Choose The Best Display For Your Arduino Project

Have you ever been unsure which display you should be using in your next project? This tutorial from educ8s.tv will come in handy for choosing the best display for your each and every Arduino project!

There are lots of choices, so let’s talk about each one of them. Basically, you have three types of displays: LCD displays, OLED displays, and E-paper displays.

LCD displays: LCD (liquid crystal display) is the technology used for displays in notebook and other smaller computers. Like light-emitting diode (LED) and gas-plasma technologies, LCDs allow displays to be much thinner than cathode ray tube (CRT) technology. LCD display is a flat-panel display or other electronic visual display that uses the light-modulating properties of liquid crystals.

One of the famous LCD displays is Nokia 5110 LCD display, a basic graphic LCD screen for lots of applications. It was originally intended for as a cell phone screen.

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Its controller is a low power CMOS LCD controller which makes it a good choice for low-consumption projects. It uses only 0.4mA when it is on and less than 0.06mA when in sleep mode. You have to use this library and you don’t need more than 8 wires to start using this display. This tutorial video will show you with details how to use Nokia 5110 LCD with Arduino:

A second choice is the OLED displays. OLED is an organic light emitting diode in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current. An OLED display works without a backlight; it can display deep black levels and can be thinner and lighter than a liquid crystal display. Thus, it is provides better contrast than the LCD choice but it becomes a bit more expensive.

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One of the newest OLED displays is the color SSD1331 display that can display 65.000 colors. Just download its library from Adafruit and start using it. A video explaining how to use it is available here.

The last type is E-paper displays, that mimic the appearance of ordinary ink on paper.

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Unlike LCD or OLED displays, these displays reflect light instead of emitting it. Such displays are great for low power projects since they have the ability to keep the text or the image you had set before for a really long time and without electricity. One of these displays disadvantages that they are absolutely costly compared with other choices, some displays can reach $60!

Color TFT Display ST7735, White OLED Display SSD1306 and 3.5″ Color TFT Display are all mentioned in the tutorial. You should check it out for more details, information, and some hardware offers.

The tutorial concludes with this interactive table based on different criteria, this is ordered progressively by price. You can compare between displays here.

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Here is a TI offer that you may be interested in. You get 10% off all TI tools + free standard shipping when you buy from the TI store through OEMSecrets comparison tool. Use code CYBERWEEK at checkout on the Ti store.

10% off all TI tools + free standard shipping on TI Store – [Link]

8 PIN PIC Development Board – PIC12F683

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8 PIN SMD PIC development board is a full-featured development board and platform for 8-bit PIC® microcontrollers. This project is a versatile development solution, featuring several options for external sensors, off-board communication and human interface. Additionally, it offers ample room for expansion, making it an excellent solution for developers and engineers looking for a PIC development board. The 8 Pin SO8-SMD PIC Development / Evaluations Board demonstrates the capabilities of Microchip’s 8-bit microcontrollers, specifically, It can be used as a standalone demonstration board with a programmed part. With this board you can develop and prototype with all Microchip’s 8 PIN PIC microcontrollers which doesn’t required crystals (External Oscillator). On board connector for ICSP allows an easy programming. The board has configurable pull ups on all pins can be soldered or abandon as per requirement, All pins has solder Jumpers for pull down.  Onboard 5V regulator, two tact switch, one output connector to interface with 12V Relay board or solid state AC or DC Relay. Board has small prototype area. We have considered PIC12F683 IC for this Board.

8 PIN PIC Development Board – PIC12F683 – [Link]

Temperature alarm for boiling milk

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Domen Ipavec shares his temperature alarm for boiling milk. Temperature alarm uses an Atmel attiny841 microcontroller, DS18B20 high temperature waterproof temperature sensor from adafruit, 2×16 HD44780 LCD and a buzzer to do its job.

Anyone who has ever boiled milk on the stove knows, that it has a nasty habit of overflowing. That is why I created the temperature alarm for boiling milk to be used my mother. It continuously measures the temperature of the milk and sounds an alarm when the temperature is over the preset alarm value.

Temperature alarm for boiling milk – [Link]

FiPy, The Future IoT Module

The hardware startup Pycom have been working hard to create a fast-develop-and-connect hardware portfolio, a portal and gathered enough developer manpower to unleash the IoT growth potential. Pycom has just launched its newest product: FiPy!

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FiPy is the new IoT module that connects your device to other networks. According to what the company describes, it is the most comprehensive solution, unifying LTE with other proprietary or unlicensed LPWA technologies into a single, five-network IoT connectivity solution.

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“In addition to WiFi, BLE, LoRa and Sigfox, we’ve added the latest cellular technology for IoT: LTE-M. But, we didn’t just go for one frequency type either. Nope, we partnered with the leaders in their field, Sequans, and are now proud to confirm that our module will have both CAT NB1 and CAT M1.”

