OSD-232+ with Carrier Board
OSD-232+ with Carrier Board

OSD-232+ with Carrier Board

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OSD-232+™ is a single channel on-screen composite video character and graphic overlay device from any RS-232 or TTL source, such as a PC or microcontroller, control the display of 30 columns by 12 rows (NTSC) or 15 rows (PAL) of information directly onto an incoming composite video source. OSD-232+™ can overlay characters and graphics onto either an incoming video source or self-generated background screen. OSD-232+™ has 256 definable 12 x 18 pixel characters. Graphic images (such a logos) can be imported to create on-screen sprites. OSD-232+™ firmware upgrades are supported via a PC connection. Included with OSD-232+™ is a demonstration utility, firmware update utility, and font editing software.



  • Dimensions: 2.5" L x 2.5” W x .7" H
  • Weight: 0.9 oz. (with OSD-232+™ module installed)
  • Input voltage: 7.0 to 14.0 volts DC (160ma max)
  • Operating temperature: -40C to +85C (extended temperature range standard)
  • Text area: 30 columns by 12 rows (NTSC) or 15 rows (PAL)
  • Character set: 256 definable characters. 12 x18 pixels per character.
  • Sprites: 16 definable graphic sprites
  • Video format: Composite video
  • Video level: 1 volt peak to peak
  • Video impedance: Input 75 ohm, output 75 ohm resistively terminated
  • RS-232 serial or TTL input: 9600 or 19200 baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, inverted data
  • Power up defaults: Overlay mode, cleared screen, cursor position top left (0,0), visible text, character blink off, character invert off, character background off



Dip Switches:

DIP switch inputs are only checked during power-up.

DIP # Description
1 RS-232 baud rate
           OFF   = 9,600 baud
           ON    = 19,200 baud
2 NTSC or PAL video format
           OFF   = NTSC
           ON    = PAL
3 Display font screen
           OFF   = Do nothing
           ON    = Display font screen        
4 Firmware flash update
           OFF   = Do nothing
           ON    = Enter OSD-232+™ firmware flash update


Solder Pads:

Solder Pads: +12VDC (J1)
Pad Description
+12VDC 7.0 to 14.0 volts DC input
GND Ground
Solder Pads: SERIAL (J2)
Pad Description
OUT OSD-232+™ serial output (for PC hookup attach to female DB-9 pin 2)
GND Ground (for PC hookup attach to female DB-9 pin 5)
IN OSD-232+™ serial input (for PC hookup attach to female DB-9 pin 3)
Solder Pads: VIDEO IN (J3)
Pad Description
VIDEO IN Video Input
GND Ground
Solder Pads: VIDEO OUT (J4)
Pad Description
VIDEO Output Video Output
GND Ground
Solder Pads: VSYNC (J5)
Pad Description
VSYNC Video input vertical sync output (TTL level)
GND Ground
Solder Pads: HSYNC (J6)
Pad Description
HSYNC Video input horizontal sync output (TTL level)
GND Ground
Solder Pads: LOS (J7)
Pad Description
LOS Loss of sync of video input (TTL level)
-- Low = video present on input
-- High = no video present on input
GND Ground

Communication Protocol:

OSD-232+™ RS-232 protocol settings are 9600 or 19200 baud, 8 data, 1 stop, no parity, no flow control.Communicating with OSD-232+™ requires either sending individual displayable font characters (0x00h – 0xDFh) or sending a command ID value followed by the appropriate number of parameters (see table below.)  Command values are in hexadecimal (e.g. 0xE1h = 225 decimal). 
Command Value Of Params Description
Set Video Format 0xE1h


