The regular 16×2 LCD can display characters of only certain dimensions. A graphical LCD (GLCD), on the other hand, can display custom graphics. GLCDs are therefore highly suitable for mobile and industrial applications.

Here we present a simple graphical LCD interface circuit along with a set of software tools using which you can display any graphics of your choice on the GLCD. Using the software tool chain, any graphics, text or picture can be designed on the computer and then transferred to the GLCD.

As shown in figure, the circuit is built around EFY-KnS 8051 development board and a GLCD (JHD12864E).

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All the microcontroller ports are open and available for interfacing on the KnS board itself. The GLCD is connected to the board using an 8-pin female connector (CON2) and a 5-pin female connector (CON4) that are soldered to the LCD through wires as shown in figure. The circuit works off 5V regulated power supply, which can be taken from the development board through an external connector.

Port 2 on the development board is used for data inputs (DB0 through DB7). Three pins of Port 1 are used for register select (RS), read/write (R/W) and enable (E), while two pins of port 1 are used for CS1 and CS2 of the GLCD.

Here we have used a 128×64 GLCD, which is divided into two equal halves. Each half is controlled by a separate controller and consists of eight pages. CS1 and CS2 are controller-select pins. Each page consists of 8 rows and 64 columns. So two horizontal pages make 128 (64×2) columns and eight vertical pages make 64 rows (8×8).

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The software is written in ‘C’ language and compiled using Keil version 4.0 demo platform. Steps to burn the program in the chip are very simple and mentioned in the manual provided with EFY-KnS 8051 development board.

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The working of the circuit is simple. Simply use below-mentioned steps to design a picture, say, smiley, and convert it into hex code:

Step 1. Design your graphic on Paint or any other equivalent software, and save it.

Step 2. Use Pixillion Image Convertor software to convert the created image into a bmp file. Click ‘add file’ and select the picture that you saved. Select the output format as ‘bmp.’ Also, select the output folder where you want to save this converted image.

Step 3. Convert this image into the pixel format of your graphic LCD, i.e., 128×64, by using software “FAST LCD”:
1. Click ‘new image’ and set the size of the GLCD.
2. Select the image converted in Step 2.
3. Save the image to the location of your choice.

Step 4. Use software ‘image2code’ to convert the formatted image into the code which will finally be integrated in the main software:
1. Select the image that needs to be converted.
2. Select filling option and conversion format as LSB and C Array writer, respectively.
3. Press ‘Convert’ button. A window will appear with an array of hex values for the image.
4. Save it as a 2D array format with ‘.h’ extension in the source code folder.

Download Source code: click here

This hex code can be integrated in the reference source code available at www.efymag.com. In the reference source code, we have saved the file smiley.h in the folder and the same is defined in the header file.

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Solder female connectors CON2 and CON4 to the GLCD terminals through wires. Connect these connectors to the development board as shown in figure. Take Vcc and GND for the GLCD from the development board itself, which provides sufficient working voltage for the GLCD.


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