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As part of a project to build a digital rotary table I've been experimenting with double height characters.


The Circuit

The circuit for this is an I2C LCD display wired to the standard I2C pins on the Arduino and a linear 10K potentiometer with the wiper connected to the analogue input 0 on the Aruduino.

LCD and POT_bb.png

In the code


The setup function creates a few blocky custom characters.

An array stores the defintions of the numbers 0-9 with regards to which of those custom characters need to be displayed.

The loop then reads the input and then displays the results in the large characters.






LCD "Bigfont" Numbers on the Arduino Forum

Hifiduinos LCD Custom Fonts, Large Numbers

Tom Torfs binary constant Macros


Source Code



LCD DisplayLCD Display

10K Pot10K Pot

Arduino UnoArduino Uno

4K7 Resistor4K7 Resistor

The new Arduino integration for Atmel Studio takes under 10 minutes to install and provides a fully compatible Arduino programming tool.


Atmel Studio is a free version of Microsoft Visual Studio. The Arduino plugin is also free, although an optional Arduino usb debugger license can currently be purchased for $15 (rrp $49)


All versions of Arduino are supported, although Arduino 1.5 is currently beta. The single installer also suppports visual studio pro 2008, 2010, 2012 and atmel studio


The latest version of the Visual Micro plugin is usually the best one to install, however, for Atmel Studio users the best version is 1305.21+ in our downloads list (also see our atmel page below for an important official atmel patch)


sorry no sound in this initial overview


Syntax colors, code completion for all Arduino (and compatible) hardware


Help & Examples Wizard


Learn with Arno Shield... A where to begin complete learning platform (via Olympia Circuits)


As many people already know, the Arduino is a versatile platform. It is a great place to start when learning about embedded electronics, or a great stepping-stone to learning about electronics in general. However, some people still struggle to begin with the Arduino and may have difficulties building and connecting circuits for the first time. Peter Gould and Kevin Warner recognized this when they began selling Arduino boards at Maker Faires. As a result, they released what they called the Arno kit.


The Arno kit was basically an Arduino board with a bunch of electronic components integrated on to the same board. In addition, they wrote a book to help getting started with the Arno kit. Along with explaining how the electronics on the board worked it also covers over 40 example programs, all with details on what is going on with each line of code. Although the board was a great creation to creating accessible electronics for beginners, their book, Learning Arduino with the Arno, was a hit among many people and was extremely well written.


Now the creators have developed their next invention, the Arno Shield. The Arno shield takes a similar approach as the Arno kit did; however, instead of having a board with the Arduino processor and all the components together, they created a shield for Arduinos, which comes packed with components. Therefore, beginners can still work with the easy to use Arno board, but when the time comes to move on, they could just pop off the shield and begin to wire up their experiment.


Furthermore, since the shield features all the original components the kit had, they have also decided to include their book in a convenient package deal. The package will run for $60, but as they say, the knowledge gained can be priceless. The components featured on the board include: four green LEDs, one RGB LED, One infrared LED, two push button switches, a thumbwheel potentiometer, a piezobuzzer, a phototransistor, and a temperature sensor.


The world of electronics is now more accessible than ever. The Arduino introduced a great way to begin working with microcontrollers. On the other hand, some people who are interested in the Arduino may be hesitant to start due to the fact that they will be learning electronics, programming, and breadboarding all at the same time. For those people the Arno kit and shield is here for you. Along with a well written book, there is no better place to start and no more reasons to be intimidated.



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