# Contrast Control for LCDs

Posted on Feb 4, 2014

The adjustment control for the contrast of an LC-Display is typically a 10-k potentiometer. This works fine, provided that the power supply voltage is constant. If this is not the case (for example, with a battery power supply) then the potentiometer has to be repeatedly adjusted. Very awkward, in other words. The circuit described here offers a s

olution for this problem. The aforementioned potentiometer is intended to maintain a constant current from the contrast connection (usually pin 3 or Vo) to ground. A popular green display with 2x16 characters supplies` about 200 µA. At a power supply voltage of 5 V there is also an additional current of 500 µA in the potentiometer itself. Not very energy efficient either. Now there is an IC, the LM334, which, with the aid of one resistor, can be made into a constant current source. The circuit presented here ensures that there is a current of 200 µA to ground, independent of the power supply voltage. By substituting a 2. 2-k potentiometer for R1, the current can be adjusted as desired. Circuit diagram:The value of R1 can be calculated as follows: R1 = 227x10-6 x T / I. Where T is the temperature in Kelvin and I is the current in ampG¨res. In our case this results in: Note that the current supplied by the LM334 depends on the temperature. This is also true for the current from the display, but it is not strictly necessary to have a linear relationship between these two. Temperature variations of up to 10 ° will not be a problem however. This circuit results in a power saving of over 25% with an LCD that itself draws a current of 1. 2 mA. In a battery powered application this is definitely worth the effort! In addition, the contrast does not need to be adjusted as the battery voltage reduces. When used with LCDs with new...

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