So, I think it’s time for me to build a tricorder.
The V3 board has enough bandwidth, SPI ports and other stuff to support color displays, and ST:TNG-style tricroder would be a nice way to show that off.

Now, I don’t know much about building tricorders though. Is there a place to get something like a chassis? I think I might already have a color SPI display, but I don’t know if it is the right size.

Any help would be appreciated.

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I admire Starchwreck’s stuff, maybe he can help.

Which generation are you thinking?

Oh I see TNG. Did a rewatch with our kid during lockdown.

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@profezzorn if I were you I’d hit up @Lord-Anubis. He can give you all the ideas etc in the world as far as those props. :smiley:

If you are going to work on a color display, please count me in because I’m interested in doing a blaster test bench with a color display (plus a monochrome, if possible). As soon as I get a little extra time I will be finishing the improvements to blaster.h and color display support is the only missing feature to feature match a certain competitor.

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Ive been making screen accurate tricorders with screens for years now. I also make many other trek props, and the only proffie phaser rifle, we should really talk in DM, im working on a project that id love to involve you in.

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Well, the first question is: What display(s) to support?

Looks like I have two of these:

I was thinking SSD1331, but the 1351 is even better. :smiley:

Star Trek props are my bag baby. I’ve been out of that game for a while, so there may be more players now. Maybe this is old news, but worth mentioning.

Myron Stapleton has been a…staple…of the Trek prop building community for many years. Love him or hate him, his stuff isn’t bad. He has made and refined a LOT of very nice resin kits based off the original molds made by the long gone Roddenberry site or straight from the prop master Michael Moore. I’ve bought literally every prop kit out there and tons of finished items.

There are others who made vacuuformed tricorder shells, but they are rare and pricy and more difficult to make look good first time around. Myron is the only one I’m aware of that is readily available, pretty inexpensive and easily workable. I haven’t bought anything from him in some time, however as best I know, he’s still doing it. Was on ebay for the longest time and the various other Trek prop boards. There was another excellent guy, GMprops, who worked with Myron for ages and made drop in electronics. Get from those two guys and you have yourself a complete item. Add paint and enjoy. But Gerhard has been going through some things and is way way less active than before. Was actually chatting with him yesterday. You “might” be able to get some ready to drop in LEDs and such and add your own Proffie board vs his pre programmed and configured board. That’s his bottleneck, the boards.

That’d be an awesome market to get into and I’d absolutely buy one if you had some instructions and software. I bet you’d get loads of interest since Gerhard has been very low profile for a while and there is a vacuum of electronics for Myron’s kits.

Check out Facebook “Stapleton Productions” or email him

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Do you have a tricorder model? I’m pretty good with CAD and can do STL to print no problem. What I wonder is what would the specifications of such electronics be.

Ordered a medical tricorder VII kit from Stapleton Productions.

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Is there any difference in connection and use between the SSD1351 and the SSD1331? Because I could build my blaster V3 test stand with an SSD1331 and thus we can test both simultaneously.
Also, I see that the tricorder you are buying has an attachment that holds magnetically. I’ve been speculating for a while on connecting the Blade Present pin to a Hall sensor so you don’t need and extra pin to detect the chassis insertion into a chassis. You can use the ring magnets around an NPXL connector in the chassis, for example. But in that case ir could be used to detect the presence of the attachment.

The short answer is that I don’t know.
The two chips seems fairly similar, but there seems to be a great variety in the modules themselves.
Doesn’t look like it will be hard to add support for both though.

Definitely looking forward to this. My humble hack of an old Playmates TNG toy using a 2.2 was a fun build.


I’m buying one of each and will try them both. If you have some idea of how which pinout are you planning on using, please advise because I don’t have the slightest idea.

I’ll let you know, I will probably experiment with it a little this weekend.

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My Proffies V3 should arrive next week, and I’ve ordered an SSD1331, an SSD1351 and an ST7735 which is supposedly also supported by the SSD1306 library. Hopefully, if we can get on running the other two should not be that difficult.

So, I guess the next question is: What do we need the display to do?

Show images?
Show video?
Draw text, video, customizable UI?
3d animations?
play doom?

My initial idea is to do something similar that we do for monochrome OLEDs. However, for OLEDs we read raw image data from the SD card in real time for animations. I’m not sure if that’s going to be reasonable for color displays, as it means pulling a lot of data from the SD card. That means that we might need to compromise somewhere, like:

  1. Don’t try to to do video.
  2. use compressed video. (reduced quality)
  3. use lossless compressed video (frame rate depends on how well the image compresses)
  4. Some other magic that I haven’t thought of yet…

So what do we expect, and which compromises makes the most sense?

This is one of my test tricorders, please excuse the shoddy build quality.

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