Electronics > Microcontrollers

Microcontroller to video

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--- Quote from: jaRON on October 04, 2011, 07:45:00 pm ---ok here is what i like to do is make one of a kind water cooling pc. That is why i need 14 fans. I have the driver hardware for the fans. I'm using IRFZ44 transistor and a Microcontroller. One transistor for 4 fans, One transistor for 4 fans, One transistor for 2 fans, One transistor for 2 fans, One transistor for 1 fan, and One transistor for 1 fan. Why I like to have the 7 in lcd so it can show the fans speed and the Temperature. I have new lcd for $72.00 and I not going to use a touchscreen. I looking it using the µVGA-II(GFX) or µVGA-II(SGC) and I get a new Microcontroller. I looking it the pic18f47j53 it has 120 kb flash on it .can you use a sd card on it?

--- End quote ---

14 fans!? Are you running NASA outer-space ballistic calculation software or something?  :o $100 is way too much for cooling your computer. Also it will make more noise than a construction site. An LCD like that is waaay overkill.  ;) You are going from raster graphics MCU up to VGA down to raster graphics again.

If you really insist on doing a controller like this, then get huge low-RPM fans and use a text based screen. Mount it on a drive bay with all the controller circuits so it looks like this:

That commercial kit is designed to be used with the parallel port of the computer, but the display was intended to be used by an MCU. It is a HD47780 based LCD. You can easily replace that ribbon cable on the right with your own LCD control circuitry and fan controller, if you want to buy the kit. Otherwise, you can take a drive bay cover and cut it so the LCD can fit, then add any controls and buttons you need.

The kit also seems to have some sort of fan controller, take a look (it's a spanish forum with lots of abbreviations used for chatting so don't expect Google to translate it properly): http://foro.noticias3d.com/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=245118

Just curious, what are you using to sense the temperature on the case and how will you control those fans?
Nice and clean. You may want to get a big microcontroller with lots of pins (specially PWM pins) to shine some LEDs, if you are into case modding.

Here are some eBay links to products similar to what you are trying to do, they may be useful for inspiration of for actually installing them:


Information on that one:


+1 For the Crystalfontz panels. I have used the 4x20 635 version and the UART interface takes away a lot of pain. Just set up printf and you are done.

Here's a product selection tool from CrystalFontz. HyperNova is right: driving an HD47780 can be annoying sometimes, specially with line mapping. Serial should at least help in saving I/O lines. Also most MCUs come with hardware UARTs for driving serial lines, but only the high pin count devices come with parallel ports and it's an overkill to use them.

The ones that fit in modern 5.25" bays are the ones with buttons, they are nice but they can only be controlled with USB, so my suggestion is to get a 5.25" drive bay to 3.5" drive bay adapter and use the remaining space on it to add buttons and circuitry, but be careful not to short anything to the enclosure. The 3.5" drive bay LCDs are available in many colors and they include the mounting hardware.


If you ever finish this project, please let us know. It sounds like a cool mod, specially to me. I have done things similar to this in my quest to make a homebrew media center PC. It kinda worked, but in the end it was all done on a really tight budget (kind of a challenge) using parallel ports, serial ports, an old analog TV tuner card, Ubuntu and a media center software. I can show some of the stuff I have done, if you want to.

Best wishes,


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