Introduction: LinkIt One and a VFD Module

My first step to a personal mobile security system using LinkIt One is the human interface. With all electronics you need a human interface, an LCD or some other device to tell you what mode the device you are using is in and what the device is recording.

I couldn’t find any websites on LinkIt one and VFD modules (Vacuum Fluorescent Display’s) so I am making this Instructable using the LinkIt One and the Noritake-itron VFD module. Noritake made using their VFD modules with Arduino very easy and since LinkIt one uses Arduino Sketch I thought I would give it a try. Worst case I would have an Epic Fail I can post.

I have this Noritake VFD Module, (Vacuum Florescent Display), to experiment with. I think it is pretty cool, I asked Noritake for one to work with and they gave it to me.

Step 1: LinkIt One From Seeed & Mediatek

I got my LinkIt One from Mediatek and Instructables! Thank you Mediatek and Instructables.

The kit came with:

1 board layout diagram.

1 instruction booklet.

1 LinkIt One board.

1 USB conector cable.

1 Lithium-ion battery.

1 GPS antenna.

1 Wi-Fi antenna.

1 GSM antenna.

Step 2: Noritake VFD Module Overview

VFDs were and are used in a large rage of high end consumer electronics. I got my VFD module from Noritake-itron it is model SCK-Y100-2406-N14, it is a very flexible 24×6 character VFD module in the same form factor of a 20×4 character LCD module. It is a member of Noritake’s CU-Y series VFDs.

Noritake sent:

A 24x6 VFD module.

A blue acrylic color filter.

A six pin serial jumper with five wires.

A set of six jumper pins for linking with circuit board.

And the Overviews of the VFD and the Acrylic Filter.

The VFD module features:

24x6 character display.

5V supply voltage.

Serial (asynchronous and synchronous) and 8-bit parallel communication.

CMOS signal and RS-232 (+-15V) voltage compatible.

Jumper-selectable baud rate: 9600, 19200, 38400(default), 115200.

Extensive built-in character sets: USA, European, Japanese (Katakana only), Multilingual – various fonts and symbols, Canadian and French, Nordic, WPC1252 – european fonts and symbols, Cyrillic, Latin, Portuguese, PC858 – european fonts and symbols.

Adjustable brightness.

Locally selectable brightness for highlighting (useful for implementing menus).

Double width, and double width & height characters.

Step 3: Blink

I first downloaded and installed Arduino sketch 1.5.7 and MediaTek LinkIt SDK for Arduino, and installed them to my computer. This went with out a hitch.

Next I connected my linkIt One board to my computer and tested the blink program to make sure everything was working as it should. The LED blinked as it was supposed to.

Step 4: Hooking the Serial Jumper to the VFD Module

The VFD comes pre-configured to operate in async serial mode at 38400 baud. It isn’t necessary to use a UART to talk to the VFD; any GPIO pins will suffice. A minimum of 2 pins are needed, for SIN (input) and SBUSY (output). A third GPIO pin can be connected to RESET (input).

The writing speed of this VFD is very fast. Running in async serial mode, I was able to output 120 characters in a mere fraction of a second.

For this I used the serial jumper that came with the 24x6 VFD module.

Serial Pin Outs

Pin 1 Vcc 5 volts.

Pin 2 SIN

Pin 3 GND


Pin 5 NC


Step 5: Hooking the VFD Module Up to LinkIt One

I hooked the VFD to LinkIt One the same way as I hooked the VFD to Arduino.

Pin 1 VCC to 5 Volts

Pin 2 SIN to D2

Pin 3 GND to GND

Pin 4 SBUSY to D3

Pin 5 NC

Pin 6 RESET to D4

Step 6: Using the Noritake VFD Module With LinkIt One

To use the Noritake VFD with LinkIt One, first download the Arduino code library from Noritake.

To download the Arduino Libraries go to this sight:

Follow the instructions to download the CU-U, CU-Y, or the GU-7000 Arduino zip file and save it.

Once you save the file, open it and move the files to Arduino’s 1.5.7 Library. This works best if you move the libraries to your documents and then add it to your library.

Step 7: Open Arduino Sketch

After attaching LinkIt One to your computer open Arduino sketch.

Click on Tools in the menu bar.

Click on Board in the drop down menu.

Click on LinkIt One in the next drop down menu.

Step 8: Selecting Com Port

After selecting LinkIt One from the drop down menu in Arduino sketch.

Click on Tools in the menu bar again.

Click on Port in the drop down menu.

Click on the com port LinkIt One is connected too in the next drop down menu.

Step 9: Opening Hello Sketch

After selecting the com port LinkIt One is connected to from the drop down menu in Arduino sketch click on File in the tool bar.

Click on Sketchbook in the drop down menu.

Click on Libraries in the next drop down menu.

Click on the model of VFD connected to your LinkIt One in the next drop down menu. In my case CUY.

Last click on the Hello sketch in the next drop down menu, in my case CUY24x6_Hello.

Step 10: Checking the Code

Check the code, at this time you can remove any superfluous information or leave it as is, if the code matches your VFD.

I really didn’t find any big Any Key problems however “Uncomment” was close.

You need to uncomment:

//CUY_Serial_Async interface(38400,2, 3, 4); // Baud rate,SIN,BUSY,RESET

For those that are new to Arduino that means to remove the backslashes in front of the line of code you want.

In my Arduino sketch I changed this line:

//CUY_Serial_Async interface(38400,3, 5, 7); // Baud rate,SIN,BUSY,RESET


CUY_Serial_Async interface(38400,2, 3, 4); // Baud rate,SIN,BUSY,RESET

Step 11: Upload to LinkIt One

You can upload your sketch to LinkIt One two ways, first by clicking on up load in the tool bar or by clicking on file in the tool bar and then clicking on Upload. It will take a moment for Arduino Sketch to compile and up load to LinkIt One.

Step 12: Hello

This is what I was suppose too get but the compiling failed and I got this message.

In file included from Hello.ino:1:0:

C:\Users\Guest\Documents\Arduino\libraries\CUY/CUY_Interface.h:3:24: fatal error: util/delay.h: No such file or directory



compilation terminated.

Step 13: Opps

Ok I tried everything I could think of to fix “#include < util / delay . h >” in sketch and how I looking in the c++ files to fix it.

So what did I learn from this?

The VFD worked in Arduino well, but in LinkIt One you may need to do some things different.

I’m not giving up but for now it’s a fail.

Epilog Contest VII

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Epilog Contest VII