We are quite familiar with seven-segment displays. We see them on our alarm clocks, ovens, and microwaves. By adding more segments to each digit you can display more than just numbers! Introducing the brand new SparkFun Qwiic Alphanumeric Display. These blue fourteen-segment digits allow you display all sorts of numbers, characters, and symbols. With Qwiic, simply plug it in and go. No soldering, no figuring out which is SDA or SCL, and no voltage regulation or translation required!
The SparkFun Alphanumeric Display Arduino library makes printing strings to the display as easy as calling the print() function. With this library, you'll be able to send I2C commands to the VK16K33 LED driver chip to light up segments (including the decimal point or colon) and even scroll your string across the display. You can download the library through the Arduino library manager by searching 'SparkFun Alphanumeric Display' or you can get the GitHub repo as a .zip file and install the library from there.
The VK16K33 also supports I2C address configuration. Simply close a combination of the address jumpers on the back and you can communicate with up to four displays on the same bus. Our slim board design also features detachable stand off holes, vertical Qwiic connectors, and internal mounting holes.
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Rookie - You will need a better fundamental understand of what code is, and how it works. You will be using beginner-level software and development tools like Arduino. You will be dealing directly with code, but numerous examples and libraries are available. Sensors or shields will communicate with serial or TTL.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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I wanted a display for a vacuum pump controller I am working on. I plugged this display in and daisy-chained it to the Sparkfun Micropressure sensor and a Nano and I was displaying pressure readings in seconds. I had to display the pressure reading as an integer to keep the stable number on the display but that’s a programming issue. The display is very clear, bright and readable from several feet away.
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