LED or LCD screen for camera/flash control project

Hi all. Im new to the arduino but have managed to get a laser break beam to trigger flash gun but I want it to do more which is where im stuck. Im wanting somthing like the trigger trap, cameraaxe but want to do my own for the main reason of just making my own :D I need to add some form of screen to what I want and my first thought was LCD and have a menu but im not sure if that biteing of more than I can chew at this stage as the whole menu side of things im not getting at the moment. My other option was 7 sec LED's to show the times, values etc or have been set with buttons but im going to need the use of shift registers etc to control them. Can any one recomend or point me in the direction of project to see how either LCD or LED can be used and what IC's to use to control the LED as I have read so many docs and each one gives a different component ive got lost.

Many thanks

You can find serial interface LCD screens here www.newhavendisplay.com Might be an easy way to go - use a 4-line display such as http://www.newhavendisplay.com/nhd0420d3zflgbwv3-p-5744.html

Or perhaps a button/display such as liudr here in the forum offers: http://www.inmojo.com/store/liudr-arduino-and-physics-gadgets/item/phi-2-interactive-shield-for-arduino/

Many thanks for the reply, I like the idea of the display with the buttons but not sure if its starting to get a bit big and if I box it when im done the buttons are very low down. either way where is best to read how to control these. It says serial but I have also seen I2C, SPI or RS?232(TTL) and im not sure what the difference with them are or whats best.
As for buttons I would want max 6 so in guessing from my little knowledge I would make some kind of matrix with them?

This is one of thoes ideas ive had and really want to build but i’ve not touched electronics in depth for many years and having to relearn and as for the arduino that all new :slight_smile:



The phi-panel serial LCD can be wired to 8 separate buttons, your choice of where they are located and how many you need. You don't have to use the keypad kits.


I think a 4 line display would do the trick however I would like it to be red as im wanting to use it a night so red is best for the eyes. Do you know any other sites that may sell them in the UK if possible? Im still confused on the interface types available. You said serial and others I’ve seen i think are parallel. Is one easier to work with than the other? Is setting a menu simple? any example code you can point me at please. Im guessing the way you write the code depends on the interface type?


There are 6 Arduino pins plus 6 more connections you need for a parallel lcd. Many beginners struggle with connections but most of the do get over that. There is only one Arduino pin and 2 more connections for a serial lcd so it is easier to set up. Regarding the particular serial lcd with the provided link, it should run on a red 20x4 Lcd. Doing menus with parallel or serial lcds requires quite a bit of programming. Using my serial lcd on the other hand, requires minimal programming, sometimes 2-3 lines code gets you a pretty good menu. This is because my serial lcd integrates the phi_prompt interactive library to render plain text into menus. On arduino side you just print the menu text to the serial lcd and wait for a character to come back from serial port representing the user choice. All the menu scrolling and button sensing are handled by my serial lcd.