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Tutorial 14: Arduino LCD Thermometer

Created on: 4 August 2012

In this tutorial, a temperature sensor (MCP9700 linear active thermistor IC) and LCD are connected to the Arduino. The Arduino reads the temperature from the MCP9700 on analog pin A0 and displays the temperature on the LCD.

This video shows the circuit operating. When touched with a finger, the temperature sensor IC will measure an increasing temperature which is displayed on the LCD.

Can't see the video? View on YouTube →

Also see the Arduino serial thermometer tutorial (Tutorial 15).


Complete Tutorial 12: Arduino LCD before attempting this tutorial.


Besides an Arduino Uno board, USB cable, wire links and a breadboard, you will need:

Qty Part Designator Notes Type
1 47 ohm resistor (yellow - violet - black) R1 1/4W, 5% or better

Only needed if using LCD backlight
2 100n C1, C2 Non-polarized Capacitor
1 10k potentiometer RV1 Trimpot or panel mount Potentiometer
1 16 character by 2 line LCD LCD LCD
1 MCP9700 U1 Linear Active Thermistor IC Semiconductor

Books that may interest you:

C Programming with Arduino Book Ultimate Arduino MEGA 2560 Hardware Manual Ultimage Arduino Uno Hardware Manual

Circuit Diagram

The MCP9700 IC is housed in a TO-92 package (it looks like a transistor). The pinout of the package is shown in the circuit diagram. Capacitors C1 and C2 are used to stabilise the output from the MCP9700 and stabilise the power to the MCP9700.

Arduino LCD thermometer circuit diagram
Arduino LCD Thermometer Circuit Diagram

Building the Circuit

Follow tutorial 12 to interface the LCD to the Arduino. Connect the MCP9700 to the Arduino A0 pin as shown in the circuit diagram (pin 2 of the MCP9700 connects to A0 on the Arduino). Pin 1 of the MCP9700 (marked VDD) is connected to the Arduino 5V pin via the breadboard. The GND pin of the MCP9700 is connected to one of the Arduino GND pins.

Click the picture below for a bigger image of the breadboard circuit.

Arduino LCD thermometer circuit built on breadboard
Arduino LCD Thermometer Circuit on a Breadboard

Programming the Arduino

Copy the sketch for the Arduino LCD tutorial (below) and paste it into the Arduino IDE.

  Program:     LCD_temperature

  Description:  Reads the voltage from a MCP9700 temperature
                sensor on pin A0 of the Arduino. Converts the
                voltage to a temperature and displays it on an
                LCD (16 character by two line).

  Date:         15 April 2012
  Author:       W.A. Smith,
#include <LiquidCrystal.h>

// Arduino pins used for LCD
LiquidCrystal lcd(12, 11, 5, 4, 3, 2);

void setup() {
    // initialize the LCD display
    lcd.begin(16, 2);

void loop() {
    float temperature = 0.0;   // stores the calculated temperature
    int sample;                // counts through ADC samples
    float ten_samples = 0.0;   // stores sum of 10 samples
    // take 10 samples from the MCP9700
    for (sample = 0; sample < 10; sample++) {
        // convert A0 value to temperature
        temperature = ((float)analogRead(A0) * 5.0 / 1024.0) - 0.5;
        temperature = temperature / 0.01;
        // sample every 0.1 seconds
        // sum of all samples
        ten_samples = ten_samples + temperature;
    // get the average value of 10 temperatures
    temperature = ten_samples / 10.0;
    // display the temperature on the LCD
    lcd.setCursor(0, 0);
    lcd.print(" deg. C  ");
    ten_samples = 0.0;

Operating the Circuit

With the LCD_temperature sketch loaded into the Arduino, the temperature should be displayed on the top line of the LCD. Touching the MCP9700 temperature sensor will cause the displayed temperature to increase if the ambient temperature is below the temperature of your fingers. The temperature is displayed in degrees Celsius (°C).

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