...and a few steps back.
My next job was to tackle the LCD.
I think I made a few mistakes, the first being the fact that I didn't take enough pictures.
I made my cable. I crimped on the 10 pin connector to the ribbon cable, no problem. I did my tests and it seemed ok.
When I started soldering the ribbon cable to the LCD, I think I did them upside down. It was odd, because I was trying to match the picture (photo 7 on step 12) on the tutorial, but I noticed the little arrow on the connector that I thought was supposed to point to pin 1. I assumed that's what I shoudl do as opposed to just copying the picture. Doing it that way made it seem that the connector was upside down compared to the picture, though it's not easy to see. Looking back, that was pretty flawed thinking. (One of my specialties!)
Being that I had the same LCD from China (in blue) that Hawkeye used for his, I figured the pins would match, even the mis labeled pins.
The soldering was a little difficult. I had strands of wire that kept wanting to short to the pin next to it. I probably should twist the ends better next time.
So, either my two bad assumptions or my messy soldering could have been the culprit...
I plugged in the LCD like I saw on the tutorial (with the ribbon going towards the PIC chip), and turned on the power. Nothing. I tried moving the contrast pot on the control board. Nothing. Then I smelled something. Ooops. I quickly unplugged it. After inspection, one of the rubber circles on the LCD was REALLY hot, and some of the rubber looked like it may have been a wee bit melted.
I thought about how I may had put the ribbon cable on backwards (due to my thoughts about the arrow on the connector) and I figured I'd try to plug in the LCD the other way, just very quickly, to see what happened. Sure enough, I got something on the LCD screen, but no words or anything. It sorta lit up and then went out. After subsequent tries, continuity tests, and some cleaning up my soldering job, I think I possibly fried the LCD. :( Or maybe the polarity isn't labeled correctly? How do I test that? Just switch the two and test and pray there's no magic smoke?
So... a PSU and an LCD I've fried. Damn. I'm a piece of work. I have my doubts if I am advanced enough to be really doing this project. I have no testing instincts, nor do I really know how to test everything.
I might just order another LCD (or two.) At least they're cheap.
...but I won't have this thing finished for the concert, for sure. I'll be playing Hardsid instead...