Thursday, March 19, 2015

Early Arduino projects ( Fall 2014)

Because of size, I decided to use the Arduino Nano and Mini-Pro closes for most of my projects.  I ordered a couple of the NOKIA 5110 LCD modules that are available from Adafruit and  multiple e-bay vendors.  Adafruit also had a new clock generator module based on the SI5351,  I added a couple of them to my order.   I found a few good YouTube video's on using the NOKIA display, and after the parts arrived I quickly wired up a bread board.  Using the Adafruit. Graphics library I wrote a few basic routines to do simple functions such as drawing waveforms and grids.  I also found some very good source of information on the SI5351 at NT7S.COM.  Jason has done a lot of experimenting with the 5351 and written a very good Arduino library for this device.  He has also designed a SI5351 breakout board similar to the one from Adafruit.  Using his library and code for a AD9850 VFO  by AD7C, I was able to get a basic SI5351 VFO up and running.  Using EAGLE PCB software and toner transfer I made a small circuit board for the VFO that I can use in a QRP transceiver that I plan on building.
Early SI5351 VFO board
I had been in e-mail contact with Pete N6QW about programming the LCD display and the 5351.  He has modified the original software to add several features, and to use the 5351 to generate  both the BFO and LO signals for a transceiver.  He later change the display to a color TFT display.


  1. I've started a little side business out of my basement using modules like these to repair a range of devices. The Nokia 5110 LCD modules are actually leftovers from Nokia's old phones from the 1990s. Trust me, they're perfect for this project. You can find a lot of info about the LCD and putting together the code for making it work online.

    Brian Hopkins @ Microtips USA

  2. I started using them when I first played with the Arduino. They worked well except sometimes the connection between the board an display would cause problems. Had to take the bezel off and re-seat the rubberized connector. Found the small color tft displays for close to the same price, higher resolution, faster update and in color, so went with them for newer projects

  3. Not to come across flippant here, but that is some real macGyver-style work you have going on there. I'm interested in electronics myself. Though my interest just really grew out of tinkering with old broken toys that I had as a kid. I think the most exciting thing I ever managed to make was an adaptation of a lamp. It was underwhelming!

    Raymond @ CKS Global Solutions LTD