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Hobby Components SmartLCD Backpack Module

HCMODU0162

The SmartLCD backpack module is designed to be interfaced directly to the parallel interface of commonly available 16x02 and 20x04 LCD alphanumeric displays using the Hitachi HD44780 controller (see hobby components items HCMODU0013, HCMODU0038, & HCMODU0039 for compatible displays). Once soldered to the rear of one of these displays the SmartLCD backpack module turns these displays into intelligent serial devices which can then be controlled via either a serial UART or I2C interface. It also requires no software or libraries to initialise the display, output text to the screen or control the features of the module, which reduces development time and frees up much needed resources in your microcontroller or development board.

£2.91
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The SmartLCD backpack module is designed to be interfaced directly to the parallel interface of commonly available 16x02 and 20x04 LCD alphanumeric displays using the Hitachi HD44780 controller (see hobby components items HCMODU0013, HCMODU0038, & HCMODU0039 for compatible displays). Once soldered to the rear of one of these displays the SmartLCD backpack module turns these displays into intelligent serial devices which can then be controlled via either a serial UART or I2C interface. It also requires no software or libraries to initialise the display, output text to the screen or control the features of the module, which reduces development time and frees up much needed resources in your microcontroller or development board.

For customers wishing to purchase the SmartLCD backpack already fitted to a suitable display these are available from Hobby Components in both 16x02 and 20x04 configurations:

Hobby Components 1602 SmartLCD (SKU: HCMODU0122)

Hobby Components 2004 SmartLCD (SKU: HCMODU0163)

The SmartLCD module adds three types of interface to the parallel LCD:

Terminal Mode:

This is the out-of-the-box state (mode jumper fitted) and with no configuration required will turn a 16x2 or 20x4 LCD into a serial UART terminal display. Just connect any device with a serial UART interface (9600 default BAUD rate) to the SmartLCDs UART header and the SmartLCD will automatically output any ASCII printable text it receives to the LCD. As well as printable text the SmartLCD also supports several ASCII control codes such as line feed, carriage return, backspace, delete etc.

AT Command Mode:

In AT command mode (mode jumper removed) the SmartLCD module can be controlled using simple text based ‘AT’ commands via its serial UART header. AT command mode adds a significantly greater level of control of the LCD, including precise positioning of text, backlight and contrast controls, custom characters, etc. As they are simple serial text commands they can be sent to the module using a microcontroller's serial print function such as an Arduinos built-in Serial.println() function.

I2C Mode:

Serial I2C mode gives the same level of control as AT command mode but also takes advantage of the I2C two-wire serial interface protocol. In this mode the module is addressable, allowing for multiple modules to be daisy-chained from a microcontrollers I2C interface.

For Arduino users wanting to take advantage of this mode we have written a library (SmartLCD) and example sketches to make controlling the SmartLCD module from your own sketches as simple as possible. The library will give full control of the SmartLCD using a set of straightforward library commands. The SmartLCD library can be downloaded from the software section of our support forum here:

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=2206

Features:

Turns a 16x2 or 20x4 alphanumeric character display into a smart serial device.

In terminal mode no software or drivers are required to initialise or control the module.

Software backlight control with 11 brightness levels.

Software contrast control.

External keypad with buzzer support (optional extra, see item HCKITS0058).

Single 5V operation.

Terminal mode

Compatible with 5V serial UART devices (9600 baud default) – no microcontroller required.

Automatically displays any printable ASCII text.

Responds to a number of additional extended ASCII control codes.

Serial AT command mode

Software control of all module features via simple AT text commands.

Software configurable baud with 8 different speeds (9600 BAUD default).

Access to external keypad and buzzer.

I2C Mode

Control multiple displays from one I2C bus.

Software control of all module features via simple I2C commands.

I2C address configurable via software from 0x08 to 0x77 (default 0x27).

Built-in 10K pull-up resistors for clock SCL and data SDA lines.

Access to external keypad and buzzer.

Specification

Model number: HCMODU0162

Supply voltage: 5V

Display type: Supports 16 x 2 or 20 x 4 alphanumeric HD44780 LCDs

Supply current: 9.8mA

Interfaces: I2C, serial UART and external keypad

Module dimensions: 42mm x 23.5mm

Further information, including example Arduino code, manual etc can be found on our support forum here.

HCMODU0162
19 Items

Specific References