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Topic: ph-logger from cheap ph meter from DX (Read 65829 times) previous topic - next topic


Sorry for taking so long with my update.
I got the new meter open yesterday, it seems to be a little different from the old one.
I got 2.5V on some of the pins that I think go to the LCD.

It looks like it might be possible to solder some wires to the pads in the PCB under the LCD and still get the LCD back on and working.

The micro-controller is ICL7106CM44, I think

Any ideas what I should now do?
Remove the LCD and try to solder wires to the pads?
But what if I don't get the LCD back on.  How do I compare the input on my arduino to the pH, if I cant see it on a LCD?


The ICL7106CM44 is not a micro controller - it's an voltmeter chip

The voltage on it's input can be read by the Arduino analog input.

// Per.


The ICL7106CM44 is not a micro controller - it's an voltmeter chip

The voltage on it's input can be read by the Arduino analog input.

// Per.

Anyone made this work?


Just a word of warning regarding LCDs - they do NOT use DC current like an LED display, so there is little point in measuring voltages on the LCD pins. An LCD actually use AC voltage for the activation of the segments. The common is a phase driver, and it will alternate between 0 and Vcc, while the segments alternate on a reversed phase when they are lit, and the same phase when they aren't. The frequency is usually 30-60 Hz, depending on the specifics of the LCD. Applying DC voltage to an LCD segment for a prolonged time, will result in it fading and not being useable.


May 30, 2014, 05:12 pm Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 11:24 am by AlexShu Reason: 1
Hello everyone,

long time ago I bought this meter, before this thread was abandoned.
but I made it work.  ]:D

some notes :
1. before you yell at me, I have no idea what im doing so if you see I did something wrong please share your knowlage
2. sorry for my English  :smiley-roll:

what I did:
Samba posted the chip name and datasheet, and guynaor said that LCD's drives on AC, and he was right.
After I cracked the case open, I dumped the switch and battaries and connected it to 5VDC.
Mesured the voltage that drives the LCD and it was about 4.6 VAC.
using the datasheet and some tracing with a multimeter I determined that there are 2 full digits used and a half a digit which is the 1, and of course the dot, because I don't care about the dot.
and the conclusion:
Pin BP/GND -  its like the common ground for the LCD
Pin AB4 - Drives the "1" first digit
Pins A3-G3 - Drives the second letter
Pins A2-G2 - Drives the third letter (the first after the decimal)
Pins A1-G1 - Not in use (but if you want higher resolution for the pH metering you get it here) I won't be using it

its 15 pins for all segments and one ground
I soldered to each pin a wire (soldering to the LCD pads would be much easier but I wanted it on for debugging)

I took 16 Diodes (1N4001 - this is what I had) and "rectified" the currents, resulting in signals that are about 2.5-2.6 VDC peak
second part is two shift registers (CD2041BE) linked together, every shift register has 8 inputs, so its 16 total.
each input lead connected to ground with a 100K pullup resistor (I think 10K will be enough) and each signal connected to different input pin
Inputs 1-7 -> A3-G3
Input 8 -> AB4
Second chip:
Inputs 1-7 -> A2-G2

made some calculations and matched binary codes to the digits that are showing.
I have used this : http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ShiftIn A-LOT, thank you Carlyn Maw
Threw some codes together and got it working :

Code: [Select]

// Stuffs by AlexShu

int latchPin = 3;
int dataPin = 4;
int clockPin = 2;
int pH_1=0;
float pH_2=0;
float pH=0;

byte switchVar1 = 0;
byte switchVar2 = 0;

void setup() {

 pinMode(latchPin, OUTPUT);
 pinMode(clockPin, OUTPUT);
 pinMode(dataPin, INPUT);


void loop() {


 switchVar1 = shiftIn(dataPin, clockPin);
 switchVar2 = shiftIn(dataPin, clockPin);

// Serial.println(switchVar1, BIN);
//Serial.println(switchVar2, BIN);

// Translating the first two digits
 switch (switchVar1) {
 case B00000110:
 case B01011011:
 case B01001111:
 case B01100110:
 case B01101101:
 case B01111101:
 case B00000111:
   case B01111111:
   case B01101111:
   case B00111111:
       case B10111111:
     case B10000110:
 case B11011011:
 case B11001111:
 case B11100110:
 case B11101101:
 case B11111101:
 case B10000111:
   case B11111111:
   case B11101111:

// Translating the digit after the decimal
switch (switchVar2) {
   case B00000110:
 case B01011011:
 case B01001111:
 case B01100110:
 case B01101101:
 case B01111101:
 case B00000111:
   case B01111111:
   case B01101111:
   case B00111111:
// Calculating pH  
pH = pH_1+pH_2;
// Avoiding garbage
if (pH>0){
} else {
 pH = 0;

byte shiftIn(int myDataPin, int myClockPin) {
 int i;
 int temp = 0;
 int pinState;
 byte myDataIn = 0;

 pinMode(myClockPin, OUTPUT);
 pinMode(myDataPin, INPUT);

 for (i=7; i>=0; i--)
   digitalWrite(myClockPin, 0);
   temp = digitalRead(myDataPin);
   if (temp) {
     pinState = 1;
     myDataIn = myDataIn | (1 << i);
   else {
     pinState = 0;
   digitalWrite(myClockPin, 1);
 return myDataIn;

Next plan:
1. listen to you yelling at me  knowing nothing about electronics
2. get some advice on how to make it better
3. tidy it up
4. use it in my project

Aftermath notes:
1. I don't really know it all those diodes are necessary (but I guess its protecting both sides of the equipment)
2. Messiest job I ever did, looks like a parallel flux capacitor  :smiley-yell:

some pictures attached, have more, just tell if you need.
I plan to make full description on my blog soon if anybody interested talk to me.
oh, total cost is 11$ for everything, 8$ for the meter (cheapest one is currently 8.25$)
3$ for shift registers diodes and resistors every other thing is scrap i'm sure everyone has

Thank you :)


Very nice post AlexShu. Congratulations!


Since it is known that the chip driving the LCD is a ICL7106CM44 why not build a buffer circuit with an Op-Amp which would provide a high impedance input to apply the signals coming from the In-High and In-Low pins (from the datasheet) and read the output of the buffer using the Arduino's ADC, or an external ADC if you want higher resolution. 

Don't get me wrong I applaud AlexShu's solution as he did some very fine work of decoding the output of the LCD driving chip I am just thinking about starting at the other end, the input side of the ICL7106CM44.



ph meter using microcontroller pic16F877A   ????


Dec 26, 2017, 01:54 am Last Edit: Mar 06, 2018, 09:56 am by igorlab
Hi guys, this is great job and great thanks from me :)
Now I'm thinking how to reincarnate my dried and don't working portable pH metr. The solution proposed by AlexShu is very elegant, but what about the reading of the output of the buffer using the Arduino's ADC as proposed by wwbrown, does this chip really have an analog output, which could be read by Arduino?

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