I plan on using a an Arduino board to control the display of multiple probes, and I was trying to decide between an LED or an LCD display. Which is easier to work with with an Arduino? This is my first time building a complete device from scratch and am still learning microcontroller programming.
What are the requirements for your display? Do you want to output Using an LCD is cheap and straightforward using your Arduino. This might give you a good start:
http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/LiquidCrystal - Using this library you can connect any Hitachi HD44780 driver compatible LCD to Arduino.
I just need to be able to continously update 4 or 5 characters, and be fisible from a couple feet away in adequate lighting. Size isn't too much of an issue (maybe somewhere around 1 inch x 6 inches, give or take), nor are the electrical characteristics, since I'm still in the planning stages of it.
In the raw form LCD's are generally easier then LEDs to talk to but IMO a pain to read. There's nothing like a big LED display.
Sparkfun sell serial versions of both which makes life easy (only 4 digits on the LD though).
There’s also VFD don’t forget. I’ve got a 20 by 2 VFD which uses SPI.
LCDs are easy to use (the HD44780 type), they're well documented and there's plenty of step-by-step tutorials out there. They eat a lot of pins though.
Sure Electronics 0832 is an 8x32 LED matrix that can be chained together to link up to four, they're fairly straight forward but you'll have to do a fair bit of coding for it.
They're both cheap - you can pick an LCD up from any arduino-type electronics shop and you can pick up an LED matrix direct from Sure Electronics on ebay.
I was trying to decide between an LED or an LCD display.
It might be helpful to understand what you think the difference between LED and LCD in this application are.
LCD is polarized and LED is not so sunlight is the biggest problem for LCD if you're going outdoors. LED normally is very power-hungry. I'd say LED in bright lights or darkness, LCD for well-illuminated indoor stuff.
"and be fisible from a couple feet away in adequate lighting"
need something good & contrasty in LCD for that, solarbotics has a bunch of pictures with the possibilities
Red LED letters on black backgrounds always seem pretty easy to read tho. Can be a 3-line SPI to a driver chip, then the multiplex wires from there to the displays.
Which is easier to work with an Arduino?
In my opinion, an LCD is easier to work with.