LCD with the starter kit

I got the project (chapter 11) to work. But I stepped away for a moment, came back, touched the LCD screen. Obviously I was full of static and the screen went blank. The background blue is still there, but the foreground letters are not. Did I just fry the thing? Is there a way to reset it?

If not, where can I get a new one that I can use with LCD library that comes with Arduino?

Now If I pick up a different LCD, I'm assume a corresponding library and header files usually don't come with it, so how (in general) would I write my own stuff (yes, I know C/C++)... but I only have the MS .Net compiler (no longer have the good stuff)

You haven't specified what you mean by 'the starter kit'.

The LiquidCrystal library that comes with the Arduino IDE will work with the vast majority of character mode LCDs. These are the ones with a 14 (or 16) pin parallel interface.

Don

I have the LCM1602C LCD (16 pins)

It is relatively unlikely you damaged things with static discharge - more likely in fact, you had a bad connection. (Did you feel a static discharge?)

First thing - unplug the power (including USB) and plug it back in. If it does not restart by itself, go through all the basic steps in order.

@Paul__B

oh yep, I even pulled everything apart and redid everything again (two more times). No go. If it worked once (twice), then it all goes blank (the foreground characters)... then something obviously happened. The background still is "on", I can even put in a higher resistor and the background goes a little darker...

So I gather, there really is no way to do a "reset" on that thing... dang, I knew I should have stayed with software development...can't zap that...oh well, if no one has any ideas, I'll shop around for new one... get that working to verify I have it write, then plug old one to verify it is not working.

So since the LCD uses so many arduino pins, how do people use it with other shields?

I2C interface uses only two pins (A4 and A5). There are many I2C lcd displays available and at least 2 libraries to run them.

The background still is "on", I can even put in a higher resistor and the background goes a little darker...

If the 'background' you are talking about is the backlight (pins 15 and 16) you should be aware that its operation has nothing to do with the LCD (pins 1-14) other than the fact that the display may be hard (but not impossible) to see without the backlight operating.

What happens when you connect just the backlight and the LCD power and contrast pins (pins 1, 2, 3, 15, 16)?

Don

You really need to explain to us what you are doing at each step, as is so often the case, you know what you mean when you use terms such as "background", but we do not. You now refer to "a higher resistor", but we have no idea what resistor you mean, why it is there and so on. We must therefore become suspicious that you are using the display in some fashion that is not quite correct but just happened to work temporarily, more out of good luck than good management.

As such, you need to show us (with a Web link) what circuit you are modelling, and with a clear, well-lit and focused photograph, what circuit you have actually assembled and what the LCD actually now shows, and what full code (inserted here using the "Code" tags generated by the hash "#" button) you are using.

I still say, it is more likely something is wired or programmed wrong, than that you have actually damaged the display.