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Utilities for PCD8544 LCD (Nokia3310/5110) shield for Raspberry Pi
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Utilities for PCD8544 LCD (Nokia3310/5110) shield for Raspberry Pi

This utilities are using WiringPi library and based on work from Limor Fried, Adafruit Industries, Le Dang Dung and Andre Wussow.

The original pcd8544_rpi.c was modified with configurable physical PIN layout through pin_setup.h file. Also added signal handling to clear the LED display before exit when lcdstats process is interrupted.

Additional utilities are added to privide more functionality on LED backlight control (see hardware modification description below) and message display.

Provided utilities can be used in shell scripting for Raspberry PI projects requiring low cost message indication.


Download and install WiringPi as described on

Clone repository and build

$ git clone
$ cd ./PCD8544-utils
$ make all

This will create binaries in ./bin directory.

You may want to edit src/pin_setup.h file to customize PIN numbers and LCD Contrast.


Compiled programs require root priveleges to set Raspberry PI GPIO ports.

# Continuously print system statistics
$ sudo bin/lcdstats 

# Show Raspberry PI Logo
$ sudo bin/lcdlogo  

# Display text message
$ sudo bin/lcdprint 'Hello world!'

# Turn LED backlight ON, OFF and blinking
$ sudo bin/lcdlights on
$ sudo bin/lcdlights off
$ sudo bin/lcdlights blink

Owner for those files can be changed to root and SUID attributes applied to be able to run without sudo.

Hardware Hack to control Backlight LED

Multiple vendors do supply Raspberry Pi PCD8544 Shield having backlight connected to +3.3V pin 1 through a resistor so that backlight is always ON if Raspberry Pi is connected to power source. This might reduce the running time if you have autonomous solution running on a battery.


Please note, that any modification you do is on your own risk, you also may lose the a warranty for the modified components. Wrong assembly can also destroy Raspberry Pi.

Steps to enable backlight control on a stock PCD8544 Rasberry Pi shield are provided below.

Parts list

  • Raspberry Pi PCD8544 Shield
  • Soldering iron
  • Small piece of wire


  • Prepare PCB: create small groves on the edge of PCB to accommodate the wire. this could be done using dremmerl tool or a smal rasp (see pictures below).
  • Heat your soldering iron.
  • With soldering iron melt both left and right joints of the resistor (see pictures below).
  • When resistor is free, move it to the left so that it stays connected on one end.
  • Solder a wire to the other side of resistor.
  • Fit the wire into the groves
  • Solder the wire to PIN21 (GPIO9)


Raspberry Pi with modified LCD shield Resistor Hack Wire behind the shield

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