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Author Topic: Phone LCD + Digitizer?  (Read 1842 times)
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Before I get into the details here I just want to state I'm new to arduino (haven't even bought one yet, still speculating on things) so I may not express myself as clearly as I need to.

I'm thinking of taking a cell phone LCD say a Blackberry 8100 LCD and stacking a small digitizer on it.*

Is it going to be possible to play with these on the Arduino?
From what I can tell they have a small number of I/O connections so it should be 'in theory' possibly.  

I do not have any kind of driver or information sheets on these, however.

Am I looking at something doable?
Or beyond the arduino's capability?
Or just out of my league due to lack of driver & information sheets?

Thanks for taking the time, guys.
makkura

*I had a couple of links here so you could see (to some degree) the I/O cable on these.  However as this is my first post here it did not allow me to post external links.
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Try the links this time, I don't know what you mean in the context by "digitiser".
In general it is not easy to play about  with phone LCD displays because they need driving with all sorts of multiplexed signals, unless someone has hacked it before. Try a web search on your type.
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The LCD I'm looking at is the LCD for the Blackberry Pearl 8100:
http://img.diytrade.com/cdimg/352563/7006495/0/1222564481/BlackBerry_8100_8830_8800_8820_8300_8310_8320_7250_7290_7520_lcd_screen.jpg
Found at many places but this one comes from random Chinese seller:
http://www.diytrade.com/china/4/products/4714937/BlackBerry_8100_8830_8800_8820_8300_8310_8320_7250_7290_7520_lcd_screen.html

I'm seeing them for sale around $12 bucks but shipping is probably involved.

The digitizer:
http://cgi.ebay.com.my/NEW-2-5-inch-2-5-Touch-Screen-Digitizer_W0QQitemZ250323845061QQihZ015QQcategoryZ20336QQcmdZViewItem
This one is sold out but shouldn't be too hard to find a similar one.

Further details:
I haven't had any luck finding drivers or hacked drivers for the LCD.
Since it's an LCD used in a lot of phones I mostly find replacement parts instead of DIY projects.

I realize this is probably manufactured by another company and has a part and product number under that company but I haven't had much luck finding it yet.

The digitizer is the 'touch' part of a touch screen.
They're not always built together as a single item.
So you can overlay a digitizer over an lcd screen, install some drivers, calibrate it, and there you go.. touch screen.

For instance you can do so with an EEE PC to make it a touch screen as is fairly common: http://www.instructables.com/id/how_to_touchscreen_EEE_without_soldering_/
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OK I have just never heard of a touch screen being called a digitiser before.
They are easy enough to interface to the Arduino, just requiring 4 of the analogue input ports. Search for a thread about "Touch Screen" recently here.

As to the LCD as I said that is the tricky part. Also the lack of RAM on the arduino limits you to what can usefully be done anyway.
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Searching for touchscreen, even as restrictive as I can think to make it, comes back with too many results for display.

I've been back searching through the interface section here, though.
The LCDs I see in use are like this one:
http://moderndevice.com/LCD.shtml

I'm looking to make (more or less) a digital keypad which lights up behind the 'key' being pressed.  With a touch screen/digitizer this should be possible to do but is the visual output beyond what the arduino is intended for?

I'm used to writing pc software in high level languages so space for images and effects isn't a big deal.  The arduino is more for embedded systems so memory usage is crucial.  
That said, I'm not sure how far I can push it even with a 'known' lcd.
Then again.. people appear to be hooking up the wii nunchuck to it... hehe

I'll keep surfing threads.

Thanks, Mike.  
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Expensive but already built for you: http://www.liquidware.com/shop/show/TS/TouchShield
Just a digitizer (touch screen film): http://www.liquidware.com/shop/show/TSC/1-4+Touch+Screen
Just a screen: http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=569
Thread discussing how to use one: http://www.arduino.cc/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1205107562

Andrew
« Last Edit: February 11, 2009, 12:00:21 pm by Andrew » Logged

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Thanks for the links, Andrew.

I've been trying to search through by going back page per page, as the search feature says there's too many results.

I had been looking at a separate LCD and Digitizer simply due to the cost of having them together (like the shiny TouchShield).

I'm trying to work off the principal that I should be able to do something DIY cheaper than buying a retail package.  In this case I'm looking at an electronic lock.  It's mostly for fun but it gives me a project.
Retail items that are similar to the project:
http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20070829/the-touchscreen-door-lock/
http://www.bizrate.com/safety_security/oid655965958.html

Granted retail devices aren't made to be reprogrammed so will have a cheaper chip (and price via bulk buying). The arduino will probably have capabilities on the board i'm not using but I see it as an interesting project to get into hardware more.

Thanks for the help, Andrew and Mark.
I think that'll give me enough to work with when I gather up my materials for this.

~makkura
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