RGB LCD Shield for Arduino 65K color KIT V2 Assembly Guide

January 2nd, 2011

The RGB LCD shield for Arduino 65K color KIT includes all the components to assemble a ready to use LCD shield for Arduino and compatible boards like Freeduino.

First the schematics:

The LCD module has a backlight made of 2 white LEDs that requiere approximate 9V with a max 19mA current to work.  As this voltage level is not available on the Arduino board, I used an ST232 RS232 driver to get 8V DC from the standard 5V Arduino power supply.  The backlight driver circuit now included in the main RGB LCD shield PCB.

The first step is to unpack the KIT.

It contains the following components:

1 x RGB LCD module

1 x RGB LCD shield PCB

1 x LCD module to PCB soldering adapter

1 x LM317T variable voltage regulator

2 x 10uF electrolytic capacitors

5 x 0.1uF ceramic capacitors

1 x 330 ohm resistor

1 x 430 ohm resistor

5 x 1Kohm resistors

5 x 1.3Kohm (1K3) resistors

1 x 28-pin male breakable header (you need to cut 2 8-pin sections, 2 6-pin sections)

1 x ST232 RS232 driver IC

1 x 110 ohm resistor

Let’s start with the main RGB LCD shield PCB.  The LCD module needs to be soldered first.  Separate the LCD module and a small green thin PCB used to attach the LCD module to the main black PCB.

Apply some solder in one of the pins of the LCD module, you can choose either pin 1 or pin 10 (pin 1 is the one to the right of the picture).

Once the solder is applied, place the small thin PCB and align the 10 pads to the 10 pads on the LCD module.  Heat the pin that has the solder to attach the small thin PCB (the adapter).  Once you are satisfied how it is aligned (make sure the pads are correctly aligned, to avoid shorting the pins), solder the rest of the pads.

Now it is time to solder the LCD module to the main black PCB.  The process is the same, apply some solder in one of the pins (1 or 10) and align the LCD module with the adapter to the 10 pads on the black PCB.  Solder all the pads.  Be careful to not add excessive solder to create shorts in the pads.

The LCD part is done.  We need to check for any short circuits before advancing in the assembly process.

Next we are going to solder the headers.  Cut the included 28-pin male header into 2 x 8-pin and 2 x 6-pin headers.  The picture shows a female 2×3 header that is not included and is not needed in the new version of the KIT.

Solder the pin headers and plug it into the Arduino (Freeduino, Seeeduino, *duino) board to check it is not causing any short to the main board.

Unplug the RGB LCD shield from the main board and let’s continue with the Power Supply (Voltage regulator).  This part of the circuit, takes 5V from Arduino and using the LM317 variable voltage regulator, generates 2.9V to supply the LCD module.  The components are: LM317T, 1 x 10uF electrolytic capacitor, 2 x 0.1uF ceramic capacitor, 1 x 430 ohm resistor and 1 x 330 ohm resistor.

Solder first the LM317 voltage regulator.  Then you can solder the 0.1uF ceramic capacitors C2 and C3.  Orientation is not important for the ceramic capacitors.  Then solder the 10uF electrolytic capacitor, negative leg to the left, positive (long) to the right.  Next you need to solder R12 430 ohm resistor (you can follow the guide in http://www.bpesolutions.com/atechnical/ResistorQV.pdf to calculate the resistor colors).  430 ohms is yellow, orange, brown.  Then solder R13 330 ohm resistor (orange, orange, brown).  The power supply section is complete.

This is how the board looks now with the power supply section ready

Plug the RGB LCD shield back into the main board and verify that there is no short circuit.

And make sure you get 2.9V from the voltage regulator following the next 2 pictures…

Next solder the 10 resistors used to create the logic level converter from 5V to 2.9V.  We will be using 5 x 1K and 5 x 1.3K (or 1K3) resistors.  1K resistors are coded brown, black, red and 1.3K resistors are coded brown, orange, red.

This is how the board looks with the voltage dividers (10 resistors) soldered.

Next we need to assemble the step-up circuit.  You need the MAX232 (or compatible) chip, 1 x 110ohm resistor (current limiting resistor for the LCD backlight), 1 x 10uF electrolytic and 3 x 0.1uF ceramic capacitors.

