Arduino custom shield isn't working right...

I've been trying to figure out whats wrong on the shield i built for my intervalometer project but somehow nothing is working except bottom row of the screen (standard 16x2) is all lit up. I've checked my wiring, shoddy as it looks, several times over but nothing seems amiss. WTF is wrong?

Then tonight it occurred to me, perhaps its the Vin pin that I neglected to put in since I wasn't going to need it for this project is the cause. Am I close to what might be wrong?

Picture of Arduino custom shield isn't working right...
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You've not initialised the screen properly ? Are you in 4 bit or 8 bit mode ? Do you have a contrast pot connected properly ?
The Ideanator (author)  steveastrouk6 years ago
Its supposed to be in 4 bit as far as i can tell, im just copying requisite code from arduino's lcd library for the hd44780 controller.
Make sure its getting the initialisation codes it needs, and make sure the UNUSED pins are tied to ground.
The Ideanator (author)  steveastrouk6 years ago
I dont think the chip or arduino as a whole is borked since it will upload fine and it'll blink the onboard led and it'll read the rotary encoder button (haven't gotten it to read the rotary encoder proper yet :/ ).
Where did I say it was borked ???
Check what I said.

ts supposed to be in 4 bit as far as i can tell, im just copying requisite code from arduino's lcd library for the hd44780 controller.


steveastrouk says: Make sure its getting the initialisation codes it needs, and make sure the UNUSED pins are tied to ground.

Steve
The Ideanator (author) 6 years ago
They're certainly not the best, I don't have a fantastic iron, but they're not bridged if that's what you mean.
The Ideanator (author) 6 years ago
photos added
The Ideanator (author) 6 years ago
I'll see what I can do, but the Vin pin is just a power pin, from arduino.cc "VIN. The input voltage to the Arduino board when it's using an external power source (as opposed to 5 volts from the USB connection or other regulated power source). You can supply voltage through this pin, or, if supplying voltage via the power jack, access it through this pin. "