LCD Scroller

I received for Christmas a cool little LCD scrolling panel. Of course the first thing I did was sniff the crappy Windows control program to figure out how to program it.

It doesn't have a particular brand name that I can see, but it comes up as a Prolific USB to Serial converter when plugged in. It looks like the photos below.


The protocol to program it, if you could call it that, consists of sending at 9600 baud, N81, a leading byte 0xAA followed by a one byte number between 1 and 5 for the scroll speed, your message of up to 73 characters (more makes it crash) and a trailing byte of 0xCC.

I have written lcd-scroller program to control it. QA seems to be pretty poor on this thing; send too many characters and it locks up or resets, and occasionally it shows PLEASE WRITE AGAIN! for no apparent reason. However, it's still fun to stream an RSS feed of the cricket scores or similar!