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March 5, 2009
about 9 years ago
how large do you need your numbers? I could whip up another font header which you could substitute for the 10x16 one in the current firmware.
you need something that can program AVR's. I use a BusPirate, but there are many options. googling avr programmer should bring up plenty of hits. There are six unpopulated pads on the board over the microcontroller, they are the programming pins. I forget the layout but i'm pretty sure is it a standard pattern that sparkfun uses. There is a tutorial on programming avr's here http://www.sparkfun.com/tutorials/93
hopefully this will get you going.
You can try my firmware. It has support for two fonts, and you can switch back and forth with a simple command. By default, one is the original 5x8 and one is a double size 10x16, but utilities are included to make your own fonts if you choose. http://serialglcd.sourceforge.net/
about 9 years ago
There are six pads on the backpack which have no pins soldered into them. these are the programming pins, and you will need to connect your programmer to them. If you look at the second image of the board on this page, they are the six right above the mega168. The current zip file 1.62 has a pre-compiled main.hex in firmware/trunk. You just need to use your programmer to flash this file to the chip. If you want to change anything, you will need avr development tools. You should be able to run "make" in the trunk directory to build the firmware. if you edit the makefile to reflect your programmer, you can run "make program" to flash the firmware.
Just a note, my firmware is only for the 128x64 display. I don't have the larger one and so can't write code for it.
If you are doing animations, The firmware I wrote for this device might help you. it has a sprite functionality that would let you place small images on the screen with a short command(6 bytes). that way you could quickly change the graphics while sending minimal data. the default code is compiled for 8 16x16 sprites, but that can be changed if you re-compile it.
Thanks for pointing out the missing draw/clear function of box(). I have fixed it in the SVN tree and will make a version .61 .zip for download soon.
I'm using mine with a 3.3v microchip dspic, and it works fine. just make sure your micro pins are 5v tolerant if you want to do communication from the LCD back to the micro. If necessary you could make a voltage clamping circuit with a 3.3v zener and a resistor.
I have written some alternate firmware for this display. you can get it here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/serialglcd/
some notes tho, the numbers for some of the commands are different, so you'll have to update any code that sends commands. Text acts the same, except for CR/LF are now supported. There are also some new graphics functions. they are all documented in the README. Hope this is useful.
I have set up a sourceforge page for the code. it anyone is interested in helping develop let me know.
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