The serial LCD board interfaces any HD44780-based LCD (this is the vast majority of LCD’s you will encounter), with a three-wire serial interface, consisting of +5 volts, ground, and serial data. The board uses a programmed PIC chip, created by Maryland EE professor Peter Anderson, to convert serial commands, e.g. Serial.print(“Modern Device”), into LCD text.
Peter Anderson’s command set is very robust and complete, with commands to control the backlight and address 8 custom characters that are available for user interfaces.
I programmed a custom character generator, for doing the slightly confusing math necessary to generate custom characters, which is also available below.
I guess there needs to be a caveat in here. The kit will accommodate the vast majority of LCD’s. There are a number of pinouts, which are thankfully very rare, that require remapping the pins. Mostly this involves the backlight pins, which for some reason are (rarely) found on the pin 1 end of the data pins instead of the pin 14 end, which is vastly more common, and is the way that the kit is laid out. It is a good idea to confirm the pinout of your LCD with the pinout listed in the instructions before plugging it in. If you can’t get the datasheet however to the display however, just plug it in and try it, the overwhelming odds are that it will work fine.
This kit includes all the parts needed to build the LCD serial board, including two different backlight resistors, which can vary from display to display. The kit also includes a handy three conductor cable to hook up the display to the driver board.
The programmed PIC chip alone is available, for chip replacement or those wanting to build their own boards.
We stocked some other baud rates on the LCD117 chip, so there are a few different option in the pull-down menu. For most users 9600 baud is a good default choice, 19200 baud chips will save some time on the sending (Arduino) side so might be useful for sketches that need a tight loop. 2400 baud chips will be useful for PICAXE and some Basic Stamp users.