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Systems & Instruments - VGA Display Controllers - Design Tools VGA-232


A range of OEM PCB versions and DIN case version with customised features.


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 VGA-232 OEM Versions
 VGA-232, customised models.

VGA-232 OEM Versions

  Product: VGA-232, a programmable VGA display module, OEM version  


A VGA display board dynamically programmed via an RS-232 input interface to an embed microprocessor based system. Video signal interface via standard 15 pin VGA connector. Tested with VGA displays 7" to 40", technologies including CRT monitors, LCD Monitors, LCD/LED and Plasma CTV's with 15pin VGA inputs.


VGA-232 Options
1) An OEM version PCB, user programmable via RS232 interface from an embedded controller (e.g. microprocessor), requiring the minimum of code overhead. Embedded messages define character, position, scale, rotation, colour, and effects with simple commands. Portrait and landscape formats supported. The RS232 interface signal may distributed to multiple VGA-232 boards and VGA compatible monitors.
2) The OEM version in DIN rail case has all the above attributes.
3) 8Vdc ~ 14 Vdc input (standard), option 8Vdc ~ 24Vdc
4) 38400 baud (standard,) option 115200 baud
5) Standard packing, 1 pack, 4 pack, 10 pack with progressive pricing to 10x10 packs.

About VGA-232
A VGA-232 is a small PCB Module providing crisp VGA displays for Point of Sale terminals (POS), embedded systems via a formatted RS232 interface.
A VGA-232 provides a low cost display solution, using STANDARD, low cost VGA displays, of any size.
Routinely tested with displays from 7" to 40" plus.
Operates with CRT displays, LCD and Plasma displays.

2012 Firmware & PCB upgrade:
Firmware changes have improved interaction of the VGA-232 with the Auto-fit features on high resolution monitors, which may vary from brand to brand
VGA-232 can work with Monitors from 640x480, 800x480, 1024x768 to over 1366 x 768
The newest monitor chip sets seem to need essentially no manual Post-Auto-fit adjust, whilst chip sets from 2-5 years ago can need a little adjustment.
New models support 38400 and optionally, 115200 baud.
The RS232 interface is provided by a MAXIM202CPE with ESD protection.

Why a VGA-232?
The VGA-232 has already proven to have a long life, existing since CRT monitors were standard. Custom VGA ASICs, have too short a design life, and are too complex to interface to 8 bit controllers. They also require special DRAMs.
LCD Modules are OK for small, local displays, but full graphical LCD modules rapidly escalate the cost / complexity, and they too have short design lifetimes.

The Solution: VGA-232
A VGA-232 has been designed to use industry standard components, for a longer design life, and the provision of features NOT found on standard PC VGA systems.
An on board controller hosts RS232 serial interface, so a VGA-232 and display can be placed remotely from the Host Controller. Master and slave displays are support.
This controller can also simply and quickly SCALE the normal 16x8 font, for improved long distance readable displays.
The VGA-232 card provides a low cost method for adding remote VGA displays, to even the smallest applications.
Unlike a DOS terminal PC VGA display, the VGA-232 can easily mix scaled characters, between 8 and 144 pixels high, anywhere on the display area.
The software supports landscape and portrait display formats.
VGA-232 is an OEM product, available in quantity from 1 to 50,000+ pcs annum.

  • Full 16 colour, 640 x 400 Pixel VGA Display
  • 80 Character x 25 Lines, with scalable 16 x 8 Font
  • 80 Character x 50 Lines, with 8 x 8 Font.
  • BAR graph support in the Font, with Left/Right/Up/Down bar movement possible.
  • RJ12 connector for Serial Data In, Nominally RS232 standards.
  • Large SRAM design, allows SOFT FONT, and Scaling.
  • Standard VGA text font included, but custom fonts possible.
  • Scale command, for x2, x3, x4, x5, x6, x7, x8, x9 sized characters.
  • Can easily MIX characters of all heights.
  • On board microcontroller, running at 25MHz, eases host loading.
  • Communicates at 38.4K Baud, with FIFO + hardware handshake ( *option* 115200 Baud)
  • Standard 15 Pin VGA connector.
  • Includes on board regulator, nominally 9V DC Input ( * option* 24V Power, for Industrial use )
  • Small Size - just 64mm x 82mm ( ~2.5" x ~3.25" )
  • DIN rail case option 70mm x 86mm

