Modding System's Parallel LCD Kit Review
Posted by Mike
@ 9:00 P.M. on 04/06/03
A LCD is one
thing that not too many modders have. Whether it be the
fact that a 20x4 LCD costs $60, or people have just never
seen how cool they really are. Modding
System hopes to change this. They are still providing
the same thing CrystalFontz and Matrix Orbital have, only
they're only charging $45 shipped.
When we first
open up the package we see almost everything we need. Included
are all the necessary cables, the LCD, and a set of instructions.
The only thing the buyer must get is software, which is
available for free over the Internet or can be put on a
CD for you for $1 extra. Modding System took good care of
the LCD, it is wrapped in tape, in order to avoid any scratching
There's nothing worse then receiving a product
and seeing it scratched up, which is certainly not the case
As I received
a beta unit, I had to push a connector over the pins onto
the lcd to connect the power and parallel connector. It
was not difficult, but it was confusing on whether or not
I had the connectors upside-down. I also had to connect
a power cable to the pins on the side, which were not too
sturdy. Fortunately, in the final unit both of these problems
have been fixed. The pins are labeled as to what end of
of the cable goes to what pin, and the unit no longer has
the power pins as they are attached to the wiring already.
Here it is ready to go into the system. Unfortunately
the molex connector isn't a passthrough, but we can live
is a snap; just run a wire to your parallel port, and snap
the other wire into a molex connector. Of course, the LCD
isn't mounted; it is up to the user to do that part. We
decided to put ours into our bottom two 5.25" bays
(it's too big for just one). The process was easy, and expect
to see a guide on it soon. We did make a mistake, and mounted
it too far to the right, that is why we modified the power
pins in the above picture. You could also take the easy
way out, and screw it to the inside of your window.
The nice thing
about LCDs is that you can make them display anything you
want. You are only limited by the program. For this LCD
we decided to use one of the competitors programs, CrystalFontz'
CrystalControl. Although Modding
System recommends Borderfield's LCD Center, we ran into
problems with it because we use Win XP with NTFS formatted
Here's a shot of what the program looks like. It's easy
to use, and will show you exactly what your LCD is displaying.
You can also make multiple screens (comp info, winamp, comp
temps, game stats, etc) which will alternate with a user-defined
Unfortunately I had to distort the picture
because it isn't resizable. Click it for a full sized shot.
This is what
the screen editor looks like. It may look a little complicated
at first, but it is actually quite easy to figure out. There
are plenty of options to display on the LCD, and it will
even work with showing stats from Motherboard Manager, Winamp,
and about 10 games.