I’m doing this so that I can practise my soldering too. I will be using a pre-made PCB because it’s quite a simple circuit.
This is called a strip board because it has strips of copper on it so that any component that is on the same column will have electrical connection with each other.
I bought a few of these as spares and stored them for a long time, and they oxidised. I need to rub those off with a sand paper before soldering anything on it. The difference is simply like night and day.
I’ll be using an old parallel cable from my 1998 HP printer.
On one end is a DB-25 port, which plugs into the computer.
And on the other, a DB-36 port which plugs into the printer. This port is of no use so I’ll be getting rid of it.
Pried the case apart and revealed the individual wires.
I won’t be cutting the port header off so soon. I’ll refer to the schematic, cut and solder each wire individually before moving to the next one. That will minimize confusion because there’s just too much of them.
The parallel port cannot provide power, so I need to pull 5 Volts from the USB port to power up the LCD. I cut off the USB cable of one of my faulty mouse to be used on the PCB.
I just need three components. A 16 pin female header, 10k potentiometer and an LCD of course.
These are what I used to solder. A Hakko 20W soldering iron, some random solder sucker and a roll of solder wire.
The end result. I used zip ties to secure the cable to prevent any external force from pulling the cable off the PCB.
What’s left is to plug in the LCD and turn on the computer 🙂
You can actually do a lot of things with LCD Smartie. To find out more, you can check it out at http://lcdsmartie.sourceforge.net
Thanks for reading 🙂