!MsgBoard is an application intended to drive a Dream Cheeky USB LED Message Board, recently sold by Maplin under their stock number N88GA. This has a USB Vendor ID of 1D34 and a Device ID of 0013.


This application should work on an Iyonix, a Risc PC with a UNIPod, a Risc PC with a Simtec USB podule, or a Risc PC with a Castle USB podule. It may also work on an A9Home, I haven't tested it - but please let me know if you do try, whether you succeed or fail to get it to work.

Copy the !MsgBoard application into a convenient location. I recommend the $.Apps directory.

If you have a UNIPod or a Simtec USB podule, and you wish the application to start up when you plug a message board in, then you should also copy the !1D34-0013 pseudo-app to the !USB.DevDriver.!03-00-00U directory, whose full path is probably $.!Boot.Resources.!USB.DevDriver.!03-00-00U To make this easier, there is an Obey file called OpenUKDev in the archive. Double-click on OpenUKDev and, if the directory has been "seen", it will be opened for you. Don't bother even trying this if you don't have a UNIPod or Simtec USB podule, as you don't need the !1D34-0013 app, you don't have the directory to put it in, and double-clicking the OpenUKDev obey file will just give an error message "File name '.^' not recognised".

That should be it.


The app should run automatically when a message board is plugged in. A famous quotation should scroll across it.

Click Select on the icon bar icon and a window will open up that allows you to change the message, the speed (specified as the number of centiseconds between scroll movements of one LED) and the gap from the end of the message to its beginning next time round, in LEDs. The display is 21 LEDs wide, which is why I set the default at 21 - it allows the display to go blank for just one scroll interval.


The message board is utterly brain dead; it has to be driven in pixels. This means that the !MsgBoard application has to have a character generator. The character data are in the Chars file; the file is generated by the Chargen programme, included in !MsgBoard. 8-bit characters are supported, but I was too lazy to create all the characters; only those with hex values 20 to 7F are populated properly. Values 80 to FF currently all have question marks. Please feel free to generate your own characters. The data format is 7 lines of pixels (MS bit on the left, 1 for light, 0 for dark), and the 8th is the width in pixels including the gap on the right. All the characters I've generated have a 1 pixel gap.


You can change the initial message, speed and gap by editing the !Run file inside the !MsgBoard application. Shift-double-click !MsgBoard.!Run and it should be obvious; if not, you shouldn't be messing with it :-)


You can download !MsgBoard here.

Revision history

0.01 2009 February 17 First issue

0.02 2009 February 26 Initial delay was not read from system variable; it is now

0.03 2012 August 27 Contact details updated

Page last updated 2012 August 27