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Description: This is a basic 16 character by 2 line display with a Black background and a Red backlight. Utilizes the extremely common HD44780 parallel interface chipset (datasheet). Interface code is freely available. You will need ~11 general I/O pins to interface to this LCD screen. Includes red LED backlight. These modules are the thin type.

Dimensions: 3.15" x 1.425" x 0.300"


Comments 18 comments

  • How much current does the backlight draw? Thanks!

  • This would make a better display for this

  • for interfacing this LCD with 16bit PIC microcontroller here is an example code

  • Oh no! Where did “All your base are belong to us” go?

  • For the backlight voltage being specified at 4.2V or 4.6V, depending on what part of the data sheet you look at, I used a small signal diode (1N914) in series with a 10 ohm resistor to drop my 5 V supply voltage a little. My display is drawing 17mA while showing text. Actually, that includes an ATtiny84 and pressure sensor, but probably most of the current is going to the LCD. One oddball glitch - I can’t get the cursor to turn off. The command is 0b00001DCB where C is 0 for cursor off and B is 0 for cursor blink off. I finally had to change C to 1 (cursor ON) to get the blinking to stop. I still have a static underscore cursor, but that’s not as bad has having the whole digit blinking on and off. Very strange. Nick

  • I made a tutorial (in portuguese) about how to use, create custom characters and design menus for the LCD display. Take a look:

  • Question: I purchased a 5V LCD but have since decided I’d really like my next project running at 3.3V. Is there an easy-ish way to convert this to run on a 3.3V circuit? I’m assuming the SMD resistors on the back are chosen for both logic level and LED forward voltage for 5V. I can always buy another board or a step-up break-out, but thought it was worth asking the community if changing the voltage on these boards is easy?

    • I’m sure you’ve gone a different way by now, but i’m putting this here for other people looking for an answer.

      The deal with HD44780/compatible LCDs is that the contrast voltage (sometimes referred to as the “bias” or “Vee” in datasheets) should be 4-5.5V BELOW Vcc/Vdd. That’s why at 5v the screen is basically blank for most of the range of your pot and then the last 1/5 or so seems like a hair trigger. Unfortunately at 3.3V this means your visible range will be between NEGATIVE 0.7V and NEGATIVE 2V. Bummer!

      What you need is an inverting charge pump to supply a negative voltage from your 3.3v.

      I’m not sure about sparkfun’s LCDs, but most HD44780 LCD modules have an unpopulated SOIC-8 footprint and spots for a couple capacitors. You would need to populate the SOIC footprint with a 7660 charge pump (available from Maxim or Intersil) and the caps with 10uF. I don’t see that footprint in the picture but i guess it’s possible it might be under the sticker. If not you should be able to make a breakout and provide the -V through the Vo pin (not tested by me.) I don’t know if SF will let me post a link on my first post but there’s a schematic of all this on some blogger’s (not mine) site:

  • Works great

  • How much current does the backlight need? It’s not in the datasheet :(
    This is the 5V (not 3.3V) version?

    • I have mine running on 5V. Btw the picture doesn’t do this justice, it’s too cool for school…

      • I’ve ordered one, haven’t received it yet, but I’m putting my schematic diagram together. I assume you had no current limiting resistor? Also I notice that the datasheet call for max 4.6 volts, I assume 5volts won’t hurt it?

        • Running at 5v won’t hurt at all. I have one for several years and the backlight still works.

  • Found this cool widget (I think that’s what its called):
    It’s an LCD simulator! Can be handy if you don’t have the real thing to play with… or forgot to get new batteries >.

  • Contrast control does not work. I have a 10K pot connected between +5V and ground with the arm connected to Pin 3 as per the datasheet. Varying Pin 3 from 0 to 5V has no effect - the display remains blank. The backlight is working. The only other connections are: Pins 1 & 16 to ground and Pin 15 through a 470R to +5V.

    • This is likely a hardware issue with your specific screen. We would be happy to help you out via Tech Support.

  • Does this lcd come with the KS0066U(datasheet) or HD44780? and are they both the same? I’m having trouble getting it to work with the Ti launchpad.

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