Interfacing Raspberry Pi to 40 x 2 character LCD display

I recently picked up a Logitek Route 3 Remote Source Selector to use for its 1U rackmount case.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that the unit uses a 40 x 2 character backlit LCD display.  Even better, the display is made by Truly and uses the KS0076B controller IC.  This controller IC is a clone of the Hitachi HD44780 LCD controller.

Download: LCD MODULE MSC-C402DYLY-1N data sheet (PDF File - 1440k)

The pin-outs of this module are the same as most other HD44780 based LCD displays:

Pin NO. Symbol LevelDescription
1 VSS0V Ground
2VDD 5.0V Supply voltage for logic
3 VO---Input voltage for LCD
4RS H/L H : Data signal L : Instruction signal
5 R/W H/L H : Read mode L : Write mode
6 E H H ? L Enable signal for KS0076
7 DB0 H/L Data bit 0
8 DB1 H/L Data bit 1
9 DB2 H/L Data bit 2
10 DB3 H/L Data bit 3
11 DB4 H/L Data bit 4
12 DB5 H/L Data bit 5
13 DB6 H/L Data bit 6
14 DB7 H/L Data bit 7
15 BLA 4.2V Back light anode
16 BLK 0V Back light cathode

To connect this to a Raspberry Pi 3 (or Raspberry Pi 2 and B+) I used the following header pins:

LCD module pin numberRaspberry Pi header pin
1GND Ground
2+5V Supply voltage for logic
310k potentiometer
Adjusts contrast for LCD. Other end of pot to GND
4GPIO 25
6GPIO 24
Enable signal for KS0076
11GPIO 21
Data bit 4
12GPIO 17
Data bit 5
13GPIO 21
Data bit 6
14GPIO 22
Data bit 7
15+5VBack light anode
16GNDBack light cathode


To drive the LCD display via Python you can use the library from Adafruit; To get it installed on your Pi you can use git.  If you don't have git already installed then:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install git

You will also need python and python-dev.  If they are not installed then go ahead and apt-get them as well.

Once that's done, clone the library from Adafruit into your home directory with:

This will clone the repository into whatever directory you are currently in.  Now cd to the cloned directory with:

    cd ./Adafruit_Python_CharLCD

Now run the installer:

    sudo python install

Configuring the LCD library

The LCD library contains a number of examples.  To test that your LCD display is working, edit one of the example programs. eg

    cd ~/Adafruit_Python_CharLCD/examples/

Near the top of the program will be a series of constants that define which GPIO pins you have your display connected to.  Edit these to reflect your wiring configuration.  In my case, this was:

    lcd_rs = 25
    lcd_en = 24
    lcd_d4 = 23
    lcd_d5 = 17
    lcd_d6 = 21
    lcd_d7 = 22

You will also want to configure the column and row parameters to match your display size.  In this case:

    lcd_columns = 40
    lcd_rows = 2

Related articles:

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