Super VMW CPU Meter

After many delays, restarts, and years, [Vince ] has finally finished his Super VMW CPU Meter. Featuring six alphanumeric red led displays, two 10 segment bar graphs, twelve red LEDs, and six color LEDs its got plenty of “screen” space to show all sorts of useful information.

Electrically its driven by four SAA1064 LED driver chips attached to an i2c bus which is banged by a PC’s parallel port and driven by software in linux. The software allows you to build displays for what ever application you may want, and even includes a color ASCII output so you can see what it will look like before you even have hardware.

Four examples are given, one is a cpu meter which uses the bar graph displays to show load per core. Another uses the bar graphs as a VU meter for your music while displaying the song’s information. There is a clock in all the normal formats + UNIX time, and some scrolling text demos.

Construction gets a little odd as overhang of chips and connectors was not really taken into account so some “lofting” was needed to raise the trouble spots above the rest of the board. It is not something we would want to do, but a handy trick if we are ever faced with that situation.

Join us after the break to see this wild light show in action.

Comments

  1. Fallen says:

    “which is banged” probably should be which is bit banged…makes a bit more sense.

  2. Pedro says:

    Parallel ports make me sad. Stick a USB interface on that bad boy!

    It’s oh so gaudy but I love it.

    Oh, and Amish Paradise is a tune and a half; one of Weird Al’s best (Bedrock Anthem is /the/ best if you ask me).

  3. Me says:

    starting from 0:26 so awesome. The king of nerd.

  4. James says:

    [quote]Parallel ports make me sad. Stick a USB interface on that bad boy![/quote]
    But parallel ports don’t require software stacks and unique drivers just to operate, so much simpler!

    Nice little make, however I’m not sure as to it’s use – I mean the only time I care about what my CPU % is is when I think my machine has locked up, the rest of the time WGAS?

  5. dext3r says:

    Agree with Pedro, gaudy but damn, its still really cool.

    Great project!

  6. jordan says:

    That’s a pretty slick thing. I like it

  7. deater says:

    Glad everyone seems to like the project.

    For the USB contingent, I just yesterday ordered all the parts necessary to complete a second meter, this time USB controlled instead of parallel port.

    Check back in a month or so and hopefully I’ll have a finished product. This one will have a black enclosure and I think I’ll try green alphanum/red bargraph for a change.

  8. ZeroCool42 says:

    Oh dear god the eye cancer, that thing is so salient that I hope (rather ironically) that it’s not in an easy to view location!

    Still, @deater I look forward to seeing a USB version, might be tempted to make my own, albeit slightly less distracting version :P

  9. I have been wanting to do something like this for my servers, I want to see the cpu load on the front for each core.

  10. Whatnot says:

    “PC’s parallel port ”
    Haha, all you need is a time machine to travel back 20 years with this on your pocket.

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