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Build a custom display in LCD Studio (For G15 keyboard and LCD screens).

Picture of Build a custom display in LCD Studio (For G15 keyboard and LCD screens).
Ok if you have just got your G15 keyboard and are highly unimpressed with the basic displays that came with it then I will take you through the basics of using LCD Studio to make your own.

This example will be making a display that only shows the basic PC info. However once you understand how this works the possibilities are endless (I use it to display every temp/voltage in my overclocked Crossfire enabled PC).

I will also put some tips at the end of the guide on how to work around a few bugs in LCD studio and make it load up a lot faster.

(This guide will also work for most LCD panels which can be accessed Via LCD studio.)

LCD studio basically works with a series of plugins which gather data from other programs and let you display it on your LCD screen. It comes with most of the plugins you will ever need but there might be one or two programs that you will need to have running to get the most from it.

The main ones I recommend and the ones used in this example are:

Fraps: http://www.fraps.com/download.php
Used to get your Frames per second data

Speedfan: http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php
Used to get a lot of system information. In general always use more then one piece of monitoring software as not all of them are 100% accurate and you get a better picture by comparing results.

There are loads more and you will probably find that any monitoring software you already use has some plugins available.
 
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Step 1: Getting Started

Picture of Getting Started
The first thing we are going to do is make our background. The best program to do this is..... Microsoft Paint (seriously).

The image has to be 160X43 so I made a blank (black) new image of this size in Photoshop, saved it and opened in Paint. The thing to remember when you are making your image is that white will show up as black and vice versa so its easier to start with a black box and use a white brush.

**Quick tip: Make a new design in LCD Studio and insert the blank image (top button in the "Toolbox" tab). Now when you are making your design in Paint click save for an instant preview on your G15 or LCD screen.**

I have made a basic background template for use in this example which you can use by saving the Picture below.

Once you have your background setup in LCD studio it is time to start adding the data. In this basic example we are only going to get the system time, CPU temp, CPU Load (as a graph), memory load and FPS.

Step 2: Putting the CPU Temp in.

First you need to find out which of the temps in SpeedFan is your CPU. Sometimes if your CPU is running at the same temp as your HDD or other device it can be hard to tell but double check temps with another program or put the CPU under load for a couple of minutes to increase the temp.

To check the temps click on the "Data View" tab, go to Speed Fan and then Temps, mouse over and see which one is your CPU and make a note of it.

In the "Toolbox" Tab click on the TTF Tool.
This will put a text box on your design with "My Text" written in it.
Put your mouse over the text box and double click on it. This will open the Properties tab.
At the bottom of this tab delete the "My Text" next to the Text box.
At the top (3rd section down) click on Data Item then on the ... Box that comes up.
This opens a new window, go to speedfan and then temps and then double click on the one that was your CPU temp.
Drag the text box into place and resize it making sure you leave enough room to display the information.

Step 3: Adding CPU Usage Graph

Picture of Adding CPU Usage Graph
Click on Toolbox tab again and click "Historic data plotter".
This will put a graph axis on the display.
Resize it so that it fits into the box on the right of the CPU Temp display (the axis lines can overlap the background lines).
Double click it to go to properties.
Go to Data Item again and this time go to "System Information" Then "Load" and then double click "Average".
Under the "Misc" Options for DrawMode select "LinesPlus".
Put your CPU under load to see how it works and make sure the graph lines up correctly in the box.

Step 4: Adding a Clock

Picture of Adding a Clock
Go back to Toolbox and click TTF again.
Double click the text box to bring up the properties.
Delete the "My Text" from the Text option (bottom under Misc).
Click on Data Item and the ... again.
Expand Date & Time
Expand Time then double click HMS.
Resize the Text box to that it is the same size as the center box on the background.
In the Alignment options put both to Center
Expand the font options under misc and change the font size to around 11.

Step 5: Adding Memory load monitor

Go back to Toolbox Click TTF
Double click the text box, delete the My Text bit again.
Go to Data Item and click ...
Expand System Information and Memory, double click Memory in Use (%)
You will need to put it back to a smaller font so expand Font options under Misc and set font size to around 8.
Move the text box and resize to fit in next to the MEM box on the background.

Step 6: Adding Frames Per Second display and finishing off.

Picture of Adding Frames Per Second display and finishing off.
Go back to Toolbox and add another text box by clicking on TTF
Double click on it to bring up properties and delete the default text again.
Go to the Data Item Option and then Fraps and double click FPS.
Move the Text box into place and resize allowing enough room for 3 figures.

Your finished display should look something like the picture below. Don't forget to save it!

Step 7: LCD Studio Tricks and Tips

This is just the most basic information display but using the same technique you can create pages of displays for anything you want. I personally have 1 screen showing all the main system info, then others that I can switch to showing detailed info for each part of the system.

To Run your design when windows starts you need to make a new playlist and add your designs to it.
Then go to "Tools", "options" Then click the "General" tab.
Make sure "Load at start up" is checked.
Make sure its set to run in traybar.
Select your saved playlist as your startup playlist.
Uncheck the bottom 3 boxes.
Now close this and exit LCD studio COMPLETELY. It is bugged and will NOT save your options unless you close it down now (if it closes with windows it will not save any options you have changed).

To make it load a bit quicker go back to "tools", "options" then click the "Plugins" tab.
Select each plugin that you wont use and untick the load at start up option.
Again close this and close LCD studio COMPLETELY to save your options.
You can more then like cut out a LOT of plugins and this saves loads of time when you boot up.

Well I hope that was of some use to someone. The G15 display is a brilliant tool for overclockers. With a decent display setup you no longer have to scan between 5 pieces of software to check your system stats while you are OC'ing.
Where can i gwt LCD Studio?
derfman246 years ago
this sounds easy to do when i get my g15, but i would like pictures of the programs
TheLobb7 years ago
thanks i will try this when i get my g15 back
binnie7 years ago
This lcd studio sounds like a great idea. im planning on getting the G15 in a few months so this instructable will come in handy for then. I thought programing the lcd on the screen was a full on coding session but someone has found an easier way for me to do something again thankyou a few screenshots of the program would of been good aswell.