# Character LCD displays

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#### Triode

##### Active Member
It quickly becomes obvious starting out with microcontroller programming that a character LCD would be a valuable tool. From what I've seen serial LCDs are around $30 and paralelle ones of similar size are around$7. All the tutorials I have seen so far are for serial, and I'm getting the impression that they are generally much easier to use than parallel. Ebay has some serial ones for around \$15, im not sure if brand matters much if you can find a data sheet.

So I'm looking for advice, what things I should look out for, and what matters in choosing an LCD. Does paralelle require any extra equipment?

#### futz

##### Active Member
So I'm looking for advice, what things I should look out for, and what matters in choosing an LCD.
Go for one with a 44780 controller (or equivalent, compatible type).

Serial ones are easy to use - 2 control wires - they usually have the potentiometer onboard the serial board.

The regular ones (without serial "backpacks") are just a little bit more difficult and take a minimum of 6 control wires and a pot to connect. The code for them is a wee bit more involved, but not too tough (except for that first time - seems so difficult the first time).

I bought about six of these. Excellent price. Nice displays. Check my site for photos of them in action.

Does parallel require any extra equipment?
Yes. One 10K potentiometer. And a few extra wires. They're really fairly simple to use though.

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