Jason Lindquist (jlindquist) wrote,
Jason Lindquist
jlindquist

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Victory!

Not quite flawless, but victory no less. I successfully sent data to the football stadium message display. I now know that the display has a lot of blown lightbulbs. So many, in fact, that it's impossible to put an intelligible message up. But I can make what works turn on all at once, and run a test pattern of one row at a time. There's a bunch of bad triacs I gotta track down... fifteen stuck "on", and certainly some more that are stuck "off".

Message board

Figuring out the wire protocol was the most difficult part of the task. Turns out it's changed, too... the signals marked on the original ISA interface card are in a different order from how they're actually used. There's a box inside the press box that converts the single-ended signals from the PC to differential signals that make the actual 500-foot run out to the scoreboard pedestal, and it has idiot LEDs inside it that showed the correct matchup. (I brought my oscilloscope anyways.) printf "\0377" > /dev/lp0 is your friend. :-)
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