Replace char. LCD with GLCD?

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We have a line of control systems designed 5+ years ago that use a 4x20 character LCD for display.
Newhaven NHD-0420E2Z-NSW-BBW or equivalent
http://www.newhavendisplay.com/n...

They have been reliable, aren't too costly, "big" as char LCDs go, nice contrast, reasonable backlight current, ...

But, just as with all of the ongoing "AVR vs. Cortex" threads, one cannot stand still forever. Gotta get a new look out there; a little "flash", ... ;)

So, you GCLD users: comment on feasibility, cost, power, micro resources needed, and related. Thanks.

Cost of above: About $20/$25 in qty. 50
Size: 146x62.5mm (module); 120x40mm viewing
Current draw negligible; backlight <200mA
4 line x 20 character. This line of controllers has typically four logical "systems" per controller, so the summary display has one-line per each.

4-bit interface. I use Ready and RW so 7 pins plus backlight control pin.

I'd think that if I would go to GLCD I'd want color, not monochrome. (that wouldn't buy me much app "flash" I wouldn't think) The graphics could add functionality, such as showing sampled parameters over the course of an operation cycle.

Viewing area now is 120x40mm or 4800 sq mm.

Newhaven NHD-320240WX-CoTFH 320x240 has a display area about the same: 80mm x 60mm. But it is $60, and not color.

So what can I get in modest quantities for $25-$50, reliable supply at those prices (not just a one-time-buy), widely supported controller, QVGA or better (hmmm--240x128 might be good enough), so called 3.5" diagonal or bigger, perhaps a drop-in of a bigger display for the fancy model, reasonable pin count, maybe serial (SPI?) interface as I've seen discussed here.

Driving from an AVR8 I think I'd want something with an onboard screen buffer, right?

No fancy graphics or the like are planned so screaming update frame rate isn't critical.

Is it too much to hope for to try to design-in GLCD today at the cost of char LCD 5 years ago?

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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I have been quite impressed with the ST7920 monochrome displays. They are pin-compatible with your 20x4 modules. They even behave as 16x4 HD44780 displays (almost). You can drive them as 128x64 GLCD or as a mix.

I like colour TFT displays. I would be wary of putting them in an industrial environment. You obviously use flash space for font(s) but graphics functions are not too costly.

Providing you can draw graphics, you don't need much flash. However a single hi-res photo uses more flash than any AVR possesses. So you would need external flash / microSD.

Most TFT controllers can be driven by SPI but are not always configurable on the commercial displays. The ST7920 can be bit, 4-bit or SPI.

David.

Last Edited: Thu. Jul 10, 2014 - 09:06 PM
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Part II for the same question: Many smaller apps use 2x8 char LCD for setup and display.

Hantronix HDM08216L-3-L30S or equivalent.
http://www.mouser.com/ProductDet...

$5-$10 each in modest quantities.

So, can a GCLD be found in the $10-$20 range to give a new-look and enhanced display on these smaller apps? Setup menus; status displays; and the like. 1.8" diagonal would be larger than the current display area...

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Yes, the OLED displays are low current and very bright. But are mostly monochrome. A typical 128x64 monochrome may or may not need a RAM shadow buffer. Fonts, graphics code etc.

David.

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Here's a complete Color LCD with driver board / frame buffer / interfaces, and touch screen for an extra $2.

http://www.buydisplay.com/defaul...

Quick Overview
ER-TFTM043-3 is 4.3" tft lcd module display with serial,spi,i2c and parallel interface,RA8875 controller,microsd card slot,font ic,flash chip.

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Xantor wrote:
...,font ic, ...
Another display series that uses a font chip is Newhaven Display's Multi-Font Displays; theirs is for a single color OLED instead of LCD.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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Quote:

Here's a complete Color LCD with driver board / frame buffer / interfaces, and touch screen for an extra $2.

http://www.buydisplay.com/defaul... ... pi-i2c-mcu

Quick Overview
ER-TFTM043-3 is 4.3" tft lcd module display with serial,spi,i2c and parallel interface,RA8875 controller,microsd card slot,font ic,flash chip.


Interesting. About $25 direct; I didn't click through to see what the shipping might be. Through eBay it is about $38 shipping included.

So a good sized display at a decent price. That controller indeed seems interesting to reduce load on the microcontroller. Not real mainstream (yet?). Adafruit has a module for it (without display, at nearly the same price as the buydisplays complete unit). Codevision hasn't seen fit to add it to its lineup of LCDvision-supported controllers.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Hi,

I've been using these latelly for our display related products and can't really complain. Libraries available, good colours and very cheap. A bit on the slow side though on refresh rates, but that's usually because I use a slow MCU (XMega) and not ARM. Maybe you can get better results with a cortex.

http://imall.iteadstudio.com/dis...

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Lee,
A colleague of mine ran into the same issue you have. His solution was not fancy, but it worked. He scouted ebay for new screens and at the same time looked up the part numbers on Alibaba. Once he had a couple of choices hey bit the bullet and purchased one or two pieces at the ebay price to evaluate, and when the decision was made, he then bought the bulk through Alibaba.

