Picture of An Arduino RSS Feed Display
This Arduino project will display RSS feed headlines on an LCD via an Arduino and a USB cable. It works quite well, and lets you keep up with the world news while you're sitting at your desk. Many of the values in the code can be changed, and the system can be adapted to display Twitter and other information as well. It uses Python to interface with the Arduino.

All of the code and instruction provided is done so with no guarantee of success. I've bugtested the code to the best of my ability, and it should work in most cases, but certain things can throw it off. Details of such are within.

Step 1: Required Pieces/Parts for the Project

Picture of Required Pieces/Parts for the Project
The project requires very few parts, generally things that most people with Arduinos will have lying around somewhere:

(1) Arduino Uno board
(1) Breadboard (I used a MakerShield prototyping shield instead, but a breadboard works just as well, albeit less compact)
(1) LED, your choice of color
(>12) Breadboard cables
(1) 16x2 Character LCD display, compatible with the LiquidCrystal library (works with larger LCD's with tweaking)
(1) Potentiometer, preferably 10K ohms.
(1) USB to USB-B cable (standard USB-to-Arduino cable)
ChristianV34 months ago

How would I make this display weather forecast?

surya raju6 months ago
Is the entire board really necessary, i.e. can't I get the results with a standalone arduino circuit?
Geeve George8 months ago

I got this error when I ran the code in phyton , please help me out!

casey.lisak10 months ago

Can this be done with a LED matrix?

misadeks10 months ago
I made this!! It's so cool here's the photo.
misadeks1 year ago

How can you use arduino code for a 20x4 LCD?

I tried changing the size in the code, but it does not work. When it comes to the second line it clears the lcd and the other part is displayed. Please help.

jkctech1 year ago
Is there way to use multiple lines? i use this feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/p2000-regio-noord-holland-noord which is a feed of the 911 calls nearby my village. i tried changing the charcount, but im not very good with arduino. PLEASE HELP ME
tkadere1 year ago
I'm getting this error. What does this mean. Apologies I have never used python before.

line 39, in
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\serial\serialwin32.py", line 283, in write
data = to_bytes(data)
File "C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\serial\serialutil.py", line 76, in to_bytes
b.append(item) # this one handles int and str for our emulation and ints for Python 3.x
TypeError: an integer or string of size 1 is required

I found a solution. I put this line num=str(num) just before ser.write(num) so python recognises num as a string
techno guy2 years ago
i also think that the settings for the ports have also been changed
techno guy2 years ago
i think you need to rewrite the python code because an update meshed urllib2 into urllib, i'm trying to debug it, but this is my first time seeing python, luckily programming is my thing
mshah92 years ago
great work!! But there is one problem I have came across after implementing this. What is news contents contains " 's " as part like in " that's " then this Python script is unable to parse it and send it to arduino via serial so any help on this ??
callemang2 years ago
Very cool. Thank you for posting. I have gotten it work but it doesn't use the second line of text, therefore words are not showing up. I think there is an error in the Arduino code because if I use Arduino's example serial display it works but it only prints one word then reprints the whole screen. Help? Please
fritterdonut (author)  callemang2 years ago
What size is your LCD display?
Could it be a problem with the LiquidCrystal Library? I don't exactly understand that part of it. Am I supposed to put the .h file in a certain place?
16x2. Hello World works with the second timer at the bottom.
zmashiah3 years ago
Very nice project.
I was wondering, if I do have the PC working on chewing up the web data, why do I need Arduino at all? I mean, I can have a much cheaper USB-to-Serial connecting the USB port of the PC to an LCD. As a matter of fact, CrystalFontz sell USB connected LCD screens, so the PC could simply manage the display too.
kd8bxp zmashiah3 years ago
I did something like this awhile ago using a beta-bright moving message sign, PHP script, and a home made serial cable, works quite well, I use it right now to display weather information and forecasts, but it can be used to do just about anything else that you would like displayed. In fact it works so well that I got myself a 2nd larger sign for the living room (Wife doesn't really like that one thou LOL) http://youtu.be/VoiIjmh4Qrg - Thought you might be interested thou because it just uses the computer and the beta-bright display protocol.
zmashiah kd8bxp3 years ago
Thanks kd8bxp (And I must admit is sounds like Radio Amateur code),
I did play with CrystalFontz a while back. Recently built few things where the micro-controller is basically standalone, connect to the Internet and display stuff on visual screen. See my Instructables. If the display is a small VGA one it has a higher wife-acceptance factor :-) The "old" 15" LCD display has now good use in the living room
fritterdonut (author)  zmashiah3 years ago
In this case the Arduino just manages the LCD and pieces together incoming words into proper, readable format. If you had a plain LCD with a USB connector and the proper software to interface with it via USB, then you could just use the screen.

I used the Arduino because I had it on hand and this was never meant to be a permanent build. I built it for fun, got it to work then took it apart and went onto the next Arduino project.
I know about fun, and totally agree with that.
brndnlstr3 years ago
I could be wrong, but charcount=charcount++; won't do anything.

If you want to increment, you only need this:


That will increment by one.
fritterdonut (author)  brndnlstr3 years ago
It will in fact add 1 to the total, but it is redundant.

the ++ modifier essentially acts as variable = variable + 1

So in this case it says variable = variable = variable + 1

It works, but should simply say charcount++ for the sake of simplicity and easier reading. Thanks for pointing it out.
Technically, the behavior is "undefined" which means it might do what you want, or it might not. The actual behavior is up to your C compiler, and *any* behavior is permitted, including not compiling the code, or producing code with wildly unexpected behavior.

In case you care: the reason it's undefined is that the C language spec says modifying the same variable multiple times within the same expression without an intervening "sequence point" is undefined. There are no sequence points in that expression, and charcount is being modified twice. This exact topic used to be a common question on the C programming groups on USENET. About once a week someone would ask why one compiler would behave differently than another when compiling "i = i++" (often the question was "which one is right?").

Here's a Stack Overflow question on this topic: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/949433/could-anyone-explain-these-undefined-behaviors-i-i-i-i-i-etc
fritterdonut (author)  xenomachina3 years ago
Thanks for the definitive answer. So while I can confirm it would work properly for me, it might not work properly if you use a different compiler. Really is playing a game of chance with your code, I guess.
reliason3 years ago
If you get a could not open port error try finding the correct port this way:

In terminal type: python -m serial.tools.list_ports
Find the port matching the one in the Arduino settings and copy paste into your python script.
this is really simple
and impressive
but the python language , this is the first time i see somebody using it in arduino
really really goooood

big thank you bro
even your project is simple but a new stuff has been learned today
knownware3 years ago
This is very cool. I like this a lot.
hankenstien3 years ago
This is Pretty cool, and from the looks of the code it might be just simple, yet interesting enough to get me into python
Nice article thanks.

1. question though in the beginning of the arduino code.
Is the below lines a typo? shouldn't it include something?
or is it usingLiquidCrystal lcd(12, 11, 5, 4, 3, 2); as the include I no you said we need to download a new library but i never seen an include with pin assistants included, maybe it does not matter I'm just curious.

#include // import the LiquidCrystal Library
LiquidCrystal lcd(12, 11, 5, 4, 3, 2);