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Author Topic: Low power LCD Drivers  (Read 2774 times)
KD4SBY
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Posts: 223




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« on: March 13, 2014, 01:07:09 PM »

Does any one knows how to use those low power LCDs manufacturers use in thermometers, clocks, etc, any thing that runs on 3V Lithium or single AAA batteries and the like? Any LCD I see requires way too much power for portable use. I like to have some way to indicate data on a portable device using an LCD and running on a few batteries (2xAAA) (I also have an multi-graph LCD from an old Thermometer that I would like to use.)
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K5LXP
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2014, 01:27:15 PM »

For most LCD's the major power draw is the backlight.  Most things like thermometers and clocks that run on batteries don't have an always-on backlight.

LCD's need specific signals to set and maintain pixels in a given state.  This is usually handled by an asic.  Something that was sold as a consumer good will have some proprietary data exchange.  You can buy displays that have a more standard interface (e.g. serial) that allows hobbyists/developers to create low volume products.  But, those displays typically won't have custom icons and such, they'll be a flat matrix or multisegment characters.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2014, 12:01:34 PM »

First you need the manufacturers' data sheet for the display.  This will have the interface and control requirements.

To drive it you will need a microprocessor, either a custom ASIC (made or recommended by the display mfg) or a generic mcp with custom programming code or one of the higher level CPU systems like Arduino etc. 

You may be able to find some easy solution from some of the Maker/DIY sources like SparkFun.   

Code examples and tutorials are available for all the major microprocessor manufacturers both text books, courses, online and on Youtube.  ARRL sells texts on Arduino, other CPU, and at least two microprocessors. 

Making up ultra low power displays may be a challenge.  Using off the shelf displays with mcp's are easier and may take a week or two of learning and hunting for programming examples, buying or making a programmer, or finding a ready solution.
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WB5TFV
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2014, 08:57:02 AM »

I've been experimenting with one of these:
http://www.lcd-module.com/eng/pdf/grafik/dogm132-5e.pdf

Claimed power supply requirements of 2.4 to 3.3VDC at 140uA (without backlight). They have a built in controller (ST7565R) and communicate over a serial interface.

I got mine from Mouser but I think they are available from most electronics suppliers.

You might also take a look at what Newhaven display offers:
http://www.newhavendisplay.com/


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