I had one of those LCD's some time back. The onboard PIC can become scrambled/brain dead by leaving the serial line connected when uploading a sketch to the Arduino. Searching the forum, I wasn't the only person this happened to! All the suggested fixes did not work for me, and I was not into learning how to re-program the chip, even though the code is available.
Solution: Get a regular LCD, and get the Serial LCD117 board from, http://shop.moderndevice.com/
. The PIC chip, in multiple baud rates, is programmed/sold by:http://www.phanderson.com/
Peter H. Anderson (KZ3K), Associate Professor, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD. e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Hometown - Springfield, VT. Same as the Simpsons.
Never had another problem with my LCD's. They are bullet-proof! As an added bonus, the Serial LCD117 board makes available (4) ttl outputs which Anderson has included in his code, which can be used for led's, freeing up Arduino pins.