[kwlug-disc] Electronic signs in front of buildings.

Chris Irwin chris at chrisirwin.ca
Mon Jan 14 11:46:31 EST 2013

On Sun, Jan 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM, Michael Savage <msavage at golden.net> wrote:

> I know absolutely nothing about them. My church wants to install one on
> the lawn. I am looking for some pointers on how to do it. Can it be done as
> a network drop?
> At present, I know nothing about the sign, except it is monochrome, and
> costs $4,000-$5,000. I know nothing about the model, manufacturer, how big,
> etc. So I guess, I'm looking for general tips.
> Any help/ideas/suggestions/advice would be very helpful.

Knowing the manufacturer, model, and resolution is important. At the very
least, how many lines of text, and how many characters wide. Documentation
from the sign manufacturer will be extremely handy if they are anything
like the signs I've used.

My previous job was in a manufacturing plant, and we used quite a few signs
throughout the shop floor. The older signs were serial only, while the
newer ones were network attached (but were actually just the older signs
with internal ethernet->serial adapters).

Basically, you would write some subset of extended ascii to a specific IP &
port, marked up with control characters (which signify page breaks, text
size, transitions, etc). If it's a sign that won't be updated
automatically, they will probably have their own easy-to-use programming
software, though it's practically guaranteed to be windows-only.

Chris Irwin
<chris at chrisirwin.ca>
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