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Description: The serial enabled LCD allows you to control a parallel based LCD over a single-wire serial interface. Included in this product is a black on green 16x2 LCD connected to our serial backpack. The backpack, based around a PIC16LF88, takes a TTL serial input and prints the characters it receives onto the LCD. The installed firmware allows for a number of special commands so you can clear the screen, adjust the backlight brightness, turn the display on/off, and more.

Communication with SerLCD requires 3.3V TTL serial at a default baud rate of 9600bps (8-N-1). You can adjust the baud to any standard rate between 2400 and 38400bps. The power, ground and RX pins are all broken out to a 3.5mm pitch screw terminal.

SerLCD has the ability to dim the backlight to conserve power if needed. There is also a potentiometer on the backpack to adjust the contrast.

Note: Though the silkscreen may say ‘5V’, this is a 3.3v Serial LCD. Connect to a 3.3v power source.


  • PIC 16LF88 utilizes onboard UART for greater communication accuracy
  • Greater processing speed at 10MHz
  • Incoming buffer stores up to 80 characters
  • Backlight transistor can handle up to 1A
  • Pulse width modulation of backlight allows direct control of backlight brightness and current consumption
  • All surface mount design allows a backpack that is half the size of the original
  • Faster boot-up time
  • Boot-up display can be turned on/off via firmware

Dimensions: 1.425x3.15" - 1" Thick


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Customer Comments

  • I have ported LiquidCrystal library for use with the serial LCD you can look at my code here. Still working on finishing all the documentation. But putting up for now hopefully someone will find it usefull.

  • For every Serial.print() , I get a bunch of || characters printed on the display after the actual text. Anyone know what I’m doing wrong here?
    I’ve set Serial.begin(9600); in my sketch.
    Edit: Sorry, for every Serial.println(), two || appears instead.
    How should I properly send it a CR/NL ?

    • Try resetting the baud rate. If you have it connected while you upload a sketch, funny things can happen. Reset the baud rate, disconnect it while you upload code, and try again.

  • I just ordered this and all I have to do is solder on leads or headers for the wiring right.

    • It comes with a screw terminal, so no soldering required to get it up and running!

  • According to the datasheet this is a 5v connection device. Not sure where the 3.3V comment comes from.
    “Only three wires 5V, GND and Signal are needed to interface to the LCD.”

  • This is a good easy-to-use display, but a little hard to read when wearing polarized sunglasses, so not ideal for use in a vehicle or outdoors. The white/black version works better in those applications.

  • I see that this device works with a 3.3V supply, but will it also work with a 5.0V supply?

    • I checked with tech support they said “the board should only be powered at 3.3V.” and that “It is equipped with low voltage circuitry that is not intended to take 5V”

  • I’m new to this and found the datasheet unclear and inconsistent about how to clear screen etc.
    Serial.print(0x7C, BYTE);
    Serial.print(0x01, BYTE);
    Just wasn’t doing it!
    Several hours of searching finally answered the question! to clear the screen you use this;
    Serial.print(0xFE, BYTE);
    Serial.print(0x01, BYTE);
    A really useful explanation and more info is to be found here;
    No author mentioned, but thanks whoever you are! :-)

Customer Reviews

4 out of 5

Based on 1 ratings:

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0 of 1 found this helpful:

Works well, easy to use but bulky

No complaints regarding the functionality. I don’t give it 5 stars for 2 reasons: 1) expensive (but solved my problem, so I can’t complain) and 2) the daughterboard with the serial driver, attached behind the display, is rather bulky, which may complicate many installation scenarios. The pictures in Sparkfun don’t reveal this issue. If the photo from behind was taken at an angle and not straight down you’d see the daughterboard and screw terminal add approximately ½ inch to the depth of the display.