Parallax 2x16 Serial LCD Backlit, with Speaker #27977-RT

Hello everyone,
I just bought the subject item at Fry’s Electronics:
http://www.frys.com/product/6726995;jsessionid=jChdtuzzoKANrd8+LpeFyQ__.node2?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG.

  Mfr: PARALLAX
  Parallax Model: 27977-RT
  FRYS.com #6726995
  UPC: 644890279773

And using the info I found at parallax.com
Ardunio example:http://learn.parallax.com/kickstart/27977
Decimal Command Codes:http://www.parallax.com/Portals/0/Downloads/docs/prod/audiovis/27976-7-9-ParallaxSerialLCD-v3.0.pdf
Musical Notes:http://forums.parallax.com/showthread.php?139362-Parallax-2x16-Serial-LCD-(27977)-Backlit-w-Spkr-Example-Prop-snd-SPIN-code

I was able to make a Happy Birthday song by doing the following.
1)Found the musical notes for the song on the internet. http://www.8notes.com/scores/1110.asp
2)Converted the notes to decimal command codes (both lenghth and tone) (see image below).
3)Typed it into the IDE (see code below).
4) Uploaded to the Arduino UNO.

Steps 1 and 4 are fairly easy, but steps 2 and 3 were very time consuming.
MY QUESTION: Anyone know or have suggestions of an easier way of doing steps 2 and 3?

I’ve included the code and image.

const int TxPin = 6;

#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
SoftwareSerial mySerial = SoftwareSerial(255, TxPin);

void setup() {
    
  pinMode(TxPin, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(TxPin, HIGH);
  
  mySerial.begin(9600);
  delay(100);
  mySerial.write(12);                 // Clear             
  mySerial.write(17);                 // Turn backlight on
  delay(5);                           // Required delay
  mySerial.print("Happy Birthday");  // First line
  mySerial.write(13);                 // Form feed
  mySerial.print("Happy Birthday");   // Second line
  mySerial.write(216);                // Select the 4th scale (A = 440Hz)
  /* 
  Scale  A    A#  B    C    C#   D    D#   E    F    F#   G    G#
  4      440  466 494  523  554  587  622  659  698  740  784  831 
  */
//1
  mySerial.write(211);                // 1/8 note (this should be 3/18, but I don't know the “set length” command for it)
  mySerial.write(223);                // C tone
//2  
  mySerial.write(210);                // 1/16 note  
  mySerial.write(223);                // C tone
//3  
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note
  mySerial.write(225);                // D tone
//4  
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note
  mySerial.write(223);                // C tone
//5
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note  
  mySerial.write(228);                // F tone  
//6
  mySerial.write(213);                // 1/2 note  
  mySerial.write(227);                // E tone  
//7
  mySerial.write(211);                // 1/8 note (this should be 3/18, but I don't know the “set length” command for it)  
  mySerial.write(223);                // C tone 
//8
  mySerial.write(210);                // 1/16 note  
  mySerial.write(223);                // C tone
//9
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note 
  mySerial.write(225);                // D tone
//10
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note 
  mySerial.write(223);                // C tone
//11
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note 
  mySerial.write(230);                // C tone 
//12
  mySerial.write(213);                // 1/2 note   
  mySerial.write(228);                // F tone  
//13
  mySerial.write(211);                // 1/8 note (this should be 3/18, but I don't know the “set length” command for it)  
  mySerial.write(223);                // C tone 
//14
  mySerial.write(210);                // 1/16 note  
  mySerial.write(223);                // C tone  
  mySerial.write(217);              // Select the 5th scale (A = 880Hz)
  /* 
  Scale  A    A#  B    C    C#   D    D#   E    F    F#   G    G#
  5      880  932 988  1047 1109 1175 1245 1319 1397 1480 1568 1661  
  */
//15
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note
  mySerial.write(223);                // C tone
 
  mySerial.write(216);                // Select the 4th scale (A = 440Hz)
  /* 
  Scale  A    A#  B    C    C#   D    D#   E    F    F#   G    G#
  4      440  466 494  523  554  587  622  659  698  740  784  831 
  */
  
//16
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note 
  mySerial.write(220);                // A tone  
//17
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note
  mySerial.write(228);                // F tone  
//18
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note
  mySerial.write(227);                // E tone  
//19
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note
  mySerial.write(225);                // D tone  
//20
  mySerial.write(211);                // 1/8 note (this should be 3/18, but I don't know the “set length” command for it)
  mySerial.write(222);                // B tone  
//21
  mySerial.write(210);                // 1/16 note  
  mySerial.write(222);                // B tone  
//22
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note
  mySerial.write(220);                // A tone  
//23
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note
  mySerial.write(228);                // F tone  
//24
  mySerial.write(212);                // 1/4 note
  mySerial.write(230);                // G tone  
//25
  mySerial.write(213);                // 1/2 note (this should be 3/4, but I don't know the “set length” command for it) 
  mySerial.write(228);                // F tone  

  delay(3000);                        // Wait 3 seconds
  mySerial.write(18);                 // Turn backlight off

}

void loop() {
}

Correction to the comments in the code of the OP. The comment for notes //1, //7, //13 & //20 should be 3/16 not 3/18.

I was unable to figure out how to set the length of a note to 3/16 or 3/4.

Here's the list I found, as noted in the OP link for Decimal Command Codes: http://www.parallax.com/Portals/0/Downloads/docs/prod/audiovis/27976-7-9-ParallaxSerialLCD-v3.0.pdf

Dec Hex Action
208 D0  Set note length to 1/64 note 
209 D1  Set note length to 1/32 note 
210 D2  Set note length to 1/16 note 
211 D3  Set note length to 1/8 note 
212 D4  Set note length to 1/4 note 
213 D5  Set note length to 1/2 note 
214 D6  Set note length to whole note (2 seconds)

MY SECOND QUESTION: Does anyone know how to set the length of a note to 3/16 and 3/4?

Declare a bunch of constants, make an array of notes, and then use switch..case?

Why would you use that device with Arduino though?

http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/Tone

http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Tone

[quote author=Runaway Pancake link=topic=138604.msg1041681#msg1041681 date=1356208631] Declare a bunch of constants, make an array of notes, and then use switch..case? ... http://arduino.cc/en/Reference/Tone

http://arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/Tone [/quote] Thanks, I will look into those links.

[quote author=Runaway Pancake link=topic=138604.msg1041681#msg1041681 date=1356208631] ... Why would you use that device with Arduino though? ... [/quote] Because the Parallax brand items are the devices that are available at the Fry's Electronics store. I assumed it was OK because the Parallax packaging stated that it was compatible with the Arduino.

Are you implying that I shouldn't use it with the Arduino? If so, why not? Just simply asking because I truly want to know :) I'm new to Audrino and wasn't aware of what I shouldn't use with it.

As a follow-up. I also purchased the Parallax standard servos, Parallax continous rotation servos, and a Parallax joystick.

Am I going down the wrong road?

It's not a Parallax bash. The servos and joystick are fine. I like that their LCDs work with asynchronous serial instead of I2C or SPI (which is the Arduino trip), but you'll have to use SoftwareSerial or there could be conflicts in having it connected to D0 & D1 when uploading.

Since the Arduino is capable of doing "music" (via Tone) on its own, as it is, what then is to be gained by buying something else to do that with?

Arduito: Am I going down the wrong road?

I don't think you are going down the wrong road. It's just the only road you have. i too have the same #27977-RT LCD and am trying to figure out how to make it work. I don't think it is the wrong or right road, it is just the only road i have right now. Good for you on the HBD song but be careful the copywright monsters might chase you down LOL

now we just need zelda (nes)