Arduino: Creating a Temperature Sensors with a Nokia 5110 LCD, a TMP36 and a Trimpot!

By Lloyd Summers on 2 Jun 2014 04:10 pm

Welcome to this weeks Arduino tutorial! Last week, we discussed how you can work with resistors, LED's and making blinky lights! This week, we are going to take this one step farther and start looking at graphic display modules. This way we can create text, show small graphics and better engage our users.


In this article, I'm just going to list the parts I used.

  • Mini breadboard – $3 China | $4 Sparkfun / Newark
  • Nokia 5110 – $3 China | $10 Sparkfun / Newark
  • Arduino Uno – $10 China | $30 Sparkfun / Newark ***
  • TMP36 – 5$ China | $1.50 Sparkfun / Newark
  • Potentiometer – $1.10 China | $1 Sparkfun / Newark
  • 4 x 10kΩ resistor – cheap
  • 1 x 330Ω resister – cheap
  • 1 x 1kΩ resistor – cheap

Graphic Display Modules versus LEDs

Graphic display modules typically require a few extra steps. They typically need some kind of clock (for timing). Some kind of two way serial communication (this is important as a lot of our tutorials moving forward are going to leverage these serial communication methods) and usually some power and light controls.

What is Serial?

Serial is a communication standard. It allows us to send data on one PIN and receive data on another PIN. Serial requires special timing, which means serial devices also typically need a clock to measure against (and in the world of Arduino, we share our Arduino's built in clock with devices). If you want to get more technical, this is done by the ATMega328pu module and a 13MHZ crystal.

Hardware versus Software

The last learning section we are going to discuss is hardware serial versus software. Arduino contains several PINs dedicated to hardware serial (0 or receiving or Rx and 1 for sending or Tx). The issue with using the hardware PINs is ... well you can only connect one serial device! Not very good if you want to use a wifi module (requires serial) and a display module (requires serial). So instead, we can use a more complicated procedure called Software Serial, which requires some more coding.

On all the tutorials I will only show you software serial.


The following diagrams will help you understand how the components are going together.


In this article I also include a sensor (TMP36) and an input (Trimpot aka Potentiometer). I won't go too far into these two, but the important part is they are Analog Inputs. As you may remember from our last tutorial, this means instead of being absolute on or absolute off - they can be 'in between'.

To do this, they split a voltage between 0v and 5V. They are either linear (smoothly move from 0 to 5V) or they are exponential (more control over one side or the other). This is for things like volume knobs, where slight adjustments at higher levels allow for better control!

Both the TMP36 and Trimpot work as resistors that 'change'. This is common for analog inputs. So the more you turn the knob, the more the voltage encounters resistance, and the Arduino will detect that change as a voltage.



For the temperature sensor, we will use the following formula to determine the temperature:

#define PIN_TMP   0 // analog

// Used to read the voltage of the TMP36
float getVoltage(int pin)
  return (analogRead(pin) * 0.004882814);

Position the flat-head facing you. Left PIN will go to 5V on Arduino. Middle pin will monitor the change, send this to A0. Right pin will be ground.


For the trimpot adjustment, we will change a variable we are using for contrast.

#define PIN_FADER 1 // analog
#define PIN_LCD   9 // backlight    

We will use the top pin as the Trimpot for input. We will use the bottom pin above as the backlight.

Connect the trimpot either direction. Left PIN will go to 5V. Middle pin will be used for sensing and go to A1. Right pin will go to ground.

... notice a commonality with Analog Input devices?


The LCD us more complicated. We will be adding resistors to all but two of the 8 input pins on the LCD shield.

The LCD requires 3.3V instead of the standard 5V from an Arduino. The simple fix is to simply add resistors to the different PINs.

LCD pin 0 will go to 3.3V LCD pin 1 will go to GND

Above will set our voltages.

LCD pin 2 will go to 1K Resistor and then to PIN 7 LCD pin 2 will go to 10K Resistor and then to PIN 6 LCD pin 2 will go to 10K Resistor and then to PIN 5 LCD pin 2 will go to 10K Resistor and then to PIN 11 LCD pin 2 will go to 10K Resistor and then to PIN 13 LCD pin 2 will go to 330ohm Resistor and then to PIN 19

After the above, we have setup the remaining of the PINs. Compare these to the code below to understand what they do.

