This display driver board is a direct clone of the one from Leap Motion’s original North Star design, and was engineered specifically to drive the two BOE VS035ZSM-NW0 displays.
All boards are 100% QC’ed and tested with a BOE display before shipping out to you.
The display driver IC is an Analogix AN7530 controlled by an Atmel ATSAMD21G18 (the same MCU at the heart of the Arduino Zero) running Analogix and Adam Munich’s firmware.
Firmware source, Altium design files, and Gerbers can be found in the Project North Star GitHub repository.
Note: The AN7530 on this board is not provisioned with an HDCP key, nor is it whitelisted with NVIDIA or AMD. That means that with any GPU driver released in at least the last couple of years, you won’t be able to use SteamVR Direct Mode with this board, no matter how many Vive Trackers or other sensors you add. Blame the movie, tv and recording studios, because they’re afraid that you might watch pirated copies of their content while in VR. HDCP is a DRM scheme about which you can read more here. Let’s just say that they absolutely will not issue keys for an open source design. Sorry to be the bearers of bad news but, at least for now, you’ll be running your North Star software in extended desktop mode.
- Input Connector: Mini DisplayPort
- Output Connector: 2 connectors for Project North Star BOE Display
- Video Resolution: 4K
- Frame Rate: 120 fps
- Dimension: 127.9 x 27.2mm
- Weight: 10.8g
- PCB thickness: new version is 1.0mm (old version is 1.6mm, please take note)
- Project North Star Discord Community
- Leap Motion Blog
- Project North Star Github
- Leap motion Display Driver Board GitHub
- David Holz‘s Video
- BOM List
Please take care to connect your 5v power source with the correct polarity. While most of of the sensitive components on the PCB are isolated from the 5v rail by boosters, regulators, or drivers, everything is connected directly to the ground pin, which doesn't have a reverse voltage protection diode. In other words, if you connect the +5v and - wires in reverse, it could be a very bad thing, potentially rendering your precious display driver useless.
We've tested all of these boards for functionality, and because of the experimental nature of the product, we don't warant that it will work, out of the box, with your particular GPU or operating system. If you are getting your power from a USB port, you may also need to try different USB ports or a powered USB hub to supply the current that the PCB draws when in operation. If the display panel backlights flicker or blink on and off, the board most likely can't source the necessary current for stable operation.
We've also had varying degrees of success using different DisplayPort cables. We've had the best result with short (1m) high-quality DisplayPort to Mini DisplayPort cables. We realize that most people are going to want to use this headset more than 1m from their computer's DisplayPort output, so we've evaluated several longer ones. We're currently working on sourcing a selection of cables of different lengths that are consistently rock solid, but for now we can only say that quality seems to matter here. So if you're getting unstable video output to the displays, you should try another cable. We hope that the community will share their findings about which locally available cables work best.