close up of 2 by 16 lcd module This is the final result, having the LCD display the text you want to.



HD44780 info

Great articles  re: LCD

The LCD shown here

Using  two wires to control LCD




The image on the left shows the curcuit I used to control the LCD. Note I've used a PICAXE Microcontroller so you only need the PC to program the PICAXE then you can disconnect the PC completely



If a messy desk is a symptom of a messy mind, then I prefer to have a messy desk rather than an empty one!



I used a standard non-backlit Ampire 162B LCD module that I purchased from Dick Smith Electronics (~A$20). If you want backlighting then you'll need the backlit version which costs A$10 extra.

This particular LCD is HD44780 compatible so there is lots of information available about it. Note, this LCD module has a firmware driver but no serial controller. This means you will need to feed it 'nibbles' (half a byte) to tell it what to do. You can see in the photos that I have connected four orange wires on the right these communicate the nibbles from the chip to the LCD. The wire on the left are power (left two) and control (next three)



I have now made up a prototype board with the same curcuit as above.

LCD close up

The connector I used for the LCD was a "66" 12 pin SIL from Dick Smith (cost $2.98)
You can see here that I'm using the PICAXE 18X to drive the LCD. I still have a 10K pot (in blue) to control contrast. I also have installed a stereo socket to allow new software to be "downloaded" to the PICAXE and to allow other modules to feed info to the LCD. Since the 18X happily consumes serial input you can just send serial text and it will display on the LCD



Another shot, shows the 4xAA power supply. (Note the case under the LCD is only for support and not power)