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December 7, 2012
about 8 years ago
I don't know if anyone else had the same problem but it took me hours to fix so I'm posting the solution here so that it may save you time in the future.
1) When you program your microcontroller and the serial enabled display (SED) is attached it is possible that garbage commands are sent to the SED. In this case the baud may be changed, brightness etc. Do not program your MCU while the SED is attached. In the case of the Ardunio it is possible to overcome this problem by using software serial instead of the hardware serial. (see: http://playground.arduino.cc/Learning/SparkFunSerLCD).
2) It appears that more often than not the setting that is changed is the baud rate. However this is not the only setting that can be changed. In my case I discovered that the LCD display type had been changed and caused the characters that were sent to the SED to be displayed from bottom up. IE trying to display the word "Hello" resulted in the "o" being displayed in the first line and first character position while "l" was displayed in the second line first character position. It is possible that the same issue could cause the text to be sent to an out of bounds position and result in nothing being displayed.
I have attempted to solve the issue by using software serial on the Arduino MCUs and ALWAYS setting up my SED in software at start up even if I have previously configured the display.
I hope that this helps some of you.
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