And this is how the complete assembled RGB LCD shield looks like

The final step is to insert the RGB LCD shield into the main board and run some tests

The sample code is self explanatory (You don’t need to mess with the setup code, just look for the piece of code that sends the characters to the screen, how the dots are turned on and off, etc.  I created 2 codes, one using digitalWrite() and another one using direct AVR I/O… I found the 2nd method to be almost 10 times faster, and drawing things on the screen, you can notice the difference in speed.

The sample codes are here:

Sample using digitalWrite()

Sample using direct AVR I/O

Click on the source code and copy the contento to Arduino, or download the .txt files and rename them as .pde

RGB LCD Shield for Arduino 65K color KIT Assembly Guide

April 16th, 2010

The RGB LCD shield for Arduino 65K color KIT includes all the components to assemble a ready to use LCD shield for Arduino and compatible boards like Freeduino.

First the schematics:

The LCD module has a backlight made of 2 white LEDs that requiere approximate 9V with a max 19mA current to work.  As this voltage level is not available on the Arduino board, I used an ST232 RS232 driver to get 8V DC from the standard 5V Arduino power supply.  The backlight driver circuit is in a separate board (yellow) that will be inserted on top of the RGB LCD shield PCB.

The first step is to unpack the KIT.  It contains the following components:

1 x RGB LCD module

1 x RGB LCD shield PCB

1 x LCD module to PCB soldering adapter

1 x LM317T variable voltage regulator

2 x 10uF electrolytic capacitors

5 x 0.1uF ceramic capacitors

1 x 330 ohm resistor

1 x 430 ohm resistor

5 x 1Kohm resistors

5 x 1.3Kohm (1K3) resistors

1 x 40-pin male breakable header (you need to cut 2 8-pin sections, 2 6-pin sections and 1 1-pin section)

1 x 2×3 long leg female pin header

1 x DC step up PCB (yellow)

1 x ST232 RS232 driver IC

1 x 110 ohm resistor

1 x 6-pin female header

1 x 2×3 pin female header

Let’s start with the main RGB LCD shield PCB.  The LCD module needs to be soldered first.  Separate the LCD module and a small green thin PCB used to attach the LCD module to the main black PCB.

Apply some solder in one of the pins of the LCD module, you can choose either pin 1 or pin 10 (pin 1 is the one to the right of the picture).

Once the solder is applied, place the small thin PCB and align the 10 pads to the 10 pads on the LCD module.  Heat the pin that has the solder to attach the small thin PCB (the adapter).  Once you are satisfied how it is aligned (make sure the pads are correctly aligned, to avoid shorting the pins), solder the rest of the pads.

Now it is time to solder the LCD module to the main black PCB.  The process is the same, apply some solder in one of the pins (1 or 10) and align the LCD module with the adapter to the 10 pads on the black PCB.  Solder all the pads.  Be careful to not add excessive solder to create shorts in the pads.

The LCD part is done.  Let’s continue with the Power Supply (Voltage regulator).  This part of the circuit, takes 5V from Arduino and using the LM317 variable voltage regulator, generates 2.9V to supply the LCD module.  The components are: LM317T, 1 x 10uF electrolytic capacitor, 2 x 0.1uF ceramic capacitor, 1 x 430 ohm resistor and 1 x 330 ohm resistor.

Solder first the LM317 voltage regulator.  Then you can solder the 0.1uF ceramic capacitors C2 and C3.  Orientation is not important for the ceramic capacitors.  Then solder the 10uF electrolytic capacitor, negative leg to the left, positive (long) to the right.  Next you need to solder R12 430 ohm resistor (you can follow the guide in http://www.bpesolutions.com/atechnical/ResistorQV.pdf to calculate the resistor colors).  430 ohms is yellow, orange, brown.  Then solder R13 330 ohm resistor (orange, orange, brown).  The power supply section is complete.

This is how the board looks now with the power supply section ready

Next solder the 10 resistors used to create the logic level converter from 5V to 2.9V.  We will be using 5 x 1K and 5 x 1.3K (or 1K3) resistors.  1K resistors are coded brown, black, red and 1.3K resistors are coded brown, orange, red.

This is how the board looks with the voltage dividers (10 resistors) soldered.

The next step is to solder the headers.  You need to break the 40-pin male header into 2 8-pin section, 2 6-pin section and 1 1-pin section (just grab 1 pin and twist it until it breaks).

