A free LCD display

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.

3 comments:

Michael said...

Amazing! When I read your blog it's like reading about myself. A native english foringer with a wife and kids who fiddles around with electronics and food!
I'm in Saitama Pref. Not that, even if you lived next door, I have a lot of time to hang out. Kids. The greatest time-wasters in the world. They fall asleep in your arms and it's all worth it, though.

ME said...

@Michael -
A greeting, fellow pilgrim. Its good to hear from another tinkerer on this island. Do you have a blog as well? How long have you been here? As you may have read somewhere, I'm in Hiroshima, nowhere near Saitama.

Mic B said...

I just started one this evening. It was not as smooth as I hoped!
I've been here 15 years. If you need ideas for teaching kids, let me know. It is actually a really fun job!
Is there a way to converse off this blog?
My blog is
This Old House, and other adventures also on Blogger.