Freeduino with Milford inst serial lcd

Hi guys,

Ive been lurking and reading for a little while and now its time for me to ask a question. Ive had a ggod search but cant find an answer to this.

Today Ive dragged out a serial LCD I had left over from playing with the Basic Stamp. Its a Milford Instruments 2*16 lcd with there BPK LCD driver board. It has 3 pins. Serial, Gnd & +5v. Ive hooked it up to the Arduino using Gnd, 5v and pin 1 for serial tx. Im just getting garbage on the display with a basic Hello world script. Works fine with the basic stamp.

The docs say this is an RS232 device running at 9600 baud, no parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit and inverted format. Im assuming the serial output on the freeduino is ok for RS232 but Im unsure about the rest of the protocol. With the basic stamp you could set all this up. I cant find any way, either with the standard serial library or software serial library to set parity and the rest.

Do you think I can use this serial lcd display or should I get one designed specifically for the Arduino/Freeduino. Its a good little lcd/serial package so deserves better than sitting in the bottom of my parts bin. Ive already got an LCD shield but I want to use a serial lcd without a shield.



Im assuming the serial output on the freeduino is ok for RS232

There's your mistake then! Wrong assumption. Arduino uses TTL level serial, not RS-232 level serial. You'll need a level converter like a MAX232 between the LCD and the arduino.


Ill put it back in the parts bin and get something else working on ttl.

Any recommendations for a supplier in the UK?
Serial LCD 2 or 4 line 16 characters or more.
Ive looked at the ones from sparkfun but dont fancy the international postal costs.



Just a thought, is it possible to remove the lcd from the serial converter board and use it as a parallel 4 or 8 bit lcd? Takes up more pins, but at least it wouldn't be in the bottom of the parts bin!

Ive found a I2C board that can attach to the lcd on ebay. There website is here: So I can remove the lcd from the milford inst serial board and use that.

I havnt tried it yet but plan to soon.