Monday, September 9, 2013

LCD Serial Display - Parts List

First draft of a working prototype

  1. Arduino UNO
  2. Breadboard
  3. 10K POT
  4. 2K Resistor
  5. Single strand hook-up wire
  6. USB Cable
  7. LCD Display 5 x 7 dots plus cursor, 5 x 8 dots or 5 x 11 dots, dot matrix LCD (TN and STN mode.)
  8. Break-away male header strip

My decision to use the UNO was purely convenience driven. Any of the available arduino boards can be used for this project. At the end I will convert to using a bare processor in place of the development board. A typical arduino development board can be had for as low as $9. Some, like the nano, are breadboard pluggable.

There are a veritable glut of LCD display modules available. I paid $6 for mine at a local electronics retailer here on Toronto. You can get them from any of the on-line electronics stores as well. Chances are you'll pay more for shipping than for the display. Orion Daewoo 16x2 LCD Display Module 16216L-B-F30 is available for $2.99 plus shipping. This version does not include a backlit display. Here is a typical PDF data sheet for this type of display.

One of the things you will need to plug the display into the breadboard is a 16 pin header strip. 40 position break away headers can be purchased for less than $1 each. I'd suggest you get 4 male and 4 female headers if you are ordering on-line. They are extremely useful in all type of projects and you'll find you use them up rather quickly.

If you do not already have a breadboard, you can purchase kits that include a breadboard and a selection of pre-cut jumper wires. A good starter breadboard is the half-sized breadboard from AdaFruit Industries in New York City. A good supply of jumpers can also be had.

The USB cable usually comes with the arduino development board while the resistor and the POT can be purchased from any electronics supply. Digi-key has a good selection of resistor kits.

Here is a wiring diagram of the basic circuit.
Wiring Diagram

First you will need to solder a 16 pin male header to the display board. This will allow you to plug the display into the breadboard. The header pins look like this when you get them.
Typical 40 pin Male Header Strip
You will need to cut a length of 16 conductors using diagonal cutters. The shorter side inserts in the the row of sixteen holes in the top left corner of the display board from the bottom. They should look like this.
In the next post I'll start to cover the software required for both the MCU and the Python code.

Virtually yours,

Wee Willy Wonderful