One of the great features of the Arduino community is the availability of thousands of pre-written libraries that add hardware and other functionality to your projects without needing to write your own code. There are usually quite a few to pick from and your code will often depend on libraries, so the quality of the library you use can be critical to how your code performs. How do you write good libraries or how would you evaluate the quality of the latest library you downloaded?
In the last few projects I completed, I needed to find a way to process user commands arising from multiple input sources. A simple example would be a clock with tact switches and a Bluetooth interface providing identical functionality from either user input source.
For these applications I developed a simple modular and scalable approach that can be applied in other projects.
The amount of RAM an application uses is printed out by the IDE at compile time. For applications that don’t allocate memory, this is a really good guide to how much spare RAM is available at run time.
However, if an application, like any using the Parola libraries, uses memory from the heap, you need to make sure that there is sufficient memory left for run-time memory allocation.
Vertical LED dot displays are not a common requirement, but they can be created using the standard library with a few tweaks to the software.
As I get questions about vertical displays from time to time, I will cover the basic process of how this is done in this short article. Continue reading “Parola A to Z – Vertical Displays”
A very powerful feature of the Parola library is the ability to separate a display into a number of zones. This allows the implementation of sophisticated animations schemes and is a key part of being able to create double height displays.
This post explains what they are, how they are set up, and how to manage them.
An ongoing question on many Arduino forums is the adaptation of software to the different types of matrix modules. Usually the poster has tried some LED matrix software and the display is reversed or upside down, or animations are disjointed across the module boundaries.
There are clear reasons this happens, and the Parola library has software configuration parameters that allow you to adapt how the software operates to suit your hardware module.
Using the Parola library for double height displays is becoming increasingly popular with library users. Setting up the hardware and the library is not difficult, but it can cause problems if not done correctly. This article will explain the hardware and software setup considerations for trouble-free double height displays.
As the main function of the Parola library is to enable text animations, it is important to understand how these are set up and managed to completion from user code.
From a user perspective, Parola animation consist of 3 parts – setting up, running and resetting the animation. The process is not complex and is illustrated in the numerous library examples. This article breaks these down and explains how the Parola class methods apply in each phase.
The key function of the Parola library is to display text using different animations. These animations are built around a core supporting framework and largely follow the same patterns. This article explores how Parola animations code is constructed so that advanced users of the library have enough information to be able to write (and contribute!) their own new animations.
Managing fonts in the is a key factor in the Parola/MD_MAX72xx libraries to being able to support multiple languages and diverse alphabets.
In the first part we looked at how fonts are defined and the tools used to create the bitmaps for each character. In this part we will look at the Parola and MD_MAX72xx library methods that access and manage font data in the library code.