What LCD display module for my 1st Arduino project?

Hi,

I'm completely new to the Arduino world and would like to do my first electronics project.

  1. What exact requirements should I look for when buying a LCD display module for an Arduino project?

  2. Are there different kinds of complexity based on the controller? I read that Arduino suggests using LCDs with a Hitachi controller. But what if the desired LCD display has another controller?

Lucas

bikemaniac: 1. What exact requirements should I look for when buying a LCD display module for an Arduino project?

What are the requirements of your project? Numeric? Alphanumeric? Graphic? Touch screen?

bikemaniac: 2. Are there different kinds of complexity based on the controller? I read that Arduino suggests using LCDs with a Hitachi controller. But what if the desired LCD display has another controller?

Yes, the Hitachi controller you are referring to is the HD44780. It is a controller for alphanumeric LCDs like these:

http://microcontrollershop.com/product_info.php?products_id=1078

bubulindo:

What are the requirements of your project? Numeric? Alphanumeric? Graphic? Touch screen? [/quote]

I'm looking for alphanumeric only. Maybe a graphical (black/white is sufficient) one without touch screen.

I want to build a dashboard gauge display for my car which has no OBD or OBDII. At the moment I want to display 6-8 different values such as outside temperature, inside temperature, oil pressure, oil temperature, RPMs, voltage, amps and using a standard 4x20 character LCD display would maybe require two in total mounted side by side. Otherwise a larger graphical display which can handle all of thr gauge values. The maximum frontal dimensions are however 175x50 mm.

Lucas

But what if the desired LCD display has another controller?

Most of the controllers are based on the Hitachi HD44780 and their datasheets contain all of the same information, omissions, and unique 'English' phrases. Some of the ones that I know are compatible are the Samsung KS0070B, the Sitronix ST7066, and the Sanyo LC7985.

Don

I’ve been looking into my needs and decided I need a LCD display with 4x40 characters. The outside dimensions are typically 190x54 mm.

  1. Can an Arduino UNO handle this display (I read that two controllers are fitted to this single display)? How many pins are required for this large LCD display?
  2. What online store offers a 4x40 which is compatible with Arduino (I have a hard time finding these displays with the Hitachi controller)?

Lucas

It's not hard to get a LCD working with the Arduino at all.

What you need to decide is what interface you need, both parallel and serial interface can be used. The parallel uses six wires and serial uses only two, serial LCD's is a bit more expensive. If you can dedicate six pins on the arduino for the LCD, you should probably go for a parallel LCD.

Serial tutorial : http://www.arduino.cc/playground/Learning/SerialLCD Parallel http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/LiquidCrystal

You should search the Arduino Playground, there is alot of examples there.

Also, take a look at http://www.adafruit.com/category/63 to see some examples on LCD's that can be used.

It will be a little more complicated to learn to use LCDs with a 4x40 display. The 4x40 display is actually two 2x40 displays in the same package which introduces several complications.

(1) There are now two 'Enable' pins instead of one (so it requires at least 7 I/O pins). (2) The pinout will differ from that of the smaller LCDs due to the presence of this extra pin. (3) The pinout may or may not be the same between manufacturers as there is no 'standard' to follow. (4) You have to use two instances of the official LiquidCrystal library and keep track of each half of the display - or use the non-official LiquidCrystal440 library (I think there is a new version with a new name) which does this for you while also adding several features not present in the official library. (5) None of the serial interface backpacks is likely to work out-of-the-box with this type of display.

These complications are not particularly hard to deal with but you should be aware of them. You might, however, want to start out with the more common 16x2.

Don

It's not hard to get a LCD working with the Arduino at all.

Have you been following the forum for any length of time? I would say that the vast majority of my posts have been LCD based.

Don

I've been a member for about a year, but I haven't read all the posts.

That said; I had my first 16*2 LCD up an running within 10 minutes using the LiquidCrystal tutorial and the datasheet with the LCD pinout. That's the reason for saying it's not hard.