LCD modules in UK

I'm trying to find a cheap easy-to-use LCD module on Farnell UK, but I'm a little confused.

Here's the one I'm looking at: http://uk.farnell.com/midas/mc41605b6w-spr/lcd-4x16-stn-reflective-5mm/dp/2063249

The datasheet shows 16 pins, which I assume means it's Hitachi HD44780 compatible. However, I've seen people say that the 4x16 boards usually act as a pair of 2x16 screens, with two enable pins, which would imply that it should have 17 pins. Is it definitely a HD44780 compatible display?

The other issue I'm worried about is connecting it up. I can't quite figure out the mechanical drawing from the datasheet, so I can't work out how small the connector pins are. I kinda suck at soldering and it'd be nice to repurpose the display later, so I'd like to avoid soldering completely if possible. Are there any connectors that'll work on the through-holes without solder?

The datasheet shows 16 pins, which I assume means it's Hitachi HD44780 compatible. However, I've seen people say that the 4x16 boards usually act as a pair of 2x16 screens, with two enable pins, which would imply that it should have 17 pins. Is it definitely a HD44780 compatible display?

A quick look in the PDF: page 10 states that only 14 are used, and if you read on (carefully) from there you see that (chap 10) the mapping of the display positions. So no 2 enable lines needed for this one ( no 2 memory buffers)

I've seen people say that the 4x16 boards usually act as a pair of 2x16 screens, with two enable pins, which would imply that it should have 17 pins. Is it definitely a HD44780 compatible display?

It is the 40x4 displays that have two enable pins.

A single Hitachi controller has 80 memory locations for display data. Your 16x4 display requires only 64 of those so it does not require a second controller and hence it has only one enable pin.

EDIT: Be aware that the LiquidCrystal library does not handle this display properly. The display will work correctly for the first two lines but the lower two will be offset by 4 characters.

I can't quite figure out the mechanical drawing from the datasheet, so I can't work out how small the connector pins are.

The pin spacing is 2.54 mm which is equivalent to the standard 0.1 inch spacing on header pins. Most tinkerers solder a male header strip to the LCD pins and plug it into a breadboard. You could instead solder a short length of ribbon cable to the display and solder the header strip to the other end. Then when you want to permanently mount the LCD module you just cut off or de-solder the header strip.

Are there any connectors that'll work on the through-holes without solder?

Not that I know of.

Don

and if you read on (carefully) from there you see that (chap 10) the mapping of the display positions.

They couldn't make that description any more obscure if they tried. I know how the addressing works and I still have trouble figuring out their description.

Follow the [u]LCD Addressing[/u] link at http://web.alfredstate.edu/weimandn for a description that should be more understandable.

Don

fm’s LiquidCrystal replacement library has proper addressing support for 16x4 displays:
https://bitbucket.org/fmalpartida/new-liquidcrystal/wiki/Home

— bill