Picture of How To Use a Nokia Color LCD!
Nokia manufactures a wide variety of cell phones and many of their cheaper phones contain simple LCD's which may be used in microcontroller projects.  There is one particular LCD model that is used in a wide variety of their phones and is often referred to as simply a "Nokia LCD", or "Nokia 6100 LCD".  I used to use a Nokia 2600 phone and whenever I upgraded I took the Nokia apart to remove its LCD.  This LCD appears to be the same one that is sold as "Nokia 6100 LCD" and I was able to get it up and running with a bit of work using an AVR.

SparkFun sells them if you do not already have one,

You will need some sort of breakout board in order to connect the display.  Sparkfun sells several (a standard breakout, an Arduino shield, an Olimex module, etc) as well as the bare surface-mount connector.  Since all of SparkFun's boards include the LCD, I just bought the connector and made my own breakout board since I already had the LCD.

The connector:

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Step 1: LCD Connector and Breakout Board

Picture of LCD Connector and Breakout Board
If you don't have a breakout board, you need to first make some sort of connector for the LCD.  My first attempt was to solder thin magnet wire to each leg of the connector with a fine-tip soldering iron.  This took several tries but eventually I got it connected.  I then applied generous amounts of super glue to make sure it wouldn't come apart and soldered on some thicker wires to connect to the microcontroller.

For cleaner and more practical uses, I eventually made a small breakout board for the connector that can be printed and etched using the laser printer toner transfer method.  Make sure not to put too much pressure on the transfer or the traces can be pressed together.  If this happens, you can try cutting the toner away with a sharp knife, but you'll probably end up breaking the toner trace and have to start over.

I hand-soldered the connector to the finished PCB and then added some breakaway pin headers so that the board may be breadboarded or socketed into projects while being easily removable.
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Thank you for this instructable. I'm an accomplished mechanic with custom fabrication for various component and systems for race cars. I'd like to tackle a screen / illumination project on an 02 GM Tahoe. Specifically the GM message center and prnd321 / odometer screen / display. All other regularly running interior / dash lights have been switched to blue led. I'm wondering how difficult it would be to change the colors of these 2 displays also to blue to match as best as possible to the blue led color. I have a spare dash cluster to use while this project is underway. Thanks in advance for any light :) you can shed on this
BrunoARG2 months ago

Hello, I found out that which I was using was not a PCF8833 driven display but a ST7628. I wonder if the connector pinout is the same in both display types.

I read that it can be easily controlled via any 3 wire interface (which I am planning to software implement with a sort of loop till get a kind of 9-bit serial with enable/disable) in the datasheet, but as it's the driver datasheet it only shows the whole driver IC pinout instead of the 10 pin nokia LCD connector. I don't know how to connect it, I am afraid of damaging it. The display is currently working (with the phone) so if I could connect it, then it should work or show anything more than a black background.

By the way, where can I download the SMD connector to DIP layout from?

I would be thankful if you could help me with all that.

john6193 years ago
i am doing a project on high speed photography controller. in which i have to interface nokia 6100 lcd with the ATMEGA 32 IC for setting parameters. i have the nokia 6100 LCD, but have few questions do i turn the display on?
2.could you please give detail description as to which pin is connected to which component.
3. the detailed driver circuit.

my e-mail id is:
awaiting immediate response. thank you.
CalcProgrammer1 (author)  john6192 years ago
I posted the pinout as well as the commands. The circuit is described above as well, it's pretty simple if you take the time to look at the documentation of the LCD and read through the code. Note that Instructables is not in any way a professional help organization for your immediate needs, and no, I will not contact you in dire emergency because you didn't read the code or pinout all the way through, because you would've learned all 3 of those things by doing so. Plus, no two setups are exactly the same, you can't expect me to spit out your particular have to do some of the work yourself!

great answer.

kevingamer7 months ago

bro can u get me the pcb for connector that showed in finger pic

Hi guy, I have one LCD for Nokia 1208b, I want use with the Arduino. This is the datasheet:

