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Ticker 16x8 logo

Text ticker with 16*8 LEDs and an ATtiny- or an ATmega-Controller

7 Designer software

For designing long byte lists I have written a software that eases this. It provides ".db"-Byte-Lists, that can be copied or included into assembler source code.

The software is available here as Lazarus source code, here as Windows- 64Bit-Executable. An executable Linux file cannot be provided because my Linux installation does strange things with this source code.

7.1 Starting the software

Starting the software If you start the software, this picture appears. From left to right, 16 zeroes can be seen: the columns are bytes, the lowest row is bit 0, the second lowest bit 1, etc.

In the edit field up right the number of defined bytes (here: 16) can be seen. The edit field on the left side points to the first byte that is displayed. A click on the darkgreen points sets the bit, the one-bit displays in lightgreen.

7.2 Manipulating bits

To process bits Simply click on visible bits to invert them. Any visible byte and bit can be manually changed in this way.

7.3 Color adjustment

Color selection for the bits By clicking onto the two small points behind "0 =" and "1 =" you can select the color of the zero- and one-bits. Here a light-blue was selected for ones and darkblue for zeros.

To the right, the yellow backgrounded area is an edit field that allows to define a bit pattern, if you need it more than once. By clicking onto the button "SET" all bits in the edit column are set one, "CLR" makes those all zero again. By clicking onto one single bit in the edit column this is inverted. We'll see more on the use of the edit field in the next chapter.

7.4 Attaching and inserting columns

Adding data columns If no column is selected (see below) the bit editor column extends the stored bytes and attaches the edit field byte at the end of the stored values. This happens if the left arrow near the edit column is pressed. The displayed number of bytes increases and the most-left displayed column also is increased. The empty field at the right side, with no bits displayed, says that this byte is beyond the number of stored values.

Selecting columns If you click into the upper area of a column, this column will be selected. The column gets a yellow background then. The column number selected will appear under nSelected =.

A click on the two left arrows near the editor field column copies the editor byte to the selected column position. A click on the button "Ins" inserts the edited byte at the selected position and shifts all stored values one position to the right. The inserted byte can be removed by clicking onto the button "Rmv", which shifts all bytes to the right one position to the left and decreases the number of stored values.

The "CLR" button moves the selection pointer to zero (unselect).

Back- and Forward of the selected column goes with the two buttons left and right near the "nSelected =" field. The buttons with the "==>>" and "<<==" go by eight positions forward and backward.

The number of values that can be generated and processed is currently limited to 10,000. If you need more, just attach two files or consult the Lazarus source code, change it and re-compile with the latest Lazarus compiler.

7.5 Adding and inserting text

Inserting text To not having to bit-design standard text with single pixels, I have added a 5-by-8 and 6-by-8 pixel font. Just write your text into the text editor field, use ASCII characters, German Umlaute or ß. Then select the desired font size in the drop-down-field and adjust the number of empty columns between two characters.

If you additionally select a certain column, on which the text insertion will take place, the "Select position" text disappears and the button "Insert text" is enabled. If you click on it, the text is inserted as pixels, starting from the selected position. Unknown characters are replaced by blanks and a message appears. If necessary, the number of stored values is increased. The selector points to the next character position.

7.6 Animation and saving

Animation With the "Animation" button, you can see the result of your text design. Further clicks onto this button lets the animation disappear and re-appear. The animated window can be increased and decreased in size, if you need that. The speed can also be changed by reducing the delay between the animation events. All changes are applied immediately.

If your series is complete, the content can be saved with the "Save"-button in a file. Save it as .inc, if you want to include it with .include "filename.inc" into your assembler source code.

When storing, the file gets additional eight 0xAAs at the end. Those can be used as an end recognition.

Those files can be read in, too, If you want to get rid of the eight extra bytes, just reduce the number of stored bytes by inputting a smaller number and answering "Yes" to delete those permanently. When still editing the new number, answer "No", otherwise your work will be lost.

The inc files generated are simple text files, you can manipulate those with any text editor.
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