The simpler USB2LCD

USB LCD interfaces aren’t new around here. [John] sent this latest one. It uses a single ATMega chip and a few cheap components to implement the whole thing. The venerable HD44780 compatible is the text LCD of choice.

I’m on vacation at the moment, but I’ll start putting up some Hack-A-Day design challenge entries pretty soon.

11 thoughts on “The simpler USB2LCD

  1. avrfreaks ( http://www.avrfreaks.net/ ) is the site everybody recommends, but I’ve never really gotten into that site. Get datasheets and stuff from atmel’s own website. GCC+GAS compiles fine as an avr cross-compiler and cross-assembler/linker (if you’re under windows it’s probably easier to find a precompiled binary somewhere though). Avrdude, uavrisp and ponyprog are common loader programs, and you can get programmers and prototyping boards from places like sparkfun and olimex, or just wire some up yourself if you feel like it. At least one guy from Atmel hangs out on comp.arch.embedded and will sometimes answer your more abstruse questions.

  2. hmm, it seems(?) that this isn’t compatible with most lcd programs available on the net, but it looks really cool.

    just a suggestion, might it be easier to use a pic with onboard usb (like http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=231 ) to reduce the components list, or use a normal pic or avr and a FTDI chip (like the design you also linked to) to do the uart to usb conversion, which i believe now has most of the components except for a couple of capacitors built-in to it.
    i guess I know how to do it hardware-wise, but software-wise is beyond me (not to mention that i really hate c and assembler)

  3. Pretty neat – I haven’t seen USB done in software only. Still, I’d agree with tyler – PICs have a nice USB framework, including demo software that acts like a serial port. It’s easy to hack up.

  4. oh come on. what more beautiful hack could you imagine than software usb? why pay for a hardware usb module in a pic or separate chip when you can do it in software AND comply with the specification? tyler, what do you program microcontrollers in? basic?

  5. Ret:
    the link in #2 has compilers for ASM, BASIC, C and PASCAL. So the technical answer would be, Yes. Although C would most likely have the greatest flexibility, likely having the most available libraries already available.

  6. I built a couple of these and they work great! I can recomend I built a couple of these and they work great! I can recommend this project for anyone who wants a really cheap USB-LCD connection. You can find the mega8 controller VERY cheap on Ebay if you look around for a while and buy like 20 of them. I got them for 1 euro each in that quantity a while back. The whole interface will cost you less than 3 euro :)

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