I have seen many posts about wiring the hd44780 lcd to a PI - but I am having problems understanding because I am trying to do it without a bread board. So, my first question is... do I need one for this? secondly if its not needed, how do I wire it up?

I'm a total newbie when it comes to electronics, so be kind (I'm trying to make the lcd display a local IP to help my son connect to it, because he doesn't know how to get the ip).

thanks in advance

1 Answer 1


I use a FC-113 'backpack' IC for I2C control of the LCD. It doesn't have to be a FC-113 module. FC-113

This will save you some connections. You need to enable I2C in raspi-config. I use 5V for the VCC pin, and haven't had to use level shifters for SDA/SCL. YMMV.

If you just need your son to know the IP of your Pi, install Fing on his phone; it will show the hostname if mDNS/avahi is up and running. It will also say 'Raspberry Pi Foundation' to the right of the IP. If avahi/mDNS is not running, but the Pi has gotten an IP via DHCP, it will show the DHCP hostname, usually just 'raspberry'.

  • Thanks, is there any guides for this? because I don't even know what acronyms mean :) Jun 6, 2017 at 14:48
  • P.S. Sorry this is really newbie, but do I just have a wire from 5V on pi to the VCC pin? Jun 6, 2017 at 14:52
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    @user1472266 Well, the 5V pin on pi1, 2, 3 varies in how much current it can supply. The LCD uses ~25mA when backlit (and blank) on 5V. So it's safe to connect it to the FC-113 module, at least - I am unsure if the 16x2 LCD requires resistors on its pins without that module. I2C is a protocol for devices (master/slaves) on a serial bus. Don't overthink it though, just know that each I2C device is either slave or master, but not both. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I%C2%B2C?wprov=sfsi1
    – user2497
    Jun 6, 2017 at 15:06
  • avahi is a service that provides a friendly network neighbourhood, like Windows/Mac PCs do. They call it various things; bonjour, rendezvous. The proper name is just mDNS -> en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multicast_DNS?wprov=sfsi1 - remember to add '.local' to all hostnames in your network that require mDNS.
    – user2497
    Jun 6, 2017 at 15:20
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    I am using a similar backpack but for safety's-sake I am using a 3.3V/5V I2C level shifter (it is a very small module probably available widely - I got mine from a well-known auction site 8-) ) to link the 3.3Volt I2C bus that the RPi has to the 5Volt one that the LCD module uses - on the other hand I have written my RPi software with the capability to read from as well as (the normal) write to the LCD backpack so you might get away with out provided the latter does NOT have 5V pull-ups on the I2C Data and Clock wires...
    – SlySven
    Jun 15, 2017 at 1:41

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