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What’s up with HD44780 LCD displays?

Posted on Monday, July 14th, 2014 in LCD by DP

1602-ProMini

Nerd Ralph writes:

There’s lots of projects and code online for using character LCD displays based on these controllers, particularly the ones with 2 rows of 16 characters (1602).  They’re low power (~1mA @5V), and for only $2 each, they’re the cheapest LCD modules I’ve found.  The controllers are over 20 years old, so as a mature technology you might think there’s not much new to learn about them.  Well after experimenting with them for a few days, I’ve discovered a few things that I haven’t seen other people discuss.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 14th, 2014 at 5:00 pm and is filed under LCD. 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.

10 Responses to “What’s up with HD44780 LCD displays?”

  1. KH says:

    Well, in the article: “500mA (5V/10K)”. Ahem.

  2. Tommi Melin says:

    Where can you find these for 2$?

  3. KH says:

    Well, they are not really the cheapest. The important thing is the kind of projects you make. For example, I am currently using Nokia 1202 LCD modules I bought for USD1.55 a piece (20pcs total). Great if you don’t mind some SMD-style soldering. In fact I stopped using my 16×2 alphanum modules shortly after (they are gathering dust now), the Nokia 1202 LCD modules worked more easily with 3.3V battery-powered projects (especially LiFePO4), and for prototyping, I could fit in 16×8 characters, great for protocol troubleshooting etc.

    • New 5110 Nokia LCD modules are cheaper and far more common than 1202. While you might find used pulls or surplus 1202 modules for <$2, you won't find a steady supply of new ones for even double that price
      Mounted on PCBs like the 1602 modules, the Nokia 5110 LCDs are a bit more expensive (~$2.25 vs $1.50 in qty 10). For unregulated battery-operated devices the Nokia LCDs would be a bit simpler. A pwm-based charge pump for the 1602 modules isn't that complicated though.
      For devices with minimal flash like an Attiny2313, the graphic displays chew up ~0.5kB just for the character font. For the 1602 modules, my code to control them compiles to < 100 bytes.

      • XTL says:

        Many of the 5110 board modules are also notoriously bad quality (connector trouble).

      • KH says:

        Most reports say 5110s press-contacts the PCB, but without a handphone casing to help, it’s not going to be reliable given most such PCB designs I saw from China. That’s why I prefer to buy them (3310, 1202) without the PCB and do a spot of soldering. But having got 20pcs of mono 96×68, these days mostly browse for color TFTs instead…

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