VGADuino-II : The New 256 Color Graphic Shield for Arduino
Arduino is pretty much famous for the numerous shields it has. These plug-and-play shields make our life a lot easier while working on some complicated projects. Among all other shields, graphic shields are getting more and more popular. A graphic shield lets you show text, numbers, shapes, and even small images on a screen, using Arduino. VGADuino-II is a new graphic shield which lets you use your TV or any monitor with VGA 15 pin as a large screen for Arduino.
It’s very exciting that you won’t have to rely on those small displays which are stacked on the shield itself, anymore. Rather you are getting a whole TV or VGA monitor to display your data. As Masih Vahida, the creator of VGADuino, says:
VGADuino is a shield that is made for Arduino with all the libraries and samples that user can easily stack it on the Arduino board and starts programming. it can connect Arduino to any kind of TV or Monitor with VGA 15 Pin connector.
- Internal functions to draw various shapes with AT-Commands and Arduino libraries
- 11 Different font sizes with standard ASCII characters support
- 256 color, 8bit RGB format
- Having access to each pixel individually
- Standard VGA DB15 output
- Screen resolution: 800×600 60Hz
- Actual pixels: 400×300 60Hz
In VGADuino-II, NXP-LPC1756 ARM chip is used as the main microcontroller and XILINX XC95144XL CPLD for refreshing the display and taking care of the sync signals. There is also an SD Ram to keep the screen’s pixel color data.
In this version of VGADuino, each pixel is one byte, that means each pixel has 256 colors which are in standard 8bit RGB format. (3 bits for Red, 3 bits for Green and 2 bits for Blue).
It communicates with Arduino over UART using predefined AT command set. All relevant Arduino libraries are available to implement in code. The user can choose among all 11 fonts with definable background and foreground color of text.