If you have spent much time with an arduino, you have likely wished for some kind of display. The serial terminal on your computer is great, but as soon as you take your project away from the computer, you become blind to the inner workings. This has resulted in a vast number of very cheap LCD displays available to tinkerers. Rather then spend the few dollars, however, I decided to get one the hard way.
It all began with a stereo in a junk pile. There have been many like it, but this one was different. It had beautifully detailed labels silk screened onto the pcbs. To a junk tinkerer this is a wondrous find. Anyway, the real treasure was the display board which carried a Hitachi something compliant LCD character display. You know, the type that everyone has. Moreover, it had RGB backlighting along with all the transistors, resistors and such to drive it. What luck! And yes, I do see that IR receiver in the corner. It would be very easy to make use of that too, but I have not yet.
Here is a picture of the back side with my wires soldered to the board:
And here is the front:
A controller for convenience
That other board attached to the bottom carries an ATMega328-P and some buttons. It is configured as an SPI slave. I can send it text to display, RGB values for the backlight, and poll the button states.
I would like to post the code here for you, but it needs a little more testing and cleaning up. I hope I remember to put it here soon.
My first use for it is with a DIY sous vide cooker(in more english words, a temperature controlled water bath). It is working fine, but that's a subject for another post.