Solder the pin headers.  The male headers are inserted from the bottom of the PCB to the top.  Once soldered, you need to plug this shield to the Arduino board, so you need the long side of the pin header going downwards.  The 2×3 female header is soldered backwards, also from the bottom of the PCB to the top, but long leg first.  You will also apply solder on the top side of the PCB.  Remember that the ICSP pin header on the Arduino board is male, while all the other headers are female.  The 6-pin headers are not easy to insert, as the holes are not aligned on purpose to make them fit better.  Push this headers all the way in.  You will notice slight bending of the pins, but it is ok.  It will make the shield fit tighter on the Arduino board.

It is easier to know how all the headers go if you look at the picture of the finished board.

The last pin you need to solder on the main black PCB is the 1-pin header.  It goes on the left pad of R11.  You can see R11 is empty.

Next step is to assemble the DC step up converter.  This little yellow board converts 5V from the Arduino board to approx 8V.  It is enough to drive the white LED backlight.

I was looking for a “true” step-up converter, but they are packaged in tiny tiny devices, almost impossible to solder.  So I realized that the ST232 with a couple of capacitors can generate 7-12V (even negative!), and they are cheaper than “true” step-up converters and needs less external components, so I tested this circuit and it worked just fine.  Added a 10uF capacitor to filter the 8V output.  This 8V goes to the Anode of the LCD backlight, but through a current limiting 110 ohm resistor.  This tiny board is very easy to assemble, just insert all the components (ST232 chip, 1 6-pin female header, 1 2×3 female header, 3 x 0.1uF ceramic caps, 1 x 10uF electrolytic cap, 110 ohm resistor).

And here is the board assembled.  This tiny board must be inserted in the RGB LCD shield board by using the ICSP header and one of the 6-pin female headers.  Remember the 1-pin header that you soldered on the left pin of R11?  OK, you need to align the 2nd pin from the left of this tiny board to the 1-pin header on the main board.  The 6-pin header, viewed from the top, has the following pinout: [GND] [8V] [GND] [GND] [5V] [GND].  [8V] pin must be inserted in the 1-pin header on the main board.  The GND comes from the ICSP header.

And this is how everything looks when the tiny board (step-up converter) is inserted, the board is plugged to USB and you upload the sample sketch to the Arduino board.

The sample code is self explanatory (You don’t need to mess with the setup code, just look for the piece of code that sends the characters to the screen, how the dots are turned on and off, etc.  I created 2 codes, one using digitalWrite() and another one using direct AVR I/O… I found the 2nd method to be almost 10 times faster, and drawing things on the screen, you can notice the difference in speed.

The sample codes are here:

Sample using digitalWrite()

Sample using direct AVR I/O

NKC Ethernet Shield for Arduino Assembly Guide

April 22nd, 2009

This is the assembly guide for the NKC Ethernet Shield for Arduino DIY KIT.

This shield is based on the WIZ812MJ module and shares the same W5100 TCP/IP chip with the official Arduino Ethernet Shield, making it 100% compatible. The current Arduino Ethernet Shield doesn’t work with the Arduino MEGA (a hack is possible, but some wiring is needed, as well as a small modification to the Ethernet library code). The NKC shield was designed to avoid this extra wiring and make it physically work with both the Arduino boards (and all its derivatives) and the Arduino MEGA board.

The KIT (purchase) comes with all the components, as shown in the next picture:

kit

Start by opening the plastic poach and removing all the components on the table. Select the PCB, the 3.3V voltage regulator (TO-220 format) and the 2 x 100uF electrolytic capacitors.

Solder these components, make sure that the capacitors are correctly oriented, as they are polarized (long leg is positive, short leg negative. Also negative has a band on the capacitor body).

kit

Next proceed with the LEDs, resistors and tactile switch. The switch is for resetting both the Arduino board and the Ethernet shield. The red LED is for LED13, the same LED13 that you have in your Arduino board is available on the Shield, as it indicates SPI activity. The 2 blue LEDs are for the Ethernet TX and RX activity indicators. The resistors are for limiting the current to these LEDs.

kit

Now solder the 4 2×5 female sockets. Before applying solder, make sure they are correctly aligned.

kit

It is time to solder the long legged pin headers: 2 x 8-pin, 2 x 6-pin and 1 x 2×3-pin (this one goes upside down!). There is also a 4-pin male header and a jumper or shunt.

kit

The shield is ready. Plug the jumper in “Duemilanove” position (1-2). Insert the WIZ812MJ module as shown:

kit

kit

This is how it looks, mounted on a Freeduino board (Arduino diecimila, duemilanove, seeeduino, etc):

kit

and the next step is to open the Arduino IDE, load some Ethernet library based sketch and enjoy your new Ethernet Shield.

