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Topic: Introducing Phi-1 shield LCD/button/GPS/EEPROM/RTC (Read 16532 times) previous topic - next topic


I've designed a shield for beginners to learn and prototype with character LCDs, buttons, real time clock, EEPROM, and GPS.

The shield makes it very easy to use the above parts so a user can concentrate on his/her project ideas instead of which wire is connected wrong.

The shield is compatible with arduino UNO, MEGA, and Duemilanove. It also has spots for two RJ11 jacks so you can extend your arduino's reach as far as a phone cord can take you, without messing with wireless or jumper wires or screw headers.

Details and sample codes are posted on http://liudr.wordpress.com

Here is a couple of pictures:

Here is a video of an alarm clock I made:


Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


Dec 10, 2010, 04:45 am Last Edit: Dec 10, 2010, 04:46 am by liuzengqiang Reason: 1
I've got an electronics store (dipmicro) to carry this board. They're in Canada, near USA. Feels nice to see my own design up for sale. By the way, they will carry arduinos early next year.

Bare PCB: http://www.dipmicro.com/store/JL-PHI-1-PCB
Kit: http://www.dipmicro.com/store/JL-PHI-1

The kit has a list of parts that you can just purchase from if the kit is not available.

Here is the permanent page: http://liudr.wordpress.com/phi-1-shield/
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


I've got an electronics store (dipmicro) to carry this board.

Pretty cool. You have a right to be proud. Congratulations.
The art of getting good answers lies in asking good questions.


Thanks a lot Paul. This past summer has been my best summer, learning PCB and actually getting my first PCB made. Quite a few members helped me with my learning process. Now, this board is my 5th PCB and counting. I'll make some smaller boards that can utilize the RJ11 connector  on, say plug it on a breadboard or solder to a protoboard, or have a relay. I think with some time and effort, one can learn the basics of making PCB.
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


Just ordered the kit a few minutes ago via standard shipping. It's surprising cheap - about the same price as a 16x2 LCD on its own.

I'm planning to use this as a data logger and display for an ECG detector. I'll let you know how it goes!



Thanks! That's how much an LCD is supposed to cost you. Lots of places sell them at 3X the price. That is a reason I chose this online store. I shopped there many times. I got an LCD at a......t for $12 but only finds out that I will regret for the price, and the slightly slow response.

If you have any trouble, let me know. Please read the documentation and make sure you enable the LCD by putting two jumpers (detailed in the documentation).
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


Did you add your shield allready to http://shieldlist.org/ ?
Rob Tillaart

Nederlandse sectie - http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,77.0.html -
(Please do not PM for private consultancy)


Thanks bottillaart! I did know that website that Jonathan started. It seems to have a lot more stuff than I looked last time. I just submitted my shield.
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


Jon - I bought everything in the list of parts on the "Kits" page @ dipmicro.com, but I seem to be short a few things, namely the EEPROM and GPS connector and breakout.  Being pretty new to this stuff, I'm not sure what to buy and from where.  I searched the Dipmicro site, and didn't find the GPS connector at all.  I did find a lot of choices for EEPROM, not sure what I should buy.  Any insight would be appreciated.

Also, I saw in your "fig-1" what appears to be a couple of risers (also not in the kit), which I assume are used to support the LCD - are those necessary?


Two more items:  the instructions say "The resistor for LCD back light (please consult your LCD's spec)" - how do I find out what I need?  Also, "the resistors for the buzzer and LED if you plan to use the buzzer and LED" - how do I determine what resistors I need for those?


Dec 15, 2010, 07:51 pm Last Edit: Dec 15, 2010, 09:23 pm by liuzengqiang Reason: 1

First of all, thank you!

Next, risers are not needed. I take one 40-pin female header (hope you bought two as per the list), then I use a 45 degree cutter to cut it to the size I need. Say I need a 6-pin riser(female header), I take a row of female header, clip on the 7the pin on both the pin side and the hole side, this breaks the 7th pin but after trimming the edges, I get the 6-pin header. I will then trim off the edge on the rest of the row of female pins, then cut one more time to get another header out. Remember, if you need a header with 6 pins, cut on the 7th pin so you get a complete 6-pin header. So for a 40-pin female header you will get say 8-1-8-1-16-1-2-1-2. Red indicate you destroy the pin to separate into the size you need. Then use the other 40-pin header to get one more 8 and two 6.

The following picture is an illustration:

Then the EEPROM and GPS header, dipmicro is not carrying them. You may get them here, and the GPS module:
GPS connector: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/579
EEPROM: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/525
GPS module: http://www.sparkfun.com/products/465
This is exactly where I got my stuff. I've posted on my blog (liudr.wordpress.com) on how to hook up the GPS.

Now for the resistor, say you bought this from dipmicro (http://www.dipmicro.com/store/LCD-1602A-B), its spec sheet is here (http://www.gzliyedz.com/download/yjpzf/162-4.pdf)
It says V=4.1 I=120mA about the back light. This current is kind of big but with calculation, you need 7.5Ohm resistor. I would use a larger value like 150 Ohms. I don't want my backlight to burn so bright that it reduces its life time. All you need is when the lights are turned off in the room, the back light makes the display totally visible.

This is very similar to the one dipmicro sells. The comments are quite helpful too.
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


Thanks, Jon -

I got all the parts you suggested (it is nice to live so close to Sparkfun), and have it fully assembled.  Just can't seem to get it to work.  I have double checked that I did everything according to the instructions.  The backlight comes on when I plug in the USB cable, but there is no display after uploading the test code.  I tried adjusting the contrast as your video shows, but nothing.  Can you suggest a method for troubleshooting?  I'm not sure how to go about isolating the individual components to see what is working and what isn't.


Dec 20, 2010, 10:04 pm Last Edit: Dec 20, 2010, 10:31 pm by liuzengqiang Reason: 1

Have you used two jumpers to enable the display? Here is the instruction on the documentation:

Jump pin 0 to pin 7 (purple jumper on fig. 3). Jump pin 1 to pin 6 (green
jumper on fig. 3). This enables the LCD.

By the way, have you attached male pins on arduino pin 0 and 1? If you have, snip them off with a wire cutter.
Here's the picture:

Note there's no pins on 0 or 1. There's also two jumper wires.
This is when I forgot and I cut the pins from bottom:
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter


Yes, I do have the jumpers.  And yes, originally I did have the male pins attached on pins 0 and 1, but I caught that when I was troubleshooting, and reviewing the instructions, so I snipped those two pins.  

It looks to me that in your pictures of the assembled board, the middle four male pins on the LCD are not attached, but there is no reference in the instructions to not attach them.  Should I snip those, as well?



Those four pins are not needed since the LiquidCrystal standard library can use 4-bit data. Connecting them will not make a difference. OK so I guess assembly might be alright. What code are you running? Can you post the code (at least a part of it) and maybe a few pictures of the assembly (front/back)?
Serial LCD keypad panel,phi_prompt user interface library,SDI-12 USB Adapter

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