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How-To: Orbital Eclipse LCD Keyboard Mod
July 8, 2005
Author: Geno Manufacturer: Matrix Orbital
Department: Modding Model: LK202-24-USB
Article Type: How-To Time Spent: 1 week
 
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Introduction




I have really wanted to use one of Matrix Orbital's new USB LCD's in a project for quite some time now, and the opportunity recently presented itself when I reviewed the Eclipse keyboard from Saitek—you can read that review here. My only real beef with this awesome keyboard is the fact that Saitek got it so right that I couldn't think of anything I would mod on it—and as you know, stock is not an option around here. Having painted their gaming version of this keyboard, I had had a good look at the inner workings, and changing the LED's from the sexy blue to a red or green was not really something I wanted to do.

If there wasn't anything that needed changing, then I would just have to add something. A quick trip to CrazyPC turned up the very nice USB LCD's from Matrix Orbital. Now we had a plan, and as you can see, it turned out rather nice. Read on for a review of the LK202-24-USB, a quick look at some very handy software called LCDC used to run your LCD, and a short how-to for those who might want to make their own Orbital Eclipse mod.


SPECS

The LK202-24-USB is equipped with the following features:

  • 20 Column by 2 Line Text Display.
  • Built in font with provisions for up to 8 user defined characters.
  • USB or serial TTL communication.
  • Fully buffered so that no delays in transmission should ever be required.
  • Ability to add a customized splash / boot screen.
  • Use of remember function to save settings.
  • Software controlled brightness.
  • Use up to a 24 key keypad with a 10 key buffer.
  • 3 low power General Purpose Outputs for a variety of applications.
  • 3 high power General Purpose Outputs with PWM and RPM.
  • Horizontal or vertical bar graphs.
  • Data and Power from one USB cable.
  • Extended temperature option.
  • A perfect fit to Matrix Orbital's PC Bay inserts--with no modding required.
  • Dallas 1-wire bridge.


LCD Choices


As we won't be mounting our LCD in a 5.25 inch bay on our PC, I opted for the LK-202-24-USB because it comes without the face plate for mounting and saves a few bucks. If you wanted to mount it in your PC, be sure to look at the MX2 kit versions that include a face plate with 7 key keypad, USB power/data cable, and a copy of LCDC. You may also want your LCD in a different color and you're in luck as they come in all the colors shown above.


 
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