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Nokia 5110 LCD Project

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If you already have an LCD panel working you can go straight to the software section.

Project Description

In this project I will show you how to connect up a Nokia 5510  LCD to your Raspberry Pi. This LCD has a back light that can be switched on/ff using 3V to the backlight pin, but it also works well with no backlight. This LCD is very versatile and can display text in any font (as long as you have the .ttf file) and can also display bit map pictures and do basic animation. 

Project Difficulty

This project does not require soldering and can be constructed using a bread board and jumper wires.

What you will need

In addition to your Raspberry Pi and associated peripherals you will need:
  • Nokia 55210 LCD
  • An assortment of male/female and male/male jumper wires
  • Breadboard
  • Optional push button if you want to be able to scroll through logs and reset alarms. Not required if you only want to view temperature or sensor activity. 

Using your jumper wire and breadboard connect the LCD to the Raspberry Pi as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Connecting a Raspberry Pi to Nokia 5510 LCD screen using a breadboard and jumper wires


At the command prompt type the following commands to install all the required software.

cd /home
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-pip python-dev build-essential
sudo pip install RPi.GPIO
sudo apt-get install python-imaging
sudo apt-get install git
sudo git clone https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_Nokia_LCD.git
cd Adafruit_Nokia_LCD
sudo python setup.py install

Test the display by running one of the Adafruit examples programs:

cd /home/Adafruit_Nokia_LCD/examples
python shapes.py


python image.py


python animate.py

If it's not displaying, or if it is too dark or too light you can adjust the contrast from within any of the above .py files.  Edit the files using nano (e.g. nano shapes.py) and look for the following line:


Ad just the 45 to a higher or lower number until you have a nice clear image. Remember to save the file after you edit it using ctrl-x followed by y and then enter.

Now that you have your Nokia LCD screen working you can hook it up to the PrivateEyePi system by following this tutorial.