Displays come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s not about there being an overall ‘best’ display so much as it is picking the right one for your project. This month we’re going to look at character LCDs, which are cheap, widely available, and easy to program with most development environments.
Almost all of these are controlled by Hitachi HD44780 chips, and can take input in a couple of forms. In their bare incarnation, they have a parallel data bus which has 16 pins (though not all are needed), but there are also versions with I2C or SPI input.
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.