Something More than 7 Segment Display?

Hey Folks,

I have a small project where I need to read real-time data from a PC and display floating point numbers in hardware.

The first thought was 7-seg displays but in some cases I need 10 digits, maybe more and that is a lot of wire / hardware.

The display area is about 7 inches long and only 1/2 to 3/4 in high.

Would LED's or an LCD be a better option?



It depends what look you want. Big LCD-display aren't that common and might get expensive fast, the 7-Segment LEDs are brighter and can be strung to match any length you want at the cost of more circuitry.

If you go the LED way, you definitely want to drive your LEDs with a serial interface. That can be easily achieved by using one serial to prallel converter like the 74hc595, all of them chained so that you'll just need 3 pins to drive the all. As an alternative, you might use some dedicated 7-segment decoders. Those are probably about the same price. Look for "Arduino 74hc595" or "Arduino shiftout" for examples how to wire that up and drive it. It's a very common circuit. As an alternative, you might go for a ready made serial display with multiple digits.


I love the TextStar serial LCD module - even though it doesn't have backlighting - its easy to drive as its serial, 3 and 5V compatible..

Perhaps a bit tiny for your purposes but I find I use one all the time for debugging - you can use it as a replacement for the serial monitor, reprogram its baud-rate, and even use it as an input device (4 buttons)...