Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Information about the Tinkerkit 16x2 LCD board it's a Leonardo!

Tinkerkit appears to be defunct, So you can find some of their stuff pretty cheap.  Libraries are still on github.

So it appears these boards are much more then just LCDs - they have a 16x2 LCD of course, the firmware loaded on them let you use them as a serial LCD needing RX and TX hooked up to your micro-controller.  But it turns out these have a Leonardo (like) controller on them, and are programmable via the Arduino IDE using the Leonardo setting.

I found some information on G+(I shared the link to the G+ community) that says the tinkerkit LCD is an Arduino Leonardo with a LCD screen, and has some information about the I/O on the board.
These boards can be found on eBay (From US sellers) for between $5.95 and $8 some offer free shipping, some don’t
And there are sellers wanting a lot more for these as well.  Dan Moses says he finds them on Amazon for $8 bucks all the time (I haven’t looked, but seems right)

Special Thank you goes out to Dan Moses, as I have passed up a few of these boards thinking they were just LCDs.

So here is his blog that tells all about these:
He says he had a hard time finding the libraries, but a quick search of github and I found them no problem.

Dan Moses Codebender (Which he points too as the place to find the libraries) is:

I was only able to get these to program using Windows, and I selected “Leonardo” from the board list in the Arduino IDE.  Dan says they are very picky about the USB cable, but I tried 15 or so on Linux, with no luck, same cables worked fine with Windows. I don’t know.


  1. I stumbled upon this post while ripping my hair out and not being able to get the TKLCD to recognize on Ubuntu. I had tried 3 micro USB cables and when I saw that it is supposedly picky I tried one more and it worked. To be specific it worked with the white USB cable that came with my Amazon Kindle years ago. Why? I have no idea but hopefully this will be of some help to someone.

    1. For some reason I'm not getting notified about comments here (I'll look into that) - Yes, I not idea why. I have had a similar problem with a different board. And for that board, the key was to plug it into a USB hub - but unlike these screens that board didn't work with windows either. It's kind of a mystery to me. If I had to take an uneducated guess it has something to do with how the two systems handle power over the USB bus. But that is a total uneducated guess.