Quoted from ray-dude:
Love being able to see how much interest a quality mod like this can generate. GZ is so popular that there is a real market for quality mods (which is awesome...I love pimping out mine and getting rid of all that cheap'ish feeling look from the factory)
stumblor a quick question. When you get around to the other signs (probably 2024 with all the backlog of orders will you be able to use the same controller you use for the first sign to help keep costs down? All the signs need attention, and it would be great to (eventually) be able to swap them all out to the new look as a set without breaking the bank.
Hey mate this is an awesome question and one I've been thinking about a lot recently, especially with regards to the cost factor you mention.
Bit of a backstory first. The Tokyo Neon uses an ESP8266 controller, which was the precursor to the ESP32 (which tends to hog the headlines). While not as powerful as it's bigger brother, the ESP8266 has been my processor of choice for a while now. It's got enough grunt to handle multiple LED patterns, it's got WiFi, hasn't been impacted by the chip shortage (I have no idea why), and even though it's a bit more demanding with its bootup requirements, I've had it running nicely out in the field for long enough that I trust it, and have a mature codebase that supports it. What it tends to lack - is inputs and outputs (GPIO).
For this mod, we're currently using 4 inputs (+3 mode sensors +1 GI sensor) and 5 outputs (+3 mode characters +1 neon border +1 acrylic sign). When I looked at it the other day, I think there is still one more output I could use, which could potentially mean 6 outputs on the next mod, should it need it. Additionally, the outputs could be merged in code, since all are addressable anyway. I'd prefer not to do that, as it's a bit of a faff, and tbh I'm not sure we need to.
So long story short - I think it'll be the same processor
HOWEVER... the plan on the next one is slightly more grand, in that we intend to replace the entire rear right building, rather than just the sign itself. This will impact the cost for sure (larger print, more LED boards) but I'm hoping not by much. It's really hard to say at present - we haven't even had a chance to talk about it !