How do you talk to a small character LCD screen using nerves?

I have been trying to connect a small LCD display to a raspberry pi, but I do not get how to make real text appear on the screen. Can somebody please tell me how I can do this? Thanks in advance! By the way if you do not know what I mean by a small LCD display I mean this:

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According to Adafruit: Drive a 16x2 LCD with the Raspberry Pi there are at least three ways (GPIO pins, I2C, and UART) to connect a HD44780 to the board.

  • That may explain why there isn’t a library yet.
  • For further help (from somebody else) you’ll likely have to identify the hardware interface that you have used.

It seems that elixir_ale is useful for interfacing via GPIO, I2C and SPI.


You may also want to check out the ex_lcd project:

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@LTheGreats were you able to solve this?

If it generated enough interest, I could do a stream of hooking up an I2C LCD and printing some stuff to it. I’ll have to resurrect some hardware and level shifters that I used before, but wouldn’t take too much effort.


+1 for the LCD screen how to. The more beginner friendly projects we document the more interest we will generate. Getting that first project to work is an awesome feeling. Would be awesome if you could stream it @tmecklem!

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I highly recommend doing some structured YouTube videos - or perhaps even a series on how to get started with Nerves :023:

Maybe we could start a thread for frequent getting started questions or common hardware scenarios that would translate into a video series well. I have some other things on the front burner to attend to first, but if I had a good kickstart of ideas I can run with it once that’s done. I think @ConnorRigby has indicated interest in videos too in the past iirc.


Sounds great Tim :023:

I think a nerves-faqs tag could be useful too (mentioned in PM earlier).

Videos are a fantastic way to get people onboard - I recommend starting with the basics - so anyone new to Nerves can get up and running quickly and easily.

Just to add an extra voice of interest to the discussion, I would be happy to see some hands-on videos on building things with Nerves too :). I did manage to cobble together some HD44780 LCD printing stuff with Nerves some months ago, but it definitely took me a while to get it right (although my lack of hardware know-how was probably the bigger limiting factor, as ex_lcd was quite a convenient library for this work).

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I have gotten this to work, but not for long because a while later I shorted my display.
:slightly_frowning_face: (Sorry it took so long to reply.)