lcd bigger than 4 inches

I need a pair of displays, to be read in sun light,

currently I'm using the LCD character 40 * 4 displays, but as ever, need more.

Graphic symbols would be nice, drawing circles and arrows to point in different directions,

any suggestions on where to get bigger pannels from ? or do I switch to TFT's computer monitors ?

only problem there is we only have 12V as a mobile system, oh and lots of water around, so need to seal the panels into box's.


I regularly use a small portable DVD player's LCD screen for projects, using the TVout Arduino library. You can purchase small 12v monitors designed for backup cameras on cars with NTSC composite input. The TVout library provides text and graphics primitives, and only takes two pins and two resistors..

It is often the most flexible and cheapest solution for me... Though I must remark the caveat of TVout lib not always playing nicely if your project uses hardware interrupts.

I've not bought from them, but Newhaven displays has 5", 5.7", and 7" TFT displays. I don't know if they have an Arduino driver or not, but it might not hurt to ask:

Now, the problem with the Arduino is it doesn't have that much memory, is on the slow side, and if it is driving the screen, it can only do lo-res output. When you get to larger screens, it might be that you start seeing pixels.

The video experimenter shield will allow you to overlay lo-res text and graphics over an existing TV signal or it can just output without overlaying. I just bought one, but I haven't had time to use it:

As focalist says some DVD players take video input that the Video Experimenter puts out, such as my wife's Sony 9". Another place to look for larger screens is lilliput: There are also various monitors for car backup systems that expect 12 volts.

Now, you might be able to offload the screen manipulation to something like the smartGPU vrom vizic:

thank you for the suggestions guys,

the link to vizictechnologies is good, note for others, their site does not support Google chrome, so had to find a windows machine with IE9 to visit their site.

dvd displays, a good idea, and good point about the arduino memory limit, and the timing interrupt 'feature'.

Hi drjiohnsmith, Appearantly you're building something for a marine environment. I'm planning on doing the same. Getting good, big, sunlight readable LCD's is also one of the biggest challenges I'm encountering. So far I've found the ezLCD 302 a viable alternative ( It's 2,7", 240x160, costs $79 and is sunlight readable. It's a bit small; I'd rather have something around 5". But maybe using 2 of those might do the job. Have you found any other alternatives (apart from the DVD screens)? Additional challenge for me is that the boat I'm sailing doesn't have 12V so ideally the system should be self-contained.

May I ask what you're trying to build? If it's sailing related it might be nice to share some information. I'm working on a one-device regatta unit with integrated GPS, magnetic compass, timer, data logging and screen(s). External sensors should be able to measure boat speed and wind speed/direction. 'Phase 2' will add a xbee based wireless extra display to get the relevant info directly to the tactician.

What ratio do you need? You can get LCDs that, like the common 128x64 LCDs, are driven by KS0108 chips and so are easy to work with however are wider.There are sizes such as 240x128.

The main advantage these screens have over TFTs and the like is readability in the sun.

interesting question re the aspect ratio.

For now I'm more interested in size, I need it to be readable from a meter or so away, so a Phone type screen, though high in res, would not work,


Too add a foot note to this discussion for now.

what has clarified to me is that there is a choice,

simple LCD displays , alpha numeric, easy to drive from the arduino, limited to 40 by 4 characters, with a few custom characters

complex LCD displays, pixel addressable, more interesting to drive form the arduino from small phone size to living room tv's

no market for big, simple alpha numeric LCD's,

which having looked around I can understand.

[quote author=drjiohnsmith link=topic=116422.msg895035#msg895035 date=1345187870complex LCD displays, pixel addressable, more interesting to drive form the arduino from small phone size to living room tv's[/quote]

I have ordered a 240x128 LCD, it claims a viewing area of 105mm*56mm (i.e. over 4" diagonally). T6963C controller, shouldn't be too hard to figure out. Poke around on ebay, there are a lot of screen options.