Set the video format (0-1)
0 = NTSC
1 = PAL
Only required to override Input 1 pin
Set Overlay Mode 0xE2h 1 Set the video overlay mode (0-2)
0 = Auto switch based on valid video input [default]
1 = Overlay text and graphics with incoming video only (external sync)
2 = Overlay text and graphics with self-generated background screen only (Internal sync)
Clear Screen 0xE3h 0 Clear the entire screen with spaces (uses character in font position 00h)
Show / Hide Overlay 0xE4h 1 Show or hide the text and graphics overlay (0-1)
0 = Hide text and graphics
1 = Show text and graphics [default]
Set Cursor Position 0xE5h 2 Set the cursor position
Byte 0 = X (0-29)
Byte 1 = Y NTSC (0-12),  PAL (0-15)
Set Character Blink Attribute 0xE6h 1 Set character blink attribute (0-1)
0 = Off [default]
1 = OnApplies to all characters drawn after the command is sent
Set Character Invert Attribute 0xE7h 1 Set character invert attribute (0-1)
0 = Normal (white pixels display white, black pixels display black) [default]
1 = Invert (white pixels display black, black pixels display white)Applies to all characters drawn after the command is sent
Set Character Background Attribute 0xE8h 1 Set character background attribute (0-1)
0 = Sets the background pixels of the character to the incoming video [default]
1 = Sets the background pixels of the character to the background mode brightness (0xF7h)
Note: During internal sync mode, the background attribute behaves as if it is set to 1Applies to all characters drawn after the command is sent
Draw Upper Range Character 0xE9h 1 Draw one upper range font character at the current cursor position (0xE0-0xFF)
Draw Sprite 0xEAh 1 Draw one sprite at the current cursor position (0-15)
Wait for VBLANK  0xEBh 1 Wait for VBLANK before proceedingByte 0 = Pre-delay in milliseconds (0-128) This is a forced delay before VBLANK detection occurs allowing the user time to send characters to be drawn during VBLANK.
Set Screen Horizontal Position Offset 0xECh 1 Set Screen Horizontal Position Offset [default 53]
0 = Farthest left (-32 pixels)
32 = No horizontal offset
63 = Farthest right (+31 pixels)
Set Screen Vertical Position Offset 0xEDh 1 Set Screen Vertical Position Offset [default 29]
0 = Farthest up (-16 pixels)
16 = No vertical offset
31 = Farthest down (+15 pixels)
Set Pixel Rise and Fall Time 0xF4h 1 Set pixel rise and fall time—typical transition times between adjacent OSD pixels (0-5)
0 = 20ns (maximum sharpness/maximum cross-color artifacts )
1 = 30ns
2 = 35ns
3 = 60ns [default]
4 = 80ns
5 = 110ns (minimum sharpness/minimum cross-color artifacts)
Set Pixel Switching Time 0xF5h 1 Set pixel insertion mux switching time–typical transition times between input video and OSD pixels (0-5)
0 = 30ns (maximum sharpness/maximum cross-color artifacts )
1 = 35ns
2 = 50ns
3 = 75ns [default]
4 = 100ns
5 = 120ns (minimum sharpness/minimum cross-color artifacts)
Set Row Brightness Black and White Levels 0xF6h 3 Set the row brightness black and white levels
Byte 0 = Row number: NTSC (0-12),  PAL (0-15)
Byte 1 = Character black level % of OSD white level (0-3)
     0 = 0% [default]
     1 = 10%
     2 = 20%
     3 = 30%
Byte 2 = Character white level % (0-3)
     0 = 120%
     1 = 100%
     2 = 90% [default]
     3 = 80%
Background Mode Brightness 0xF7h 1 Set background mode brightness for external mode (overlay) character background frame and internal mode (no video) background screen (0-7)
0 = 0%
1 = 7%
2 = 14% [default]
3 = 21%
4 = 28%
5 = 35%
6 = 42%
7 = 49%
Display System Information 0xFBh 1 Display system information on-screen
0 = Information screen* (input settings, software version, etc.)
1 = Font screen (font map)* Partial ASCII character font must be installed
Soft Reset 0xFCh 0 Reset the OSD-232+™ to default (power-up) settings
Define Sprite(NVM Setting*) 0xFDh 4 Define a sprite in non-volatile memory
Byte 0 = Sprite # (0-15)
Byte 1 = Start font table memory position (0-255)
Byte 2 = Sprite width in characters (1-30)
Byte 3 = Sprite height in characters NTSC (1-13),  PAL (1-16)
Returns: <cr><lf> (Must wait for before continuing to next sprite)
Define Font Character(NVM Setting*) 0xFEh 56 Define a character in non-volatile font table memory
Each character is 12 x 18 pixels
Each pixel consists of 2 bits:
     00 = black
     10 = white
     x1 = transparent (pass video though)
Byte 0 = Font table position to fill (0-255)
Byte 1-54 = 54 bytes – 3 bytes per character row, 18 rows
Byte 55 = End byte flag (0xAAh)
Returns: <cr><lf> (Must wait for before continuing to next character)
Read Data 0xFFh 1 Read data from the OSD-232+™
Byte 0 = Read request type
     0x00h = Verify RS-232 connection
          Returns: “ok”<cr><lf> if connected      
     0x01h = Get firmware version
          Returns: Firmware version number e.g. “1.01”<cr><lf>
     0x02h = Get board Input pin 0 - 7 settings
          Returns: “XXXXXXXX”<cr><lf> (“0” = off, “1” = on)
     0x03h = Get video input status
          Returns: “X”<cr><lf> (“0” = no sync, “1” = sync)
Example: Clearing The Screen
Send 0xE3h                                - Clear the entire screen with spaces
Example: Sending Text
Send 0xE5h, 0x00h, 0x00h         - Set cursor position 0, 0
Send “Hello world!”                     - Send ASCII text
Example: Sending Blinking Text
Send 0xE5h, 0x00h, 0x00h         - Set cursor position 0, 0
Send 0xE6h, 0x01h                     - Set character blink attribute (ON)
Send “Blinking text!”                   - Send ASCII text
Send 0xE6h, 0x00h                     - Set character blink attribute (OFF)
Example: Drawing Graphic Sprite #2 At Cursor Position 6, 4
Send 0xE5h, 0x06h, 0x04h         - Set cursor position 6, 4
Send 0xEAh, 0x02h                     - Draw sprite #2 (defined in font editor normally)

Default Font:

Below is the OSD-232+™ default font.  Use the supplied font editor software to create your own or modify the default font.  The left column is the high nibble in hexadecimal.  The top row is the low nibble in hexadecimal.  For example the hourglass character is 0xFCh (252 decimal).


Trouble Shooting Tips:

Problem Solution
Green LED off (unit won’t power up)
  • Verify power supply output is 7.0 to 14.0 volts DC when attached
Screen text is skewed or unreadable
  • Verify the OSD-232+™ video input has a valid, noise free, video signal
Garbage characters on screen or text not displayed
  • Verify using correct RS-232 com port on PC
  • Verify communication baud rate 9,600 or 19,200
  • Use the supplied PC demonstration utility to verify the unit is working properly


Warranty & Service:

If the product fails to perform as described in our product description or specification, within 1 year from the date of shipment to the buyer, we will repair or replace the product and/or accessories originally supplied. Failure due to improper installation, misuse, abuse or accident is not covered by this warranty. Incidental and consequential damages are not covered by this warranty. The buyer must first obtain a Return Material Authorization number by calling (248) 588-4400, or send email to support@icircuits.com. Ship the defective product (with RMA number) to Intuitive Circuits, 3928 Wardlow Ct., Troy, MI 48083, freight prepaid.