Are the Adafruit 16x2 LCD display and the display that comes in the Arduino starter kit the same?

A lot of tutorials on the Arduino Project Hub use the Adafruit Standard LCD - 16x2. I have the LCD screen that comes with the Arduino Starter Kit, and I noticed that the Adafruit LCD has some extra connections like VCC, GND, SDA, and SCL. Are these 2 different displays, or is there a way that I can use mine like the Adafruit one?

The LCD is the same, but this model from Adafruit has an added module that uses an interface called I2C.
You can purchase this module on the market, connect it to your LCd and it will look the same as Adafruit.

RV mineirin

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Thank you so much! I just ordered some of these online. So do I just align the top of the I2C with the pins on my LCD on the breadboard and it will work?

The Adafruit board is physically different than the common Chinese clone boards found in most starter kits.

Be aware that you must get pin 1 of the adapter, known as a “backpack” adapter, matched up to pin 1 of the the LCD.

Look carefully at the row of 16 pins on the backpack. On one end, the pin has a white square surrounding pin 1. The LCD has the pins better marked with 1 and 16. The end of the backpack that has the four pin connector faces the edge, not the center, of the LCD.

There is a good picture of the proper orientation in this article:

https://www.electroschematics.com/arduino-i2c-lcd-backpack-introductory-tutorial/

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Which is in itself, a major design flaw preventing the display being mounted neatly in a compact enclosure. Some of the earlier versions did have the connector on the other end.

In practice, with some versions of the module you can (maybe) carefully de-solder the right angle connector and re-fit it to face back across the module. This one has the potentiometer in the way. :roll_eyes:

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So do I have to solder this on to my LCD or can I just line up the pins on a breadboard?

Also, here is the I2C that I bought. I hope it is the right one!

I suggest that you first test it on your breadboard, and then solder females on your LCD so that you can fit this module in it and remove it if necessary.

RV mineirin

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Well, you can certainly try it on a breadboard if both your LCD and the backpack have pins soldered to them. If they both do, it will be difficult to solder the backpack to the display as generally the backpack comes with pins fitted and the LCD does not.

There is no harm in soldering the backpack to the LCD as long as you get it the right way round, it will work if you use the HD44780 library.