Fully Assembled

Recapping the PIN list

  • TMP pin 0 will go to 5V
  • TMP pin 1 will go to A0
  • TMP pin 2 will go to GND
  • Trimpot pin 0 will go to 5V
  • Trimpot pin 1 will go to A1
  • Trimpot pin 2 will go to GND
  • LCD pin 2 will go to 1K Resistor and then to PIN 7
  • LCD pin 2 will go to 10K Resistor and then to PIN 6
  • LCD pin 2 will go to 10K Resistor and then to PIN 5
  • LCD pin 2 will go to 10K Resistor and then to PIN 11
  • LCD pin 2 will go to 10K Resistor and then to PIN 13
  • LCD pin 2 will go to 330ohm Resistor and then to PIN 19



// Sources:

#include <SPI.h> // We'll use SPI to transfer  data. Faster!

#define PIN_SCE   7
#define PIN_RESET 6
#define PIN_DC    5
#define PIN_SDIN  11
#define PIN_SCLK  13
#define PIN_LCD   9 // backlight

#define PIN_FADER 1 // analog
#define PIN_TMP   0 // analog

#define LCD_C LOW
#define LCD_D HIGH
#define LCD_COMMAND  0 

#define LCD_X 84
#define LCD_Y 48

char strBuffer[30];  
int txtCyclesMax = 20;
int txtCyclesCur = 0;

// The following is needed to create text boxes!

