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  • Great price, watch for QC

    posted by Allegro1 on 07/05/2012
    9

    Involvement:Expert (understands the inner workings) - Ownership:1 week to 1 month

    Pros:

    Direct plug in and program makes it work
    Digital pin D10 is wired in for PWM control of LED backlight brightness
    Only uses the A0 input line to read the 5 buttons
    Other unused analog and digital lines are solder holes available to be wired in.
    Works fine with Arduino Uno, Arduino Duemilanove, and Nano (but you must wire that board separately instead of simply plugging it in).

    Best price found for this type of LCD built into the keypad PCB anywhere on the Internet and well below 1/2 price of some dealers. Free shipping is a big +++

    Cons:

    Quality control is up to you. These have not been tested for functionality before shipment. Found solder bridge between 2 data lines making one module non-functional. Was easily detected with a magnifying glass and fixed with the touch of a soldering iron.

    Contrast adjustment is via a multi-turn pot and is tied to supply voltage rather than the regulated +5V. That means when powered by USB, the contrast will be way off from when it is powered by a 9V battery and you have to turn the pot a lot of times to be able to see the display. Out of the box, it took a lot of turns just to make it visible when plugged into the USB.

    OtherThoughts:

    If you plug this into an Uno or Duemilanove, use this statement:

    #include

    and define the interface pins with this statement:
    // initialize the library with the numbers of the interface pins
    LiquidCrystal lcd(8, 9, 4, 5, 6, 7);


    You could also copy and paste the code from this link in the forums:
    http://club.dx.com/forums/forums.dx/threadid.1194279

    as a test program. It reads the key you pressed (UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT or SELECT), displays the analog voltage value associated with the key you pressed (or the lowest voltage if you pressed multiple keys) and allows you to adjust the LED backlight of the display and save the value in EEPROM so that the next time you power it up, it recalls that value.

    Bottomline:

    Excellent module at the best price around.
    If it doesn't work out of the box, do some quality control inspection. The fix is probably a quick one.

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