TcMenu - Overview and quick start
Above: getting started video showing how to use our menu library with Arduino. Link to the Getting started with tcMenu Slides (from youtube video). TcMenu is a modular, IoT ready menu library for Arduino and mbed supporting many input, display and IoT / remote interfaces. It makes presenting configuration, status and operational information much easier. The designer UI works by converting your menu structure into C++ code that works with your chosen hardware through plugins.
Arduino 7 segment LEDDisplay library documentation
Using the LEDDisplay library LEDDisplay is an easy to use library that makes light work of multi-digit 7segment displays. If you need help building the circuit or understanding the concepts, then refer to this guide: Arduino multiple digit, 7 segment display tutorial. Answering questions and getting help Get help from the community forum for LEDDisplay, or use the help widget (on the right) to contact us about commercial support on LEDDisplay Setting up the LEDDisplay library Before using any methods from the library, and usually in the global scope (outside of any function) you need to include the header file and initialise the library.
Checking if 7segment display is common anode or cathode
If you've got a 7 segment display but are not sure if it is common anode or common cathode, then you need to check the polarity of the display. This is easily done with a low voltage supply (9V or less) from a battery, bench PSU or Arduino board. Firstly and before anything else, connect a 1K resistor between the common pin and the battery. This will avoid potential damage to the LED's in the display.
Rendering using themes - properties, grids and icons
Most display plugins can be customized using a grid layout, with graphical displays additionally using themes to configure fonts, colors, spacing and icons. To the left you can see cool-blue theme with a multi-column grid layout. Grid positions are used to define an items position in the menu, and even break rows up into multiple columns. Each grid position also defines the justification and drawing mode too. Choosing a theme to get started in a new project To avoid having to define the fonts, spacing, colors and other details from scratch, we have themes that can be applied out of the box.
Setting up IO-expanders in the menu designer
Setting up IO devices has been made much easier as of V2.2 of the designer software. you can now directly edit the IO expander configurations directly within tcMenu. When we discuss IO devices we are talking about IoAbstractionRef objects that refer to either device pins, or any other device such as I2C expanders or shift registers from the IoAbstraction library. In order to manage the IO Expanders that are available within a project you can do so from the Code menu -> Show Io Expanders.
Integrating EEPROM support into menu applications
IoAbstraction EEPROM support can be integrated into your menu application, it can be used to load and store menu item values, authentication and also choice menu items that are using EEPROM storage. Menu Manager makes it very easy to save values to EEPROM between runs. Each menu item can optionally have a storage point in the EEPROM area (-1 / 0xffff means not stored). Any items that have a valid EEPROM address will be persisted upon calling the save function on menuMgr, and similarly, will be read back by calling load.
Securing sub-menus and remote connections with an Authenticator
You can secure both sub-menu items and remote connections using an Authenticator. In summary, when an authenticator is present on menuMgr any attempt to show a secure sub menu will result in a dialog asking for the pin; only proceeding to display the sub menu if the pin matches the on in authenticator. In addition, all remote/IoT connections will only be allowed if the authenticator approves the connection. An example of the secure sub-menu pin entry screen is below:
Taking over the display from a renderer
TcMenu allows you to take over the display from the renderer very easily, once you own the display, you will be called back at regular intervals by the rendering class, and it is your responsibility to update the display at this time (if there are changes that require redrawing). You should never update the screen outside of these callbacks, as doing so would interfere with TcMenu rendering. There are three choices for drawing custom screens:
MenuManager and menu iteration
MenuManager contains the functions to manage menu items, there is a global instance of this class called menuMgr on Arduino and mbed boards. Here we present the most commonly used features, check out the reference docs for more details. There are a lot of iteration helper functions that can be used to navigate through menu structures. These are described further down the page. The following two reference documentation pages extend on the information here:
LiquidCystalIO with PCF8574 i2c backpack
An I2C LCD backpack based on the PCF8574 chip provides an easy way to get started with LiquidCrystalIO on most Arduino boards. It is usually in one of two configurations as listed below. This library works correctly with the display and even has a shorthand way of creating the LCD for this case. Connectivity combinations for i2c backpacks Pin Option1 Option2 0 RS EN 1 RW RW 2 EN RS 3 Backlight Backlight 4 D4 D4 5 D5 D5 6 D6 D6 7 D7 D7 Construction for Option 1 outside of any functions (global):