static const byte ASCII[][5] =
 {0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00} // 20  
,{0x00, 0x00, 0x5f, 0x00, 0x00} // 21 !
,{0x00, 0x07, 0x00, 0x07, 0x00} // 22 "
,{0x14, 0x7f, 0x14, 0x7f, 0x14} // 23 #
,{0x24, 0x2a, 0x7f, 0x2a, 0x12} // 24 $
,{0x23, 0x13, 0x08, 0x64, 0x62} // 25 %
,{0x36, 0x49, 0x55, 0x22, 0x50} // 26 &
,{0x00, 0x05, 0x03, 0x00, 0x00} // 27 '
,{0x00, 0x1c, 0x22, 0x41, 0x00} // 28 (
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x22, 0x1c, 0x00} // 29 )
,{0x14, 0x08, 0x3e, 0x08, 0x14} // 2a *
,{0x08, 0x08, 0x3e, 0x08, 0x08} // 2b +
,{0x00, 0x50, 0x30, 0x00, 0x00} // 2c ,
,{0x08, 0x08, 0x08, 0x08, 0x08} // 2d -
,{0x00, 0x60, 0x60, 0x00, 0x00} // 2e .
,{0x20, 0x10, 0x08, 0x04, 0x02} // 2f backslash
,{0x3e, 0x51, 0x49, 0x45, 0x3e} // 30 0
,{0x00, 0x42, 0x7f, 0x40, 0x00} // 31 1
,{0x42, 0x61, 0x51, 0x49, 0x46} // 32 2
,{0x21, 0x41, 0x45, 0x4b, 0x31} // 33 3
,{0x18, 0x14, 0x12, 0x7f, 0x10} // 34 4
,{0x27, 0x45, 0x45, 0x45, 0x39} // 35 5
,{0x3c, 0x4a, 0x49, 0x49, 0x30} // 36 6
,{0x01, 0x71, 0x09, 0x05, 0x03} // 37 7
,{0x36, 0x49, 0x49, 0x49, 0x36} // 38 8
,{0x06, 0x49, 0x49, 0x29, 0x1e} // 39 9
,{0x00, 0x36, 0x36, 0x00, 0x00} // 3a :
,{0x00, 0x56, 0x36, 0x00, 0x00} // 3b ;
,{0x08, 0x14, 0x22, 0x41, 0x00} // 3c <
,{0x14, 0x14, 0x14, 0x14, 0x14} // 3d =
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x22, 0x14, 0x08} // 3e >
,{0x02, 0x01, 0x51, 0x09, 0x06} // 3f ?
,{0x32, 0x49, 0x79, 0x41, 0x3e} // 40 @
,{0x7e, 0x11, 0x11, 0x11, 0x7e} // 41 A
,{0x7f, 0x49, 0x49, 0x49, 0x36} // 42 B
,{0x3e, 0x41, 0x41, 0x41, 0x22} // 43 C
,{0x7f, 0x41, 0x41, 0x22, 0x1c} // 44 D
,{0x7f, 0x49, 0x49, 0x49, 0x41} // 45 E
,{0x7f, 0x09, 0x09, 0x09, 0x01} // 46 F
,{0x3e, 0x41, 0x49, 0x49, 0x7a} // 47 G
,{0x7f, 0x08, 0x08, 0x08, 0x7f} // 48 H
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x7f, 0x41, 0x00} // 49 I
,{0x20, 0x40, 0x41, 0x3f, 0x01} // 4a J
,{0x7f, 0x08, 0x14, 0x22, 0x41} // 4b K
,{0x7f, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40} // 4c L
,{0x7f, 0x02, 0x0c, 0x02, 0x7f} // 4d M
,{0x7f, 0x04, 0x08, 0x10, 0x7f} // 4e N
,{0x3e, 0x41, 0x41, 0x41, 0x3e} // 4f O
,{0x7f, 0x09, 0x09, 0x09, 0x06} // 50 P
,{0x3e, 0x41, 0x51, 0x21, 0x5e} // 51 Q
,{0x7f, 0x09, 0x19, 0x29, 0x46} // 52 R
,{0x46, 0x49, 0x49, 0x49, 0x31} // 53 S
,{0x01, 0x01, 0x7f, 0x01, 0x01} // 54 T
,{0x3f, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40, 0x3f} // 55 U
,{0x1f, 0x20, 0x40, 0x20, 0x1f} // 56 V
,{0x3f, 0x40, 0x38, 0x40, 0x3f} // 57 W
,{0x63, 0x14, 0x08, 0x14, 0x63} // 58 X
,{0x07, 0x08, 0x70, 0x08, 0x07} // 59 Y
,{0x61, 0x51, 0x49, 0x45, 0x43} // 5a Z
,{0x00, 0x7f, 0x41, 0x41, 0x00} // 5b [
,{0x02, 0x04, 0x08, 0x10, 0x20} // 5c ¥
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x41, 0x7f, 0x00} // 5d ]
,{0x04, 0x02, 0x01, 0x02, 0x04} // 5e ^
,{0x40, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40, 0x40} // 5f _
,{0x00, 0x01, 0x02, 0x04, 0x00} // 60 `
,{0x20, 0x54, 0x54, 0x54, 0x78} // 61 a
,{0x7f, 0x48, 0x44, 0x44, 0x38} // 62 b
,{0x38, 0x44, 0x44, 0x44, 0x20} // 63 c
,{0x38, 0x44, 0x44, 0x48, 0x7f} // 64 d
,{0x38, 0x54, 0x54, 0x54, 0x18} // 65 e
,{0x08, 0x7e, 0x09, 0x01, 0x02} // 66 f
,{0x0c, 0x52, 0x52, 0x52, 0x3e} // 67 g
,{0x7f, 0x08, 0x04, 0x04, 0x78} // 68 h
,{0x00, 0x44, 0x7d, 0x40, 0x00} // 69 i
,{0x20, 0x40, 0x44, 0x3d, 0x00} // 6a j 
,{0x7f, 0x10, 0x28, 0x44, 0x00} // 6b k
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x7f, 0x40, 0x00} // 6c l
,{0x7c, 0x04, 0x18, 0x04, 0x78} // 6d m
,{0x7c, 0x08, 0x04, 0x04, 0x78} // 6e n
,{0x38, 0x44, 0x44, 0x44, 0x38} // 6f o
,{0x7c, 0x14, 0x14, 0x14, 0x08} // 70 p
,{0x08, 0x14, 0x14, 0x18, 0x7c} // 71 q
,{0x7c, 0x08, 0x04, 0x04, 0x08} // 72 r
,{0x48, 0x54, 0x54, 0x54, 0x20} // 73 s
,{0x04, 0x3f, 0x44, 0x40, 0x20} // 74 t
,{0x3c, 0x40, 0x40, 0x20, 0x7c} // 75 u
,{0x1c, 0x20, 0x40, 0x20, 0x1c} // 76 v
,{0x3c, 0x40, 0x30, 0x40, 0x3c} // 77 w
,{0x44, 0x28, 0x10, 0x28, 0x44} // 78 x
,{0x0c, 0x50, 0x50, 0x50, 0x3c} // 79 y
,{0x44, 0x64, 0x54, 0x4c, 0x44} // 7a z
,{0x00, 0x08, 0x36, 0x41, 0x00} // 7b {
,{0x00, 0x00, 0x7f, 0x00, 0x00} // 7c |
,{0x00, 0x41, 0x36, 0x08, 0x00} // 7d }
,{0x10, 0x08, 0x08, 0x10, 0x08} // 7e ←
,{0x78, 0x46, 0x41, 0x46, 0x78} // 7f →

