Introduction: How to Add a MatrixOrbital VFD Display to Your Linux Box

Picture of How to Add a MatrixOrbital VFD Display to Your Linux Box

This instructable covers adding a MatrixOrbital VFD to your linux box. Like all good geeks I have a headless linux box on my home network. By adding a Vacuum Fluorescent Display and running LCDProc you can display health stats and keep an eye on your linux box.

Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts

I used a MatrixOrbital VFD2041

- 1 DC Power Coaxial Connector
- 1 9v Power Supply
- 1 4 Pin connector
- 1 DB9 Serial Cable

Step 2: Power Connector

Picture of Power Connector

Solder the power connector to the 4 pin adapter.

Step 3: Connect Serial and Power

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Connect your Serial and Power Cables.

Be sure not to plug the power in backwards, black goes to ground.

Step 4: Install LCDProc

Picture of Install LCDProc

Install LCDProc.
On fedora, you can run the command:
yum install lcdproc

Step 5: Get New MatrixOrbital Library

Picture of Get New MatrixOrbital Library

There is a bug in the library that ships with the current release of LCDProc.

The best thing to do is download the dev release from CVS:

Step 6: Compile New Library

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Uncompress the package, change to the directory and compile, DO NOT run make install

[joe@fletcher tmp]$ tar -zxf lcdproc-CVS-current.tar.gz
[joe@fletcher tmp]$ cd lcdproc-CVS-current-20091004/
[joe@fletcher lcdproc-CVS-current-20091004]$ ./configure && make

Step 7: Install

Picture of Install

Copy the new library in to place:
sudo cp ./server/drivers/ /usr/lib/lcdproc/

Step 8: Configure the LCDProc Server

Picture of Configure the LCDProc Server

cd /etc/sysconfig/lcdproc/
sudo cp LCDd.conf.example LCDd.conf
sudo vi LCDd.conf

Change the line:

Change the line:

Change the line:

Step 9: Configure the Client

Picture of Configure the Client

[joe@fletcher lcdproc]$ sudo cp lcdproc.conf.example lcdproc.conf
[joe@fletcher lcdproc]$ sudo vi lcdproc.conf

Verify everything looks good, you should not have to change anything.

Step 10: Start LCDd and Lcdproc

Picture of Start LCDd and Lcdproc

Start the daemons.
[joe@fletcher lcdproc]$ sudo service LCDd start
[joe@fletcher lcdproc]$ sudo service lcdproc start

Step 11: Bask in the Glow

Picture of Bask in the Glow

Watch the LCD update with machine info.

If it fails, turn the report setting up to 3 and restart the daemons.


rocketman221 (author)2009-10-09

Where did you get that display.

deathsmileyinc (author)2009-10-09

ty :P

deathsmileyinc (author)2009-10-09

nice instructable! but a lot of people use widows for gaming (like me).

could you make this for windows?

joe (author)deathsmileyinc2009-10-09

Absolutely, just use LCD Smartie instead of LCDProc

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to tinker with just about anything, sometimes it works out in the end. Have fun looking at the projects, try tearing something open ... More »
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