The SparkFun SerLCD is an AVR-based, serial enabled LCD that provides a simple and cost effective solution for adding a 16x2 RGB on Black Liquid Crystal Display into your project. We've seriously overhauled the PCB design on the back of the screen by including an ATmega328P that handles all of the screen control, meaning a backpack is no longer needed! This display can now communicate in three different ways: serial, I2C, and SPI. This comes equipped with a Qwiic connector, bringing serial LCDs into the Qwiic ecosystem. This simplifies the number of wires needed and allows your project to display all kinds of text and numbers.
The on-board ATmega328P AVR microcontroller utilizes 11.0592 MHz crystal for greater communication accuracy with adjustable baud rates of 1200 through 1000000 but is default set at 9600. The firmware for this SerLCD is fully opensource and allows for any customizations you may need.
Note: Since the SerLCD is a 3.3V device, please make sure you convert to 3.3V logic depending on your chosen microcontroller or single board computer. Otherwise, you may risk damaging your board.
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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The design if Qwiic connectors is a little questionable. The female connector on the component side (the expensive piece) has four very thin metal prongs inside that are easy to mutilate if you're not careful. Typically connector designers prefer to make sure that the component side connector is more resilient because the cables are cheap to replace if damaged. The Qwiic connector on this unit is placed too close to a metal brace that impedes access. I've lost about 50% of my LCD screens to damaged Qwiic connectors so far. Be careful and @sparkfun, make sure you factor resilience into Qwiic 2 if you make an update.