But, i dont know the numbering pins on the connector. Do you can help me? Thanks

designermx22 years ago
Hi, i'm using a arduino mega and can't use this. The pins that was used on arduino was pwm 5-6-7-8 (data ,clock, chip select, reset). It 's right?
CalcProgrammer1 (author)  designermx22 years ago
Can't tell you, like I said, this was not done with Arduino. This was done with AVR C and some ASM, you'll have to figure out the pin mappings based on the PORT pin names, then figure out the corresponding Arduino Mega pin number (as they don't directly correlate). The Mega also uses a different AVR part, though as long as the pin/port numbers match (or you change them as needed) you should be able to use it.
designermx22 years ago
Please, show the pins that was connected on arduino, the library used and a example code.

CalcProgrammer1 (author)  designermx22 years ago
I didn't use Arduino for this, and the code is attached at the end of the Instructable. You could use the Arduino board but you need to know AVR C and have a compatible programmer (or use avrdude and upload it to the Arduino bootloader) then figure out the AVR to Arduino pin mapping yourself.
yaly2 years ago
I've got my 2600c/1680 lcd having miso, mosi, sck and cs spi not data clk spi pinout as yours , how can I use your code on it ? It has pretty much the same commands with minor exceptions for example: SLEEPOUT and BOOSTERON commands are combined into SLPOUT in mine, please someone help me!
yaly2 years ago
I've got a nokia 2600c/1680 lcd and I've got the pinout.It's a 128x160 color glcd.Can I use it with arduino? If yes can I have/know-where the library for it
beatmakers2 years ago
Woa this is sick. Great work man.
I have a similar LCD from a cellphone, except the connector has more pins. Here are some pictures of the connector and the LCD. I cannot find a breakout board for it and don't know the pins configuration.

Sorry for my bad English.

I have a similar proplem but I have three LCD from cell phones with ribon cables and one touch screen dell axim x5 PDA.
yash1232 years ago
hey where is the code for the 8051 uC
Nice job!!!
i wonder if my old 2760 nokia ( or works in this tutorial too
you know if works?

sorry my poor english!
dex38443 years ago
Was looking for a project just like this - thanks dude - great work :D
TABULLO3 years ago
NOOOOOOOOO!!!! I just got rid of the screens/parts i had laying around like a week ago, and i had kept them for years.
nb109 TABULLO3 years ago
That's ALWAYS how it works! It's similar to the "I can find it when I don't need it, but will flip the entire house upside down and still not find it when I actually DO need it" rule.
yeah... in our house there are thousands of pens but when you're talking on the phone... "omg, there is not any pens in the house?"
CalcProgrammer1 (author)  TABULLO3 years ago
For this reason, I still have stacks of old Pentium 1 era computers and parts, junk motherboards, hard drives, etc. I try to throw as little electronics out as possible, and I rip the boards out of stuff that I can't keep. Never throw away LCD's, because there's a good chance someone out there has figured out a way to use them, same with any sort of display (LED, OLED, text, 7seg, etc).
Nice. :o) I like your brain.
zack2473 years ago
hey i got a lcd form a sony ericson phone, would i be able to use that or maybe the lcd from a digital camera for omething like this?
CalcProgrammer1 (author)  zack2473 years ago
Depends, you need to figure out what interface the display uses. The Nokia displays are nice because the protocol is well documented and dead simple, others may not be so easy. If it has a low pin count (the Nokia has 10 pins) then it probably uses a serial protocol (I2C, SPI, UART, etc), otherwise it likely has a parallel interface and you will need a lot of pins on your microcontroller. Best thing would be to find the datasheet as it will have the protocol, pinout, and other necessary information.

