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Building an Arduino Temperature Sensor with an LCD Display


As part of my learning curve for open source hardware, and basic electronics.  This project wont take you very long, maybe an hour at most.

What this does is pretty straight forward, it shows the temperature in real time for both Celsius and Fahrenheit.  I’ve added some code to the Nokia, which uses the analogWrite trick (that is, use one of the digital outputs that has a tilde in front of it ( ~ ).  This will let you send a modulating frequency, which means you can make the LED (backlight in this case) brighter and dimmer.  The brightness of this display is controlled using the trimpot (potentiometer).


  • Mini breadboard – $3 China | $4 Sparkfun
  • Nokia 5110 – $3 China | $10 Sparkfun
  • Arduino Uno – $10 China | $30 Sparkfun ***
  • TMP36 - 5$ China | $1.50 Sparkfun
  • Potentiometer – $1.10 China | $1 Sparkfun
  • 4 x 10kΩ resistor – cheap
  • 1 x 330Ω resister – cheap
  • 1 x 1kΩ resistor – cheap

Total cost:  ~20 dollars on ebay, or ~50 dollars on sparkfun

*** Parts that are highly recommended to purchase from an authorized vendor, as it helps contribute to arduino projects

Video of the toy in action:

Youtube video of the toy in action.






Nokia 5110 and TMP Sensor_bb - mini

Nokia 5110 and TMP Sensor_schem


Want some quick schematic software?  Thanks fritzing.  Also, here is the Nokia 5110 part for fritzing (you can use this in your fritzing drawings.


If you want, you can grab the code from my github

I do apologize, I did base this on 3 or 4 different code sets and did a poor job of sourcing it.

Lloyd Summers

My name is Lloyd Summers and I'm from Calgary Alberta, Canada. 

I'm a part-time developer in the evenings, and a full time IT Consultant in the daytime, specializing in Project Management and Solution Design.  I focus on all kinds of hardware, software and opensource development.

Follow Me On Twitter - @kerm_ed

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