Normally, when I review a sign on the site, it's because I've physically had a chance to try one out. Usually the company or a vendor sends one my way.

In mid December of 2004, I was contacted by Steve Rose from Tally Display, asking if I'd add his company to the list of vendors.

I get this request a lot, often by companys that have nothing to do with programmable LED signs. Steve answered some questions and sent me some literature that suggests to me this may be a programmable sign worthy of hobbiests who want to connect their computers to a sign!


In mid January, Steve sent me a demo sign. Due to travel, family events, and a crazy work schedule, I wasn't able to get to review it until early February. While I haven't tried any other signs, I can give a review of the Model LMS-1013 Dynamic that he sent my way.

Tally Display Signs

Tally Display Corporation makes custom LED signs, and they are the largest supplier of "under the monitor displays" (UMDs), with characters about 0.7 to 1.2 inches. The signs are primarily used in the commercial industy in TV Control rooms for monitoring.

Sign Specs

The signs are multi-color and store 32 messages. Each of the 32 messages is a "file" that has all the content, aniation, logo, and font information.

Stored messages can be recalled via contact closure or software command. For instance, you can trigger the sign if there's loss of video or audio; it is designed to report equipment malfunctions.

    And I know you hobbiests are thinking about when your servers are down.

Depending on the model, a sign can dispaly from 9 characters, to two lines of 64 characters. You can have custom signs made in any size. (For instance, they did the Fox News Channel sign, which is 165 feet long and 28 inch characters.)

The tech sheet says 1.2" LEDs in 18, 13, 9, dual 9, and tripple 4 chacter models. It also says 0.7" LEDs in 32, 22, dual 15, triple 10, and quad 7 character models. Signs have 9 colors. Slim models are only 0.8" deep.

Communication with the Sign

Communication with the sign (the LMS series) uses a protocol that is so simply that all is needed is a DOS text editor. The protocol is simple, fully-featured, and implemented in ASCII.

They supply a Windows program editor at no charge, along with the protocol.

They appear to have a software library.

The connections are RJ-11 for data, and an RJ-45 for the "fancy stuff." RS-422/485 exist, and they have a converter for RS-232.


TDC sent me some manuals and protocol information, which may be useful:

You can also write to TDC and ask them for their CD of product line and capabilities. Here is a sample of what you'll find on the CD:


As of the moment, the only vendor of Tally Display signs is TDC, Tally Display Corporation. You can contact them, toll free, at 1-800-75-TALLY, or 845-353-6300, and fax at 845-353-4029.

Product information can be obtained by contacting: <info@tallydisplay.com>.

Please note that some vendors offer a discount when you mention you learned about them on Walt's LED Sign Page. I do not know if this vendor is doing that, but it never hurts to ask.

If you are a vendor or manufacture of Alpha signs and would like to see information posted, please see this information about having a free web page posted.

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