Introduction: Salvaging a NOKIA 3310 LCD and Using It With Arduino

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This instructable tells how to extract the LCD of defect handy Nokia 3310 and to modify it for use with Arduino.

I had an old defect Nokia 3310 handy. It was not charging the battery. I wanted to throw it away, but to me came the idea, that the LCD could be used for some Arduino project. I decided to extract the display and play with it. As I found there are minimum three types of these LCD displays. (Some information about their types and their pins can be found here).

Step 1: Extracting the LCD

The extracting of the LCD can be followed on the pictures:

1) The rear cover is removed

2) With the help of small screwdriver the front cover is released and also removed

3) Using Philips screwdriver the front LCD and keyboard is released from the main board

4)The plastic clinches holding the metal LCD display frame must be cut or melted with a soldering iron

5) After removing the LCD from the front LCD-keyboard panel, I have mounted the panel again to the main board and the battery holder - I wanted to keep in some way the functionality of the GSM. Why, I will explain further

6) The metal frame should be kept also for future use....

Step 2: Soldering the Wires to the Display

Now the display must be prepared for mounting on some board. For that purpose wires must be soldered to the eight metal contact pads. I took very tiny wires extracting them from stripped multiple-wire cable. After the soldering I fixed the wire soldering points with epoxy glue.

Step 3: Intermediate Functionality Test

To prove that the LCD is still functional after the soldering of the wires and the epoxy gluing I have soldered back the wired display to the pins of the connector placed between the LCD and the board. To have good contacts, this connector must be pressed with some plastic tool to the board. The first picture shows what can happen if the connection between the board and the LCD is not good. works..we can continue further...

Step 4: Preparation the Board for the LCD

I have used a piece of perfboard. I placed the metal frame and marked its dimensions on the board, after that I cut and sanded the PCB.

Step 5: Assembling the Display

To fix the LCD glass to the board I have used a white double sided tape. It has also the function to serve as white background for the LCD display. If not used the holes of the perfboard are seen through the display, because it is transparent. Next step was to solder the wires to the PCB and from other side to place an eight pin header connector.

The metal frame has two small pins, which I soldered directly to the PCB, and from other side, I bent its two short legs and soldered them again to the board. In this way the assembling became very strong

Step 6: Arduino Time....

Now our display have to be tested with Arduino. This is tricky moment. The problem is that the display must be supplied with 3.3V (max 3.6V), but Arduino works on 5V supply. Also proper level shifting must be implemented for the digital lines. I solved this problem very easy - I have Arduino due, which works on 3.3V. If you do not have such, you can use some of the trick shown here. Be careful - the displays are not pin-compatible. The pin order of our is the following.

To connect the display to to the Arduino I have used a small breadboard. There I have inserted the needed electrolytic capacitor 10uF from VO ro GND.

To lunch the LCD with Arduino I have used the attached library. More information about it can be found here.

On the pictures is seen the example test "Hello world" included in the mentioned library. I have used it as it is.

The only difference in my setup is that the RST pin of the LCD (nr.8) is not connected to digital Arduino pin 6, but to its RESET pin.

To finish the LCD assembling, I have soldered a small tantalum capacitor between pins 7 and 6 (VO and GND) and I have labeled the pins over the board.

Now I have for free fully functional graphic 84x48 display, which can be used for different Arduino / AVR projects.

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