LCD Shields

Each player will need instructions during the operation of the game. The “wheel of fortune” idea is great (if it works in time), but if the design doesn't work, or the motors break or this part of the game malfunctions, then it is wise to have a back up method of communicating the next animal to pick. There will be over game instructions where it could be helpful to have LCD displays to instruct the player. As previously mentioned, I am desperately trying to avoid using normal computer monitors for anything as I think they are an easy way out, and besides they don’t look “maker enough”…

So if it is to be LCD displays, I’ve considered a single display, where the top line of the display could instruct one player, the second line, the other. The problem with this idea will be that the players are spaced out on a six foot table. I don’t think the small LCD would be easy to position so that both players can read it. Thus two LCD displays are required.

LCD is familiar, taking the design using a 74HC595 IC from Using alphanumeric LCDs  - Szymon Kobalczyk's Blog, a “backpak” can be built for the displays, one for each.

Using the great Fritzing software the following design was made, using 0.1” header sockets on the backpak and male headers on the display. This design, due to the layout of the IC and to minimise wiring, has the backpak above the display. For Makerfaire I actually want this, as maker people want to see the electronics, so the more exposed the better.

At this stage I am thinking of mounting the LCDs in an “L” shaped transparent acrylic sheet, so the electronics can be seen, and the displays  positioned wherever suits the layout of the table or users. It must be remembered that the fairs attract short and tall. The connectors shown on the Netduino connect into the headers on the board of the corresponding sizes.

LCD 595 Netduino_bb

These are the two backpaks finished, just need power and the SPI bus passing into the header connectors. These backpaks should be reusable on other projects in the future too.

LCD Shield