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Racing Yacht Instrument System


Peter Cyriax:

I'm starting work on a yacht racing instrument system.

Clearly we'll need some screens to display the output, which is typical "instrumentation" type display formats (humbers, dials graphs bars) with variable data being updated ay maybe 0.1 sec intervals.

The screens need to be reasonably robust, and the viewing surface impervious to salt water. We'll be putting them in custom carbon fibre waterproof enclosures. The will need to be viewed in bright sunlight at a typical distance of 6 - 15 feet and at angles of upto 45 degrees in the horisontal plane, but probably not more than 20 degrees in the vertical plane.

We do not however, need particulalrly accurate colour reproduction - just strong primary colours plus black and white at variable levels of intensity.

I'm guessing that right now my best bet would be the NHD-4.3-480272EF-ASXN# - sunlight readable (Luminance 1000 cd/m2) though the NHD-4.3-480272EF-ASXV# is nearly as bright (850 cd/m2) and has a better viewing angle.

Ideally we'd like to use 7" 800 x 480 displays but they only output 350 cd/m".  The new IPS TFT's look attractive, but again the luminence is low

So the questions are:
1. Are the Newhaven screens suitable?
2. Which is the best screen to use right now?
3. Is there any chance that suitable larger (7") screen will be available by the time we have all this working - in a year or so?

And assuming the response to those questions is positive, then:
4. What do we have to do to connect them to the rest of the system.?




Hi Peter,

Unfortunately most LCD's are not waterproof on their own. You would need to put inside of a waterproof enclosure. It seems you are already taking care of that with the carbon fiber enclosure.

Currently our 4.3" TFT is the only sunlight readable display we have available. We are planning to release a sunlight readable 7" TFT in Q1 of the coming year. This to will have a brightness rating of 1000 cd/mē. We will also have an MVA model of the 7" TFT as well, with the wider viewing angles, and a typical brightness of about 800 cd/mē.

To drive these displays you would need either a MPU that has a TFT controller built-in, or you could use an external controller such as the ones linked below with most MPUs.

NHD   8-Bit MPU Interface Controller: NHD-7.0-800480EF-20 Controller Board
NHD 16-Bit MPU Interface Controller: NHD-7.0-800480EF-34 Controller Board

Peter Cyriax:
Hi Saurabh,

Thanks... I have ordered a 4.3" Sunlight Readable screen plus controller and we'll see how we get on. We can develop using 4.3" to start with.

I also ordered the varient with a resistive touchscreen (not quite as bright, I know) to see how easily I can program that to eslect the screen format to display: but I was planning to select the displays via software talking to the central processor, so that will be a bonus if it works. We won't know whether we need the MVA verion until we put the prototype onto an actual yacht.

Yes - I didn't think the complete TFT unit would be waterproof, but it is important that the viewable screen area should be - I can't cover that with carbon... I'm concerned that if we have to put a transparent front on the waterproof enclosure we'll lose lumiance and get a lot of glare.

I assume connecting the screen to the controller ( NHD-7.0-800480EF-34 Controller Board ) is pretty straight forward. I'm guessing the -34 controller will still work with the display that does not have a touchscreen. Hopefully I'll be able to find enought documentation to connect the controller to an Arduino Due and the Arduino libraries for a standard SD1963 will work.

Not first time, of course - that never happens, lol.

Getting the screens to work is a small part of the total project: if you realease the 7" sunlight viewable displays any time next year that will probably be soon enough.





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