Home Forums Game Frame Firmware Modding Controlling the Gameframe with serial input

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    I’m interested in setting up my Gameframe as a display for a pixelated-selfie photobooth at an upcoming Maker Faire and have a question about transmitting data to the frame. I understand that I need a USB –> FTDI cable to be able to write my Arduino sketch out to the gameframe and I’m comfortable with the firmware that’s been posted on Github. My question is: if I have the Gameframe connected to my computer for Arduino/programming through the FTDI port, can I use the Xpand connector for additional RX/TX with some other device?

    If I understand the pinout mappings (https://www.ledseq.com/faq-category/game-frame/) correctly, the answer is yes. I can just select any two of the PC0 – PC5 pins and define them as RX/TX in the Arduino as desired (hopefully there’s no weird Arduino limitation on using those ports with the software serial library). If so, I think I should be able to easily setup a system as follows:
    1) Laptop running MATLAB script with image acquisition library grabs a frame from a USB webcam when a button is pushed
    2) Image frame is processed/downsampled as needed to produce a 16×16 pixel representation of the image
    3) 16×16 RGB data is transmitted serially from the computer running MATLAB to the Gameframe which is running modified firmware that waits for a command to display the data and then displays the data using strip.setPixelColor()
    4) Rinse, repeat

    Does this sound on par or am I missing something?

    Jeremy Williams

    This is really interesting! What you suggest sounds like it would work. It will be interesting to see how you encode the images for transmission. Will they be stored on microSD or sent straight to the buffer?

    One alternate direction you might consider (though I really have no idea if it’s feasible) is a WiFi SD card like this one:


    There is developer information here:

    I bought one, along with this SD -> microSD adapter:

    All I can tell you is that Game Frame can read the SD card. I put some graphics on it (not over WIFI, but the normal way) and it worked. It seemed pretty slow though, much slower than a standard SD card. I have no idea how you write to the card over WIFI but it looks like it’s possible.

    Good luck and have fun no matter what approach you take!


    I’m hoping straight to buffer will work, but I can work with the microSD if needed. I saw one of your posts about using a WiFi SD, but didn’t understand how that would work since I hadn’t seen the SD -> microSD adapter previously. I’ve just purchased both to test as a backup plan if the serial data transfer idea doesn’t work.

    Thank you for the quick reply, I’ll be back to post more info once I get it worked out!


    What if you use something like https://www.adafruit.com/products/2282 Wifi to Uart module instead of the WiFi SD card.

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