I have a commercial LED sign that in its stock format is only controllable by IR remote (the remote is long gone). I'm trying to create a new controller for it so I can push data from one of our servers. I'd like to reuse some combination of the panels themselves, the driver boards and / or the controller. So far I'm having no luck finding good datasheets on much of anything.
What I'm looking for
- Data on the controller and any UART connections / protocol
- Info on the pinout of the 26 pin connector between the controller and LED panels
- Info on talking to the TM1818 driver ICs on the driver board
Here's what I know about the current components
Model number ADSP-400NWT
I have found plenty of places to buy new ones online but no data or even a manual about it.
A 26 pin ribbon cable connects from the controller to the hub card
LED Hub card
The 26 pin ribbon cable from the controller card connects on the end connector. The next 26 pin connector goes to the first driver board
LED Driver board
I have probed around this board a bit with a multimeter looking for traces between the IDC connector and the driver ICs. I have been able to locate the CLK and LE pins, these pins on all TM1818s share a single pin in the IDC connector. Also found one SDI (data input) pin but I haven't been able to locate where the other 22 or so pins in the IDC connector (board input connector) go on the board.
Interestingly, approximately half of the IDC lines show continuity between BOTH ground and VDD
Each driver card has 8x TM1818's in 2 sets of 4
I found a little bit of data including a pinout and block diagram here http://www.datasheetspdf.com/pdf/839008/ETC/TM1818/2 but I haven't been able to locate all of the control lines in the IDC connector so there is still some buffering somewhere that I haven't traced out yet.
The LED panels are 16 LEDs wide by 16LEDs tall, red and green. The sign has 3 identical panels.
What I'm trying to do
My goal is to interject my own controller somewhere in this path so I can drive the LED panels (ideally before the existing driver boards). I'm not worried about different brightness levels or PWM dimming (AKA high speed transfer), just want to be able to display some text being provided by one of our servers.