MaE Counter Panels

MaE Model Number: 16360IP

These are two big panels, each one providing 8 red and 8 green numbers of 3 digits of 7-segment displays.

Technical data: Dimensions: 775x480x85mm, weight 11kg. Digits: 16 groups of 3 digits, 60mm height. Power requirements: 230VAC 50Hz 100W. Data link: IEEE 802.3 10MB/s ethernet link. Protocol: proprietary MaE/Fobos 1.0 over port 1636.

Purpose and requirements

These “Counter Panels” have been developed for the easySagra project.

We needed a way to display the number of ordered articles (thus “counter”) in two different panels.

A TV flat panel was a direct solution, however not the best. Main requirements were:

  • Ethernet link, possibly without external additional interfaces;
  • Mechanical robustness to frequent mounting/unmounting/transport;
  • Mechanical robustness to hard environment (heat, moisture, oily smokes, etc);
  • Indicate 8 different articles, for each two different values ranging (1-999), thus 16 numbers of 3 digits, 8 per color;
  • Minimum dimensions such to ensure visibility from 4-6 meters of distance.


Entire development has been made using Open Source Software. Exception for the initial sketch, made using google sketchup in wine environment.


Chassis has been designed using QCad. Main issues: easy assembly and disassembly, sufficient air flow, mounting points for all the contents.


Each couple of displays (red and green for simplicity), is provided by a separate PCB.

PCBs have been designed using gEDA. Then have been realized by professional service.

Main board

An ethersex based board have been used as main board and ethernet interfacing. A simple module has been written to drive display boards.


Two phases:

PCBs assembly

repeated by 16 times (plus some spares).

Components assembly in the chassis

repeated for the two panels. A particular attention for order and easy maintenance.

Code and Improvements

First version finished august 2015.

Firmware code is available here:

April 2015 improvement: blink and beep.

New protocol specifications :


Table of contents


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