Arduino TFT Graphics Shield

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Introduction: Arduino TFT Graphics Shield

About: 55+ years in electronics, computers, and teaching ... now retired.

This instructable explains how to make a 240 x 320 pixel (QVGA ) color graphics shield for your Arduino UNO R3.

The shield, which features an SPI bus and an ILI9341 display controller, plugs directly into your Arduino.

Only 5 Arduino data pins are used which leaves the other pins free for your projects.

The TFT display is the same length as your Arduino which makes for a tidy package.

The shield:

  • eliminates the need for cables.
  • provides a stable mount for the display
  • contains the necessary 5 volt to 3 volt voltage dividers
  • can be stacked on top of other Arduino shields

The estimated cost of parts is less than $20

Images

Photo 1 shows the Arduino shield powered up.

The video shows the TFT shield in action.

Step 1: Parts List

The following parts were obtained from https://www.aliexpress.com/:

  • 1 only 2.2 Inch TFT SPI LCD Display Module 240*320 ILI9341 with SD Card Slot for Arduino Raspberry Pi 51/AVR/STM32/ARM/PIC [1]
  • 1 only Prototype PCB Expansion Board For Arduino ATMEGA328P UNO R3 Shield FR-4 Fiber PCB Breadboard 2mm 2.54mm Pitch

The following parts were obtained locally:

  • 5 only 2K2 ohm 1/8 watt metal film resistors
  • 5 only 3k3 ohm 1/8 watt metal film resistors
  • 1 only 40 pin header terminal strip 0.1"/2.54mm pitch for PCBs
  • 10 amp tinned copper fuse wire

The estimated cost of parts is less than $20

Step 2: Wiring Diagram

The TFT module accepts 5 volts, as it has a 3 volt voltage regulator, but each of the TFT inputs expects 3 volts.

The 2K2 | 3K3 voltage dividers reduce the Arduino 5 volt outputs down to 3 volts.

Images

  • Photo 1 shows the TFT wiring diagram.
  • Photo 2 shows the matching shield
  • Photo 3 shows the shield underside
  • Photo 4 shows is a top view of the shield
  • Photo 5 shows the assembled unit

Testing

  • Unplug the TFT display from the shield
  • Insert the shield into your Arduino
  • Plug your Arduino into your computer
  • Check that each voltage divider junction measures 3 volts.
  • Disconnect the Arduino from your computer
  • Plug in the TFT display
  • You are now ready to go.

Step 3: Software

Three library files are required in addition to the attached code

Step 1

Download the following library files:

Each of the above files are in zip format and will appear in your download folder

Step 2

Select and install each of the above libraries using your Arduino IDE :

  • Click “Sketch | Include Library | Add Zip Library ... |Adafruit_ILI9341-master.zip”
  • Click “Sketch | Include Library | Add Zip Library ... |Adafruit-GFX-Library-master.zip”
  • Click “Sketch | Include Library | Add Zip Library ... |Adafruit_BusIO-master.zip”

Step 3

From your Arduino IDE:

  • Copy the attached “graphicstest2.ino” file to an Arduino sketch [1]
  • Save the sketch as “graphicstest2” then upload it to your Arduino

Note

[1]

The contents of “graphicstest2.ino” is identical to the library example file ”... |Arduino | libraries | Adafruit_ILI9341-master | examples | graphicstest | graphicstest.ino” except that some additional display module pins have been defined in the header.

The code for the Cover photo is also included.

Step 4: Summary

The instructable describes how to make a TFT graphics shield for your Arduino Uno R3

The display size is 320 x 240 pixels (QVGA)

The SPI shield plugs directly into your Arduino

Only 5 Arduino data pins are required

The TFT display is the same length as your Arduino which makes for a tidy package.

The estimated cost of parts is $20

  Click here   to view my other instructables.

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