Character LCDs for electric vehicles

LCDs and electric vehicles go together like peanut butter and jelly!

The sun was just breaking over the horizon when I stopped to stare in wonder and amazement at the beauty of creation. Pink clouds were slowly morphing to a burning red. A combination of early morning rays in were competition to the last remaining stars.

Believe it or not, Anaheim at 5:30 in the morning is peaceful. Disneyland was in the background, and the thousands of wild, out-of-control, sugar charged, pre-diabetic kids were sleeping.

‘Peace on earth and good will to men.’

I was holding my coffee while taking a quick walk in the hotel’s parking lot when I saw a beautiful site: a character LCD used in an electric vehicle charging station. 

She was awesome. Bright, yellow/green LED backlight. Wide STN viewing angle, and contrast to die for. Whoever the engineer was that choose this baby knew what he/she was doing.

Ok, you may not find LCDs as beautiful as I do, but they are.

Of course, I don’t have many second dates. Come to think of it, I don’t have too many first dates either. Come to think about it . . . never mind. Back to the oh so beautiful LCD.

Why are Character LCDs, a technology that has been around for many years, still in high demand for new designs? Especially for outdoor products that must be readable in direct sunlight.

Monochrome displays (Character, Graphic, and Segment) perform well in direct sunlight. A much better choice than multi-color technologies such as TFTs and OLEDs that are power hungry and difficult to read in direct sunlight.

LED backlights are dimmable and operate independently of the LCD and can shut off to save power.

Character displays are just what their name says. They only display characters (letters, numbers) and are simple to program since there is no messing with graphics. Heck, the interface is a simple eight bit parallel.

So, maybe one day you will be walking along and see an alarm system control panel with a 20×2 character LCD. You take the time to stop and admire its outstanding qualities, pointing out its fine qualities to your wife. It’s sharp contrast thanks to the STN fluid, or its bright LED backlight, or the easy to read grey background. Justifying why every man needs a character display at home.

Or maybe not.