LCD for Launchpad

I am sold out of these boards and I won’t be making more. The distributor who sold me the LCDs required me to buy 1000 as a minimum order, and that’s just too much! Sorry. 

I have made three LCD boosterpacks for the MSP430 Launchpad or other 3V microcontrollers. These are based on the Powertip PE9665WRF display with the ST7579 controller. The screen is small (28x19mm viewable area) and requires little power (0.2mA). It is SPI-based, has backlight and  has 96×65 dots. It’s a perfect display if you need a cheap, small and low-power display for your next project. More info about each display below, including how to buy one. To comment on the display or see other people’s comments, you can check out the 43oh.com forum thread.

Overview

The boosterpacks are currently in their first version, and may evolve and be improved from this description. The packs are:

  • LCD Touch Boosterpack (more info) – a classic boosterpack with the LCD and 4 capacitive touch button areas.
  • LCD DIP Boosterpack with buttons (more info) – can be a classic boosterpack to mount onto a Launchpad or it has a place to put a DIP MSP430 onto it, so you can use the Boosterpack without the Launchpad. Also has room to solder on a regulator in case you want to run it off a battery.
  • LCD-Breakout – not really a boosterpack, as it won’t fit onto the Launchpad. It’s smaller in size and is meant to be a small breakout board for the display, and can also be used to use the display in a wrist-watch project. This is also a good option to get if you want to use the LCD with another 3V microcontroller.

The Boosterpacks will come with the LCD mounted as well as the necessary capacitors and resistors for it to work. It will not come with the header to attach to the Launchpad or the buttons (for the middle and right boards). It will not have a regulator soldered onto it. The displays are cheap, so the quality is not perfect, but I think they provide a good basis for many projects that need a simple display. As you can see, the backlight covers the whole display, but is not perfectly even. Some simple soldering is required to use the backlight. It is off by default, and you need to wire it to power and ground. You can see the points soldered on below the display on the left.

I will supply various code examples for all three boards. Here is an example of a simple game using the LCD:

Video:

Buying a display

I only have a few displays right now, but will be making more as I sell them. There are some displays available at the store at 43oh.com and this is probably the best option for buying them. You can also buy them directly from me at my store, at the same price, but probably higher shipping costs (Norway is quite expensive to ship from). Shopping at 43oh.com is good also because you can get lots of other stuff at the same time 🙂

Code examples

Code examples are available on GitHub at https://github.com/mobilars/LarsLCD

You can download a simple CCS example project here.

Thanks to CorB for testing and helping out on the driver code.

Code examples include some simple examples with text and logos, as well as a simple game. The example code will be expanded further and please suggest changes and updates in the 43oh.com forum thread.

Please note

Some more information about the displays and boards:

  • The boards are based on the Powertip PE9665WRF display with the ST7579 controller. The screen is small (28x19mm viewable area) and requires little power (0.2mA). It is SPI-based, has backlight and  has 96×65 dots. It’s a perfect display if you need a cheap, small and low-power display for your next project.
  • The display can be used in parallel with other SPI devices such as the Anaren RF Booster Pack, as long as each devices has it’s own Chip-Select signal and you do not send signals to two devices simultaneously.
  • The datasheet for the display can be found here.
  • The datasheet for the controller can be found here.
  • The backlight is not on by default on these boards. You have to solder a 150 ohm resistor onto the board to turn it on, or attach a button and a resistor in series.
  • This is a 3V max display, but I have used it without problems on the 3.5V Launchpad. Do not exceed 3.5 Volts. Driving the backlight at 3.5 V directly without a 150 ohm resistor in series for longer periods may destroy the backlight, though I have also used 3.5 V directly on the backlight for short periods without problems.
  • These boards are meant as development kits as part of your electronics projects and for testing purposes. They are not complete products in themselves.
  • This is a relatively cheap display, which also limits the quality, but I have found it works very well for a number of projects.

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