eANSI control
VGA-232 uses our eANSI protocol. eANSI is an enhanced version of the old ANSI 'Esc[' prefix protocol. eANSI is optimized for speed, and extended for VGA display usage, and has a 'cleaned up' state engine. Porting from older software is designed to be easy.

  • Set X and Y position.
  • Control of Foreground and Background over 16 colours.
  • Select of 16 x 8, or 8 x 8 Font.
  • Select Size of FONT.
  • Select FONT rotation.
  • Vertical move option, for fast BOX/OUTLINE drawing, and vertical BAR plots.
  • Allows full byte -> 256 character display, and mixed heights.


Shared Control
By using eANSI as a communications Protocol for any embedded µC <-> PC link, designers have the choice of any mix of PC and VGA-232 modules. PC software can parse the simple strings to extract the field information, and for low end, or simply diagnostics, you simply plug the RS232 into a VGA-232 unit.
This allows Two Feature price points, and mixed solutions can be offered to your customers: 'Factory' display units operating on a VGA-232, and an Office Monitor running on a Windows PC.

ORDER CODES FOR VGA-232
MODELVARIANTSPOWER SUPPLYBAUD RATECarton QTY
VGA-232OOEM - Basic PCB18 ~ 14Vdc (Standard)138400 Baud (Std)11 pc per carton
DOEM - DIN Rail Case28 ~ 24Vdc
2115200 Baud44 pcs per carton
PCustom DIN Rail
Process Signal
1010 pcs per carton
TCustom DIN Rail
Time or Timer
RCustom DIN Rail Case
Formated RS-232 or data+clock
© DesignTools Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand
1.VGA-232-O-1-1-1 ... [more details]
Design Tools VGA-232, OEM-Basic PCB, 8 ~ 14Vdc, 38400 baud, 1 pc / carton, OEM kit with manual and programming instructions.
2.VGA-232-D-1-1-1-1 ... [more details]
Design Tools VGA-232, DIN rail case, 6-9Vdc, 38400 baud, single pack, OEM kit with manual and programming instructions.

VGA-232, customised models.
Customised models provide convenient large screen display of the process under review.
We have the following options to hand:

a) CHI MEI CB900K belt weighing controller outputs two RS232 signals. The CB900K MENU provides a selection of flow rate, speed, total, weight or tare weight.
Our VGA 232 board adds descriptive character information to the selected output and displays the digital value.
For example:
Display of the flow rate value and total.


b) Timer:
The system can provide large screen, 32bit resolution display of lapsed time.
eg: time interval between two sequential edges. -/-
time interval between a rising and falling edge -|- -|-
maximum resolution is 40nS

c) 6 channel 4-20mA current measurement.
Using a VGA display in PORTRAIT mode this system displays
2 line Text Header block
6 4-20mA, 16 bit inputs with high update rate.
Each bit includes 1 line for character display of process name and unit, 1 line divided between two colour bar chart and 5 digit display.
The bar chart can be coded to change colour if maximum and minimum pre-set values are exceeded.
1.VGA i VISION ... [more details]
DesignTools VGA Display controller for displaying a Header and 6 4-20mA signals with 16bit resolution, using up to 16 primary colours, with description line (e.g. input source and measuring units) and value line, 5 digits and bar chart in various format
2.VGA-232-CB900K ... [more details]
DesignTools VGA-232-DIN Rail case, formatted data+clk, 6-9Vdc, 38400 baud, 1pc / carton, customised operation from CHI MEI CB900 belt weighing indicator.