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Network Engines Roadster 1U LCD

ZooKeeper

New member
Help make a proprietary LCD work??

I'm new to using LCD's on the front of my cases and such, and I'm starting off with a complicated project.

I bought some Network Engines Roadster 1U cases and they have an LCD on the front of the case to read out info and such. Now, I've modded the case so a regular ATX motherboard can fit in it along with a standard 1U power supply. Now I'm trying to get the LCD functioning in any way.

Here is what the LCD looks like:
Front:


Back:


Back w/ ribbon:


Here is what I think the pinout configuration is; I found this by going thru the user's manual, I figured it would probably be of some help...


And here is what it looks like when it assembeled on the front and what each button/LED is for:



At this point, I would just like to find a way to make it display things on the lcd, I'm not too concerned about making the power, NIC, HDD, any of the other LEDs, or buttons do anything at this point. Later on I may want to do that though, if possible.

The original proprietary motherboard that was in the 1U case had a header to connect the other end of the ribbon from the LCD, the LCD was used to control almost every function of the server, it powered the server on, power off, reboot, IP address, ect, it was pretty crazy but cool. Obviously, the new motherboard I put in the case doesn't have this header, so I need to find a way to connect it.

If anyone could provide me some help or direction on how to make this work or where to go and find info on how to make this work, it would be greatly appreciated.
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CF Tech

Administrator
Did you try writing Network Engines for the LCD API? You could also try writing Shelby or Densitron . . . they might be able to publish it.

I do not see from the pinout how the LCD can be controlled, unless it is hidden in the "NC" pins.
 

ZooKeeper

New member
If you count the number of pins that are actually on the LCD board compared to the number of pins the little pinout chart shows, there are more pins than what is listed.

If I were to just try to go from pin to pin seeing if I can get output, is it possible to damage the LCD in any way? If I do this, what software should I use, and what pins on the serial port of the PC should I use?
 

CF Tech

Administrator
It would be pretty hard to determine the function of the lines by looking.

If you had a scope and a working system, you could probably trace it out pretty quick.

You would still have the task of decoding the command set. Might be simple or a bear.
 

ZooKeeper

New member
i have no idea what you just said, lol and thats ok. I'm not into taking it to that level of picking the thing apart. I did however contact network engines who seems to have outsourced their tech support for legacy items to another company or division of their own company. They have been very helpful and although the tech support people don't know the answer, they have moved my question up to the engineers. Hopefully they will provide me with some assistance. I'll keep you guys informed as to my progress on this, thats if I make any progress, lol.
 

ZooKeeper

New member
Whats proprietary stays proprietary

No dice. It can't be used in a different system. Here's what the enigneer who got back to me said:

Dear Sir,

I am sorry but the front panel interfaces to custom chips on the NEI motherboard so integration to another system is not possible.

Best Regards,
NEI Technical Support
 

CF Tech

Administrator
CF Tech said:
. . . If you had a scope and a working system, you could probably trace it out pretty quick.

You would still have the task of decoding the command set. Might be simple or a bear.
Basically you need a working system, a hardware hacker, a 'scope, one of those green engineering pads, and some serious caffeine.
 

Sharkcus

New member
CF Tech said:
Basically you need a working system, a hardware hacker, a 'scope, one of those green engineering pads, and some serious caffeine.
I just bought one as well, I was hoping to be able to use it for something... Anything!
 

Sharkcus

New member
Me? Na, I have one... I'll let you know what I figure out when I get mine in the mail. If it comes down to it, I will just replace the whole LCD for one that I know I can use.

Do you have the original system board for yours?
 

ZooKeeper

New member
Yes, I bought 4 of these 1U roadsters. 1 I have already completely modified and have removed the original board and have a complete working system setup in. I don't have much time right now to modify the second to fit my AD Domain Controller in yet.

Let me know what you find out about the LCDs or what you use to replace the original ones with and how you mount them to the front of the case...
 

Sharkcus

New member
If you end up not wanting one of the Chassis, let me know. Funny, I bought mine off a guy in ebay from Chicago.
 

ZooKeeper

New member
The guy I bought mine from lives in Aurora, IL. I didn't purchase them thru ebay, but found him thru ebay and made arrangements to pick up 4 of them.

I will most likely end up using all 4 of them. I run a lan party and currently have a rack of 4U servers that I am trying to condense down into 4 1U servers so that I can get a flight case to stick the 1U's in so I can transport it in the trunk of my Honda Civic. Currently every time I hold a LAN Party I have to have one of my buddies come over with their pickup truck to come and load up the rack to move it to the LAN...

If your interested in my LAN goto http://www.plannedchaos.net
 
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