Can I write in hebrew on the lcd?

I want to write in Hebrew on the lcd. can I use ACSII code? and how?
when I write in hebrew now all I get is jibrish. I got orangutan with atmega168.


The short answer is: not easily.

Standard parallel LCDs like the one on your Orangutan come with a set of up to 248 characters built in, usually including the Latin alphabet, common punctuation and symbols, and Katakana, one of the phonetic Japanese alphabets. It also lets you program up to eight (I think that’s the limit anyway) custom characters, which you define with hex representations of dot matrix images.

If you’re really interested there are two ways I can think of to proceed.

1. Software:
In theory you could have dot matrix representations of the Hebrew alphabet stored in your AVR (hey, there’s a good use for the EEPROM!) and download these characters to the display as you wanted to use them. This process is described a little in this document on the parallel LCD interface, and you can find an Orangutan demonstration in this post by Jim Remington, where he uses custom characters to create bar graphs on the LCD.

One possible problem is that I’m not sure if you can continue to display custom characters after you have overwritten them. Lets say you want to write more than eight different custom characters on the screen at once, so you download them one at a time to the LCD, display them on the screen as you go, but when you download the ninth it will have to overwrite one of the other eight, and I’m not sure if that would change instances of that character already displayed on the screen. Maybe someone with a little more LCD hacking experience can answer that one for us.

Also, you would need to write functions redirect the cursor to the left after writing each character, but that wouldn’t be terribly difficult.

2. Hardware:
You can buy versions of most LCDs specially pre-programmed with non-standard character sets. English+Japanese is the most standard, but English+Hebrew definitely exists (although you may still have to generate the commands to move the cursor left after each character). There are a few different manufacturers that make LCDs with the same form factor as the one that comes installed on the Orangutan, but you can also wire up any parallel-interface LCD (it just won’t be as compact).

So now the real question is how much work is it worth to you to be able to write in Hebrew on your lCD? Good luck!



As far as I know, the LCD does not support Hebrew characters. You can find a table of all the possible display characters on pages 17 and 18 of the spec for the HD44780 interface (the same interface used by the Orangutan’s LCD). This datasheet also gives you instructions for making your own custom character patterns.

Edit: Apparently Adam totally beat me to this!

- Ben