19 October 2011

Hello World! I am SumPod!

Continuing with the build and step by step testing of the SumPods electronics we have the LCD.  This is a generic 16x2 alphanumeric parallel display driven by an industry standard HD44780 compatible driver.  With a funky blue backlight and white text it certainly looks the business.

And it works!  It's nice when things work first time and as intended. :)

I'll document the connections after I've had some sleep.

Solder a pin header to the LCD with the pins pointing out of the back.

The connections on the LCD are:

  1. VSS (Gnd)*
  2. VDD +5V*
  3. Contrast adjustment (VO)
  4. Register Select (RS). RS=0: Command, RS=1: Data*
  5. Read/Write (R/W). R/W=0: Write, R/W=1: Read*
  6. Clock (Enable). Falling edge triggered*
  7. Data Bit 0 (Not used in 4-bit operation)
  8. Data Bit 1 (Not used in 4-bit operation)
  9. Data Bit 2 (Not used in 4-bit operation)
  10. Data Bit 3 (Not used in 4-bit operation)
  11. Data Bit 4*
  12. Data Bit 5*
  13. Data Bit 6*
  14. Data Bit 7*
  15. Backlight Anode (+5v)
  16. Backlight Cathode (Gnd)
*I haven't included core colour because you may not get the same 8 core cable, just assign a colour to each asterisked connections and make pigtails to matching signals

I would normally connect a pot between VDD and VSS and feed the wiper into VO, however the display supplied with the SumPod, performs nicely if VO is connected directly to VSS (and the SumPod kit doesn't include a pot), thus I save a component and some soldering.

Using the supplied crimps and housings build the cable to connect the LCD to the RAMPS board.  It should look something like this:

I use a small pair of ridged pliers to attach the crimps to the wires.  I find it easier if the crimps are still on the strip (and less likely to drop and loose them) and when finished then remove them.

The other end of the cable will look something like the image below.  I'm not sure about the distriution of crimp housing sizes, but for ease of assembly make sure you put VDD and VSS into their own two position housing.

I don't believe the custom SumPod firmware is available yet, so to test LCD operation I modified the Arduino LCD example sketch to work with the RAMPS board to display a message.

That's all folks!
SumPod Guinea Pig zzzzz

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