I’ve been a long time user of the Logitech G15. Not because it’s a particularly good keyboard, but simply for the convenience it’s built in LCD provides to an overclocking enthusiast like me.
With the powerful LCDSirreal Plugin, at a glance I can see the temperature of my CPU and GPU. Loads on the CPU cores, how much RAM is being used, how much bandwidth I’m using. Not only that but it even shows FPS(frames per second) when a full screen DirectX or OpenGL application launches.
Not enough? When a program becomes unresponsive, it shows the name of the problematic app, and using the buttons under the screen, you can kill that process.
This is still not the full feature list of the LCDSirreal. If you’re interested, check it’s website.
For such a tiny screen that’s tremendous amount of data to output. So what’s the problem? It sounds perfect right?
- Some functionality isn’t native to the plugin. For example, if you want to see the FPS, you need to install FRAPS. If you want to see the GPU temp, you need to install GPU-Z. For CPU temperatures, you need CPU Temp. That’s 3 extra programs you have to install beside the plugin. Not to mention the Logitech’s Gaming Software. I’d prefer to not install all that crapware.
- Can’t change keyboard. I want to switch to a mechanical keyboard, but I really got used to the info provided by the screen.
- Closed source. LCDSirreal plugin is neither open source nor free. There is a one time 5$ payment required. While the 5$ doesn’t bother me, the fact that there is no easy way to modify it is really problematic for my usage.
Here comes the Flanker Telemetry. It’s my alternative to the LCDSirreal. Its main components are a Teensy 3.2 and 2.6″ TFT touchscreen with ili9341 driver chip. ili9341 is quite important. Because Teensy has an optimized library especially for this controller. And it’s blazing fast.
So it’s only a TFT screen connected to pc? Nope. I plan on adding buttons, pots, slider pots, leds, and AC relays to the system and making them controllable by PC. Once everything is done, I’ll enclose this whole project in a 3D printed and specially designed case.
That is the hardware side of the project which I call the “client”. Although some might say that the Teensy is the host and the PC is the client. To each his own I guess.
Now to the PC side of things, I plan on coding it as either a windows service or maybe a
deamon. I’ll be using .Net 4 with C# for the Server side. I briefly considered Java, but I prefer not to use it if I can help.
What I currently have is just a template(May 13th 2016) it’s ugly, it’s inefficient and it’s buggy. It’s just a means as a tool to complete the Teensy side of things. It’ll be completely rewritten once I’m happy with the hardware side of things.
But I believe I’ve included most of the functionality I wanted to add to the server side. And except for the FPS counter(which I’ll have to get from FRAPS) everything works natively. With no need for any extra software. I heavily used Open Hardware Monitor‘s, WMI interface. I want to give it’s creators a big thumbs up from here!
- Loads of each individual CPU Core
- Load GPU
- Temp For CPU and GPU
- RAM Load
- Audio volume info
- Date, time
- Net usage(bandwidth)
- FPS Counter(yet to be implemented on the server side)
Features to Add
- Standardization : I want other people to contribute and eventually use this project. If that is to happen the project needs to be more standardized and code should be commentated. As it is, there are dependencies on external libraries, and the code is spaghetti. Ideally anyone who has an Arduino and a TFT should be able to use this project.
- Modular Design : On both hardware and software side. As a die hard DIY fan, I want people to customize this system to their hearths content.
- Polished Design : This is one thing I know I’ll never be able to live up to my dreams. I’m not one for visual arts. My hope is that once the project gets of the ground, people with more artistic talent than I will step in an “pimp it up”. I can design a perfectly functional enclosure for the project. But not a cool one.