Zonnestroompanelen in Nederland

duurzaamheid achter de meter

(24) Nokia 5510 84*48 LCD and the Arduino Nano

by Floris Wouterlood – The Netherlands – January 8, 2021

The modest and durable Nokia 5510 is a handy display for combination with always-on Arduino devices. Its screen: 84 pixels in width and 48 pixels in height, is based on proven Philips monochrome LCD technology. It offers both alphanumerical and graphical functions, thus competing directly with standard 16×2 and 20×4 LCDs. The Arduino library “Adafruit_PCD8544.h” created by Adafruit Industries offers all the functionality one can assign to such a small and humble monochrome display. Because this display is so durable while pixels do not burn in so fast as with pixels in OLEDs it is an attractive display in combination with permanently information producing devices such as temperature and humidity sensors. The 5510 display is basically a 3.3V device, but is can be used as well, with some precautions, with the 5V control logic environment of the Arduino Uno and Nano. Here we wire the Nokia 5510 with an Arduino Nano.

In the Arduino ecosphere an array of displays awaits the user; almost too many and too diverse to select from. The simplest in the arsenal is the numerical display based on 7-segment LED technology while the most complicated are TFTs and electronic ink displays. TFTs by far offer most in the sense of colors and graphical capabilities.
For Arduino applications that are permanently on and that must be energy-savvy a flashy, energy instensive, expensive display is uneconomical . Yet we may want the continuous stream of information be monitorable at a glance. For instance the continuous monitoring of water temperatures in central heating pipes with temperature sensors can be managed with an Arduino with permanent data display on a Nokia 5510, if necessary with a small touch of graphical decoration. The Nokia 5510 is cheap, has a small footprint, is durable and requires little energy.


figure 1. Wiring of a Nokia 5510 LCD with an Arduino Nano in a soft-SPI configuration. Note the voltage-reducing resistors in all wires. The Vcc pin of the Nokia should be wired to the 3V3 pin of the Arduino.

Figure 1 shows the pin-to-pin wiring of the Nokia 5510 and an Arduino Nano. This is a soft-SPI wiring, that is we do not use the Nano’s dedicated SPI pins (these are: data pin D11, clock pin D13). As the Nokia 5510 runs exclusively on 2.7-3.3V precautions are necessary to avoid damaging the display. This Arduino uses 5V control logic signals of which the voltage must be lowered by incuding resistors in the wiring. Note that we use 10 kΩ resistors for the wires leading to RST, DC, Din and Clk while CE has a 1 kΩ resistor.

Wiring the Nokia to an Arduino Nano

A Nokia 5510 breakout board has 8 pins (fig 1):

  • GND: ground pin. Connect to GND.
  • BL: back light pin: powers the four leds mounted in the display casing. If 3.3V is applied to this pin the backlight leds will light up.
  • VCC: power pin: needs 3.3V permanently.
  • CLK: clock pin for serial SPI communication. Connect to pin D7 of the Arduino and use a 10 k resistor in series.
  • DIN: data pin for serial SPI communication. Connect to pin D6 of the Arduino and use a 10 k resistor in series.
  • DC: command/data pin: Connect to pin D5 of the Arduino and use a 10 k resistor in series.
  • CE: chip enable: allows data to be clocked in. Connect to pin D4 of the Arduino and use a 1 k resistor in series.
  • RST: reset pin. If this pin is set LOW the cip on board of the display will reset. Connect to pin D3 of the Arduino and use a 10 k resistor in series.


Note: the library “Adafruit_PCD8544.h” is required to compile this sketch. This library can be installed via Library manager in the Arduino IDE or else located on the internet downloaded as .zip file and installed via Sketch and Include Library.
The sketch itself is straightforward and prints ‘Hello World!’ to screen.

Downloadable sketch:

basic sketch: nano_nokia_5510.ino
sketch is packed in a ZIP file