I recently got a pi and it came with the a DVK511 board a number of other things, such as a LCD1602 screen. I have the custom raspbian image on my SD card that my pi is running, and is currently booted off of. However, after attaching the ribbon cable to the DVK511 and the Pi, the DVK511 has it's lights on, and if I plug the LCD1602 into the correct pins, it's screen lights up a light blue. However, when I 'make' the LCD1602 test program that comes with the waveshare version of Rasbpian, and then run it via LCD1602_Test, nothing happens on the LCD, and a few LEDs on the DVK511 flash. I tested the LEDs to make sure I had the board connected to the raspberry pi correctly, and they worked. Did I do something wrong or is the LCD defective?


7 Answers 7


Your LCD may actually be working correctly. It may simply be a matter of the contrast being set incorrectly. To correct this turn the knob or screw on the contrast potentiometer. You should try turning it both clockwise and counterclockwise. Ideally you can do this while the Pi is sending text to you display, but depending on its position this may not be possible. In this case adjust the screw in one direction and test. If that fails try turning the screw in the opposite direction and retest.


I have recently got this kit (DVK511) and was able to get the 1602 working after a little testing with the potentiometer but as another user here, even at max it's barely legible. I'd like to test if it just needs extra power via the 5v DC plug but I haven't found any information as to what polarity or max amp and I'd hate to kill the thing. WaveShare was nice and sent me this site for any/all information they have including software and source code. Should I worry about polarity or just throw in any old 5v adapter... If you'd like my source code for writing on the LCD, I might put it on my github later.

URL: (https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B0JROqv_lqrQakpONE5jMTFVSHc&usp=sharing)


I also had the same problem and it seems to be something with the trimpot that adjusts the contrast. In my case, the display shows the text but with a very low contrast, even if the trimpot is at max. Maybe a problem with the power supply that comes with the set?


Do you have a Arduino? If you do, just hook it up to it and see if it runs it. Also, maybe you are not feeding enough power/not any. A final thing to look at is if it is grounded. If the pi is running on battery it has to be grounded.

  • My Pi is hooked up to my 1A phone charger, which I think (?) should be enough power. I sadly do not have an arduino. The Pi itself is on, and all of the lights are on on the DVK511, and the LCD is lit up a bright blue, but no text will show up when running any test programs. Jan 5, 2014 at 2:28
  • Do you have power hooked up to the DVK511 it's self? If not you probably should. It's part 10 here: wvshare.com/product/DVK511.htm Jan 5, 2014 at 2:32
  • I have no idea what is supposed to go there. It didn't provide any documentation at all as to what wires go where for that. Jan 5, 2014 at 2:38
  • I think it goes on circle 6 Jan 5, 2014 at 2:40
  • That I already have there. I think you might be right about the power issue, although I have no idea how I'm meant to power it. Jan 5, 2014 at 2:44

Also, Maybe this picture will help too.

enter image description here

  • I have exactly that, with the jumpers in the same spot and all, well, with a different pi (512MB) Jan 5, 2014 at 2:36
  • If only you had an Arduino to test it. I am hoping someone else may also hop in on this too, but maybe for now just move through several tutorials online and compare their code and then just experiment with it. Jan 5, 2014 at 2:39
  • The issue here is there is very little online about the DVK511 except for the product's documentation page, so I'm kind of lost :/ Jan 5, 2014 at 2:40
  • I hear you on that. I had never heard of this and it looks really nice but I am not sure if I would want to buy it after hearing that. It is probably not commonly owned but it looks like it should be. Jan 5, 2014 at 2:41
  • Maybe since it is unknown, post on several sites like Instructibles and others to make sure the people reading it have it. Jan 5, 2014 at 2:42

Maybe your test code is not correct. Today I've used wiringPi library and succussfully light up the LCD1602 and show tempreature on it. DVK511 use the GPIO ports like the following: GND 3.3V V0 IO3 GND SCK X X X X IO4 MOSI MISO IO6 3.3V GND It uses 4 bits mode so that wiringPi's library function lcdInit() should be called like this: lcdInit(2,16,4,3,14,4,12,13,6,0,1,2,5); 2--2 rows 16--16 cols 4--4 bits mode 3--LCD1602's RS is controlled by wiringPi's GPIO3 14--LCD1602's RW is controlled by wiringPi's SCLK 4,12,13,6--LCD1602's DATA (4 bits mode) is from IO4,MOSI,MISO,IO6 the last 4 ports which not duplicate with the former 6 ports should be all right. I don't know what library you use, but the problem could be the same


I had the same problem, turn the potentiometer labeled EOI in the picture at right, and retry. The pot controls the contrast of the display.enter image description here

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