SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

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phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Sun Aug 19, 2012 5:03 pm

02. Feb. 2013: New version 0.3.2

Hi guys

I'm glad to announce
SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Features
  • Displays arbitrary text on an iMON VFD or LCD display, unicode characters aware
  • Easy to use for static texts, no limits - except your imagination and the display width - in the callback mode.
  • Various scroll modes, like NO_SCROLL, ENDLESS_LOOP, STOP_START_STOP
  • Configurable scroll speeds
  • Auto clear: Messages can expire after a configurable time, afterwards they get cleared. Handy for example if you want to display the keypress of your remote control on the display.
  • New in 0.3.0: Supports dynamically evaluated expressions as display text. For example: "Volume {eg.globals.MyVolume}" displays the value of the variable 'eg.globals.MyVolume'. Whenever the value of this variable changes, the display gets updated.
  • Display priorities: The plugin manages all messages in a stack. Each message has a unique priority. The message with the highest priority is displayed, it overlays messages with lower priorities. As soon as it gets cleared, the one with the next lower priority is displayed.
  • User callbacks: A powerful concept in order to display dynamic content. The EG macro, a Python script, passes a callback function to the plugin. The plugin calls that function periodically. The function returns the message to display. "Don't call us, we call you".
Requirements
The plugin is built on top of 'SoundGraph iMON Display API' and therefore requires 'iMON Manager' installed (current version; I've tested with 8.12.1202).
Make sure to configure Frontview to mode 'Automatically'! (iMON Manager > iMON Utilities > FrontView > Common > Run FrontView When iMON Starts: Automatically)

Credits
The DLL initialization is based on 'SoundGraph iMON (RC) API' plugin -> many thanks to 'brand10' - great work!

Project state
The VFD part of the plugin is almost final, I hope I found the majority of bugs :) If you encounter problems, just let me know.
State of the LCD part: I have no possibility to test on an LCD display, therefore I have currently no clue how it works on LCD displays. Let me know if you're going to use it on an LCD and if you encounter problems; I'm glad if I can make it running there as well.

Documentation
There's an in-depth documentation on the help page of the Display Text action.

Sample configuration
I also attach a sample configuration, demonstrating the features and concepts of the plugin. The demo uses the DVBViewer plugin, however, even if you don't use DVBViewer it might be interesting to learn how to use callbacks and other plugin features. The demonstration requires latest version of DVBViewer plugin, please download it in the DVBViewer Plugin thread.
Attachments
iMONDisplay_0.3.2.zip
iMON display plugin
(176.04 KiB) Downloaded 927 times
iMONDisplay-Demo_2.0.zip
Sample configuration
(4.83 KiB) Downloaded 631 times
Last edited by phlox on Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:22 am, edited 10 times in total.

brand10
Experienced User
Posts: 62
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:31 am

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by brand10 » Sat Aug 25, 2012 4:20 pm

Really great work!!
I was writing a display plugin too, but i never had the time to finish it for a public-ready state :(

phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:31 pm

Thanks.
yes indeed, due to its multithreaded architecture it took (and still takes) some time to develop this plugin, however, I like to code :)

btw, a new version will soon be available. It will fix some bugs I found in the current version and improves support for LCD screens.

phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:58 pm

I'm sorry to let you wait so long for the stable (maybe final?) release - my free time for these delicous tasks is so limited - but I just can tell you in the meanwhile: I improved the VFD version quite a lot, it's running without hassle in my environment since a couple of weeks, I hope to be able to release it soon. Be patient... :D

phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:40 pm

After a long (and unwanted) break, I'm glad to release
iMON VFD/LCD Display Plugin 0.2.0
It's not yet 100% final, however, so many things have been improved, so it's time to release a new version.

The good message: The VFD part is stable and almost final. It's running in my environment since months.

The bad message: I have no clue how the plugin works on LCD displays at the moment. It has been working quite nice, but further development and code refactoring might have broken it again. Unfortunately I get no longer response from the user who originally asked for this plugin and helped me testing on LCD. Therefore: If you want to use this plugin on a LCD display, I'm gladly willing to make it running there as well and it's not far away from that, because 95% of the plugin code is identical for VFD and LCD. Just let me know and ask for instructions.

The capabilities to scroll text are limited on LCD displays (since scrolling is done by the SoundGraph library itself and can only be controlled in a small range). With the new version 0.2.0 I implemented some trick to overcome these limitations. Since I can't test by myself I'm still not sure how it works and if it's possible at all.

