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Irregular Shed writes – “One Epson DMD-206 display – the ones normally used on tills in supermarkets – hacked to be connected to a PC via its serial port, and hooked up to an IBM Thinkpad running Xubuntu Linux (Ubuntu with Xfce – because this is an old laptop). Why? Because I can =) “Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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  1. IrregularShed says:

    As I updated on the Flickr page:

    This display is one that was used on checkouts in the late 90s but has been superceded – it cost me £5. It uses a single lead for data and power, so I spliced together a new lead from the old one, an old null modem lead and some wire I had lying around the house. It’s currently powered by an Olivetti laptop PSU from about 1997 (more junk lying around the house) but, seeing as it has such a wide input voltage range (11-48V) it will soon be hanging off a Molex connector.

    What people forget is that most tills these days, bar the cheapest entry-level stuff, are PC based – so familiar PC protocols are used. This display takes serial data, currently 38400bps, 8-N-1, no flow control. With some advice from my LUG, I can pipe output straight into it.

    Eventually, this is going to be the display on my Linux-powered alarm clock =)