 0-10]
#TitleSpeed=10

I change it to:

TitleSpeed=1

Save and exit the LCDd.conf file to do that press Ctrl+X on the keyboard then Y then hit enter.

3. In the XBMC settings in System enable the option for LCD/VFD

4. Edit the LCD.xml fie. There is an LCD.xml file in your userdata folder, you can customise and change this file if required? You can read more about the LCD.xml file here.

I did make one change to the file and that was:

From this:

<navigation>
<line>$INFO[System.CurrentWindow]</line>
<line>$INFO[System.CurrentControl]</line>
<line>Freemem: $INFO[System.FreeMemory]</line>
<line>$INFO[System.ScreenWidth]x$INFO[System.ScreenHeight] $INFO[System.ScreenMode]</line>
</navigation>

To this:

<navigation>
<line>$INFO[System.CurrentWindow]</line>
<line>$INFO[System.CurrentControl]</line>
<line>Transport Controls</line>
</navigation>

Because when I navigated in the XBMC GUI over the transport controls like Play / Pause / Stop etc the second line on the display would output my free memory like this: FREEMEM: 3382MB I don’t know why it does not display the name of the current transport control you are on? So I changed it to simply read “Transport Controls”

5. Reboot and your LCD display should now be working!

This is what gets displayed when nothing is happening

XBMC Running….

Current date and time..

You can change this in the LCD.xml file in the general section.

DSCN1175

When I navigate around the XBMC GUI the second line on the display shows what Menu item I am currently on?

DSCN1176

DSCN1187

Here I am playing a music track Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus, the track play and remaining times are also shown. You can change what gets displayed for music playback in the music section of the LCD.xml file.

DSCN1181

Not very clear in the photo, but I am currently highlighting one of the transport controls in the XBMC GUI and “Transport Controls” now scrolls across the screen whenever I do this.

DSCN1183

Here I am now in my movie library in XBMC and as I navigate over the different movie titles, if I pause on a title it displays that titles name on the LCD display.

DSCN1185

Here I am playing a movie – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

DSCN1189

This is a bit funky, when in the System settings area and also when I am on some of the other system type menus it looks like this

DSCN1186

Summary

The only other slight issue is that when I shutdown the HTPC (S5 Shutdown) the Goodbye message stays on the screen and the LCD display does not turn off. However if I put the HTPC in to S3 Sleep mode instead then the LCD display is turned off and the Goodbye message is not displayed. Also the Welcome message does not stay on the display long enough for my liking.

Overall I am very pleased that the LCD display is now working as I thought it would be a complete nightmare to setup and actually it was relatively simple. I wish I could say the same for setting up the IR MCE remote control, as that was a nightmare!

Please keep in mind I do not have LIRC installed, if you are using LIRC for your remote control this may or may not work ?

 

 

 

Phaze1 Digital

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