This blog series explains how to use the Educational BoosterPack LCD with a Hercules LaunchPad.

The Educational BoosterPak MKII is a hot item. It has many sensors on board. and a joystick, a buzzer, a 3-colored LED, buttons and a microphone.
And also a very nice color LCD screen.

I've made a Hercules library for the LCD. It has low-level functions to send commands and data. But also a high-level API to clear the screen, write text and draw objects.
There's also an example that shows how to load a bitmap drawing.



What do you need to get started?

You can try this straight away. You need a Hercules LaunchPad (any), the Educational BoosterPack MKII and the example project archive that's available on this page.

  • mount the Educational BoosterPack on the Hercules RM46 LaunchPad
  • move J5 (above the joystick) to its lower position, from pin 1-2 to pin 2-3
  • plug the LaunchPad into your pc
  • download the project archive attached to this post
  • import it in Code Composer Studio via menu Project -> Import CCS Project -> Select archive File. Select the archive you just downloaded.
  • press the debug button
  • step through the code to see the lines, circle, triangles, text and logo appear on the LCD



I have tested this on a  LAUNCHXL2-RM46LAUNCHXL2-RM46 LaunchPad

The attached project is for that one.

But if you follow the blog series, you should be able to use this on any other LaunchPad.

You may need to build an adapter (or use a small breadboard as patch deck) if the pins don't perfectly match those of the BoosterPack.



Credit where Credit is Due

This library isn't my own invention. I ported the Energia code for the HX8353E LCD, and the bitmap demo is blatantly ripped from the Energia LCD_screen_Logos example.
All the hard work is done by Rei VILO, who created those libraries and examples for Energia.
I'm waiving any license claims for my work. The original licensing conditions from Olivier apply - nothing added, nothing taken away. See the source code for the details.

The Educational Part

The BoosterPack is targeted for educational use. When you follow this blog, you'll learn some easy to difficult toppics.

  • GIO: easy - you'll learn how to drive the reset and data/command signals to the LCD screen high and low with the generic I/O module.
  • PWM: medium - you'll use pulse width modulation to set the brightness of the display backlight
  • SPI - difficult - at the end of the series you are able to send commands and data to the LCD using the SPI protocol.


The next blog post will review the pins and modules I'm using. And I'll start with the first configuration discussions.