I see some talk about soft serial not working properly, but it's old threads. I have an LCD that I just want to send characters to, not receive from, so should soft serial work fine for me? Do I even need to hook up the LCD's TX pin to an RX pin on my Arduino? ...maybe I have to define it, though?
download NewSoftSerial - http://arduiniana.org/libraries/newsoftserial/ - works much better than softserial .
For driving an LCD one can define the read pin as -1 so driving the LCD only need one pin from your Arduino. (and +5V and GND of course)
NewSoftSerial works great. See sample code here that was used for a serial VFD, but serial LCD will be similar depending on if you have all the proper documentation for your device. http://cgi.ebay.com/Epson-serial-VFD-Display-Arduino-LCD-Smartie-/110448153207?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item19b7391277#ht_500wt_1044