If you have the Arduino MEGA board

This is how it looks:

kit

You can keep the jumper in the Duemilanove setting.

kit

1. Locate spi.h file (it is located under Arduino installation directory –> hardware –> libraries –> Ethernet –> utility)
2. Rename it as spi_orig.h
3. Download spiMEGA.h
4. Rename spiMEGA.h as spi.h
5. Delete all .o files from utility and Ethernet directories
6. Start the Arduino IDE
7. Load or program your Ethernet Library based shield
8. Compile –> upload sketch to the MEGA –> and Voila!!!
9. Enjoy your Arduino board connected to the NET

The jumper in MEGA position, together with the last pin (4) on the 4-pin male header, is when you cannot keep the SS signal (SPI) on Digital pin 10 and need to move it to the default position, which is digital pin 53 on the MEGA.

If this is the case, then download a different spi.h file named spiMEGAold.h, place the jumper in MEGA (2-3) position, and connect a wire from pin 4 on the Shield to digital pinn 53 on the MEGA:

kit

kit

STM32 Primer I/O header hack

April 13th, 2009

The STM32 primer is an excellent tool to start playing with the Cortex-M3 based STM32 microcontrollers. The STM32 Primer features an STM3210B microcontroller (128 Kbytes Flash) USB connector, 128×128 color LCD, MEMS sensor, IrDA connector footprint, buzzer, LEDs and push button.

It also has a solder footprint (2mm spaced) with some communication signals exposed. I created this weblog to document how this extension port can be used.

It is located next to the rechargeable batteries:

location

I extracted the pinout from the schematics:

J1headerschematics
stm3200schematics

and the pinout is as follows:

hack

Some signals are already used by the included peripherals, like the accelerometer. Please, verify the complete schematics available here (You need to register to access the resources documents).

You can solder some wires to the footprint pins or you can solder a 2mm pin header, male or female. I have the 2×12 2mm female header (purchase), so I used it to create a socket for this hack. The socket is a through-hole component, so I bended the pins outwards to solder it as an SMD socket.

socket

Arduino Ethernet Shield MEGA hack

April 6th, 2009

The Arduino MEGA was announced officially on March 26th, 2009. The MEGA kept the odd pin header spacing to make it compatible with most Arduino shields. But unfortunately, some pins had to be moved and this movement made some shields that use SPI incompatible. One of the most popular shields, the Arduino Ethernet shield is one of the incompatible shields, as it relies on SPI for Arduino to Ethernet communication. The good news is that it is possible to make it work with the MEGA and here is the procedure:

Ingredients

  • Arduino MEGA board
  • Arduino Ethernet shield
  • 4 x male2male jumper wires
ingredients

ingredients

First the Hardware hack

The SPI signals SCK, MISO, MOSI and SS are located in pins 13, 12, 11 and 10 on the Arduino Diecimila/Duemilanove or compatible boards like freeduino and seeeduino.
These signals moved to pins 52, 50, 51 and 53 on the Arduino MEGA.
Signals SCK, MISO and MOSI are available in the ICSP 2×3 pin header also, but signal SS is missing from this header, and only available on pin 53.

As the Arduino Ethernet shield expects to get these signals from pins 13 to 10, we need to re-wire them to pins 50 to 53.

First, we need to disconnect pins 13 to 10 in the Arduino Ethernet Shield:

these4pins

these4pins

Bend them slightly to the outside:

these4pinsside

these4pinsside

And plug the Arduino Ethernet shield to the Arduino MEGA, so these 4 pins remains unplugged:

plug

plug

Now, how are we going to get the SPI signals? From pins 50 to 53… following the next mapping:

MEGA pin 50 (MISO) to Arduino Ethernet Shield pin 12.
MEGA pin 51 (MOSI) to Arduino Ethernet Shield pin 11.
MEGA pin 52 (SCK) to Arduino Ethernet Shield pin 13.
MEGA pin 53 (SS) to Arduino Ethernet Shield pin 10.

wires1

wires1

wires2

wires2

wires3

wires3

Now the Hardware hack is complete, but there is one more change we need to do, as the original Ethernet Library included with the Arduino IDE has hardcoded the SPI signals. We need to change these hardcoded signals to match the new position in the Arduino MEGA.

Software Hack

Locate the file spi.h in the hardware/libraries/Ethernet/utility directory, under your Arduino 0015 installation.

