Bezels for Nextion Screens

Andy, KG5RKP notes that you can retrieve a bezel pattern for any of the Nextion displays from 3.2 through 7 inches from Itead:

https://www.itead.cc/wiki/Nextion_HMI_Solution#3D_printing_bezel

Andy had a bezel printed by a vendor via 3D Hubs:

https://www.3dhubs.com/

David  Balfour has made bezels  for the 2.8 and 3.2″ Nextion screens by 3D prints.   His rig is shown above.

The larger bezel is on thingiverse if you have a 3d printer. https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3342327

Reference

Differences between the JackAl and Nextion displays

Most people don’t understand and won’t want to understand the differences between different types of display technologies.

Unfortunately,  the µBITx community has fractured its user base amongst competing screen technologies.   There are many different types of LCD display screens and they are not compatible at all.   

Differences between the Nextion and JackAl displays have been discussed on the BITX20 IO Group list following discussion about whether a Nextion screen used with the KD8CEC firmware could be ported across to the JackAl.  The simple answer is “No”!

Brian N8BDB notes that  it’s not going to be as simple as replacing a driver and rebuilding the application.  The Nextion display works in a very different way than the normal displays most people use for microprocessors like arduino and teensy.

Normally the display is a “dumb” device that just handles displaying the dots.  Software libraries are used to provide basic functionality like drawing lines, boxes, and text.  Touch events are handled completely separately by other libraries.

The Nextion display is the opposite.  The display has it’s own microcontroller, memory, etc. and the arduino communicates with it through a serial interface.  All of the buttons, text, gauges, etc. are prebuilt in the Nextion editor.  The application doesn’t know where they are on the screen.  It just has a name such as “button1” that is associated with a button on a particular screen for instance.  The application just sends a command to the display to change the text of “button1” to “abcd”.  It would require a significant rewrite of the JackAl UI code to make it work with a Nextion display.

The other thing as Jack pointed out is about resolution.  The Nextion displays most people have are much lower resolution than the display used by the JackAl board.  The 2.4″ and 2.8″ Nextion displays are 320×240.  The 5″ Nextion display ($60) is the closest one with similar resolution (800×480) and that is 33% more in price than the display ($40) that JackAl currently uses.  Even the 4.3″ Nextion display is only 480×272.

There are pros and cons of both screen types.  The Nextion costs a bit more per pixel because it has a processor on board, but the demand (in terms of memory and processing power) on the main µBITx is minimal.   The processor and screen communicate using a series of codes.   The Nextion (in theory) can be adapted to have quite different user interfaces for the same functions.  There are, in fact, at least two distinctly different versions of “look and feel” available already.   However, setting up these requires a fairly steep learning curve on the screen management environment.

On the other hand, the JackAl screen (along with all other types of LCD screens) is strongly tied into the firmware of the JackAl teensy processor and amending the “look and feel” of the display requires detailed knowledge of the processor, firmware and the screen programming environment on which the JackAl is built.  It is unlikely that the Nextion will be ported across to the JackAl environment any time soon.  Bite the bullet and buy a new screen!

Reference

Release of CEC firmware v1.1 (non-Beta)

Ian KD8CEC has released version 1.1 of his CEC firmware.  This the first major release since Beta version 1.097.    He has also released new versions of uBITx Manager (for Windows) and Nextion screen firmware.

Version 1.1 includes all additions or improvements from the last non-Beta release version 1.08.   This includes features and bug fixes addressed in Beta versions 1.09, 1.093, 1.095,  and 1.097.   No further changes have been made to the Version 1.097 Beta version.

You do not need to upgrade if you are using Version 1.097. This is the version with only the version number changed.