The board specifications

  • ESP32-based – Espressif ESP32 SoC
  • Dual processor and WiFi+Bluetooth radio system on chip
  • Supports 5 networks: WiFi, BLE, cellular LTE-CATM1/M2(NBIoT), LoRa, and Sigfox
  • RTC running @ 32KHz
  • Size: 55 x 20 x 3.5 mm
  • Micropython enabled
  • Pymakr and Pymate compatible
  • All your apps from WiPy, LoPy and SiPy will work on FiPy too
  • Open source firmware

Pycom is redefining IoT with this brand new module! FiPy gives access to all the world’s LPWAN networks on one tiny board. It is now live on Kickstarter, check the campaign video:

You can pre-order your FiPy now for $39, the campaign still has 23 days to go and it has already achieved double of its goal. More information about FiPy plus its sensors and accessories check the crowdfunding campaign and the official website.

Dual Screen Netatmo Weather Station

Netatmo Weather Station is a module that measures your indoor comfort by providing vital information such as temperature, humidity, air quality, and CO2, alerting you when you need to air out your home to bring down its pollution levels.

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One of the Netatmo limitations is that you need to use a smartphone to view the collected information by the station. To solve this, Barzok had developed an Arduino-based screen to display the weather data remotely, and published a full guide to build it in this instructable.

Barzok’s first attempt was a stand-alone device inside weather station using an Arduino UNO, a real time clock, a temperature and pressure sensor, and a 2.8” screen. It displays the time, pressure history over the past 6 days, and temperature as digits and as a gauge bar.

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The next experiment was connecting the Arduino UNO with Netatmo API through an Ethernet shield and displaying the data on the screen. The connection was the difficult part as the Arduino was not powerful enough to establish an HTTPS connection and receive valuable information from Netatmo servers.

The solution uses a PHP client on a web server, which connects with Netatmo servers, and then the Arduino retrieves the data using the standard HTTP.

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The final version of the station consists of an Arduino Mega, two 2.8” inches screens, and an ESP8266 Wifi module. There is no limit of the Arduino type and screen size, you can use your model with minor changes of the code. Barzok also made a custom circuit that transforms the 9V input voltage into a 5V to power the Arduino and 3.3V to power the ESP8266.

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The diagram presents the process, the Netatmo module gathers the weather information and uploads them to the Netatmo servers. Then a PHP application runs on remote server and retrieves the information from the Netatmo servers and turns it into simple text data. Finally the Arduino receives the simple texts with the ESP8266 module and displays them on the two screens.

The two screens displays different information, the left one provides the real time data received from the Netatmo sensors about temperature, pressure, humidity, rain and CO2. The other screen shows the time and date, pressure history, and 3 days weather forecast.

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You can find more instructions to build this project with detailed description about the code, schematics, box design at the project page.

ElectroCalc – Electrical and Electronics Calculator

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“Tiago” tipped us with his latest Android App. His app, ElectroCalc is a fast calculator for electrical and electronic circuits. The calculator includes many tools and comes in a free and a Pro version. Check it out!

ElectroCalc – Electrical and Electronics Calculator – [Link]

Make Your Own Power Meter/Logger

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In this tutorial will show us how to build a power meter and logger using Arduino and INA219 power monitor IC:

In this project I will show you how I combined an Arduino, an INA219 power monitor IC, an OLED LCD and a Micro SD Card PCB in order to create a power meter/logger that has more functions than the popular USB Power Meter. Let’s get started!

Make Your Own Power Meter/Logger – [Link]

LTC3786 – Efficient boost controller takes the heat

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Linear Technology has launched a higher-temperature 150°C version of its LTC3786 step-up DC/DC controller that boasts 98% efficiency. This H-grade device replaces the boost diode with an N-channel MOSFET for higher efficiency and reduced power loss. by Susan Nordyk @ edn.com:

The controller produces a 24-V, 5-A output from a 12-V input with up to 98% efficiency, useful for automotive, industrial, and medical applications. It operates from an input voltage ranging from 4.5 V to 38 V during startup, maintains operations down to 2.5 V after startup, and regulates an output voltage as high as 60 V. Its low quiescent current of 55 µA helps extend the run time of battery-powered applications in standby mode.

LTC3786 – Efficient boost controller takes the heat – [Link]

4 Channel Relay Board

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4 Channel Relay Board is a simple and convenient way to interface 4 relays for switching application in your project. Very compact design that can fit in small area, mainly this board is made for low voltage applications.

Features

  • Input supply 12 VDC @ 170 mA
  • Output four SPDT relay
  • Relay specification  10A/24V DC
  • Trigger level 2 ~ 5 VDC
  • Header Connector for connecting power and trigger voltage
  • LED on each channel indicates relay status
  • Power Battery Terminal (PBT) for easy relay output and aux power connection
  • Four mounting holes of 3.2 mm each

4 Channel Relay Board – [Link]