Part 4 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Pin configuration

November 17, 2013 2 comments

In the previous part, we saw how to instruction set works and how the different pins fit together to make the GLCD work. In this part, we’ll pick a particular microcontroller and try to work out how to configure the pins.

The JHD12864E works in a parallel mode. By parallel, I mean that the data is passed in one shot which is by the data pins D0-D7 on the display. There are other GLCDs which pass data in serial i.e. one instruction at a time. In this case, we don’t need so many pins but there will be other considerations that we will need to … uh … consider.

Read more…

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Part 7 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Porting an image to a 128×64 monochrome display

November 4, 2013 1 comment

Now that you’ve got the GLCD up and running and probably tried a few things, you’d like to put a picture of your cat on the display and see if he/she can recognise it right? It’s okay, you can admit it, I’m not judging.

This can be broken down into 2 steps:

1. Convert an existing image into a 1-bit black or white bitmap (BMP) image

2. Convert the bitmap from the previous step into an array for use with your microcontroller

Step 1 – Convert an existing image into a 1-bit black or white bitmap (BMP) image

Read more…

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Part 3 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Passing instructions

November 4, 2013 3 comments

This part explains how to pass instructions/commands to the GLCD. On a high level, these are the steps:

  1. Select the GLCD half-section
  2. Put the Enable Pin LOW
  3. Put RS, RW and Data pins HIGH or LOW based on your command
  4. Put the Enable Pin HIGH
  5. Wait 2 milliseconds
  6. Put the Enable Pin LOW
  7. Wait 2 milliseconds
  8. GLCD responds

And you’re done! Easy-peasy!

Well, not quite. Let’s look into each of these steps in a little more detail. Here’s an image from the last part for quick reference:

Read more…

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Part 2 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Screen resolution and locating pixels

November 4, 2013 3 comments

The GLCD has a 128×64 resolution. This equals about 8192 individual pixels that you can control as you wish. But how is this done? Let’s see how we reach a particular pixel on the screen.

The LCD screen is actually divided into 2 halves with one KS0108 IC for each half. Each KS0108 IC has the ability to control 64×64 pixels, so both of them side-by-side should be able to give you the complete resolution of 128×64. So, by choosing which one of the two ICs, you can narrow your pixel down to one of the two halves.

Next, each half containing 64×64 pixels has an addressing scheme using the Y address and X address as follows. Lets start with the columns. Each half has 64 columns numbered from 0 to 63. Straightforward enough, not too much to get confused about, each column is addressed using the Y address which ranges from 0 to 63. Read more…

Part 1 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – JHD12864E (KS0108 family)

November 4, 2013 2 comments

The GLCD (Graphics LCD) display that I’ll be using in this series is the JHD12864E. Here’s a picture of what it looks like (image stolen from http://extremeelectronics.co.in):

clip_image001

It’s a fairly standard 128×64 pixels display with a backlight. The part number aside, what really matters is the IC driver that is used in this display. The datasheet shows (more on this in a few mins) that it uses the S6B0108 display driver. After looking around on the net, I realised that this is similar to the KS0108 family display driver. So the general method of operation should be similar to the KS0108 but with a few minor differences here and there. Read more…

Intro – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display

November 4, 2013 11 comments

This is going to be a mini-series on how to get started with a 128×64 LCD display. I’ll be going through all the steps that are involved in getting one of these damned things to work and I’ll post links and references wherever necessary.

“But”, you argue, “why do I need to learn this stuff? I can just whip out my Arduino and use the GLCD library and be just as cool!” Well, definitely. The purpose of doing this is not to be “cool”, but to gain an understanding into how this works and what kinds of problems you may face when working on something like this.

I won’t go too much into the pros and cons of which is a better approach. Obviously, libraries are there for a reason and if you’re using a specific development platform/board (Arduino, EasyPic) or a specific compiler for a certain project (AVR-GCC, MikroC, XC8) and you’re on a deadline and have a fairly straightforward task to accomplish, you should go ahead with that.

On the other hand, if LCD.Write(“Hello, World!”) doesn’t cut it anymore and you want to have complete control on a pixel to pixel basis, and/or be able to churn out your own library for a specific microcontroller that you’re currently using (8051, PIC, AVR, MSP) then you should read these series of posts.

On the whole, I will try to keep this series largely microcontroller agnostic. You should be able to read whatever is given here and transfer the learning to any microcontroller or development platform with a small amount of effort.

But for the sake of demonstration, I will be using a PIC16F886 microcontroller here. I have used both AVR and PIC and they’re both excellent microcontrollers in terms of performance, price and availability. But I’m going with a PIC here because I’m trying to learn more about these microcontrollers.

Here’s the table of contents. I will keep updating the links as I push content out:

  1. Intro – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display
  2. Part 1 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – JHD12864E (KS0108 family)
  3. Part 2 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Screen resolution and locating pixels
  4. Part 3 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Passing instructions
  5. Part 4 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Pin configuration
  6. Part 5 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Putting it together
  7. Part 6 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Hello World!
  8. Part 7 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Porting a bitmap to the GLCD
  9. Part 8 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Fonts! Fonts! Fonts!
  10. Part 9 – Getting started with a 128×64 Graphics LCD Display – Pitfalls, debugging and troubleshooting

Android and Arduino Serial Bluetooth App – BlueSerial

June 16, 2013 8 comments

I’ve finally been able to figure out the entire Bluetooth API of Android and I felt it was more difficult than writing Arduino code in Assembly. In it’s current avatar, I think it’s ready for a Beta release. Based on the feedback I receive, I’ll make a few changes and release the code and put it on the Android Play Store (for which I still need to register a developer account).

A quick how-to about the app – The app can be used to communicate with serial (RX-TX/UART) bluetooth devices. This largely includes devices that are used to control microcontrollers and other electronic projects which use bluetooth to send and receive information. I developed this app to use with a bluetooth enabled robot that I had been dying to build for quite some time now. I think it’s pretty self-explanatory and if it’s not, then I need to work a bit more on it. Read more…

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