Introduction: Using 16x2 LCD With Arduino

Picture of Using 16x2 LCD With Arduino

To establish a good communication between human world and machine world, display units play an important role. And so they are an important part of embedded systems. Display units - big or small, work on the same basic principle. Besides complex display units like graphic displays and 3D dispays, one must know working with simple displays like 16x1 and 16x2 units. The 16x1 display unit will have 16 characters and are in one line. The 16x2 LCD will have 32 characters in total 16in 1st line and another 16 in 2nd line. Here one must understand that in each character there are 5x10=50 pixels so to display one character all 50 pixels must work together. But we need not to worry about that because there is another controller (HD44780) in the display unit which does the job of controlling the pixels.

Unlike normal development boards interfacing a LCD to a ARDUINO is quite easy. Here we don’t have to worry about data sending and receiving. We just have to define the pin numbers and it will be ready to display data on LCD.Unlike normal development boards interfacing a LCD to a ARDUINO is quite easy. Here we don’t have to worry about data sending and receiving. We just have to define the pin numbers and it will be ready to display data on LCD.

Step 1: Things Used in This Project

Hardware components:

  1. Arduino UNO & Genuino UNO × 1
  2. Backlight LCD - 16x2 × 1
  3. Resistor 221 ohm × 1
  4. Rotary potentiometer (generic) × 1
  5. Breadboard (generic) × 1
  6. Jumper wires (generic) × 1

Software apps or Online services:

  1. Arduino IDE

Step 2: Circuit Diagram and Explanation

Picture of Circuit Diagram and Explanation

In 16x2 LCD there are 16 pins over all if there is a back light, if there is no back light there will be 14 pins. One can power or leave the back light pins. Now in the 14 pins there are 8 data pins (7-14 or D0-D7), 2 power supply pins (1&2 or VSS&VDD or GND&+5v), 3rd pin for contrast control (VEE-controls how thick the characters should be shown), and 3 control pins (RS&RW&E).

In the circuit, you can observe I have only took two control pins, this gives the flexibility. The contrast bit and READ/WRITE are not often used so they can be shorted to ground. This puts LCD in highest contrast and read mode. We just need to control ENABLE and RS pins to send characters and data accordingly.

In 16x2 LCD there are 16 pins over all if there is a back light, if there is no back light there will be 14 pins. One can power or leave the back light pins. Now in the 14 pins there are 8 data pins (7-14 or D0-D7), 2 power supply pins (1&2 or VSS&VDD or GND&+5v), 3rd pin for contrast control (VEE-controls how thick the characters should be shown), and 3 control pins (RS&RW&E). In the circuit, you can observe I have only took two control pins, this gives the flexibility. The contrast bit and READ/WRITE are not often used so they can be shorted to ground. This puts LCD in highest contrast and read mode.

We just need to control ENABLE and RS pins to send characters and data accordingly.In the circuit, you can observe I have only took two control pins, this gives the flexibility. The contrast bit and READ/WRITE are not often used so they can be shorted to ground. This puts LCD in highest contrast and read mode. We just need to control ENABLE and RS pins to send characters and data accordingly.

The connections which are done for LCD are given below:

  1. PIN1 or VSS to ground.
  2. PIN2 or VDD or VCC to +5v power.
  3. PIN3 or VEE to ground (gives maximum contrast best for a beginner).
  4. PIN4 or RS(Register Selection) to PIN12 of ARDUINO UNO.
  5. PIN5 or RW(Read/Write) to ground (puts LCD in read mode eases the communication for user).
  6. PIN6 or E (Enable) to PIN10 of ARDUINO UNO.
  7. PIN11 or D4 to PIN5 of ARDUINO UNO.
  8. PIN12 or D5 to PIN4 of ARDUINO UNO.
  9. PIN13 or D6 to PIN3 of ARDUINO UNO.
  10. PIN14 or D7 to PIN2 of ARDUINO UNO.
  11. PIN15 to +5V with 221 ohm resistor in series.
  12. And the last PIN16 to ground.

The ARDUINO IDE allows the user to use LCD in 4 bit mode. This type of communication enables the user to decrease the pin usage on ARDUINO, unlike other the ARDUINO need not to be programmed separately for using it in 4 it mode because by default the ARDUINO is set up to communicate in 4 bit mode. In the circuit you can see we have used 4bit communication (D4-D7).

Step 3: Working

#include <LiquidCrystal.h>
LiquidCrystal lcd(13,12,5,4,3,2);
lcd.begin(16, 2); 
lcd.print("hello, world!");

To interface a LCD to the ARDUINO UNO, we need to know a few things.

We only need to look at these four lines for establishing a communication between an ARDUINO and LCD.

First we need to enable the header file (‘#include ’), this header file has instructions written in it, which enables the user to interface an LCD to UNO in 4 bit mode without any fuzz. With this header file we need not have to send data to LCD bit by bit, this will all be taken care of and we don’t have to write a program for sending data or a command to LCD bit by bit.

Second we need to tell the board which type of LCD we are using here. Since we have so many different types of LCD (like 20x4, 16x2, 16x1 etc.). Here we are going to interface a 16x2 LCD to the UNO so we get ‘lcd.begin(16, 2);’. For 16x1 we get ‘lcd.begin(16, 1);’.

In this instruction we are going to tell the board where we connected the pins. The pins which are connected need to be represented in order as “RS, En, D4, D5, D6, D7”. These pins are to be represented correctly. Since we have connected RS to PIN0 and so on as show in the circuit diagram, we represent the pin number to board as “LiquidCrystal lcd(13,12,5,4,3,2);”. The data which needs to be displayed in LCD should be written as “lcd.print("hello, world!");”.

With this command the LCD displays ‘hello, world!’. As you can see we need not to worry about any thing else, we just have to initialize and the UNO will be ready to display data. We don’t have to write a program loop to send the data BYTE by BYTE here.

If you get any problem in project, comment and let me know! I usually reply within 24 hours.

Step 4: SCHEMATICS

Picture of SCHEMATICS

Step 5: Code

Comments

About This Instructable

129views

6favorites

Bio: Doing Computer Science and Engineering in SRM University. Expert in making projects on Arduino platform.
More by chauhannaman98:Sunflower - Arduino Solar TrackerHeart Rate Monitor on Thingspeak IoT PlatformIR Home Automation on DFRobot's Relay Shield
Add instructable to: