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A menu driven application template for the Adafruit LCD Plates on a Raspberry Pi
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lcdmenu.xml Added support for auto-off LCD. Also added function to get text input. Oct 25, 2014


A menu driven application template for the Adafruit LCD Plates on a Raspberry Pi.

It provides a simple way to navigate a nested set of menus, and run various functions, by pressing the buttons on the Adafruit LCD Plate. Included is a way to determine the IP address of the Pi when running headless. Also, allows the user to select from a large list of choices (using List Selector), by cycling through letters vertically and horizontally. It uses an XML file to configure the menu structure, and processes tags to enable different options. XML element support includes:

  • folders, for organizing menus.
  • widgets, which are really just functions to call in the code.
  • run, which allows you to run any command and see the output on the LCD.

It assumes the user has the LCD Plate from Adafruit already attached. It is also possible to make a quick modification to the LCD libraries to detect if the LCD is attached before progressing into the app. Though with their new updates, not sure how to do that now. Support is included also to turn on the LCD to different colors. (at least for the 16x2 positive LCD plate) You can also launch the Python based application from /etc/init.d using the provided init file. In that mode, you can launch right into the application without keyboard or monitor, yet still determine the IP address, change networks if you like, or any other capability you build in. Obviously double check the content of the provided init file before use. Also note that once you put it in init.d, if you don't actually connect the LCD, you may find lots of error messages. You may want to test for presence of the LCD before running it. Included also is an approach to switch networks from the UI, in case you want to switch between different network layouts if you travel with it.

Some of the canned menu items are functional, but other are place holders to spawn ideas. Such as using gphoto2 to trigger DSLR camera operations, or using raspistill to capture images from the Pi Camera. Or using the ephem library to do astronomy calculations. Or connecting the Pi to your GPS to auto locate.

To get started, put all these files somewhere. Then obtain the Adafruit LCD python code. From that, copy the files from: Adafruit-Raspberry-Pi-Python-Code/Adafruit_CharLCDPlate/ into the same folder as this code.

Then you should be able to do: python


=========== Changes: 24-Oct-2014

  • Added support to optionally turn LCD light off/on with use.
  • Added support to enter a text phrase into the UI, as a function to use as you like.


  • Added support to set date/time
  • Fixed bug to allow backing out of ListSelector
  • Added support for a reboot command

Written by Alan Aufderheide

GPL v3 license, kindly include text above in any redistribution.

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