Replacement Ocular LCD Displays
Ocular LCD Displays is the latest LCD supplier to pull out of the display market. Consequently, we have been contacted by people asking us for replacement displays once supplied by Ocular USA Displays.
Ocular LCD Displays has moved towards chapter 7. They were located in Texas and began business in 1986. It looks like they ceased delivering displays in mid-November of 2014.
We not only sell replacement displays, but offer US-based technical support to provide quick responses and US-based inventory. In many cases we can ship you samples the same day you call.
We carry inventory in the US and can ship replacement displays the same day. Call 480-503-4295
This is not only true for discontinued Ocular LCD Displays, but for LCD suppliers that are still in business, but have discontinued a specific LCD product line.
Replacement displays for Ocular LCD Displays
Whether the LCD has been discontinued by Ocular LCD Displays, Seiko, Standish or other LCD suppliers, Focus Displays has been carrying inventory and offering reverse engineering support to help customers quickly located inventory for their display.
Our technical support people may be able to offer an off-the-shelf standard display with a short lead-time or even zero lead-time. If your Ocular LCD display was a custom, we are able to design and build a solution from your data sheets or from an actual display module.
Zero or short lead time
Focus Displays holds inventory in our Chandler, AZ warehouse and can offer many equivalent displays from stock. If it is necessary for Focus to build a prototype sample, all the LCD glass is shipped via fed ex air, so lead times for large orders are a few weeks and not a few months.
Your Ocular LCD displays have been discontinued
Discovering that your current LCD display manufacture has discontinued your LCD Display is never a welcome surprise. Without a drop in equivalent LCD module you may have to discontinue manufacturing or re-design your product to integrate a new LCD replacement. This can be a frustrating experience, very expensive and time-consuming.
First step to replacing your Ocular LCD displays
The first step is for the customer to contact Focus Displays at 480-503-4295 and send the data sheets for the LCD that you were using. If you do not have a current data sheet or there is a concern that it may not be accurate, Focus may be able to ‘estimate’ a cost from a photo.
Reverse engineering a LCD Display
If you are not able to supply a data sheet from Ocular LCD Displays and we are not able to locate it, then the next option is to reverse engineer the display. This is where you would send us two displays (these can be non-working) units that we can take apart and create a schematic and electrical characteristics
The displays need to be in decent condition, that means not blown up or have any large holes burned in them.
Note: We are not able to return the units.
Below is our process flow chart to explain the steps necessary to move from concept to full production. More details on developing a custom LCD can be located at FocusLCDs.com/custom-lcds/. The first step is a phone call or email from you and the final step is Focus Displays supplying you the replacement display.
Focus Display’s process-flow & timeline for a custom LCD.
Call 480-503-4295 to order replacement displays. Or simply use the contact form here.
Challenges with Documentation and Replacement LCD Displays
Once a LCD supplier discontinues a display, they tend to remove any documentation from their web site. This lack of data sheets increase the amount of work and lead-time required to generate a quote and build samples. In some cases the old LCD supplier has been purchased by another company and much of their documentation is missing.
If you find that your current module supplier has discontinued your display, contact us for support to help you locate a replacement LCD display. We may have old documentation to reduce your lead-time of locating an equivalent display.
LCD Display tooling cost
If your displays are custom Ocular LCD displays or it is not a standard off-the-shelf display that we hold in inventory, a tooling fee may be necessary. The tooling fee, also called a NRE (Non-Recurring Engineering), is one-time cost that can run anywhere from $500 to $5,000 dollars.
Who owns the custom LCD Design?
If you pay the tooling fee, then you own the design. We will only sell this display to you or to who you authorize. If another customer contacts us for the same display, we would forward that customer to you or Focus will contact you and notify you there is a customer looking for your custom LCD.
In the past we have tooled up replacement displays and then directed future business to that customer. The customer that paid us the tooling fee can then purchase the displays from us and resell them to another customer.
In some cases, a second customer will offer to repay half of the tooling cost to the first customer for the rights to purchase the display from Focus.
In any case, once you purchase the tooling, the design is yours.
Split the tooling cost
There have been times when a customer required a replacement display and we felt that this would be a popular display for us to hold in our inventory and sell to our LCD customers.
In this case, we would offer to pay a percentage of the tooling and allow us to hold extra inventory and sell the display to other customers.
This is a case by case situation and can be discussed with the Focus Technical support person.
There are different types of LCD technology including: Segment, Character, Monochrome Graphic, TFT and OLED.
