2x16 character LCD displays

2x16 character LCD displays can be tricky beasts. I got mine working today with my seeeduino (an arduino compatible board with more awesome), and really wished I had known that:

  1. The contrast pin needs to be in the same power network as the power and ground pins. The contrast pin at 0v provides highest contrast, which means you can probably just ground it normally.

  2. The timing between LCD driver power up and commencement of device programming appears to be important. I had the LCD power independently, and this gave me garbage on screen. When the LCD shared the same power supply as the seeeduino everything worked perfectly.