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November 1, 2011 AT 9:23 am

Beer automated dispensing and security system with Adafruit monochrome LCD + extras

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Beer Automated Dispensing And Security System @ Milwaukee Makerspace.

Adam, Kevin and I have been working on a secure kegerator project. We made a kegerator that uses an Arduino Duemilanove with an RFID reader for access control, a solenoid for controlling the tap and a flow meter for recording how much beer was dispensed. We are reusing our Makerspace keycards and fobs for access. The system is pretty simple and only has a few components. We’ve done a couple of iterations on it so far and are currently working on a custom-etched Arduino shield for the components. While the system currently uses a little Nokia 5110 screen from AdaFruit, we are also working on a version that uses an android phone for display, data logging and cloud-connected goodness.

The old, tired way of storing and dispensing beer relies on cans and refrigerators. This simply won’t do for today’s tech-savvy connoisseur.

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Nokia5110 Lrg

Nokia 5110/3310 monochrome LCD + extras. These displays were used in old Nokia 5110/3310 cell phones (before the smart-phone fad turned every cell phone into a TV). It’s a 84×48 pixel monochrome LCD display. These displays are small, only about 1.5″ diagonal, but very readable and come with a white backlight. This display is made of 84×48 individual pixels, so you can use it for graphics, text or bitmaps. These displays are inexpensive, easy to use, require only a few digital I/O pins and are fairly low power as well.

Nokia5110Lorem Lrg

To drive the display, you will need 3 to 5 digital output pins (depending on whether you want to manually control the chip select and reset lines). Another pin can be used to control (via on/off or PWM) the backlight – the backlight LEDs are wired to a transistor.

The display driver is a PCD8544 chip, and it runs at 3.3V so you’ll need a 3V supply handy (you don’t need that much current though, maybe 10mA tops). Logic levels must be 3V to prevent damage but we include a free level shifter chip so you can easily connect it to 5V logic such as an Arduino.

Of course, we wouldn’t just point you to a datasheet and say “good luck!” To make it easy for you to use the display, we’ve written a nice graphics library that can print text, pixels, rectangles, circles and lines! The library is written for the Arduino but can easily be ported to your favorite microcontroller. We also have a detailed wiring and usage tutorial with more information about the display and more photos.

Get one today!


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1 Comment

  1. @K – post up in the forums and we’ll likely be able to assist with any questions about the code.

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