External display modules

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External display modules can be used for many things, from a single display displaying just a few parameters to setting up a full home cockpit. Here is a list of some suppliers:


4D Systems, Australia

Nice range of pretty cool displays, including square OLED displays. Surprisingly cheap compared to other suppliers in the industry. Own controller chip in 2 version - serial, incorporates a rather complex control protocol; graphics - incorporates an own high level language to write programs which run on the controller. Free SDK for MSWIN and also cheap test/devel-boards. USBSerial interface available. Also a ton of other cool stuff in the shop for nice prices.
European dealer in Austria: http://www.tigal.com/brand/23


Electronic Assembly, Germany

Rather expensive in comparism but excellent support and wide range of different displays in LCD and OLED technologies with RS232 and HD44780 protocol. No USB options, though. The serial displays (graphics as well as character) are very easy to control and generally act as dumb terminals, i.e. they just print whatever you send them through the serial port. The graphics displays have extended commands for drawing which use ANSI-like ESC-sequences.
Also, it's possible to design and pre-progam masks and macros to the displays which can be called via RS232. touchscreen version are available. In those you can predefine the masks and touch areas easily with the (free!) SDK and software for MSWIN and then the display will then report pressing the touchbuttons via the serial port.
Bottom line: Very cool stuff, great service and support but not the cheapest.

North America

Crystalfontz, USA

Broad range of different display modules. Upper price segment.

Matrix Orbital, USA

About in the same price segment as EA if you buy from a dealer in Europe, noticeably cheaper if you order from the USA. Very nice selection of LCD and VFD displays with different interfaces, including USBSerial. A whole range of displays, especially for PC use (in home theater PCs). : Also very powerful command set for the graphics displays but no dumb terminal mode, so they are a little bit more complicated to talk to but still nothing that can't be done.