Like I said, not the most elegant way to do things, but he ended up paying about $7.00usd per screen, ordered 100 screens....color(or colour for David).

Out of curiosity doesn't Studio have some sort of graphics extension?

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Atmel Studio6.2/AS7, DipTrace, Quartus, MPLAB, RSLogix user

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Quote:

...bought the bulk ...

This line of controllers sells about one per week. Absolute last dollar isn't that important. However, in my mind I don't feel comfortable proposing replacing the ~$25 4x20 display solution with a $50++ solution, just to say "it now has colour graphics".

The controller that buydisplay and Adafruit uses, the RA8875, looks very interesting as it seems to have the features one would like to connect to an AVR8 app: Few-pin interface(s); frame buffer; graphics primitives; fonts; ...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-3-inch...
buydisplay says

Quote:
Controller RA8875 is much more powerful than SSD1963

http://www.adafruit.com/products...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Adafruit...
And Adafruit says:
Quote:
Have you gazed longingly at large TFT displays - you know what I'm talking about here, 4", 5" or 7" TFTs with up to 800x480 pixels. Then you look at your Arduino. You love your Arduino (you really do!) but there's no way it can control a display like that, one that requires 60Hz refresh and 4 MHz pixel clocking. Heck, it doesn't even have enough pins. I suppose you could move to ARM core processors with TTL display drivers built in but you've already got all these shields working and anyways you like small micros you've got.

What if I told you there was a driver chip that could fulfill those longings? A chip that can control up 800x480 displays, and heck, a resistive touchscreen as well. All you need to give up is 5 or so SPI pins. Would you even believe me? Well, sit down because this product may shock you.

The RA8875 is a powerful TFT driver chip. It is a perfect match for any chip that wants to draw on a big TFT screen but doesn't quite have the oomph (whether it be hardware or speed). Inside is 768KB of RAM, so it can buffer the display (and depending on the screen size also have double overlaying). The interface is SPI with a very basic register read/write method of communication (no strange and convoluted packets). The chip has a range of hardware-accelerated shapes such as lines, rectangles, triangles, ellipses, built in and round-rects. There is also a built in English/European font set (see the datasheet section 7-4-1 for the font table) This makes it possible to draw fast even over SPI.

The RA8875 can also handle standard 4-wire resistive touchscreens over the same SPI interface to save you pins. There's an IRQ pin that you ...

Hmmm--good point in the Adafruit driver board description. the current controller is a base 5V design, though there is 3.3V around for SD cards and such. Gotta look at the buydisplay board about that.

So, I have to convince myself that choosing RA8875 is a good choice--are there better choices of TFT controller out there? IIRC js and others here have worked with SPI TFT display modules with IL3xxx or IL4xxx or something like that which appear to be fairly widespread.

Apparently ILD93xxx? (and that is only for smaller displays?)

Quote:
The CodeVisionAVR C Compiler features a powerful graphic library for LCD, TFT and OLED displays with resolutions from 84x48 up to 800x480 pixels.
The following graphic display controllers are currently supported:
•
Ilitek ILI9325 for color TFT 240x320 pixels LCDs (only with Advanced license)
•
Ilitek ILI9340 for color TFT 240x320 pixels LCDs (only with Advanced license)
•
Ilitek ILI9341 for color TFT 240x320 pixels LCDs (only with Advanced license)
•
Samsung S6D1121 for color TFT 240x320 pixels LCDs
•
Solomon Systech SSD1289 for color TFT 240x320 pixels LCDs (only with Advanced license)
•
Solomon Systech SSD1963 for color TFT 320x240, 480x272, 800x480 pixels LCDs (only with Advanced license)
•
Solomon Systech SSD2119 for color TFT 320x240 pixels LCDs (only with Advanced license)
•
Solomon Systech SSD1303 OLED (only with Advanced license)
•
Solomon Systech SSD1322 OLED 128x64, 256x64 pixels (only with Advanced license)
•
Sino Wealth SH1101A OLED (only with Advanced license)
•
Samsung KS0108 (equivalent HD61202)
•
Epson SED1335 (equivalent RA8835)
•
Epson S1D13700
•
S-MOS SED1520 (equivalents NJU6450, PT6520)
•
Epson SED1530
•
Sunplus SPLC501C
•
Sitronix ST7565 in both parallel and serial modes
•
Sitronix ST7567 in both parallel and serial modes
•
Sitronix ST7920
•
UltraChip UC1608 240x128 pixels in 4-bit, 8-bit parallel and serial modes
•
UltraChip UC1701 in both parallel and serial modes
•
Toshiba T6963C
•
Philips PCD8544 (used in the LCDs of the Nokia 3310, 5110 phones)
•
DELCOMp XG7100 TFT LCDs (only with Advanced license).

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Quote:

•
Epson SED1335 (equivalent RA8835)

Hmmm--SED1335 is widespread. Now I have to figure out the difference between RA8835 and RA8875...

