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Topic: Malfunctioning LCD display (Read 571 times) previous topic - next topic

jrdoner

I have hooked up a 20x4 standard LCD display (the one with the 16 pin interface) in 4 bit mode, i.e., using four, not 8, data lines.
This is hooked to an Arduino R3, and I have used the same display before in the same mode with no problems.

This time, however,  the last four columns of the LCD are in an "all dots on" mode, so that a little rectangle is shown.  The LCD is set up using "lcd.begin(4, 20)", and, other than the last four columns, it works perfectly.  Is this a partial failure of the display, or is some other mystery at work here?

Thanks in advance for any insights.

John Doner

floresta

Quote
Is this a partial failure of the display, ... ?

Most likely.  Does the problem go away (or change) if you put pressure on the bezel surrounding the glass?

Don

Paul__B

#2
Nov 20, 2013, 11:03 am Last Edit: Nov 20, 2013, 11:07 am by Paul__B Reason: 1

This time, however,  the last four columns of the LCD are in an "all dots on" mode, so that a little rectangle is shown.  The LCD is set up using "lcd.begin(4, 20)", and, other than the last four columns, it works perfectly.  Is this a partial failure of the display, or is some other mystery at work here?


Ah yes, this is a "2004" module, and it has five epoxy "spots" on the back ("COB" - Chip On Board construction).



OK, one of these is the "master" corresponding to the left-most four columns, each of the others adds four columns.  In a 1602 LCD, each serves eight columns, and this relates to the odd arrangement in memory of the alternate rows of the 2004.

Clearly there is a malfunction of the connections to the LCD concerning the "expander" chip serving the last four columns.  If you are lucky - and it is in fact most likely to be a problem with the "Zebra strip" which connects the PCB to the LCD - this can be corrected by judicious pressure on the bezel, possibly tightening it by bending the lug or lugs on the back.  Failing that, it may be necessary (but tricky) to remove the bezel and re-seat the Zebra strips.

Alternately it could be failure of one of the interconnects to the fourth expander chip - not fixable unless you can identify (and repair) a fine scratch or etch fault on one of the PCB traces.

Afterthought: the fact that the last four columns initialise but do not display does suggest a failure of communication with the last expander chip.

floresta

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OK, one of these is the "master" corresponding to the left-most four columns, each of the others adds four columns. In a 1602 LCD, each serves eight columns, and this relates to the odd arrangement in memory of the alternate rows of the 2004.
To expand on this just a little:
The larger blob is the HD44780 (or equivalent) controller.  The other four are the HD44100 (or equivalent) auxiliary chips. 
On displays with four rows of characters each chip/blob serves four columns. 
On displays with two rows of characters each chip/blob serves eight columns. 
On some 16x1 displays there are two chips/blobs and each serves eight columns.
Most 16x1 displays have only a single controller for all of the characters.  They are set up logically as if they were 8x2 displays so as far as the controller is concerned it is handling only eight columns.

You can see how all of this goes together, including how the 'lines' of memory in the controller relate to the 'rows' of characters on the display, by following the LCD Addressing link at http://web.alfredstate.edu/weimandn.


Don

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