Kerry Schwab > Device-MiniLED-1.00 > Device::MiniLED

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Module Version: 1.00   Source   Latest Release: Device-MiniLED-1.03

NAME ^

Device::MiniLED - send text and graphics to small LED badges and signs

VERSION ^

Version 1.00

SYNOPSIS ^

  use Device::MiniLED;
  my $sign=Device::MiniLED->new(devicetype => "sign");
  #
  # add a text only message
  #
  $sign->addMsg(
      data => "Just a normal test message",
      effect => "scroll",
      speed => 4
  );
  #
  # create a picture and an icon from built-in clipart
  #
  my $pic=$sign->addPix(clipart => "zen16");
  my $icon=$sign->addIcon(clipart => "heart16");
  #
  # add a message with the picture and animated icon we just created
  #
  $sign->addMsg(
          data => "Message 2 with a picture: $pic and an icon: $icon",
          effect => "scroll",
          speed => 3
  );
  $sign->send(device => "COM3");

DESCRIPTION ^

Device::MiniLED is used to send text and graphics via RS232 to our smaller set of LED Signs and badges.

CONSTRUCTOR ^

new

  my $sign=Device::MiniLED->new(
         devicetype => $devicetype
  );
  # $devicetype can be either:
  #   sign  - denoting a device with a 16 pixel high display
  #   badge - denoting a device with a 12 pixel high display

METHODS ^

$sign->addMsg

This family of devices support a maximum of 8 messages that can be sent to the sign. These messages can consist of three different types of content, which can be mixed together in the same message..plain text, pixmap images, and 2-frame anmiated icons.

The $sign->addMsg method has three required arguments...data, effect, and speed:

data: The data to be sent to the sign. Plain text, optionally with $variables that reference pixmap images or animated icons
effect: One of "hold", "scroll", "snow", "flash" or "hold+flash"
speed: An integer from 1 to 5, where 1 is the slowest and 5 is the fastest

The addMsg method returns a number that indicates how many messages have been created. This may be helpful to ensure you don't try to add a 9th message, which will fail:

  my $sign=Device::MiniLED->new(devicetype => "sign");
  for (1..9) {
       my $number=$sign->addMsg(
           data => "Message number $_",
           effect => "scroll",
           speed => 5
       )
       # on the ninth loop, $number will be undef, and a warning will be
       # generated
  }

$sign->addPix

The addPix method allow you to create simple, single color pixmaps that can be inserted into a message. There are two ways to create a picture.

Using the built-in clipart

  #
  # load the built-in piece of clipart named phone16
  #   the "16" is hinting that it's 16 pixels high, and thus better suited to
  #   a 16 pixel high device, and not a 12 pixel high device
  #
  my $pic=$sign->addPix(
        clipart   => "phone16"
  );
  # now use that in a message
  $sign->addMsg(
      data => "here is a phone: $pic",
  );

Rolling your own pictures

To supply your own pictures, you need to supply 3 arguments:

height: height of the picture in pixels

width: width of the picture in pixels (max is 256)

data : a string of 1's and 0's, where the 1 will light up the pixel and a 0 won't. You might find Image::Pbm and it's $image->as_bitstring method helpful in generating these strings.

  # make a 5x5 pixel outlined box 
  my $pic=$sign->addPix(
        height => 5,
        width  => 5,
        data   => 
          "11111".
          "10001".
          "10001".
          "10001".
          "11111".
  );
  # now use that in a message
  $sign->addMsg(
      data => "here is a 5 pixel box outline: $pic",
  );

$sign->addIcon

The $sign->addIcon method is almost identical to the $sign->addPix method. The addIcon method accepts either a 16x32 pixel image (for signs), or a 12x24 pixel image (for badges). It internally splits the image down the middle into a left and right halves, each one being 16x16 (or 12x12) pixels.

Then, when displayed on the sign, it alternates between the two, in place, creating a simple animation.

  # make an icon using the built-in heart16 clipart
  my $icon=$sign->addIcon(
      clipart => "heart16"
  );
  # now use that in a message
  $sign->addMsg(
      data => "Animated heart icon: $icon",
  );

You can "roll your own" icons as well.

