March 20, 2005
As I mentioned in Automated Continuous Integration and the BetaBrite LED Sign:
I'm currently working on some .NET classes that wrap a BetaBrite-specific subset of the Alpha Sign Communications Protocol. This requires serial communication via a 25 or 50 foot RS-232 serial to RJ-12 cable, so you'll need a physical PC with either a serial port or a USB-to-Serial adapter to get this working.
This is now ready for public consumption. I posted it as a new article on CodeProject, BetaBrite LED Sign API - A simple API for controlling a BetaBrite LED sign via RS-232 serial commands. Here's a sample:
Dim bb As New BetaBrite.Sign(1)
"<font=five><color=green>This is <font=seven>file D", _
"<font=five><color=yellow>This is <font=seven>file E", _
"<font=five><color=red>time is <calltime>", _
It really came out nicely. Now go get you some of that sweet, hot LED sign action!
Posted by Jeff Atwood
Thanks-- I plan to have some other mini-apps available that drive the API from internet data: RSS feed displays, weather, google news, sports scores, etcetera.
I just noticed that Sam's Club doesn't appear to carry the BetaBrite sign any more-- what a bummer, because $160 was an excellent price. I don't know if that's temporary or not, but I guess these searches should always work:
Might pay a bit more this way, up to $190. I got mine for right at $150 on ebay, shipping included, but I had to buy the RS-232 cable and software seperately so it was kind of a wash.
You continually amaze me Jeff;)
Glad to hear it-- the BetaBrite is a lot of fun!
Did I forget to mention...I passed your article on to work folks and a guy here at work ended up nabbing a BetaBrite sign off eBay for $100 plus shipping. He thought it was a sweet idea and has it up here at work showing the weather through a web service as well as other, pertinent work information. It's pretty cool. Nice job on the API Jeff.
I have a question not related, but you people would probably have the answer.
I have the BetaBrite in the dining room of my business. I have a PC in my office (100 ft. away).
I want to be able to control and update the sign from my office PC.
I noticed that the RS-232 cable is 6 Wire. I have the cable included, which is about 15 feet (RS-232 to RJ-45).
What I need to do is run a 6 Wire line from the PC to the dining room. Has anyone tried this? Will I run into problems with data loss because of the length?
Just curious. Thanks
Jeff, the Sams Club by us continues to sell the BEtaBrit, but Sams Club is kind of a weird place sometimes, changing stock, misplacing stock, etc.
Rick, as far as I know a BetaBrite will display messages with just Receive and Ground if all you are doing is sending messages.
To all reading this article, Industrologic is now providing more in the way of BetaBrite sales, programs, etc.
We now provide a simple messaging program, available on our web site, plus a command line program to be run by other programs or by Windows Task manager.
Jeff, you said earlier "I plan to have some other mini-apps available that drive the API from internet data: RSS feed displays, weather, google news, sports scores, etcetera."
Do you have anything along these lines available?
I too have gotten a sign off of eBay and am planning on testing the concept out at work with a custom task management tool we have before I hook it up to our continuous intigration system. I am most interested in seeing how to go about getting the sign to get it's data from an RSS feed.
Also, have you heard or seen anything about converting the sign to be wireless (Wi-Fi)?
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any ideas on how to display RSS feeds to an LED?
We are in trouble with the Alpha signs.
We have tried to use the object provided: AxInterop.AdaptiveRTUpdateLib.dll.
Unfortunately , is not enough for our needs.
The question that I have is that it would be possible to communicate with the sign through its IP adress.
Do you know if this would be possible and in witch manner?
Please respond me about your opinion as quickly as possible because for us this thing is quite urgent.
If you are looking for RSS feeds, check out kitchi: http://www.kitchi-rss.com - it works pretty well and is very configurable.
Seems like not much has changed with led signs in three years. They still ship with stupid windows-based access software.
I just finished a PHP API for a Eurolite ESN led sign. I chose a Eurolite sign because they have a Ethernet connection, so I can control the sign from a remote server.
here is the code: http://www.mediakum.com/phpledsign/
Does anyone have a compiled DLL of jeffs BetaBrite API, and maybe a hello world example to go along with it. Thanks
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