LCD Backpack V2 - I2C and Serial RX

HobbyTronics LCD Backpack V2 - I2C and Serial RX
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Price: £6.00
(£5.00 + VAT)
Availability: 33
Model: I2CLCDBPV2
Manufacturer: HobbyTronics
Average Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!

HobbyTronics

LCD Backpack V2 - I2C and Serial RX

The Hobbytronics LCD Backpack is a useful little board that can be soldered onto the back of LCD’s that use the standard Hitachi HD44780 compatible interface. This allows the LCD (and backlight if fitted) to be controlled directly from a microcontroller using either the I2C interface or via a serial RX connection at baud rates from 2400 up to 115200.

It contains a bootloader so the software can be updated. The latest version can be downloaded on the right.

Download Software
Click Here to Download (Version 2.04)

This has a number of advantages

  • Reduces the minimum number of connections needed from 12 (for an LCD with backlight) to only 3 or 4 thus saving many input/output pins on the microcontroller
  • Control an LCD using virtually any microcontroller either through the I2C interface or via a serial RX connection (either in hardware or software)
  • Simplifies wiring
  • Digital control of LCD backlight brightness from off (0) to fully on (250) and any level in between
  • LCD Contrast adjustment potentiometer fitted to backpack
  • Allows the connection of multiple LCD displays to one microcontroller without additional pins.

LCD I2C Backpack and Arduino Uno

 

The backpack uses a 160 byte command buffer to alleviate any need for delays in your code. Send commands and data in a stream and the backpack will process them in order.

Suitable for LCD’s with Hitachi HD44780 compatible interface without a backlight and for displays with common Anode LCD backlights.

The LCD Backpack requires a suitable 5V or 3.3V supply (depending on the LCD display).

This does not apply to the Serial connection however. Because only the RX in pin of the backpack is used, this can be connected directly to the TX of a system running at 3.3V without any level shifting. This makes it ideally suited to connecting directly to a Raspberry Pi for instance.

Specifications

  • Suitable for 5V and 3.3V common Anode LCD’s with Hitachi HD44780 compatible interface
  • I2C address defaults to 58 (0x3A) but can be set to any valid I2C address in the range 1 - 127
  • Digital control of LCD backlight brightness with 250 brightness levels.
  • LCD contrast set by trimmer potentiometer.
  • Space for I2C pullup resistors (if needed)
  • Bootloader installed for easy software updates (see manual)
  • Serial connection at 2400, 4800, 9600, 14400, 19200, 28800, 57600, 115200
  • 160 byte command buffer
  • I2C Communication at 5V or 3.3V  levels
  • Serial RX communication at 5V or 3.3V levels
  • Size:  43mm x 22mm

The backpack comes complete with 16-way male header pins for connection to the LCD and a six pin right angle header for connection to a microcontroller.

We have created a useful Arduino I2C Library to make using the backpack very easy and also have example code and a library file for the Hi-Tech C compiler. Conversion of these libraries to other languages should be straightforward.

Documents

LCD Backpack Datasheet V2 and example programs
Arduino I2C and Serial RX Example code and Library
Hi-Tech C LCD I2C Backpack Demo and Library

Works with Raspberry Pi

We can confirm that the LCD Backpack works great with the Raspberry Pi. Please note however that Logic Level Conversion should be used when using the I2C connection and a 5V display. You can use the Serial RX connection directly without the need for logic level conversion or use I2C with a 3.3V display

The Backpack Datasheet contains example Raspberry Pi programs

  • Using i2cset and the I2C interface
  • Using Python and the Serial RX interface

Video (Showing version 1 board)

 

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LCD Backpack V2 - I2C and Serial RX
Click to enlarge
LCD Backpack V2 - I2C and Serial RX
Click to enlarge
LCD Backpack V2 - I2C and Serial RX
Click to enlarge
LCD Backpack V2 - I2C and Serial RX
Click to enlarge
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