Figure 2. NKC RGB LCD Shield.
(Figure 1). SparkFun sells this for $40 and they have links
to libraries for it. One library is avr-gcc friendly C. The other
two are — as you can imagine — Arduino-based libraries
(Arduino calls expansion boards shields). The
Nokia displays 4096 colors and is a 128 x
128 pixel screen.
Of the two color LCD boards I played
with, this one has a slightly larger display
(1.2” square). The native avr-gcc library runs
faster than the Arduino ones, but the
Arduino libraries are quite usable regardless.
SparkFun also sells the LCD displays (Nokia
6100) individually, so you can build your own
boards using just the display and their
example schematics if you want. The
SparkFun board comes fully assembled with
three pushbuttons and a working backlight.
Look for it at www.sparkfun.com.
The other color LCD display I found was
also an Arduino shield — the NKC Electronics
RGB LCD Shield for Arduino 65K Color Kit
ARD-0065. This LCD display looks similar, but
is quite a bit different from the SparkFun
unit. The display is smaller (1” x 1”), there
are no surface-mount parts, and the unit
comes as a kit that needs to be assembled.
The price is $20 — which is cheaper — but
you have to build it. So, pick your poison.
This LCD display also has an Arduino library written for
it and it comes with a WAY more fancy demo program (see
Figure 2). There are no I/O buttons on this board, and it
too has a nice bright backlight. Maybe it was just the
demo, but the NKC board seemed to have brighter color. I’ll
have to play with them to see if this is really true. Like
SparkFun’s Nokia 6100 LCD, this display is 128 x 128 pixels.
Unlike the Nokia display the Phillips PCF8833 compatible
display, is a full 16-bit color device. NKC also sells just the
LCD display for your own designs.
I found both of these boards to be good looking and
easy to read. The SparkFun board comes pre-built with
buttons on it; the NKC board has to be built and has a
slightly smaller screen, but more colors and it’s cheaper.
They both work great, however.
Well everyone, have fun and keep building robots. I’ll
be back next month with an update on using optical mouse
sensors for navigation – I should be able to get that project
working at least! Until then, as usual, if you have any
questions for Mr. Roboto, feel free to email me at
email@example.com and I’ll be happy to try to
answer them! SV
16 SERVO 06.2011