// Writes a character
void LcdCharacter(char character)
  LcdWrite(LCD_D, 0x00);
  for (int index = 0; index < 5; index++)
LcdWrite(LCD_D, ASCII[character - 0x20][index]);
  LcdWrite(LCD_D, 0x00);

// Clears the screen
void LcdClear(void)
  for (int index = 0; index < LCD_X * LCD_Y / 8; index++)
LcdWrite(LCD_D, 0x00);

// Initializes the Nokia 5110
void LcdInitialise(void)
  pinMode(PIN_SCE, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(PIN_DC, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(PIN_SDIN, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(PIN_SCLK, OUTPUT);
  pinMode(PIN_LCD, OUTPUT);
  digitalWrite(PIN_LCD, HIGH);

  digitalWrite(PIN_RESET, LOW);
  digitalWrite(PIN_RESET, HIGH);

  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x21 );  // LCD Extended Commands.
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0xB1 );  // Set LCD Vop (Contrast). 
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x04 );  // Set Temp coefficent. //0x04
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x14 );  // LCD bias mode 1:48. //0x13
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x0C );  // LCD in normal mode.
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x20 );
  LcdWrite(LCD_C, 0x0C );

// Creates a full text string    
void LcdString(char *characters)
  while (*characters)

// Sends data to the display
void LcdWrite(byte dc, byte data)
  digitalWrite(PIN_DC, dc);
  digitalWrite(PIN_SCE, LOW);
  shiftOut(PIN_SDIN, PIN_SCLK, MSBFIRST, data);
  digitalWrite(PIN_SCE, HIGH);

// Normal Arduino code -----------
// Setup functions
void setup(void)

  // pinMode(PIN_TMP, INPUT);
  // pinMode(PIN_FADER, INPUT);
  Serial.begin(9600);   // Used to listen for feedback (optional)

void loop(void)

  // Used to change the black 
  long contrast = analogRead(PIN_FADER);
  contrast = (contrast * 255)/1024;
  txtCyclesCur = txtCyclesCur + 1;

  if (txtCyclesCur > txtCyclesMax) {
    // Clear our screen

    float voltage, degreesC, degreesF;
    voltage = getVoltage(PIN_TMP);
    degreesC = (voltage - 0.5) * 100.0;
    degreesF = degreesC * (9.0/5.0) + 32.0;

    LcdString("TEMP ");
    LcdString("C ");

    LcdString("BACKLT ");
    txtCyclesCur = 0;

// This changes the brightness
void setContrast(byte contrast)
  analogWrite(PIN_LCD, contrast);

// Space mover for writing text    
void gotoXY(int x, int y)
  LcdWrite( 0, 0x80 | x);  // Column.
  LcdWrite( 0, 0x40 | y);  // Row.  


// Used to read the voltage of the TMP36
float getVoltage(int pin)
  return (analogRead(pin) * 0.004882814);

Download the source code here on github.

Follow Up

Next week, we will cover how to use buttons and switches to turn on LED's. I have only ever found the best switches on Sparkfun although you can get simple push buttons on ElectroDragon for less (tip: Commenting on any product while logged in on ElectroDragon will get you a 5% off coupon in your email). This will wrap up our beginner level tutorials and we will be ready to start moving into more medium-difficulty tutorials!


Reader comments

Arduino: Creating a Temperature Sensors with a Nokia 5110 LCD, a TMP36 and a Trimpot!

Sort by Rating

Yet again a very lovely and solid read! Hehe I'm about t save all your arduino tutorials to my favorites! Now I got some examns to do first, but next month I will go shopping for an arduino kit!
Keep up the good work and thank again for the tutorials!

Posted via Connectedly App