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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Lee,

I would be quite happy with a SPI or a 8-bit parallel.
The graphics library will work fine. It does not use that much flash. You might end up with a mega328 rather than a mega48. Oh, the Fonts with the EastRising board are pretty unpleasant. They look similar to the built-in fonts from a ST7920. However, you could use the font chip to store some photos.

I would worry more about a hazardous environment. But a ILI9341 SPI 2.2" display is only about $5 and looks very nice. If it dies, the module is easy to replace.

I have a CV library for it. Or you can use any number of public libraries.

David.

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Quote:

I would be quite happy with a SPI or a 8-bit parallel.
The graphics library will work fine.

You are losing me a bit. I guess you are referring to LCDvision? And which controller is your favourite? and why? ;)

Quote:

Oh, the Fonts with the EastRising board are pretty unpleasant.

Those would be the built-in fonts of the RA8875, wouldn't they? [see the Adafruit quote]

Quote:

But a ILI9341 SPI 2.2" display is only about $5 and looks very nice. If it dies, the module is easy to replace.


Now, something like that sounds like a good fit to spruce up my 2x8 apps...

Not much information in the eBay listings for that product (or apparently identical products, some of which are 20% cheaper...).

there liooks like a regulator on that display module. Does that imply "5V operation"? What about the SPI signals? (It sounds like you have used this module...)

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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jgmdesign wrote:
Out of curiosity doesn't Studio have some sort of graphics extension?
ASF-GFX
ASF also contains a lot of QTouch and a module for one maXTouch controller for a LCD plus projected cap touchscreen from PDA.
Drivers for larger maXTouch controllers are in Linux; used for SAM9 and SAMA5D3.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller

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I suppose that I am fondest of the ILI9341. It handles rotations better than others.

The module that I pointed to is 3.3V

There are cheap modules with level shifters e.g. Arduino Shield
Don't believe the Ebay text description. Look at the legends on the pcb photos.

That one will have an 8-bit parallel i/f and a ILI9325 or similar controller. By the time you have used the microSD, touchscreen and TFT, you have only got one pin left !

LCDVision is a Font generator/editor and is a separate application. It works fine.

I was referring to the regular CV library. This draws lines, circles, boxes, text, ...

Yes, I have used several TFT modules. And have CV libraries for them.

I suggest that you start with a convenient hardware setup. e.g. UNO + TFT shield or MEGA + TFT shield.
Then you can get familiar with the libraries.

Your eventual choice of hardware is not required until you have developed your look and feel for the app. There is an almighty range of controllers and interfaces. Not all combinations are covered by the existing CV libraries. But you can ask Pavel nicely.

David.

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Quote:

I suggest that you start with a convenient hardware setup. e.g. UNO + TFT shield or MEGA + TFT shield.
...

Your eventual choice of hardware is not required until you have developed your look and feel for the app.


Nah, I'll tack it right onto one of the existing controllers. :twisted:

The ones I have in mind already have SPI, and those with SD card already have 3V level shifting.

Quote:

Don't believe the Ebay text description. Look at the legends on the pcb photos.

I'd still like at least a >>one<< page "datasheet" with dimensions, controller info, pin description, supply V schematic, ... (Is the "D/C" pin Data/Command or Don't Connect, for example.)

Interestingly, 2.2" modules seem to be a hair more expensive than 1.8" modules. And even less information about controller and such.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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I have not come across a 240x320 1.8" module.
Most 1.8" modules are 128x160 and use a ST7735S
128x160 full-colour can look very smart.

And yes, that controller handles rotations ok.

Only you know your target applications and target market. You can get all the dimensions from the TFT manufacturers. And of course you can use the bare TFT screens with the micro flexi-ribbon.

I presume that you would use bare modules in a large product run.

However, I would not think of using TFT modules in dairy equipment that has a lot of steam cycles and cleaning chemicals. The TFT displays definitely look sexy but I would want them to be easily replaceable in the field. I can't see a fitter handling micro-ribbons!

D/C is Data/Command. Some call it RS Register-Select.

Oh, the penalty for going to cheapo Ebay vendors is that the descriptions are not always accurate. For example, controllers often change. However they tend to be 'similar'.

David.

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Quote:

Oh, the penalty for going to cheapo Ebay vendors is that the descriptions are not always accurate. For example, controllers often change.

Indeed. Yet it appears that to address one of my original aims, to be able to use GCLD at a reasonable price point (1x to 2x to about 3x ) compared to the existing char LCD cost, the "mainstream"/"conventional" vendors are higher priced compared to the HongKong/China direct.

I've ordered a small assortment for trials. More in a few weeks when I get them and try them out.

You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.

I've never met a pig I didn't like, as long as you have some salt and pepper.

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david.prentice wrote:
Yes, the OLED displays are low current and very bright. But are mostly monochrome.
Some OLEDs do use significant current, the brightness is good for interior use though are not daylight readable, but the contrast is excellent (much greater than a LCD).
The following color graphic OLEDs are a new arrival at a major US distributor:
Color OLEDs (Newhaven Display)
Has a sleep command to greatly reduce current.
Browse there for the Arduino source code.

"Dare to be naïve." - Buckminster Fuller