building a 20x4 LCD shield for Arduino Duemilanov?


i am new on the forums, and also a beginner with the Arduino.

I have some basic electronics understanding, and i have some experience with soldering components and using the basic equipments.

I found out about the Arduino only a few months ago.

I have a question,

We have the "official" Arduino 14x2 LCD shield right ? it works flawlessly with the Arduino board and 4bit lcd library.

now- what if i have a 20x4 LCD , right.. i had followed a tutorial online to connect it manually to my Arduino and write on the screen with the 4bit lcd library.

but what if i want to build a shield ? so it is easier for me to connect/disconnect it from my arduino each and every time instead of manually connecting wires and components every time.

did anyone here had drawn a PCB ? or have a clue about building this ?

the one tutorial i've found does only show how to manually connect the wires and components, but not a drawing of how the wiring is being made from a top-angle view.

also- is it possible (if we are designing a board) to try and integrate the small keypad like we have on the DFRobot 14x2 LCD shield?

any help will be much appreciated !

thanks :slight_smile:

Stripboard is the easiest way, or make life easier and just incorporate the arduino processor onto the stripboard (Gets around the messy pin spacing on the upper row of digital pins).

Its about time the old 4bit library was buried without trace, the modern IDEs (0016 or later) standard LiquidCrystal Library works with 4 bits and is far, far superior.

hey pluggy,

thanks for the reply!

actually , i mean - build an LCD shield (without the actual arduino chip and circuit) to snap on an arduino board.

we have the standard 2-line LCD shield, what if I want a 4-line LCD panel? i have to manually connect one..

so i thought it could be nice if i could "design" a circuit for it once, and later have it ready and just snap it as a shield on the arduino when i wanna prototype something that needs a 4-line LCD panel.

like this example:

but imagine doing this as a "shield" (nicer PCB with all components soldered in place, and an exact pin-out to snap on the arduino as with any other shield)

if you have any more suggestion, i would be happy to hear.

thanks :slight_smile:


You can make a shield to fit a standard arduino from stripboard. Just use 0.1" Header pins. The only problem is that the block with Pins 8 - AREF are offset. A c**k up back at the dawn of time and faithfully reproduced ever since. I make them up with the other 3 blocks soldered straight in and bend the pins to make the last block fit. Kind of using the arduino as a jig. Once its made it just plugs in and out like a real shield.

I find stripboard makes a neater job than prototyping boards because you don't need to run wires for every connection.

I built a 20x4 LCD shield a few months ago. I made 10 boards. I plan on revising the board and selling them.

If you are interested, let me know


thanks for the reply Mark, PM sent.