  # make an animated icon that alternates between a big box and a small box
  my $sign=Device::MiniLED->new(devicetype => "sign");
  my $icon16x32=
       "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" . "----------------" .
       "X--------------X" . "----------------" .
       "X--------------X" . "--XXXXXXXXXXX---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--X---------X---" .
       "X--------------X" . "--XXXXXXXXXXX---" .
       "X--------------X" . "----------------" .
       "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX" . "----------------";
  # translate X to 1, and - to 0
  $icon16x32=~tr/X-/10/;
  # no need to specify width or height, as
  # it assumes 16x32 if $sign is devicetype "sign", 
  # and assumes 12x24 if $sign
  my $icon=$sign->addIcon(
      data => $icon16x32
  );
  $sign->addMsg(
      data => "Flashing Icon: [$icon]"
  );

$sign->send

The send method connects to the sign over RS232 and sends all the data accumulated from prior use of the $sign->addMsg method. The only mandatory argument is 'device', denoting which serial device to send to.

It supports two optional arguments, baudrate and packetdelay:

baudrate: defaults to 38400, no real reason to use something other than the default, but it's there if you feel the need. Must be a value that Device::Serialport or Win32::Serialport thinks is valid
packetdelay: An amount of time, in seconds, to wait, between sending packets to the sign. The default is 0.2, and seems to work well. If you see "XX" on your sign while sending data, increasing this value may help. Must be greater than zero. For reference, each text message generates 3 packets, and each 16x32 portion of an image sends one packet. There's also an additional, short, packet sent after all message and image packets are delivered. So, if you make packetdelay a large number...and have lots of text and/or images, you may be waiting a while to send all the data.
  # typical use on a windows machine
  $sign->send(
      device => "COM4"
  );
  # typical use on a unix/linux machine
  $sign->send(
      device => "/dev/ttyUSB0"
  );
  # using optional arguments, set baudrate to 9600, and sleep 1/2 a second
  # between sending packets.  
  $sign->send(
      device => "COM8",
      baudrate => "9600",
      packetdelay => 0.5
  );

Note that if you have multiple connected signs, you can send to them without creating a new object:

  # send to the first sign
  $sign->send(device => "COM4");
  # send to another sign
  $sign->send(device => "COM6");
  # send to a badge connected on COM7
  #   this works fine for plain text, but won't work well for
  #   pictures and icons...you'll have to create a new
  #   sign object with devicetype "badge" for them to render correctly
  $sign->send(device => "COM7"); 

AUTHOR ^

Kerry Schwab, <sales at brightledsigns.com>

SUPPORT ^

 You can find documentation for this module with the perldoc command.
  
   perldoc Device::MiniSign
  
 You can also look for information at:

BUGS ^

Please report any bugs or feature requests to bug-device-miniled at rt.cpan.org, or through the web interface at http://rt.cpan.org. I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ^

Inspiration from similar work:

http://zunkworks.com/ProgrammableLEDNameBadges - Some code samples for different types of LED badges
https://github.com/ajesler/ledbadge-rb - Python library that appears to be targeting signs with a very similar protocol.
http://search.cpan.org/~mspencer/ProLite-0.01/ProLite.pm - The only other CPAN perl module I could find that does something similar, albeit for a different type of sign.

LICENSE AND COPYRIGHT ^

Copyright 2013 Kerry Schwab.

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the the Artistic License (2.0). You may obtain a copy of the full license at:

http://www.perlfoundation.org/artistic_license_2_0

Aggregation of this Package with a commercial distribution is always permitted provided that the use of this Package is embedded; that is, when no overt attempt is made to make this Package's interfaces visible to the end user of the commercial distribution. Such use shall not be construed as a distribution of this Package.

The name of the Copyright Holder may not be used to endorse or promote products derived from this software without specific prior written permission.

THIS PACKAGE IS PROVIDED "AS IS" AND WITHOUT ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTIBILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

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