Each technology requires different MOQs (Minimum Order Quantities). If the MOQ is too high for your current demand, we can put you in touch with a distributor who can hold that inventory for you and allow you to take delivery over several drops.
This is a good option for companies that need to conserve their cash flow.
Note: We are unable to supply quantities of less than one hundred custom replacement displays, no matter which display technology is being used.
Samples of the replacement display
Will I be able to order samples to test before I need to place a large production order? The answer is yes, when you pay the one-time tooling cost for the Ocular replacement display, we offer samples at no cost.
Samples in Arizona. We can crossover your discontinued display. Call 480-503-4295***Or simply use the contact form here. ***
Replacement displays used in Repairs
Many times the customer does not require the replacement display for a product they are still manufacturing, but for repairs. Many products, such as cell phones, credit card readers and test equipment will be in the field for several years after production has ended and will require spare units.
Upgrade the display
Since Focus Displays is building an equivalent display to fill your shortage, why not make improvements on the design? Improvements in LCD technology allow for upgrades such as: Brighter backlights, wider viewing angle, sharper contrast and even lower operating voltages.
It is possible to replace the older LED’s (Light Emitting Diode) with a newer, brighter and even less power consuming LED. Advantages would be a brighter backlight, less battery drain and possibly a longer half-life of the backlight.
What is the half-life of a backlight? Backlights slowly dim over time. The term half-life is the time, in hours, of how long the backlight can operate before its brightness is at 50%, or half, of what it originally was when first turned on.
So if the half-life of an LED is rated at 50K hours, then the brightness of your backlight will be half as bright at 50K hours. If the backlight burns for an additional 50K hours beyond the first 50K hours, it will be half as bright as it was at the first 50K hours, or in other words, at 100K hours, the LED will only be 25% as bright as when it was first turned on.
See chart below.
Above is a derating curve showing half-life of a backlight as a function of hours
The brightness of a backlight is measured in NITs. A NIT is the amount of light that one candle puts out.
LED backlights and current limiting resistors
Another solution to improve the LED backlight is to replace the current limiting resistor used on the LED with a lower value resistor that will allow the backlight to shine brighter. One down side to this is the reduction of half-life of the LED backlight. This may or may not be a concern for your product.
Speak to one of our LCD specialist to determine the best solution for you. If need be, we can sell you a display with the brighter backlight configuration for you to test and show your end customer.
EL backlights still possible
EL (electro luminescent) backlights have advantage and disadvantages.
ADVANTAGES OF EL BACKLIGHTS INCLUDE
- Thin (less than 2mm)
- Even light flow with no hot spots (hot spots is a condition of LEDs where the LED is too close to the glass, or the diffuser is not spreading the light evenly.)
- Since they are AC, there is not polarity to reverse.
DISADVANTAGES OF EL BACKLIGHTS INCLUDE
- EL backlights require an AC (Alternating current) signal. To generate an AC signal, an inverter must be installed either on the customers board or on the LCD itself.
- The AC signal generates noise or interference that can interfere with neighboring circuits.
- The half-life of an EL backlight is around 3K hours compared to that of a LED which ranges from 50K to 70K hours.
EL Backlight Popularity
The popularity of EL Backlights has decreased in the last few years. Over 95% of new product designs no longer incorporate an EL backlight, but instead choose a LED backlight or LED edge-lit configuration. Many products needing a replacement display were manufactured several years ago when EL backlights were common. Your Ocular LCD displays may contain an EL backlight. Many LCD suppliers no longer support EL backlight technology. Focus Displays is able to supply EL backlights, although the MOQ at this time is between 500 and 1K units.
It is not possible to replace an EL backlight with a LED backlight since EL is AC driven and LED is DC (Direct Current). Switching between the two, would require the customer to modify their PCB (Printed Circuit Board) to remove the inverter and add two traces, or contacts to connect the A( Anode) and K(cathode) of the LED backlight.
In the past, older LCD technology was limited to a smaller operating temperate range. New types of Nematic fluids and ITO (Indium tin oxide) glass now allow many displays to operate as low as -30C. We are able to offer these wider temperature ranges with minimal cost increase. In many cases, the LCDs we sell are the wide temperature range. There is no extra NRE cost to convert from a standard temperature display to a wide temperature. If your Ocular LCD displays were used in a product that operates outside, we recommend a wide temp. If the product is used indoors, it is possible to use normal temperature. If you do not know where the product operates, we recommend a wide temperature version.
