Arduino:4-digit shield running off solar panel

Having fun this weekend using 4-digit shield.

I just purchased a new aero garden and decided to see if the 4-digit shield will run off these lights with a small solar panel.

The $10 panel came from ebay and includes a little lithium battery.

The spec for the panel says:

  • Solar energy board: 5.5V/80mA
  • High capacity build in polymer battery: 1350mAH
  • Output voltage: 5.5V
  • Output current: 1000mA
  • Dimension: 93×44×10(mm)

Turns out that the Arduino runs just fine driving the 4-digit shield and reading temperature from a DS1820 sensor.  Depending on how this thing runs one may have to put the micro to sleep to save some power or perhaps do some other tricks.

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Arduino : 4-digit shield now scrolling

This is what the updated library “printstr” will look like.  I have to do some more work on this library later this weekend.

Please see the downloads page for the latest version of the 4-digit shield driver library.  Currently V2

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Arduino : MAX6953 driver for 4-digit shield.

I’ve uploaded a first version of the ShieldStudio Arduino library.  This library allows the usr to use the 4-digit shield without in depth knowledge about the MAX6953 display driver.

There are lots more to do in the code,  but for now it should be good for inexperienced users.

This version of the library supports:

  • setBrightness(char bright);    // set display brightness, 00 – FF
  • int version(void);                       //get the library version
  • void Test(bool onoff);              //turn on/off all LEDs in MAX6953 test mode
  • void ShutDown();                     //put the shield in low power standby mode
  • void WakeUp();                        //Wake up from standby
  • void WriteDigit(char character,char segment,char plane);  //Write one character to segments 1 to 4 plane can be 0 or 1
  • void Write4(char* str,char plane);                                               //Write a 4 characte string to plane 0 or 1
  • void BlinkOff();                                                                                 // Blink will switch display to plane 0 and turn blinking off
  • void Blink();                                                                                       //Switch between plane 0 and 1 automatically
  • void BlinkFast();

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Arduino:4-digit Shield manual updated

I’ve changed the manual to include a very simple demo program.  The demo Arduino sketch is also available in the downloads section for download.

See the sketch run on YouTube

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