Major Changes since the last official release

  •  The firmware supports additional features for the Nextion  and TJC LCDs
  •  Read & Backup uBITX, ADC Monitoring, ATT, IF-Shift and more on Nextion LCD (TJC LCD)
  •  Factory Reset (Both Character LCD and Nextion LCD are applicable)
  • Signal Meter using ADC (A7 Port)
  • I2C Signal Meter
  • Spectrum display
  • Band Scan
  • Memory Control on Nextion LCD (TJC LCD)
  • Speed Change CW-Option on Nextion LCD
  • Fixed Band Change Bug (Both Character LCD and Nextion LCD are applicable)
  •  uBITX Manager removed the Encode and Decode buttons. The procedure has become a bit easier.
  • I2C Device Scan on uBITX Manager ( Both Character LCD and Nextion LCD are applicable)
  • Si5351 I2C Address can be changed
  • Recovery using QR-Code Data from Server
  • Nextion LCD and TJC LCD can display Spectrum and CW Decode (using Stand alone S-Meter)
  • Fixes for other Minor Bugs

Please refer to the link below for details.
http://www.hamskey.com/2018/09/ubitx-firmware-cec-version-11-release.html

Please download the related files from the link below.
https://github.com/phdlee/ubitx/releases/tag/1.1

Nextion LCD or TJC LCD’s GUI have not changes since the 1.097 (Beta) distribution. If you are using a different GUI that is customized by other helpful developers, you should not need to upgrade the firmware.  Some screen sizes are still not supported in ver 1.097 (and therefore in version 1.1).

For further details see Ian’s blog at www.hamskey.com

3.2″ Nextion display files for CEC v1.097 Beta

With each new releases of the CEC firmware and CEC Nextion firmware,  Ian KD8CEC provides constructors with 2.4″ and 2.8″ versions of the NExtion firmware.    Meanwhile, a bunch of other Nextion screen users eagerly await adjustments to the firmware that will work with their particular screen size (3.2″, 3.5″, 4.3″, 5″ or 7″).   Adjustments have to be made for each screen size.

Darren VE3XLT has helpfully converted the current beta for the larger 3.2″ screen.

Files for downloading can be found here:

 

Here’s a video of the display in use so you can see its features

 

Reference

Further details on Nextion Display and second arduino

Ian KD8CEC, in his third article on using a second arduino with the µBITx, demonstrates the signal scope feature made possible with having a dedicated ardunio nano connected to the main Raduino control processor via i2c lines.

The signal scope shows a section of the band surrounding the currently tuned frequency IN REAL TIME.    The nano and the serial connections to the Nextion doesn’t have the agility to provide a full blown waterfall display, but a real time display of signals around where you are currently tuned is still pretty impressive.

The other feature that is present in the Nextion display version of this arduino add-on, is a CW decode function.

Bring on the release of v1.097 of CEC firmware!

Nextion display and a second arduino

Ian KD8CEC has now given us part 2 of his description of the latest firmware update (v1.097).   If you have a Nextion display, and add a second arduino you can have a higher quality s-meter and multi-band signal monitor on your µBITx.

For more details go to Ian’s website at hamskey.com

The wire up diagram follows:

The second arduino echos information in one direction from the main raduino via the i2c serial channel which is faster than via serial port.  It uses a dedicated serial port to output the signal again, potentially making the sampling faster for taking signal strength readings.  It will be interesting to see what effect this has in practice.

Remote head for uBITx

The creative genius of µBITx constructors has no end.  This 3D printed version of a wired remote head for the µBITx was designed and built by Gel Vega DU2RK and is truly amazing.

The Remote Head incorporates a ring lit rotary encoder and ring-lit volume control, 8 pin microphone jack,  stereo jacks for headphones and key and a 3.5″ Nextion screen.    Now for a wireless version Gel

 

Nextion Display not communicating?

Björn PD5DJ  used his Nextion screen on previous projects, and this changed the fixed baud rate programmed into the unit.  If your Nextion screen was used previously for other projects you may have the same issue.

This problem was fixed by placing the command “bauds=9600” on page 0 in the Preinitialize Event panel.

Tip!, Every Designer should place this in their code.

Reference