Change the backlight color
Older LCD technologies were limited in backlight color to yellow/green. Now there is a much wider selection. You can choose a new backlight color to be integrated into your display with minimal or no extra cost. Below are photos showing the different backlight colors. The two most popular colors are Blue/White and Black/White. Additional colors include: yellow/green, grey, blue, white, red, orange, pure green, amber and others.
16X2 ALPHANUMERIC LCD DISPLAY, TRANSFLECTIVE (WORKS WITH OR WITHOUT THE BACKLIGHT), YELLOW/GREEN LED BACKLIGHT, STN BOTTOM VIEW (6:00), POSITIVE MODE
16X2 ALPHANUMERIC LCD, TRANSFLECTIVE (WORKS WITH OR WITHOUT THE BACKLIGHT), AMBER SIDE-LIT BACKLIGHT, FSTN, WIDE TEMP, BOTTOM VIEW (6:00), POSITIVE MODE
16X2 ALPHA-NUMERIC LCD, TRANSFLECTIVE (WORKS WITH OR WITHOUT THE BACKLIGHT), PURE GREEN SIDE-LIT BACKLIGHT, STN GREY, BOTTOM VIEW (6:00), POSITIVE MODE
16X2 ALPHANUMERIC LCD DISPLAY, TRANSFLECTIVE (WORKS WITH OR WITHOUT THE BACKLIGHT), WHITE LED SIDE-LIT BACKLIGHT, FSTN, BOTTOM VIEW (6:00), POSITIVE MODE
16X2 ALPHA NUMERIC, TRANSFLECTIVE (WORKS WITH OR WITHOUT THE BACKLIGHT), WHITE LED SIDE-LIT BACKLIGHT, STN GRAY, BOTTOM VIEW (6:00), POSITIVE MODE
16X2 CHARACTER MODULE, STN BLUE SIDE-LIT BACKLIGHT, BOTTOM VIEW (6:00), NEGATIVE MODE
16X2 CHARACTER DISPLAY, FSTN WHITE LED SIDE-LIT BACKLIGHT, BOTTOM VIEW (6:00), NEGATIVE MODE
16X2 ALPHANUMERIC LCD DISPLAY, REFLECTIVE, NO BACKLIGHT, STN YELLOW GREEN, BOTTOM VIEW (6:00), POSITIVE MODE
LED backlight Hot and Cold Spots
LEDs can create hot and cold spots when placed too close to the top layer of ITO glass. Most of the time the light can be ‘smoothed’ out with a diffuser (a diffuser is similar to a lamp shade that spreads out the light to an even glow), but the brighter the LED backlight is driven, the greater the chances of hot spots.
Note: White LED backlights have a greater tendency to produce hot spots since they are brighter than other colors.
Focus Displays is able to help reduce or remove hotspots on your older discontinued LCD module by using new diffuser technology, or decreasing the brightness and increasing the quantity of LEDs.
The majority of LCD technologies require an onboard controller driver to be attached to the display. The exception to this is a segmented display that is interfaced with a 4:1 multiplex or direct drive.
Below is a photo of a COB (Chip on Board) configuration showing the controller/driver. The controller driver is under the black tab that holds the IC chip to the PCB and also protects it from humidity.
Our goal in working to replace your Ocular LCD displays, or any discontinued LCD, is to provide you the same controller driver chip. If the chip on the replacement display is the same as the chip used on your discontinued display, your firmware (aka the customer’s software) will run fine and the characters and fonts will display correctly.
If the new controller is different than the controller used on your Ocular LCD displays, you may need to modify your firmware. When designing the replacement display, we ask the customer to contact their current supplier to clarify which controller chip was used, but if your supplier has discontinued manufacturing of displays, this will not be possible.In this case, send us two of the displays and we will be able to identify which controller was used. If the new controller chip does not work and you are in need of assistance to modify your software, contact Focus Displays and we can put you in touch with a design house that specializes in this type of work.
Focus Display Solutions specializes in supplying replacement LCD Displays for discontinued and obsoleted LCD Display modules. Many times we will have an equivalent display in stock and can sell it to you that day. Other times, we will need to dig deeper to design a custom solution. In either case, our technical support people will work to sell you a display that will meet your needs.
Need to buy a replacement display for your Ocular LCD module? Call us today at 480-503-4295.
Focus LCDs sells LCDs and offers solutions and Engineering help.