ELECTRONICS PARTS LIST
27 ohm 1/2 watt resistor
palettes (some of which also contain randomness) I was
soon generating some very unique images.
It was then that it hit me. I should package this thing
up as a desktop device and let it generate images ad
infinitum. After all, the hardware cost less than $40, so
Since having this device on my desk/bench, I have
found it helps me think. When I get stuck on something I
am working on, I glance over at the display for a few
minutes taking my mind off of things which sometimes
helps in finding a solution. For this reason, I've decided to
call this device a “Desktop Contemplator.”
Building a Contemplator requires the electronic
components shown in the Parts List.
Once you have gathered the required components,
wiring the Arduino Uno to the LCD display is easy though
rather tedious due to the number of wires involved. A lot
of wires are required because I used a 16-bit interface
between the Arduino Uno and the LCD display. I chose
this instead of an eight-bit or serial interface in the interest
A drawback to using the 16-bit interface with the
Arduino Uno is that it uses up every available I/O pin. This
means neither the touch screen component nor the SD
card interface available on the LCD display's PCB can be
used. Luckily, neither were necessary for this application.
All required connections between the Arduino Uno
and the LCD display are shown in Table 1 and the LCD
display connector pinout is shown in Figure 1. Take your
time when doing this wiring and double-check your work
when you're finished before applying power.
The Contemplator is programmed and powered via
the USB cable plugged into the Arduino Uno. Once
programming is completed, a USB charger can be used to
power the Contemplator.
As I was writing this article, I discovered SainSmart
also sells an assembly consisting of an Arduino
Mega2560, a shield for connecting the LCD display to the
TABLE 1. LCD display to Arduino Uno connections for
16-bit data interface.
21 DB0 D8
Read Enable RD
tied to 5V
19 LED-A 5V
LCD signal tied
to 5V through
27 ohm resistor
1 GND GND Ground
2 VCC 5V Power
Note: There are no I/O lines left over to connect the
Arduino Uno to the touch screen controller or SD card
interfaces, so these aspects of the circuitry are not available.
December 2012 37