If you absolutely can't find any info, the last resort would be to plug a scope or logic analyzer while it is connected to the phone and see how the phone's board communicates with it, chances are you'll be able to at least determine the type of protocol this way but it won't be easy to sniff all the commands.
well i havent got the rest of the phone, and it has a lot of pins, (at least 20, on a similar connector style as your lcd used) i would count them to a more precise number but its 3:27am and a bit too late to be counting such small things.

it must have a parallel interface then, because there is a LOT of pins.
is it more useful to just strip the lcd down for the backlight and notification light leds?
ffparrales3 years ago
oh my god, amazing tutorial. I dream with a portable cellphones-displays videowall for a curved surface...GREAT JOB, THANKS.
mguima3 years ago
Very good instructable! You made a complex thing seem so simple that I even want make a try. Congrats!
chanul3 years ago
Greetings, an apology for my bad English (google helped me), he asked, how do you do to save the AVR and you need to pass it to a pic? thanks
very good project and very helpful.
add my comment in Spanish in case


saludos, una disculpa por mi mal ingles (google me ayudo), pregunta, ¿como le haces para grabar el AVR y que se necesita para pasarlo a un pic? gracias
muy buen proyecto y muy útil.
agrégo mi comentario en español por si acaso
Google es terrible a traduzcando.
si pero es mejor que nada
lo admito me falta aprender inglés, pero google es una buena herramienta para casos urgentes, =P
Yo ofrecía ayudar pero no sé los palabras para computar avanzado. Inglés es mi primero linguage,

Sin embargo, es mejor que Google- menos errores.
CalcProgrammer1 (author)  chanul3 years ago
Do you mean porting my code to a Microchip PIC microcontroller? I don't think it would be that difficult, the code is almost entirely written in C and there is a C compiler for PIC. The only thing that would require changing is the ASM routine that I describe in Step 5. You can implement this using C though it may not be as efficient as in ASM. I ported my code to the 8051 microcontroller which also uses C, but re-wrote the output function using purely C as the compiler I used (Keil uVision 4) doesn't like inline assembly very well.

I have never used PIC personally so I'm not sure how you would do this, just that it should be possible without too much effort if you know how to use the PIC's input/output pins. It is also possible that the PIC's SPI unit supports 9-bit mode directly, in which case, use that.
chanul3 years ago
gracias, voy a probarlo en el pic con el programador ccs, cualquier duda, comentario o descubrimiento te lo haré saber.

thanks, I'll try it in the pic with the CCS program, any questions, comments or discovery I will tell you
LloydEwing3 years ago
Thanks for this very nice instructable! It seems like getting an LCD that contains the Phillips controller might be a problem, since they seem to be sold without labels or specifications. I wonder if all Nokia phones use the Phillips controller? Are there any markings or part numbers on the genuine LCD from Nokia that would help to tell which controller?
CalcProgrammer1 (author)  LloydEwing3 years ago
There is a pretty good discussion in the SparkFun product page comments about identifying the controller. Someone said that the Phillips controller can actually send data back, but uses the same pin that is used for data input. I have not tested this. I know the Phillips and Epson controllers use a similar command set (except for initialization) and I'm pretty sure both work in 12-bit mode and use a defined region via CASET and PASET. The hex values for these are different though.

As for identifying the "genuine" LCD's, I have two (both taken from Nokia 2600 phones). Both have similar markings on the back.

The first:
UG13D004DA A16 S10.3 S5 07 26 #
4850835 P C

UG13D004DA A22 S10.3 S5 08 12 # (the 08 is obscured a bit)
4850835 P C

Both have a green dot to the right of the markings, the first is hand-drawn with a green marker and the second appears to have been stamped by a machine. I have attached scans (1200 dpi) of the two LCD's, front and back. You can check the markings on them against others you may find. The Philips controller may be in other "clone" LCD's as well though.
Microbe3 years ago
Here's a question: How do you discover this sort of thing? I am just getting started with micro controllers and while following another project is fun, I would love to be able to create my own.
CalcProgrammer1 (author)  Microbe3 years ago
I got into microcontrollers after seeing projects online. I bought an Arduino and played with that for a while, then moved to bare AVR's on a breadboard. I always wanted to get an LCD working and saw this LCD listed on SparkFun with a few examples on how to use it. I realized that the LCD from my phone was the same, so I decided to try it out and got it working after playing around with the example code.

I've been playing with microcontrollers since Fall 2009, and have been into electronics and programming long before then. If you want to get started with LCD's but don't want to mess with a full-color display, the 2x16 character LCD's are very easy to use and can be very useful for projects.
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