Parallel Port LCD Cheap & Easy
-- Saturday, December 1, 2001 -- 12:55am
This little gadget is one of my favorite mod's of all
time. Plus a bonus is that you can get every thing you need for under
$25. You may have seen one before at a LAN party or in a case gallery at
some mod site, but you figured you would never be able to make one
yourself. Well never say never. In this article I'll show you,
step-by-step, how to hook up and output to your HD44780 controlled (or
equivalent) 20X4 LCD through your parallel port.
You can output any text you want to this unit. Of course
there are a few free programs that makes it easy to output info like
time, date, CPU and FSB speeds, memory usage, CPU and MoBo temps, all
your WinAMP info, IP address, disk space, headline news, network throughput,
game frag info, and way more stuff to list. Or, depending on your programming
skills just about anything you can think of.
Because of small wires and solder points decent soldering skills are required.
I was able to get this project up and running in about 3 hours
First off your going to need a LCD. The one I use in the
article is a 20x4 LCD with a HD44780 controller (I got the one with
the LED Backlight). I searched hi and low around my area to find a LCD,
not one place I went to had any. So I started searching the Internet.
I came across a few places so I'll share them with you. I'll start off
with where I got mine
I used a old printer cable I had laying around. It doesn't have
to be a expensive cable either, just a standard $5 cable. You can
get a standard printer cable cheap at allot of places. Try a flea
market, Big Lots store, or a odds and ends store. As a substitute
you can use a ribbon cable and a 25 pin parallel connector. Which
Can be bought at Radio Shack
10k Ohm (trimmer) Potentiometer....can be bought at RadioShack
100 Ohm (trimmer) Potentiometer....you're on your own if you plan
on getting it in your area. Radio shack doesn't carry anything that
small. You can get them at B.G. Micro. I substituted a 500 Ohm pot
in it's place.
You will also need solder, a soldering Iron, 18-22 gauge wire (a few feet will do), and a project box is optional.
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