How to display 5×8 and 5×10 size font characters on 16×2 lcd with 8-bit microcontrollers

Character lcds can display character of font size 5×8 and 5×10. In 5xn, 5 represents number of coulombs and N represents number of rows. Character lcd’s especially which are controlled by Hitachi HD44780 controller can display 5×8 and 5×10 size font character. Some lcd’s can only display character in 5×8 font. In this project i am going to teach you how to display characters of font size 5×8 and 5×10 on character lcd?
How to display 5x8 and 5x10 size font characters on 16x2 lcd with 8-bit microcontrollers
If you are newbie and don’t know about internal structure of character lcd and how to interface it with microcontrollers? Than i suggest you you first take the getting started with lcd tutorial.

As you know first we have to initialize the lcd that we are using (8×1, 8×2, 8×4, 16×1, 16×2, 16×4, 20×1, 20×2, 20×4, 24×1, 24×2, 24×4, 32×1, 32×2, 40×1, 40×2, 40×4). By initialization I mean 

  • Should the cursor appears on lcd or not? If appearing, whether it should be blinking or normal?
  • What should be the size of character-font appearing on lcd (5Ă—8, 5Ă—10)?

To learn about lcd initialization standard commands go through the simple tutorial below. 

We are going to discuss only commands that are related to character size Font-matrix in this tutorial. To initialize character lcd we have to send commands to command-register of lcd. All the commands are 8-bit in nature. For Initializing character font size, 8-bit commands individual bits represents.

  • DL selects lcd mode. 8-bit or 4-bit. Don’t know Go through the tutorial(Lcd in 4-bit and 8-bit mode)
  • N selects if lcd contains 2 rows or 1.
  • F selects character font size. (5Ă—8 or 5Ă—10)

Now if I have a 16Ă—2 lcd and i want to initialize its Character font to be 5Ă—10 my command will be.

Standard Lcd Commands for 5Ă—10 Display

Now i am going to display characters on lcd in 5×8 and 5×10 font. I am going to print it on lcd using two different microcontrollers. Microchip pic16f877 and 8051(89c51,89c52) microcontroller. 

  • You can display 208 characters in 5Ă—8 font and 32 characters in 5Ă—10 font. Total ASCII characters present in HD44780 lcd controller are 240. In which 208 are in 5Ă—8 font and 32 are in 5Ă—10 font. 
  • In CG-RAM you can create 8 custom characters at a time in 5Ă—8 font and 4 custom characters in 5Ă—10 font. Don’t know about CG-RAM and custom characters? Go through(CG-RAM & custom characters generation and display)

See the difference in the same characters in same row, marked against red and green star. red star represents 5Ă—8 font size character and green represents same character with 5Ă—10 size font. Picture taken from hd44780 controller data sheet.

Displaying 5Ă—10, 5Ă—8 font size Characters on character lcd Using PIC16f877 Microcontroller.

  Project Requirements

  • PIC 16f877 microcontroller
  • 16Ă—2 lcd
  • Potentiometer (To set Lcd Contrast)
  • Crystal (20 MHz)
  • Capacitors 33Pf

I am going to print/display G,J,P & Q in 5×8 and 5×10 font. These characters are present in HD44780 Controller in 5×8 and 5×10 font. I will call their addresses and they will appear/display on lcd screen.
​How to display 5x8 and 5x10 size font characters on 16x2 lcd with 8-bit microcontrollers schematics
Lcd data pins are Connected to Port-B of microcontroller. Lcd control pins (en,rs,rw) are connected to Port-D Pins#7,6,5. Rest of the connections are normal connections. Supplying power to microcontroller. Grounding GND pin. Connecting Crystal to microcontroller etc. Circuit diagram of the project is given below.

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer with a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan University. I have written for various industries, mainly home automation, and engineering. I have a clear and simple writing style and am skilled in using infographics and diagrams. I am a great researcher and is able to present information in a well-organized and logical manner.

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