Liudr arduino and physics gadgets
Dr. Liu A.K.A. liudr@arduino forum specializes in LCD user interface data logging and contract programming
Joined: February 24, 2011
Country: USA
Serial LCD back pack - Phi-panel
Serial LCD back pack - Phi-panel
Serial LCD back pack - Phi-panel
Serial LCD back pack - Phi-panel
Serial LCD back pack - Phi-panel

Compatible keypad kits also sold on inmojo

Express shipping=USPS priority

This is a serial character LCD backpack, a circuit to attach to character display to turn them into serial LCD. Optionally you can purchase 16*2 or 20*4 displays with a backpack. Face plates sold separately.

Pic 1: Backpack on 16X2 and 20X4 displays with optional rotary encoder and matrix keypad face plates
Pic 2: Backpack with 20X4 display and optional rotary encoder keypad faceplate
Pic 3: Backpack on 16X2 and 20X4 displays.
Pic 4: Backpack ready for LCD (choose assembled kit)

The backpack belongs to the family of phi-panels, a revolutionary family of user interfaces with LCD and keypad for arduino projects.

The Phi-panel comes in several styles:
1) Full-size panel with integrated 20*4 display and 16-key pad, LED indicators and buzzer
2) Compact-size panel with integrated 16*2 display and 16-key pad, LED indicators and buzzer
3) Backpack (THIS ITEM)

The backpack connects to arduino, PIC, BASIC stamp etc with serial port. It has an on-board micro-controller that will take care of all your interactive user interface needs, including controlling the LCD for displaying menus, lists, input numbers, texts, sensing key presses, returning user choices, and a lot more. A number of displays are supported by this back pack. The backpack is also addressable so up to 254 displays can be connected to the same serial port.

You can integrate it in your existing project in less than one minute. The following code will create an interactive menu on the display, connected directly to arduino hardware serial (you can use software serial as well). Making changes to the code is so easy because everything is in human-readable strings! You will need a matrix keypad for the interaction.

Here is how to create a short menu:

Serial.println(“Menu:”); // Display ” Menu” on line 1
Serial.println(“1.Display GPS info”); // Display option 1 on line 2
Serial.println(“2.Record GPS info”); // Display option 2 on line 3

while(1) {
if (Serial.available()) { // Make sure there is a key press
char; // Read key press from phi-panel
if (response==’1′) display_GPS(); // Display GPS info on LCD
if (response==’2′) record_GPS(); // Record GPS info on SD card or EEPROM
break; // Breaks out of the while (1) loop.

No need to create elaborate codes to do objects, generate menus, sense buttons with debouncing or wasting dozen of arduino pins on LCD and keypad. All you need to get started is Serial.print() you learned from Arduino-> Examples-> communication. But wait, experienced programmers / software developers, easy_to_start!=dumbed_down. I have a 30-page long detailed manual with a dozen examples for you to go so much beyond basic use on this panel that your limit is your own imagination.

Blog page:

*ATMEGA328 microcontroller manages all hardware
*TTL-Serial (0-5V) interface for Arduino and other microcontrollers
*HD44780 character displays
*Compatible with variety of keypad layouts
*Optional buzzer
*Firmware can be upgraded for more functions

*Wraps messages automatically at the end of a line.
*Automatic scrolls lines up with new messages.
*Supports newline (‘\n’), return (‘\r’), backspace (‘\b’), tab (‘\t’).
*Supports most ANSI escape sequences: cursor position, blinking/underline cursor.
*LCD back light brightness control.
*Addressable so up to 254 displays can be connected to one serial port.
*Support broadcast address
*Sends key presses via serial port such as ’0′ to ’9′ on the number pad and simple characters for the arrow pad and enter and escape.
*Multi-tap on matrix keypad (like on cell phone number pad)
*Getting numbers and passwords is as easy as 1-2-3 with few lines of code.
*Supports phi_prompt user interface library such as long text areas, interactive lists or menus, YES/NO,OK dialogs and various number and text inputs.
*Supports on-the-fly baud rate change.
*Output any tone on the buzzer


Rotary encoder keypad (check my store):
The following features are made by sending text to the panel and the panel renders long messages, menus and dialogs. Arduino doesn't have to do any of these hard work.

Assembling the kit:

Demonstrating features of the panel on the compact 16x2 panel

On board settings menu:

Multi-tap is integrated in phi-panel:

Shipping Options
Destination & Service Shipping Time Cost
Worldwide - Standard 7-14 Business Days $9.95 for first item, $4.95 for each additional item
Worldwide - Express 3-5 Business Days $35.00 for first item, $5.00 for each additional item
Domestic (USA) - Standard 3-7 Business Days $3.95 for first item, $1.95 for each additional item
* shipping times are estimates.
Community Feedback
Assembled backpack NO LCD
- Ships in 3 -
The kit is and ready for HD44780 LCDs. If you want the taller boards for 20X4 displays, email me after ordering.
Assembled with 16X2 display
(only 2 left!)
- Ships in 3 -
Completely assembled kit with 16*2 display, ready to plug and play
Assembled with 20X4 display
(only 2 left!)
- Ships in 3 -
Completely assembled kit with 20*4 display, ready to plug and play
- Ships in 3 -
Kit with no display, ready for you to assemble with your own HD44780 LCD If you want the longer board for 20X4 displays, email me.
Kit + 16X2 display
(only 4 left!)
- Ships in 3 -
Complete kit with 16*2 display, ready to be assembled
Kit + 20X4 display
(only 1 left!)
- Ships in 3 -
Complete kit with 20*4 display, ready to be assembled. The board is longer so membrane keypad attaches more easily.
Note: If shipping internationally, special local taxes (VAT) and customs may apply and are not included in prices or invoices unless otherwise noted. All prices are in USD.
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