Say what you will about the Arduino platform but there certainly are a ton of libraries one can choose from. That is precisely what [Dan Julio] set out to do when building his slick looking 4 channel temperature monitor. The monitor consists of an Arduino RBBB, 2×16 character LCD and four DS18B20 1-wire digital thermometers. [Dan] also includes a bluesmirf to interface with an OS X monitoring program. Using libraries for the Bluetooth, LCD, and temperature monitors the Arduino code is only about 200 lines, and pretty easy to follow. Check out more at [Dan]’s site.
If you’d like more temperature sensor projects check out this mug or this PIC based monitor or perhaps you’d like to keep it in the Atmel family.
Circuits@Home have managed to host a USB keyboard with an Arduino and display the keyboard inputs on a character LCD. This uses the USB host shield we covered in August. That host shield includes a MAX3421 which is used here to drive the character LCD.
The control code for the keyboard ends up being fairly simple. The keyboard is polled for entries. The HID input is then examined and converted to ASCII codes for use with the LCD screen. This could make for an excellent controller or debugger for embedded systems. The Arduino, shield, and LCD could be integrated into the keyboard itself with an I/O port for connecting to your project. Commands can be typed out and sent through the I/O port when enter is pressed, with feedback displayed on the screen.
The example code provided with this project lays out the framework for hosting peripherals. We’re looking forward to more projects, and code libraries that take advantage of this new functionality.
Futaba makes vacuum florescent character displays that can be used as a drop-in replacement for common character LCDs. VFDs have a wider viewing angle, and generally look cooler.
Futaba’s character displays can be interfaced using the standard 8-bit or 4-bit parallel LCD interface, or a simple two-wire protocol. The protocol type is set by resistors on the back of the display, so it’s not particularly easy to change without a hot-air rework station. Today we’ll demonstrate a serially-interfaced VFD using the Bus Pirate.
Continue reading “Parts: 4×20 VFD character display (NA204SD02)”