Introduction: LCD Shifter for Arduino

The original idea was to create a library that simplify the use of IC 74HC595 between Arduino and other hardware. In this Instructable I will share this to you using as example the control of a 16x2 LCD.
The example will show on the LCD the seconds that has passed since Arduino was restarted.

I hope it will be useful to you.

What do you need for THIS example?
- Arduino
- Arduino IDE installed
- One IC 74HC595
- One 4.7Kohm resistor or similar
- One "104" capacitor
- Wires!

Step 1: Place the Library Under Arduino Folder

I've named the library "ShiftOut". It goes under %arduino-directory%/hardware/libraries

This one is the library that I've programmed. Comments are welcome.

Step 2: LCD Library

The second library needed is the one that communicate to the LCD. I've used this one and not the one that came with Arduino because it's an initialisation bug.

It's based on and has the necessary changes to integrate the ShiftOut Library that I made.

This must be uncompressed under %arduino-directory%/hardware/libraries too.


Step 3: Open Arduino IDE

Now it's time to write the code. Open Arduino IDE and write this:

#include <Lcd.h>

ShiftOut sOut(8, 12, 11, 1);
Lcd lcd = Lcd(16, FUNCTION_4BIT | FUNCTION_2LINE | FUNCTION_5x11, &sOut);
void setup()
  lcd.set_ctrl_pins(CTRLPINS(1,2,3)); // RS->1, RW->2, E->3
  lcd.set_data_pins(_4PINS(4,5,6,7)); // D4->4, D5->5, D6->6, D7->7
void loop()
  lcd.print((long)millis() / 1000);

This simple sketch shows on the LCD the seconds that has passed since Arduino was restarted.

Step 4: Compilation

It's important that the libraries are copied before Arduino IDE is open. Otherwise the compilation could fail.

If everything was OK, you could connect Arduino to a 74HC595 and this one to a LCD following the schematic images diagrammed using Fritzing.

The connection should be as follow:

Step 5: Run the Sketch on Arduino

If everything is connected right, you should see the counting seconds on the LCD.

Step 6: Conclusion

I hope this library will be useful for someone. It's to me because the Arduino code gets simple and nice, without filling it with collateral coding messing the sketch main purpose.


Step 7: Bonus Track: Another Example

Here is Arduino using ShiftOut to control two seven segment displays in cascade:

More info could be found here:

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