MC Panel–Building a new front panel for the Membership Card

by Chuck November 23, 2011

“Bee Dee” on the Yahoo COSMAC ELF group suggested that we document the progress of our various ELF2K and Membership Card projects with photos and videos to share on the Web. I’m not so much with video, but I can take a picture or two and write up what I’m doing.

I’ve been working on improving the serial port adapter that I build using a Picaxe 20X2. I showed the new version to the group on the mailing list, and suddenly I had a new idea to work on. I was inspired by a posting on the mailing list by Lee Hart – replacing the stock front panel of the Membership Card with a new keypad and LED digit display controlled by a Picaxe microprocessor. It sounded like a good idea to me, that is if I could get everything to fit on the small footprint offered by the Membership Card.

I’m going to be writing up my progress as I go along, providing a screen shot or photograph or two, and hopefully sharing what I learn. Right  now, I’m thinking that I’m going to have to jump through these hoops:

  • Figure out if I can get a Picaxe 40X2, a 16-key keypad, and two LED displays on a board the size of the Membership Card.
  • Come up with a tentative assignment for the input/output ports on the Picaxe.
  • Build a version of the circuit on a breadboard to make sure that it works.
  • Write software to make the whole package work.
  • Layout a PC board and get it manufactured.
  • Build a prototype and see if I got it right.

Hopefully I’ll keep engaged on this project until I get it done. Making a commitment to writing it up should help with that.



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