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General Queries !

Gunslinger

New member
Hi,
i'm sure you have been asked these questions many times before, but i am completely new to this, so please bear with me !

Firstly, a little info on why i am looking at one of these displays.
I am currently planning a custom water cooling setup, and am looking for an interactive display module that i can use to display all the variables relating to the system, water temps, cpu+gpu temps, etc etc. the ability to control fan speeds etc is a must have.

i see from your software that you have plugins for various things and these look like they will be very useful, also i see that LCDsmartie should also work for your units, i see very little about LCDC, is this because it is mainly a MO orientated product ? (this might change as they are about to stop bundling it with their products!)


the model i am considering is the CFA-635 USB LCD, but have a few questions, as well as some generic LCD questions, so any help would be appreciated.

1. whats the difference between Character+Graphica LCD's and which is fitted to that USB model
2. what are the main differences between the Serial + USB versions (other than the connection type and position ie internal or external) are there any functional differences ? ... i currently have a spare serial port i will probably never use, but see that you do a serial to usb adaptor cable, so am wondering if the serial version might be the one to go for, and i can adapt it later if needed.
3. is the serial version available with the SCAB and 5.25 drive bay face plate ?
4. would there be any software related differences if i was to use a serial version ?
5. power sources - as i plan to fit it inside my pc, supplying power from a floppy style connector is not a problem, i understand the serial version MUST have this power connection, but the USB version can operate without it ... but, can i still connect it to the USB version? as i would rather not have any fans etc being powered form an already crowded USB bus !
6. what the possibility of pump speed monitoring + adjusting ? obviously the pump must have the required ability !
7. is the PWM the only control method available on the GPIO's or is there a voltage regulation method avaiable ?


ok, i think that covers it for now, but i am sure i will think of more as soon as i have pressed post !

TIA
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CF Tech

Administrator
Thanks for your questions. I'll take a stab at some:

1. whats the difference between Character+Graphica LCD's and which is fitted to that USB model

For USB, we only offer character.

2. what are the main differences between the Serial + USB versions (other than the connection type and position ie internal or external) are there any functional differences ? ... i currently have a spare serial port i will probably never use, but see that you do a serial to usb adaptor cable, so am wondering if the serial version might be the one to go for, and i can adapt it later if needed.

Only the interface is different. The CFA-631 and CFA-635 are "native" USB, and there is an additional board to make them work with RS-232. The CFA-632, CFA-633 and CFA-634 are "native" RS-232 and need an additional board to make them USB.

3. is the serial version available with the SCAB and 5.25 drive bay face plate ?

If you are putting it in a PC, please use the USB version. It can be done with the serial, but you give up one fan. The serial version is intended for embedded applications where there is not a USB host available, and fan control is typically not needed. In a PC you have a USB host available, so it is best and easiest to use USB.

4. would there be any software related differences if i was to use a serial version ?

Just losing the fan.

5. power sources - as i plan to fit it inside my pc, supplying power from a floppy style connector is not a problem, i understand the serial version MUST have this power connection, but the USB version can operate without it ... but, can i still connect it to the USB version? as i would rather not have any fans etc being powered form an already crowded USB bus !

The fans will only run from the 12v supplied by the floppy. The USB will power the logic of the module and the backlight.

6. what the possibility of pump speed monitoring + adjusting ? obviously the pump must have the required ability !

The range of the tach inputs is pretty wide in terms of frequency, so I think this would work. I know some people have connected flow meters to a tach input.

Maybe jc634 or CC Admin can chime in on that one.

I do not think trying to control the speed of the pump would work out, I would be surprised it the PWM and pump got along.

7. is the PWM the only control method available on the GPIO's or is there a voltage regulation method avaiable ?

PWM is all that is available.
 

Gunslinger

New member
thank you for the reply.

it gives me somethings to read over and think through. Initial thoughts are that the loss of one fan header would not be a major issue if i went for the serial version, as the case i am using is an antec p182, with 4 fans, 2 of these are on manual speed selectors at the rear of the case, and one a manual selector inside (might change that), the water cooling rad will be fully exernal at the rear of the case with 2 or 3 fans, and i dont plan to control these independently so they will behave as one.

one of the main reasons i am not discounting the idea of the serial interface is that despite it being considered as old school, i look at it very much from the same perspective as ps2 mice and keyboard connectors, for my needs and usages, they are not only fast enough but suffer no driver related issues, i cant remember the last time i suffered a com port drop out on my ups running in rs232 mode, yet friends with usb connected ones have suffered strange errors, and like i said ... no need for a driver has got to be a big plus point when your OS is m$ !!

thanks for the answer on the style of screen fitted to the USB models, can anyone elaborate on what additional things i may be able to display/do with a graphic display over a character one ? this is more for my curiosity, as i think it will either be too dificult for me to create custom graphic pages or overkill for what i need, also could the serial 635 come with a graphic LCD fitted ? if not the the question is mute !... i kinda like the black background green led backlit version as this looks nice and clear and bright :p reminds me of a PLED version! (as does the XE634BK-YMC-KU unit, shame that is not available in the 635.... or is it ?)

its good to know the fans are powered from the floppy power lead and not the usb bus, like i said, my usb buss is already crowded enough !

The pump flow control i might be able to work around by having it controlled via relays and resistors to mimic its speed potentiometer, not exactly giving me a variable speed, but at least a 2 stage selection based on the resistors i choose, it's at least a possibility, voltage regulation as an option would be a good feature to add later as not all fans play nice with PWM either, some create interesting vibrations and such



EDIT:
i knew there would be something i forgot to ask !!, in relation to the 635 being native usb, with a bridging board to serial fitted, i have now looked closer at the image on the relevant page (i didn't enlarge it last time) ... is that daughter/bridge board removable by the user, to effecively reveal the USB connections underneath? or is it hard soldered to the main board ?
 
