Thursday, 26 August 2010

LCD display progress (or lack thereof)

The Sure Electronics DE-LD021 LCD display module, AKA LCDSmartie whilst looking promising in the first instance turns out to be a bit of a dead loss.  The manufacturer doesn't seem to know the codes to drive the display.  Perhaps he just ripped off some other design and doesn't actually know.  He keeps repeating 'you must us CP2102 driver for Linux' like a broken record.  I guess making use of the display for Linux requires reverse-engineering the LCDSmartie software (which seems to be written in Delphi) to try to obtain the codes and then use them from Linux, which I don't have time for right now.  Big shame.

Edit:  To all those responding, many thanks for the comments, and sincere apologies for not publishing them sooner, but I've been out of the 'blogo-sphere' for some months!


  1. Hi Biff,
    Did you get any further ?
    I got one of these displays and it works on Winblows. It uses the Matrix Orbital driver, so I assume it uses the Matrix Orbital protocol which is documented on their site.
    Try that, or I can sniff the USB/serial stream to check.

  2. Hi Biff,
    I know enough Delphi and C/C++. After taking a look at the software and hardware spec it seem's to me that the DE-LD021 uses the CP2102 as a direct USB-UART bridge. Since LCDSmartie only supports 2 serial interfaces it has to be one of those two. The Matrix Orbital ULCD_MO.pas and the Crystalfontz ULCD_CF.pas. Rather than working out how LCDSmartie is using the COM port why not just look up the datasheets for those two displays. Then you have the commands.

    The delphi source can be found in this archive:

    Hope this helps,

  3. Hi Again,
    Just found that is a Matrix Orbital. Which has the command "Read module type" 0xFE, 0x37. It will return a single byte which identifies which of the devices it is.

    LCD0821 - 0x01 LCD2021 - 0x03 LCD1641 - 0x04
    LCD2041 - 0x05 LCD4021 - 0x06 LCD4041 - 0x07
    LK202-25 - 0x08 LK204-25 - 0x09 LK404-55 - 0x0A
    VFD2021 - 0x0B VFD2041 - 0x0C VFD4021 - 0x0D
    VK202-25 - 0x0E VK204-25 - 0x0F GLC12232 - 0x10
    GLC12864 - 0x11 GLC128128 - 0x12 GLC24064 - 0x13
    GLK12864-25 - 0x14 GLK24064-25 - 0x15 GLK128128-25 - 0x21
    GLK12232-25 - 0x22 LK404-AT - 0x31 VFD1621 - 0x32
    LK402-12 - 0x33 LK162-12 - 0x34 LK204-25PC - 0x35

    You can then get the rest of the details from here:

    Napalm :)

  4. Hey Biff,
    i think LCDsmartie emulates some MatrixOrbital codes, maybe this helps you out :

    Best regards, Micha

  5. Hi, i'm happy to find your post because I intended to buy this display when i asked me "will it work under linux"
    Here it is:
    it look like the same model as you talked. did you managed to get it working ? I hope so :)
    Have a nice day and good luck if you're still working on it!
    Adrien Jarthon.

  6. Hi Biff,

    Yesterday I have launch my DE-LD021 on Xubuntu 10.10 and it works fine.

  7. Seems to be LCD4Linux and the following post should offer a solution:

  8. I have one of those (well, I'm pretty sure it's the same model...) and I have code that drives it from Linux. I'm pretty sure the relevant bits were in a PDF that came with it. I can dig out the code if you've not found it yet?

  9. Sure Electronics seems to use a matrix orbital protocol. Check:

  10. Hi,

    I’ve just added a patch to LCD4Linux for support of 4×20 displays from Sure Electronics:



  11. Just received two of these... cant make them work at all- and I must say its really frustrating trying to find any information.

    Any chance you'll have another crack at it?