STATUS UPDATE: Nokia LCD backpack

Posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 in Status update by Ian

We’re trying a new Monday post with status updates on new projects currently in production. This will cover project development, and gritty details like last minutes changes and production problems. We’ll try to hit a Monday next time.

A disappointing update on the USB backpack for SparkFun’s cheap color LCDs.  In the previous status update production was finally moving forward after SparkFun shared a source for the LCDs.

Unfortunately this long-delayed project may face its final setback today. The latest new is that compatible LCDs are no longer in production. To make it worse, the PCBs have already been assembled.

More LCDs can be produced, but only if we order 5000 or more (we want 100). There’s lots of other LCDs out there, but they use different protocols and usually don’t have a datasheet. The cost of buying them from SparkFun is way too high for the project budget.

The future of the manufactured PCBs is up in the air. They may be totally trashed, or sold as scrap without the LCD to anyone who who dares to find their own LCD.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 at 4:00 pm and is filed under Status update. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

19 Responses to “STATUS UPDATE: Nokia LCD backpack”

  1. I’ve got my own LCD sitting in a box somewhere, I bought it from Sparkfun a while back but never really did anything with it, please don’t scrap the PCB’s.

  2. Michel Stempin says:

    If you really want to get serious having some LCD or OLED working for your project, please look at first!

    This guy built adapters for 3 different OLED screens, the TFT 20-pin screen found in cheap MP3 players, the iPod 2G LCD screen, the Nokia 1600, 6101 2760 screens, a dirty cheap $2 SSD1332-based LCD screen and a 2.4″ TFT + touchscreen (!!!)

    There you can find all the sample codes and datasheets you may require.

  3. Pat Beirne says:

    Don’t give up on the display vendors yet. I just bought 150pcs from China (ordered March 3, 2011, received March 15). Email me back for the details.

  4. Teebor says:

    My Eyes lit up when I saw this project, and then my hopes were thrown aside when I read the news :(
    Hope you can find some of the screens or at least something else to use the boards for.
    This would have looked great on my desk :D

  5. DrF says:

    Its a shame seeing a project die :(

    Are there not any old stock of the screens you need anywhere?

  6. emusan says:

    Sorry about the project going south, any chance I could get my hands on one of those PCB’s if your not using them? I’ve had one of those LCD’s lying around for awhile and I just don’t want to have to make a breakout for the connector, this looks like it would be perfect though. Keep up the great work :)

  7. Brett says:

    Can you just buy 100 of teh 300+ Sparkfun have in stock at the moment? :)

  8. xkltck says:

    I also have one of those LCD’s waiting for use. One of those PCB’S would come andy!

  9. Ian says:

    For everyone with a LCD – Seeed’s concern (and mine) is that the default firmware might not even work with every batch of SparkFun LCDs. What kind of programming and debugging are you willing to put in, and where is the frustration level if it just ‘doesn’t work’ with your batch? SFE displays are pretty well documented in that comments thread, but there are some differences out there.

    • I’m okay with that. I understand that with all electronics there can be differences even if the parts look exactly the same.

      I don’t mind experimenting.

    • emusan says:

      I’m perfectly fine with having to mess around with drivers, code, etc. I would have to anyway to get mine working. I would be willing to pay shipping + maybe a little extra to get one of these. Would the PCB come pre-populated? if so I would pay about $10 + shipping(maybe even more if you want), much better than just throwing away :). Not to mention that summer is comming up and I’m going to need something to keep me from going outside ;).

      please PLEASE don’t throw these away, or if you do let me know where I might be able to find your trash can/dumpster thing.

    • Rubi says:

      Afaik, the differences are not that bad.
      I have somewhere a source code with a define for different types.
      It is a while ago but I think the differences were just a few lines of code.


  10. Rubi says:


    I have many of these lcds and I think I am not the only one. Please consider selling the pcbs without lcd.


  11. Luca says:

    Hi Ian,

    I’ve found just 2-3 different types of these LCDs… so I think we (you, seed, the community) could provide different firmwares and a new customer could try them to find the one which works with his display?

  12. Chuckt says:

    I think that maybe you could pull together with several companies or have a fundraiser. You need a creative fundraiser person.

    • emusan says:

      I think that the problem is that they can’t get enough LCD’s to meet demand unless they buy a bulk order which they probably can’t really afford right now and wouldn’t be able to sell all of anyway.

  13. Chuckt says:

    If you look at Adafruit, they sell a 20×4 LCD display as well as other displays. They aren’t the only one that sells displays. Most of the Arduino crowd buys them. It is just a matter of having a shield and a salesman.

Leave a Reply

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

Recent Comments

  • KH: Well, I'm sure the HDD can handle a little vibration *cough*. What I am more interested in is this: the fan appears to be placed...
  • Alan: The Si5351 runs on 3.3V, and several FPGA dev boards now include "Arduino compatible" headers [if you stick to 3.3V logic levels]. Maybe it's time...
  • hli: Sunday++
  • JB: Hi
  • Peter: Sunday