Enough said, here's the change log of 0.2.0:

Code: Select all

# 0.2.0: Finalization of the VFD part.
#        Documentation added
#        Added action 'GetCurrentDisplayText'
#        Added action 'GetMessageStack'
#        Fixed timeout exception after resume, caused by UserCallbackThread
#        Fixed management of display objects, they were stopped-started too often (more than necessary)
#        Fixed thread handling, scroll thread and callback thread wasn't properly terminated in some situations
#        Fixed 'DisplayText' configuration panel when no iMON display has been detected
#        Added feature 'Auto clear after N loops'
#        Added feature 'Fly-In'
#        'DisplayText' configuration panel: auto switch to 'Advanced Settings' if msgPriority != DEFAULT_PRIORITY
#        Still experimental: Improved scrolling on LCD screens. Aim to support all scroll modes on LCD too.
#        DebugPrint function added

phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Fri Jan 04, 2013 7:55 pm

Here's a minor update:
iMON VFD/LCD Display Plugin 0.2.1

Change log
  • Fixed problem with unicode characters when DebugPrint was enabled
  • Debug log tightened and improved
  • Documentation updated (fixed lost code indentation of the samples)

phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Sun Jan 06, 2013 3:35 pm

Yet another update:
iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin 0.2.2

Change log

Code: Select all

# 0.2.2: Change: Startup sequence improved. Plugin waits now during initialization 
#                until iMON Manager is ready with a configurable timeout. 
#                If initialization fails within this time, the API part is shutdown 
#                and no longer printing error messages.
Hey folks! Is anyone interested in this plugin? - I feel more and more that I'm riding a dead horse. A few downloads, but no feedback at all, just silence. I've now contributed five plugins (three own, two further developments), and it's allover the same. I'm thinking about leaving EventGhost and invest my time and ideas in a more fruitful project... or at least to no longer share with the community what I produce for my own needs.

User avatar
Pako
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Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:31 pm
Location: Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by Pako » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:44 pm

What can I say?
What you're going to use instead of EventGhost?
You think that on another forum there are any other people than they are here?
I am afraid that it is the same everywhere.
I know it is hard to accept that many people are ungrateful.
The worst is when someone asks a question, you will devote to this problem (perhaps even longer),
and that the questioner then makes possum. Then you do not even know if it helped or not. And this happens relatively often.
But that's not the fault of EventGhost project. Or do you think that is so?
What are we doing wrong here and elsewhere do it better?

Pako

phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:38 pm

Pako, you're absolutely right. I didn't find anything better than EventGhost for home and HTPC automation, the concept of this platform is imho simply genious. My disenchantment comes from another corner. It makes a huge difference if I write software "just for my own needs" or if I try to make it generic, fault-tolerant, well documented and ready for public use. And if I get the feeling that no one cares what I offer here, then I know enough other things to do in my free time - that's not the fault of EG at all. I just wish that the community here would show a bit more activity.

Owel
Posts: 41
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 5:51 am

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by Owel » Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:26 am

I think you've done great work here.
Your plugin sounds fantastic, and as soon as i will have an Imon Display i will use this plugin!
100% sure.

So keep going, i appreciate it!

Owel

phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Tue Jan 08, 2013 9:35 pm

cool - let's start crowdfunding for your iMON display :)

blaher
Experienced User
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:27 am

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by blaher » Thu Jan 10, 2013 3:24 am

Would it be possible to have the variables from this viewtopic.php?f=2&t=3447&hilit=sleep (sleep timer) pop up on the display, instead of the screen? At the moment the times like: 15mins, 30mins are displayed using the OSD, but I'm not sure how to incorporate it into the imon plugin.

Thanks for creating the plugin.

phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:16 pm

yes, that should be well possible. Just give me a bit time to implement

phlox
Plugin Developer
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2012 3:49 pm

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by phlox » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:12 pm

so here we go... nice script btw!

in the attachment you find a modified SleepTimer EG configuration where OSD calls have been replaced by showing the values on an iMON Display. Let me know if it works for you and if it does what you expected...

If you prefer to show the values as well on the TV screen using OSDs, just enable the three OSD calls again.

The default configuration provided in the original thread increases sleep time in 5 minutes steps until a maximum of 120 minutes. I've improved that code a little; if you prefer 15 and 30 minutes you just have to change the code of 'ScriptToProcessingSleepTimer' as follows:

Original:

Code: Select all

eg.globals.TimeUnit = 60  # seconds
IncreaseStep        = 5   # Sleep time increases (IncreaseStep * TimeUnit) per key press
RollOver            = 120 # Maximum TimeUnits, then start with 0 again
New:

Code: Select all

eg.globals.TimeUnit = 60  # seconds
IncreaseStep        = 15   # Sleep time increases (IncreaseStep * TimeUnit) per key press
RollOver            = 30 # Maximum TimeUnits, then start with 0 again
Attachments
SleepTimer on iMON Display.zip
(2 KiB) Downloaded 276 times

blaher
Experienced User
Posts: 487
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2011 1:27 am

Re: SoundGraph iMON VFD/LCD Display plugin

Post by blaher » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:09 am

Awesome, that works well, thanks. :)

Is there a command to turn the display off? I thought of a workaround, i.e. use imon's software to monitor when a small app is running and turn it off to display the sleep time being set, and then run it again via EG to turn the display off.

The light from the display annoys me, so I really only want it to come on when I'm setting the timer, and maybe when it's about to go off.

I've added a screenshot of a few commands. It all seems to work, but none of the commands return anything in EG, or on the display.

Thanks again. I can see what you mean about all the documentation! :shock:
Attachments
Capture.PNG

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