The Nightstar Zoo

Easy GUI programming?
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Author:  bizzybody [ Sat Aug 13, 2011 8:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Easy GUI programming?

I have a Toshiba TLP-771 digital projector from 1999. 1024x768 resolution, 3 LCDs, quite bright. Cost $10,000 new, bought it for $10.00. 1,000% discount, yay! New bulbs still available and amortize to 2 cents an hour or less.

Among the many input ports on it is a standard 9 pin RS232 port. The control commands are all documented in the manual. They're all either three uppercase letters or two uppercase letters and a single digit number. The interface is one way, the projector doesn't talk back.

Control is simply selecting the port, setting the speed etc then sending the commands as text one at a time. Easy as pie from a command prompt or with batch files. Anything that can be done via the onboard control buttons, including operating the document camera (it's also a digital overhead projector), can be done through the serial port.

I want to make a simple GUI control app for Windows, with tabs matching the controls available on the onscreen display menus. The goal is to be able to control the projector from the same PC that will be used to play videos through the projector.

Author:  gnolam [ Sat Aug 13, 2011 10:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Easy GUI programming?

So... what's the question? How feasible it is? What toolkit to use? How to design the program? :)

Author:  bizzybody [ Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Easy GUI programming?

What tools to use. Preferably something freeware. I'd like to be able to put the finished program up for pay me something if you find it useful. So no license that forces the compiled programs to be freeware.

The function of the program should be simple, click a button and it sends one three character code to the selected COM port. Basically I need a method to detect all the available COM ports so the user can choose the one connected to the projector. I want it to be able to work with real ports and USB to RS232 adapters.

The baud rate and other settings are fixed so the program should set the port as described in the projector manual. The only other bit of configuration that would be nice but not required would be a checkbox to hide the OHP camera controls for projectors without the camera.

I'd like to have tabs corresponding to the various OSD menus, with buttons for each menu's controls as described in the manual. One control that needs to be on more than one tab is Save. Save is the same command on every menu with savable settings.

I've spent quite a bit of time searching for but not finding any programs for controlling Toshiba projectors with a serial port. Dunno why the software isn't out there. With the simple plain text command language used the projector could be controlled from anything, even old home computers like a Commodore or TI. Could be because they came with an IR laser remote. I don't have a remote for mine, can't find one for sale, so I need to use the serial port.

Author:  bizzybody [ Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Easy GUI programming?

The communication protocol and all the commands from the manual. Looks like it's a bit more complex than simply sending three characters. It needs to send the STX and ETX bracketing each alphanumeric command.

It also looks like the projector can talk back, but only to ACK or NAK receipt of a command. Ideally all the projector will do is ACK after every command.

RS-232C, no parity, 8 data, 1 stop bit, 9600 baud

Communication format STX (02h) Command (3Byte) ETX (03h) One command per communication.

Return value Acknowledge ACK (06h) or Not Acknowledge NAK (15h)

Operations with only one command, Video 1, Video2, Panel, and Camera Iris have to be combined somehow with the Common adjustment controls. Could be the single command values switch to the specific commands on those menus, then the common Up, Down etc controls act on them?

If that's the case then the common control buttons will need to be duplicated on each tab for those controls, or perhaps a fixed section of the GUI with those buttons. Greying them out when the Normal, Mode, Language and all Camera operations *except* Iris are in use would be a good thing.

The commands to be used with the Common adjustments, radio buttons? Commands with their own up/down, on/off etc should be normal buttons.

Command list

Normal Command

PON   PowerON      Power ON
POF   PowerOFF   Power OFF
IN0   INput-0      Camera
IN1   INput-1      RGB 1
IN2   INput-2      RGB 2
IN3   INput-3      Video 1
IN4   INput-4      Video 2
VUP   Vol-UP      Volume UP
VDW   Vol-DoWn   Volume DOWN
MON   MuteON      All Mute ON
MOF   MuteOFf      All Mute OFF
AON   AudioON      Audio Mute ON
AOF   AudioOFf   Audio Mute OFF
DON   DisplayON   Display Condition ON (For OSD?)
DOF   DisplayOFf   Display Condition OFF
FON   FreezeON   Freeze ON
FOF   FreezeOFf   Freeze OFF
RUP   ResizeUP   Resize UP
RDW   ResizeDoWn   Resize DOWN
RS0   ReSize0      Resize Reset
PO0   POsition0   Position Reset
PO1   POsition1   Move UP
PO2   POsition2   Move DOWN
PO3   POsition3   Move LEFT
PO4   POsition4   Move RIGHT

Common Adjustment

ALF   Adj-LeFt   Adjusts Value Down
ARG   Adj-RiGht   Adjust Value Up
DSV   DataSaVe   Save Adjust Value
DRS   DataReSet   Reset to default

Video 1 Adjustment

VCN   Video-CoNtrast   Adjust contrast balance
VBR   Video-BRight   Adjust brightness balance
VCL   Video-CoLor   Adjust color balance
VTN   Video-TiNt   Adjust tint balance
VSH   VideopSHarp   Adjust sharpness balance

Video 2 adjustment

VLR   Video-Level-Red
VLG   Video-Level-Green
VLB   Video-Level-Blue

Panel adjustment

PVP   Panel-V-Pos   Adjust vertical position
PHP   Panel-H-Pos   Adjust horizontal position
PPH   Panel-PHase   Adjust sample phase
PCK   Panel-ClocK   Adjust sample clock

Mode adjustment

MO0   Mode-Osd0   OSD must off
MO1   Mode-Osd1   OSD mute on
MC0   Mode-Ceil0   Ceiling mounted off
MC1   Mode-Ceil1   Ceiling mounted on, flips image upside down, may be disabled in models with document camera, need to test on my TLP-771
MR0   Mode-Rear0   Rear mounted off
MR1   Mode-Rear1   Rear mounted on, flips image left to right for rear projection screen

Language adjustment

LEN   Lang. ENglish
LJP   Lang. JaPanese
LFR   Lang. FRench
LGR   Lang. GeRman
LSP   Lang. SPanish
LIT   Lang. ITalian

Camera adjustment

CZU   Cam-ZoomUp   Zoom wide
CZD   Cam-ZoomDown   Zoom tele
CFU   Cam-FocusUp   Focus far
CFD   Cam-FocusDown   Focus near
CIR   Cam-IRis   Adjust camera iris

Author:  gnolam [ Sat Aug 20, 2011 1:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Easy GUI programming?

So... you're asking for some kind of "easy GUI creator" tool, or what?

Author:  bizzybody [ Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Easy GUI programming?

Yes. That's the thing. Something to create the GUI and assign functions to the various buttons, if such a thing exists.

Right now I'm working on it with wxFormBuilder, but that just puts together the interface. A friend of mine is working on the behind the scenes parts because he wanted a project to do something with OpenEuphoria.

I expect that will work fine but I'd like to be able to do a version all myself.

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