Find and replace the following 5 lines:


#define SPI0_SS_BIT BIT2
...
#define SPI0_SCLK_BIT BIT5
...
#define SPI0_MOSI_BIT BIT3
...
#define SPI0_MISO_BIT BIT4
...
#define IINCHIP_CS_BIT BIT2

and replace them with this code:


#define SPI0_SS_BIT BIT0
...
#define SPI0_SCLK_BIT BIT1
...
#define SPI0_MOSI_BIT BIT2
...
#define SPI0_MISO_BIT BIT3
...
#define IINCHIP_CS_BIT BIT0

These 5 lines are in a non-consecutive order in the spi.h file.

After you save the edited spi.h file, remove all .o files in the utility and Ethernet directory.

Open the Arduino 0015 IDE (The Arduino MEGA requires Arduino 0015), and load your preferred Ethernet sketch or try this example that I use (You need to change the IP address to reflect the values in your network):

#include <Ethernet.h>

byte mac[] = { 0xDE, 0xAD, 0xBE, 0xEF, 0xFE, 0xED };
byte ip[] = { 192, 168, 1, 50 }; // Change this parameters to reflect your network values
byte server[] = { 64, 233, 187, 99 }; // Google

Client client(server, 80);

void setup()
{
Ethernet.begin(mac, ip);
Serial.begin(9600);

delay(1000);

Serial.println("connecting...");

if (client.connect()) {
Serial.println("connected");
client.println("GET /search?q=arduino HTTP/1.0");
client.println();
} else {
Serial.println("connection failed");
}
}

void loop()
{
if (client.available()) {
char c = client.read();
Serial.print(c);
}

if (!client.connected()) {
Serial.println();
Serial.println("disconnecting.");
client.stop();
for(;;)
;
}
}

Compile and upload the sketch. Activate the Serial Monitor, set baud to 9600 and you should see the Google search result, in html format, like in the following screen capture:

ide

ide

And the complete hack while getting information from Google:

working

working

This concludes the Arduino Ethernet Shield MEGA hack.

You can purchase the Arduino MEGA here and the Arduino Ethernet Shield here

April 14th, 2009 UPDATE
The previous hack requires moving 4 signals: SCK, MOSI, MISO and SS. As SS is used by AVR only when working SPI in SLAVE mode, I decided to try a new simpler hack, and move only 3 signals: SCK, MOSI and MISO, and use digital pin 10 as SS. This way, only 3 pins need to be bended: 13, 12 and 11.

At the beginning this seemed to be a simple modification to the original hack, but mysteriously it didn’t work. Assigning SPI0_SS_BIT and IINCHIP_CS_BIT to BIT4 (corresponding to digital pin 10 on the Arduino MEGA), the Arduino Ethernet shield couldn’t be initialized, so the sketch didn’t work (It never returned from Ethernet.begin()). After doing some research, I found that the SS pin is also used when setting AVR in SPI master mode, but only before setting bit 4 of register SPCR (Master mode) required this pin SS to be HIGH. So I tricked some more code to make it work (force SS HIGH before setting bit 4 in SPCR register to HIGH).

Hardware hack

Follow hardware hack instructions above, but only bend pins 13, 12 and 11. Wire the pins as instructed, except for the 4th wire from Arduino MEGA pin 53 to Ethernet Shield pin 10 (as this pin is not bended in this new hack).

Software hack

Forget all the changes suggested above, and follow this new changes:
Find and replace the following 6 lines:


#define SPI0_SS_BIT BIT2
...
#define SPI0_SCLK_BIT BIT5
...
#define SPI0_MOSI_BIT BIT3
...
#define SPI0_MISO_BIT BIT4
...
#define IINCHIP_CS_BIT BIT2
...
PORTB |= SPI0_SS_BIT; PORTB &= ~(SPI0_SCLK_BIT|SPI0_MOSI_BIT);\

and replace them with this code:


#define SPI0_SS_BIT BIT4
...
#define SPI0_SCLK_BIT BIT1
...
#define SPI0_MOSI_BIT BIT2
...
#define SPI0_MISO_BIT BIT3
...
#define IINCHIP_CS_BIT BIT4
...
PORTB |= SPI0_SS_BIT | BIT0; PORTB &= ~(SPI0_SCLK_BIT|SPI0_MOSI_BIT);\

By adding BIT0, we force pin SS to be HIGH when the SPCR register is set for AVR to behave like SPI master device.

I hope you find the new addition simpler to execute than the original hack.