Day 1 with the 4D Systems Intelligent LCD: Fail.

First off, I can point fingers, you can point fingers, who cares.. the fact is I’m pretty underwhelmed by my first day with the “Intelligent LCD”. I purchased the 4D Systems uLCD-43PCT LCD based on a SparkFun YouTube video describing how to use the product and associated software.This product is “intelligent” because it has it’s own processor and serial interface. The idea is to build the interface in software on your PC, drop it on a flash card and program the display.. then just use some simple serial commands to update the display, offloading all that work so I can add this to simple PIC projects with ease. By the p/n you can tell I got the 4.3″ LCD with capacitive touch screen.

I ordered the LCD second day air from Mouser ( @MouserElec ) because they offered the best price I could find. ($190+20) On the YouTube product review, Nick at SparkFun mentioned that he was using the 4D Systems USB to serial adapter because Spark Fun’s doesn’t work and can damage it (due to wiring?). I checked the specs and it says the LCD is 5V tolerant. I used my USB to serial adapter (TTL serial) which works great with PICs as long as they’re 5V tolerant. Well unfortunately, no luck… I can tell the LCD is communicating in some fashion because with a terminal client and with the terminal client built into the “Workbench” software (wasn’t that the name of the Amiga OS?).. in both programs I could enter carriage breaks or other characters and get some serial response from the LCD (usually NULLs (0x00).).. so there is some communication going on.. but the Workbench software itself declares the LCD is not attached. I also confirmed some communication with my logic analyzer. I ordered the 4D systems USB converter from Sparkfun and now I’m back to waiting. How lame.. if you really-really need a specific adapter why not just include it? what is the BOM on something like that? $1-2

I guess I’ll find out in a couple days when my Spark Fun order comes in. I was really hoping to get my display loaded. I spend a few hours on Sunday and Monday tweaking my design… TBC.

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  • February 26, 2014 - 5:32 pm | Permalink

    I ordered this size LCD from 4D and the 7″ one, but they are the ones custom designed to fit the beaglebone black on the back side. They larger one is on back order so its holding up my order. I’ll be watching to find out more results from your testing to see how you like it.

    Good luck!

    • Chas
      February 26, 2014 - 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Richard — Thanks for the wish of luck. I look forward to getting the converter and checking it out. I’m hoping to have some code posted in under a week. I’m actually using it with that WX Si4707 radio chip.. if it turns out okay maybe I’ll buy one of your modules and swap it out for the finished product.

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