Summer of 2010 I picked up an Arduino board from adafruit and took some time to walk through all of the tutorials available with it. Since then I have spent most of my time on other projects including my bachelor’s. Recently I have obtained the Motor Party Pack, LoL Shield Kit, and a 20×2 VFD (Vacuum Fluorescent Display) to go with the original board so my interest is sparked again. I have found that the Motor Party Pack and LoL Shield have adequate instruction and tutorials, but the VFD is lacking in beginner level instructions to get started. As such I have decided to write a tutorial for the 20×2 VFD available through adafruit.
The adafruit VFD is made by Samsung and is model No. 20T202DA2JA, this is really unimportant though as adafruit is nice enough to link you to the spec sheets for both the module and the controller chip. What you would be looking for is the pin-out found on page 4 of the module controller sheet.
We have a datasheet for the module and the datasheet for the controller chip (with much more detail in case you need it)
These are often used at point of sale machines (at the checkout counter) so that’s where you can go take a look to see what they appear like in person.
We don’t have a detailed up tutorial yet but we have do have an Arduino library that works great and has a bunch of examples showing how to do everything from print messages, to scrolling, to making custom characters. Any normal character LCD code can be adapted to this display by turning the parallel interface into a serial interface (check the datasheet for how the data is stored and transmitted).
Adafruit has had paid day off for voting for our team for years, if you need help getting that going for your organization, let us know – we can share how and why we did this as well as the good results. Here are some resources for voting by mail, voting in person, and some NY resources for our NY based teams as well. If there are additional resources to add, please let us know – adafruit.com/vote
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.