Last edited:

jc634

Administrator
Hi,

Perhaps I can answer a few of your questions. Screens galore are here: https://forum.crystalfontz.com/forumdisplay.php?f=26. If you need something modified or something new, I can usually come up with something that would work for you. This would be for charactrer LCD's only. Translation: 635 is a character only LCD.

Regarding your pump, if you have a tach lead, just plug it into a fan header on the SCAB and use CC2 to display the RPM's. You *may* have to adjust the fan divider in CC2 for a pump, but I am not sure of that. There was someone here who had a pump with tach lead and it worked fine. *If* there were some weird "pulse" # per rev from the pump, this can be easily fixed with the CC2 algebraic functions.

Also on pumps. I have a Swiftech D5 and it will NOT work with a SCAB/PWM. I hooked one up and once I tried to adjust pump speed below 90%, it just stopped working. It didn't like (hated) PWM! This is not to say a different pump may not with PWM, but I rather doubt it.

I hope this answers a few questions for you. Regarding the USB daughterboard, I'll let CF Tech answer that one.
 

Gunslinger

New member
excellent responses guys, thank you, just the sort of info i was looking for, i was looking through the myriad of screens and boards and kits etc etc and wondering if any of the stuff was interchangeable with pre-built 635, jc ur responce to that makes it nice and clear.

thanks for the link, i hadnt got as far as the galleries yet, i was trying not to get side-tracked by the pretty pictures so to speak, and keep my focus on the important stuff, but now i'm there ... oh dear this is going to be a long night !! :p

that pump you speak of is one i am considering (as is the black ice 240 rad that i have just found an animated screen for in that gallery link! :D )... and i understand what you are saying about the tach thing, that should be no problem, thanks for the info on your experiences with it in relation to speed changing, i had feared that might be the case, if i'm not mistaken that uses a resistance based pot to alter the speed ? so there is still an option using a relay to drop a resistor into the line to simulate a movement of the pot.

all in all this is looking very promissing, and because i only have 1 5.25 bay spare, and want 4 lines of text available this unit is looking more and more enticing
 

jc634

Administrator
There are 2 D5 pumps, 1 with the speed pot built in and 1 w/o. If you want to mod an external version, go for it: it's more fun. Or just get the speed pot version. FWIW, I cannot hear my pump at all at full speed. Some have complained about noise, I think it is just a case of how the pump is mounted.

Anyway, have fun! WC'g is a fun project!
 

CF Tech

Administrator
The serial daughter board is removable, but the firmware essentially redirects the USB data to the expansion connector that the daughter board plugs into, so the USB is effectively disabled.
 

Gunslinger

New member
There are 2 D5 pumps, 1 with the speed pot built in and 1 w/o. If you want to mod an external version, go for it: it's more fun. Or just get the speed pot version. FWIW, I cannot hear my pump at all at full speed. Some have complained about noise, I think it is just a case of how the pump is mounted.

Anyway, have fun! WC'g is a fun project!
this was what i was thinking to control the pump, unless i go for a fully extrnal kit.
Code:
http://home.nc.rr.com/katyandrandy/pwm.htm

CF Tech said:
The serial daughter board is removable, but the firmware essentially redirects the USB data to the expansion connector that the daughter board plugs into, so the USB is effectively disabled.
but no other hardware alterations, right ? ... so a re-flash on the firmware would return it to USB state ?


thanks for the replies guys, much appreciated, the more i look at stuff the more options i seem to have mainly because i want the rad external, so i keep finding kits that look good, like this one !!
Code:
http://www.aqua-computer.de/images/products/aquaduct/ad_360_XT_5_800.jpg
which has some great controls and smart software, just dont know how good the parts selection etc is, and how it works
 

Gunslinger

New member
LMAO ..... i never thought to use a second/old case for the water kit, although it seems you still have a twin Rad on the rear of your actual PC? .... and that one in the display box (i'll call it that to identify between the 2) ... where does it draw it's air in from ?

i know what you mean about that 360XT kit, but if the parts used in it are upto scratch, you can spend that much on good seperate parts, i might register over at their forum and try an get some extra info on it, someone is testing their water block now on one of the other forums, there does seem to be a bit of heckling going on surrounding enthusiasts about the quality of this companies stuff, they do these kits and a very very interesting looking pump, and their software seems light years ahead of anything from other manufacturers, i guess with that kit you pay as much for the design and aesthetics as anything else, and i suppose you could rip out the pump and rad and fit a DDC+ ultra, and one of the stealth or blackice triple rads, i am already fairly certain on cpu and gpu blocks that i want to use (apogee gtx and tyee) so some of the kits would leave me with parts i paid for and wont use, never good economy !!

that second case thing is funny though, i have an antec p182 for this rebuild, and my current antec p180 is going to be spare :D ;) :p

thats a LOT of displays btw :p
 

jc634

Administrator
LMAO ..... i never thought to use a second/old case for the water kit, although it seems you still have a twin Rad on the rear of your actual PC? .... and that one in the display box (i'll call it that to identify between the 2) ... where does it draw it's air in from ?
I have 2 rads. The one on the back of the main case and the 2nd in the "display" case. Regarding fans, I have 2 on the rad and 1 exhaust fan. Air is drawn thru open spaces in the case. Translation: dust magnet due to negative pressure in the case, altho I have not ever really noticed any build-up.

Order of flow: pump - rad - CPU - rad - GPU - reservoir.
 
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