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Yet another Nokia 5110 LCD breakout board

Integrate the Nokia 5110 LCD into your own KiCad PCB design ..or then just create your own breakout board.

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Too bad you'll first need to get your hands on another Nokia 5110 LCD breakout board so you can use its actual LCD in your own breakout board. Obviously, that doesn't make much sense - except having a purple breakout board.

What will make more sense is to use the Nokia 5110 LCD KiCad component and footprint and integrate it into your own PCB design.

It was simple - I needed a new way to add the Nokia 5110 / 3310 to one of my projects. The one from Olimex just didn't do it anymore for me, so after trying all variations of the LCD that are out there, I ended up at the "clip-in" breakout boards as available from Adafruit, Sparkfun, and China.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find any PCB design files for the breakout board, and even if, I'd assume they'd be for Eagle or anything else but KiCad. So instead, I just shamelessly measured all there was to measure and created my own KiCad PCB footprint, along with a schematic component.

Once done, I needed a way to verify it would actually work and fit the LCD, so despite how pointless it is, I created my own breakout board as proof of concept and ordered it from OSH Park. Good thing I didn't spend more time on a real project with bigger PCB dimensions, cause it needed some reworking (forgot two holes in the PCB for the LCD's nipples on the plastic back side).

Second attempt was all good. However, the OSH Park boards are thicker than the original China breakout boards, which might result in bad connections. Soldering the frame onto the PCB will solve that. I used the standard thickness of the PCB both time I ordered, but as OSH Park pointed out in the comments, they also offer thinner boards. This might be worth considering, since the default thickness won't fully hold the frame clips in, so the LCD isn't firmly pressed down, causing potential connection problems. Or then just solder the clips tightly to the PCB (the exposed copper around the clip holes is meant for that).

So, with the breakout board functional, the KiCad components can be used in any other project as well. But once again, you will still need the "original" breakout board to get the LCD itself. I did find some standalone LCDs with clippable frame, but I wasn't able to use them in this design. Might have just been a bad connection due to the PCB thickness, but it's also possible the internal connections are different (there seem to be at least two different LCDs, according to the serdisplib project).

  • Footprint update for solder paste layers

    Sven Gregori07/29/2017 at 15:08 0 comments

    After receiving my new re-designed PCBs for #4chord MIDI - which is a real world example of putting this project here into reality (and pictures of that are now in the gallery), I thought I'll get familiar with the whole subject of solder paste stencils. This made me finally understand what the "Paste" layers are for, and I created the Gerber files for them to have a look at it.

    Yep, the footprint in my Github repository includes the solder paste layer for both the connector pads and the solder pads on the back side. This is fine - or simply doesn't matter - for PCB manufacturing. However, for stencils, this may or may not be a good thing.

    Personally, after experimenting some amount with OSH Park's ENIG finished PCBs, I don't have any need for solder on the connector pads, and haven't decided yet how to deal with the pads on the back side, but will potentially stick to hand-solder them. In that case, I wouldn't want to have the pads exposed in the stencil.

    This might be different for you. Or I might change my mind in the future. And sure, you can always edit the pads while designing the PCB and adjust the solder paste layer individually, but figured I add some shortcut.

    So long story short, I extended the Nokia 5110 LCD footprint library to contain a total of four footprints:

    • Nokia_5110-3310_LCD without any solder paste layers
    • Nokia_5110-3310_LCD-B.Paste with solder paste layer on the back side soldering pads
    • Nokia_5110-3310_LCD-F.Paste with solder paste layers on the front side connector pads
    • Nokia_5110-3310_LCD-F.Paste-B.Paste with solder paste layers for both, i.e. the original footprint

    Note, once again, if you are only interested to use the footprint for PCB design, it won't matter which footprint you use. This is only relevant for creating PCB stencils.

View project log

  • 1
    Step 1

    Get my KiCad library, either completely or just the Nokia 5110 related component and footprint

  • 2
    Step 2

    Create a new KiCad project and open the schematic editor

  • 3
    Step 3

    Select in the menu Preferences -> Component Library and select Add in the Component library files section. Add /path/to/kicad-libs/components/Nokia_5110-3310_LCD/nokia_5110-3310_lcd.lib and press OK.

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oshpark wrote 06/29/2017 at 18:22 point

Thanks for sharing the KiCad component and footprint!

With regards to:
"However, the OSH Park boards are thicker than the original China breakout boards, which might result in bad connections. Soldering the frame onto the PCB will solve that."

We do also offer thinner 2 layer boards with 0.8mm thickness:
https://blog.oshpark.com/2016/01/15/new-2-layer-half-height-double-copper/

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sven Gregori wrote 06/29/2017 at 23:29 point

Oh, indeed, thanks for pointing that out. I've adjusted the text and added the information.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Clovis Fritzen wrote 06/29/2017 at 17:13 point

Cool! I've done something similar, but it has never seen daylight >> https://hackaday.io/project/10102-arduino-backpack-for-nokia-5110-display

  Are you sure? yes | no

Sven Gregori wrote 06/29/2017 at 23:23 point

Nice :)

So.. what's stopping you from proceeding? Only had a quick look at the Gerber files, but looks like you have the PCB ready.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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