I'm starting to experiment with an LCD screen. I just tried the Hello world project, but I came across a problem. My 2x16 LCD displays rectangles over the first line (picture below). Instead of hooking it up to a potentiometer, I put the LCD pin labeled "Vo" in the "GND" port on the arduino. The LCD screen is a 3.3 volt, so I have it plugged into 3.3V on the arduino.
Thanks for all your help! I'm really a beginner at using the arduino, so I might do some easier projects before I jump into LCD's. I will definitely keep this for future reference though. If there is anything else I need to know about LCD's or connecting a 3.3volt LCD to 5volts, please leave a reply!
The schematic that you see is for two-way communication, when data flows from 5V I/O to 3.3V I/O and 3.3V I/O to 5V I/O, but in your case (Arduino to 3.3V LCD) data runs only from Arduino to LCD module, that's why I recommend that you try to use series resistors (1K to 10K) at the 4 data lines from Arduino to LCD module. I have tried this method, it is easy and safe.
Any easy project can be made difficult by choosing components that don't match
Yes, I figured that out very quickly after people told me that 5V will damage a 3.3V display. I don't think it is damaged though. Well that's how it goes when you buy something that has so many different features that you just buy the cheapest one. :-/
Thanks again everyone, I do plan to work with LCD's sometime