(Teletype) Screen Saver (Done!)

Would anyone be interested in a screen saver for the teletype? I don’t know if the TT screen suffers from burn-in, but it would reduce power consumption at least.

If so, here are some design questions:

  • Timeout delay time (5 min?) (will be ~approximate~)
  • Enabled / Disabled (default?)
  • Get / Set op names for the above
  • Toggle key
  • Instant enable key
  • Flash persistence (save setting over reboot?)

Note: I’m only advocating a blank screen, but it could be anything.

The usual rabbit hole

A few parameters into an accessible generative graphic algorithm turns the teletype into a video generator. :slight_smile:

A mod would allow custom video algorithms.

Teletype demoscene incoming? :neutral_face:

I’m happy to focus on the basics, I just like to share the product of my over-active imagination. :-]


How much power does the screen draw? Is burn-in an actual problem?

If the screen blanks, I’d appreciate some indication that the module is still on and functioning. And being able to disable the screensaver altogether would definitely be appreciated.

I tend to disable timer-based display sleeping on my laptops, and instead use a hot corner to put the display to sleep when I’m ready to walk away.

My case’s two power supplies add up to a microwave or two when powered on, so if I’m not actively using the thing, it absolutely gets powered off completely. And that’s just for 208HP. I gotta get some solar panels on our roof, like, yesterday.

I think @cmcavoy has a friend that uses Teletype for visuals quite frequently. (CV controlled video synthesis). Not what you’re describing really, but kinda.

do OLEDs burn in?

love the idea of generative graphics.

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Short answer: yes, but it can be fixed.


Most cases of burn-in in televisions is a result of static images or on-screen elements displaying on the screen uninterrupted for many hours or days at a time – with brightness typically at peak levels. So it is possible to create burn-in in almost any display if one really tries hard enough. And even if burn-in does occur from extreme usage, it can usually be mitigated within a short period of time by turning the display off for a while, and watching a few hours of varying content

Supports the technical need for screen blanking, and suggests a need for a noise-based repair routine for anyone who experiences it.

AFAIK all the active display technologies do. OLED, LED, VFD, Plasma. Each ‘pixel’ has a brightness half life. What we see as ‘burn in’ is different pixels having a different maximum brightness (or black level) leading to ghost images.

(LCDs don’t burn in as it’s the backlight that ages, and that will age uniformly. You may have noticed some computer displays get dimmer over time)

edit what’s the screen part, the datasheet might have some info

Me too me too me too me too!


Well, I have cycles to burn, guess I’ll get the basic screensaver code done. Open design questions still in the OP will be filled in with reasonable assumptions.

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I had thought of that, but when I saw the grid integration, it seemed a better venue rather than a dedicated interface.

As a screensaver algorithm, it would make sense.

I’ll be sure to design the screensaver interface so that it’s easily modifiable / pluggable.

Seems reasonable. @kisielk what timeout are you using for the Rainmaker display? And how much complaining do you get about it?

Enabled by default.

I strongly disagree that this should have an OP to configure it.

A settings menu would be a much better route.

(And even then I’m in the camp of one default for everyone.)

No, keep it simple.

If/when there is a settings menu.

Just go with a blank screen for now? If you’re worried about CV slewing, you really want to keep display writes to a minimum at all times.

If you are interested in a settings menu (I know you’re looking for things to code…), you could start a new thread to discuss it (or I can for you). I’d always imagined it including things like calibration for CV outputs, param and in.

If that’s the case, then consider the feature complete!

Auto-blanks the screen after 5 minutes, unconfigurable. Any keystroke aborts, and the keystroke is processed. This could be changed to drop the keystroke instead, and may be preferable.

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Does it still cancel the screensaver with only a mod key pressed? (e.g. just pressing shift)

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Negative. It wouldn’t be possible from the scope that I’m working in. I think I’d have to dig into libavr32 to accomplish that.

If I press an “f”, or any letter, to exit the screensaver will I then need to backspace to clear the input line? I think dropping the keystroke may be better.

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You got it. I also think it should be dropped.


Here’s a build with:

  • Always enabled (no toggle)
  • ~5 minute timer
  • Wake-up keystroke dropped

teletype.hex (353.5 KB)

It used to be 10 minutes but that seemed too short, so now it is 30. Mostly so that if someone leaves their system on in the studio or whatnot it will kick in, but if they’re performing it won’t.


Screen going to blank after 30min seems ok with me.
Otherwise some form of user control over this feature would be important to me, as I rarely like whatever designs people come up with for ‘screen savers’, and only end up being mostly annoyed by them.
TT has a lovely minimalist esthetic, so IF screen saver is truly need to protect the screen, then blank seems like obvious default to me. And even that, set to kick in after a super long period of inactivity. 30min seems ok, but I would perhaps go further? Like an hour, or 1.5 hours. (thinking of live performance situation, where I would not want my screen to disappear into any form of screen saver.)



also, i wouldn’t mind some kind of wandering icon or something that tells me the thing hasn’t just died.


Away from my setup right now, so pardon the lazy question – but do only keystrokes awaken it, but does turning the param knob or tapping the preset button awaken the screen? Should we disable it if we’re on the tracker screen? (where there may be useful information to read even without keystrokes)

Right now, yes. I can add button and knob easily enough. :+1:

I don’t think disabling it on one screen is worth it. The config menu will allow you to disable it, so I think that covers that case.

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