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Build your own printer cable LCD Display

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PHILIP1193

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Location
England
Build your own Parralel LCD Display

Creating your own LCD display

:mad: Disclaimer: This project involves soldering and messing about with electrical equiptment, I accept no resonsablility from damge to componants or people who use this guide because thats what it is a GUIDE!!! :mad:

You can get LCD displays for next to nothing now-a-days, I bought mine for £7 Inc p+p off eBay a few days ago. There a lot of lcd displays already built for you (matrix orbital makes some very good lcd and USB ones), how ever im going to teach you on how to make your own one as this is by far the cheapest way as you will see.

The parts:
• A 16x2 line lcd Display (make sure it’s a uses Hitachi’s HD44780 chip or a similar one from Samsung)
• A parallel printer plug (nick it off an old printer lead)
• Ribbon cable
• Female molex connector (this can be nicked from an old psu)
• Insulation tape

You will also need a soldering iron and flux along with some wire cutters.

Right so onto assembling the thing together. Firstly get the ribbon cable and cut it to a length in which you think you will need (basically the length between parallel port and where it will sit), next attach the ribbon cable to the display via the connector on the back. To do these count 10 wires from your ribbon cable and strip them each individually down about 1cm from each other, next strip off the plastic sheath , you need to strip about 3-4cms of plastic sheath off to expose the wire.

These 10 wires will connect to the pins of the back of the LCD display. Now carefully solder one wire to pin 4 and a wire to pins 6 to 14. You now need to soldier the wires to the parallel printer cable plug in the specific order below:

Solder Pin 4 on LCD to pin 16 on the parallel printer cable plug
Solder Pin 6 on LCD to pin 1 on the parallel printer cable plug
Solder Pin 7 on LCD to pin 2 on the parallel printer cable plug
Solder Pin 8 on LCD to pin 3 on the parallel printer cable plug
Solder Pin 9 on LCD to pin 4 on the parallel printer cable plug
Solder Pin 10 on LCD to pin 5 on the parallel printer cable plug
Solder Pin 11 on LCD to pin 6 on the parallel printer cable plug
Solder Pin 12 on LCD to pin 7 on the parallel printer cable plug
Solder Pin 13 on LCD to pin 8 on the parallel printer cable plug
Solder Pin 14 on LCD to pin 9 on the parallel printer cable plug

Now completely detach 3 wires from the ribbon cable and strip back plastic once again and attach 2 wires to the middle two pins of molex connector (this is the ground connector). These two wires connect to pins 1 and 5 on the LCD. There should be one pin that is unsoldered to; this pin will need the remaining piece of wire to be soldered from the remaining pin (pin 2) to the red pin of the molex connector (if you not sure which pin the red pin is, just check a molex connector in your pc also check the red wire is +5v use multimeter is you are not sure). Please make sure you insulate all wires using some of the insulation tape you should have or it could cause a short.

That’s it you should of now made a lcd display. You can now plug it in and test it to see if you get a test signal from screen which should look like a solid line on line 1 if it's a 2 line display, or a solid line on lines 1 & 3 on a 4 line display. If you do not then check all wiring ad make sure it is all soldered correctly and no shorts or mistakes made in wiring it up.

Now like any piece of hardware on your computer it needs drivers, because this is a home made bit of hardware windows will not pick it up (not even xp). You will need a few pieces of software the first been Port95NT which basically forces any windows OS based on the NT kernel (2000 and XP etc) to let you use the parallel port as they currently don’t let you due to the way they operate and were designed. Next you need the software that communicates with the LCD display and tells it what to do. The second been the most important as the display is useless with out it.

There is many types of software out there that will do this for you to name a few would be:

LCDC
Crystalfontz
LCD Smartie (My Favorite)

With these bits of software you can ask it do display many things providing you can configure it to use the parallel port. (Please see user documentation provided with your chosen software piece to configure software)

Hope you find it helpful, and give me some feedback on how it goes if you manage to do it

Phil

P.s This is my own version of the guide and not taken from anywhere else so i have sole copyright on it :D

*EDIT* pics to follow
 
Last edited:

jimbobjones

Registered
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Location
london uk
great guide for adding a lcd to your pc,the only problem being that i cant find a good download of LCDcenter the versions i have found have corupted cab files :( but i managed to use crystal fontz software to run the unit from parralel :)
 

Dc5e

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2003
Location
MA
you can try LCDSmartie, i forget what that can do but i remember i used it when i was testing my lcd out... except i never got to finishing my lcd.
 
OP
PHILIP1193

PHILIP1193

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Location
England
how does things like these actually get stickied??? Does a moderator have to see it and then decide to do it???? Or do i have to contact one???

I need more votes!!! :clap:

Phil
 

Cyrix_2k

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Location
Frederick, MD
PHILIP1193 said:
ill pm a mod and what i say?? i never doen this before!!

Phil
I don't know... I've never done it either. I guess you could say "Would you please check this [link] thread out and consider it for a sticky."
 

Cyrix_2k

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2003
Location
Frederick, MD
PHILIP1193 said:
shall i go to any old mod??

phil
I'd goto to SilverSinkSam, but any mod will be fine. Really, you should PM the mod of this section, but I don't think it matters all that much.
 
OP
PHILIP1193

PHILIP1193

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2004
Location
England
i went to a mod called mdcomp (first mod i found) and put:
i have posted aguide in the alternate modding section and want it made into a sticky and othe rpeople ahve voted sticky on it too can you do this please sticky this thread!!

Tell em what u think
Phil