Recently I’ve been looking at getting a computing device into the Land Rover. Short of buying a full sized 7″ touch screen, I opted to go for a slightly cheaper £20 4×20 LCD display. This was more to be proof of concept, and give me a starter to work on, before I decide whether or not to put a full sized screen in.

Ultimately, I purchased a SmartieLCD module from Ebay. It arrived, I plugged it into my laptop running Windows at work, and it worked first time. Now it was time to get it working with LCDProc!

Earlier on I had spotted that SmartieLCD in Windows used the Matrix Orbital DLL file. Sadly, when using LCDProc in Linux, Matrix didn’t work at all. It was time to go looking

Enthused by http://lists.omnipotent.net/pipermail/lcdproc/2009-July/013021.html, and manufacturers documentation, I decided to check out the CVS copy of LCDProc. The last ‘release’ was back in 2007, so if I was to get anything recent it would have to be from CVS

cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@lcdproc.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/lcdproc login
cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@lcdproc.cvs.sourceforge.net:/cvsroot/lcdproc co -P lcdproc

Having a look around the source files indicate that Sure Electronics displays were supported, but not enabled by default. A simple ./configure flag would enable them, so it was time to get compiling. Firstly some support files have to be installed first.

sudo apt-get install libusb-dev autogen automake

After that, kick off the build process, and enable Sure Electronics support at configure time.

sh ./autogen.sh
./configure –enable-drivers=SureElec
make
sudo make install

Now that the software is installed, LCDd needs configured in order to send data to the LCD display.

sudo vim /usr/local/etc/LCDd.conf

In here, a few parts need changed –

driver=SureElec
DriverPath=/usr/local/lib/lcdproc/
Edition=3
Contrast=200
Brightness=480

And that’s it! Execute /usr/local/sbin/LCDd, and you should get a Clients: 0 and Screens: 0 on the LCD display.

All is good!