This build use the Arduino platform to control an LCD/LED display from your Android mobile. It is a plug and play build that requires NO Android programming, NO soldering and NO writing of Arduino code, it you don't want to.
The basic build shown here sets multi-line text, upto 160 chars, on an LCD display from your mobile. With your mobile you can also set the text to scroll up, two lines at a time and/or blink.
BUT this is only the start. Since all the Android screens are completely controlled from the Arduino code, you can easily modify them to add your own features. See the www.pfod.com.au for details on how to drive the Android display using small and simple text messages (micro-pages)
You can also replace the LCD display with BIG LED displays daisy chained together to make a really large an bright display that you can control from your mobile. Replacing the LCD display with an LED display requires code changes to the Arduino code. These changes are not covered in this basic build.
The Basic Build
Buy the components listed in the parts list.
Install the Arduino IDE from http://arduino.cc/en/Guide/HomePage
Download the pfodParser library zip file and unzip it to your arduino/libaries directory. (Open the Arduino IDE File->preferences window to see where your local Arduino directory is).
Open a new File and copy this code to the IDE window, plug in the Arduino Uno via the usb cable and program it. Then un-plug the USB cable.
Set the switches on the Bluetooth board. Set the 3V/5V switch to 5V and set the To Board/To FT232 switch to the To Board position.
Plug the three boards together Arduino, Bluetooth, LCD Display board. Make sure the pins all line up correctly.
Plug the 9V supply into the Arduino board so that it will power all three boards.
Download the pfodApp to your Android mobile.
Pair your mobile with the Bluetooth shield and setup a pfod connection called LCD Display, as described here.
Start pfodApp and connect to the LCD Display to set the text and set the display options.
Finished. For more details see Android Controlled LCD/LED Display on www.pfod.com.au, for other Android controlled projects see www.pfod.com.au
The BIG LED Display Extension
www.freetronics.com sells a BIG Dot Matrix Display 32x16 Red LED display, A Blue LED display is also available. They also provide an Arduino library to drive these displays and the display modules can be daisy chained together to make even larger displays.
This could form the basis for a commercial product to provide point of sale advertising to convenience stores for example. Since the display is controlled by simple menus and input screens from an Android mobile, the shop keeper could change the display text when he wants to. Also since all the display options and Android screens are controlled from the Arduino code you can readily customize what options are provided.
If you modify the code and find suddenly the program stops working properly, you have probably run out of RAM (1k), 256 bytes are used by the parser for the msgs from the mobile, another 256 bytes are used for building the message to send back with the current text, plus some char and some constant strings. See" Help my Arduino program stopped working!! What fails when you add more strings to your Arduino program." That article shows you how to move your string constants out of RAM and free up space.
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