Connect LCD to Raspberry Pi Without Breakout Board

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About: Make it yourself if you cannot buy one!

This instructables show how to connect LCD to Raspberry Pi (RPi) without breakout board.

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Step 1: Why?

I would like to make a MINTIA game console with RPi like my previous project:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-MINTIA-Gam...

LCD with breakout board is too thick for this project so I need direct connect LCD to Pi zero.

Step 2: Preparation

LCD

Any ili9341 SPI LCD should work. TM022HDH26 is the smallest SPI LCD screen I can found that have 320x240 resolution. It is 2.2 inch in size and use ili9341 chip (Thanks to Adafruit, RPi have very good support for ili9341).

FPC Ribbon Flat Cable

LCD and FPC ribbon flat cable have various pitch, it is required both at the same pitch. E.g. TM022HDH26 is 0.8 mm pitch so it should choose 0.8 mm pitch FPC ribbon flat cable.

RPi Board

Any RPi board can work. If you are using Pi Zero and yet soldered the pin header or do not want to solder it you may refer my previous instructables how to access the GPIO:

https://www.instructables.com/id/Testing-Pi-Zero-Wi...

Step 3: Read LCD Terminal Definition

Various LCD have different terminal definition, it is very important find and read the LCD data sheet first.

According to the TM022HDH26 data sheet, it need connect pin 2 to pin 9. I have skipped LED brightness control circuit, so I simply connect pin 10 to pin 9 and pin 11-14 to pin 8.

Step 4: Cut the FPC Ribbon Flat Cable

TM022HDH26 require connect pin 2 to pin 9 terminals, so trim the FPC ribbon flat cable to 8 lines only.

Step 5: Patch the FPC Terminal

The FPC ribbon flat cable is too long for this project, so I cut it in half and use a rasp remove the plastic cover.

Step 6: Soldering Work

  1. apply some flux to the FPC mental part
  2. apply some solder on the mental part
  3. align the FPC to LCD pin 2-9
  4. solder FPC pin to pin together
  5. solder LCD pin 9 and pin 10 together
  6. solder LCD pin 8 and pin 11-14 together
  7. solder FPC other side to pin header for testing

Step 7: ​Connect LCD to Raspberry Pi

LCD pin 2 RESET -> RPi pin 22 GPIO 25
LCD pin 3 SCL   -> RPi pin 23 GPIO 11 (SCLK)
LCD pin 4 D/C   -> RPi pin 18 GPIO 24
LCD pin 5 CS    -> RPi pin 24 GPIO  8
LCD pin 6 SDI   -> RPi pin 19 GPIO 10 (MOSI)
LCD pin 7 SDO   -> RPi pin 21 GPIO  9 (MISO)
LCD pin 8 GND   -> RPi pin 25 GND
LCD pin 9 VCC   -> RPi pin 17 3V3

Step 8: Test LCD

There are various document teach how to connect SPI LCD to Raspberry Pi, here are the summary:

spi-bcm2835
fbtft_device
  • Add to file /etc/modprobe.d/fbtft.conf

options fbtft_device custom name=fb_ili9341 gpios=reset:25,dc:24 speed=48000000 rotate=270 fps=30 bgr=1
  • install fbcp
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cmake git
git clone https://github.com/tasanakorn/rpi-fbcp
cd rpi-fbcp/
mkdir build
cd build/
cmake ..
make
sudo install fbcp /usr/local/bin/fbcp
  • auto run fbcp at boot time
sudo echo "/usr/local/bin/fbcp &" >> /etc/rc.local
  • find and edit the config in /boot/config.txt
hdmi_force_hotplug=1
hdmi_group=2
hdmi_mode=87
hdmi_cvt=640 480 60 1 0 0 0
disable_overscan=1
dtparam=spi=on
  • reboot RPi

Ref.:

https://github.com/notro/fbtft/wiki

https://learn.adafruit.com/adafruit-pitft-28-inch-...

https://learn.adafruit.com/running-opengl-based-ga...

Step 9: Happy Hacking!

Once you can connect LCD without breakout board, you can create your project in much small scale!

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    37 Discussions

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    watyuson38

    Question 5 months ago on Introduction

    I'm in a project of a gameboy advance with a Orange pi inside. I found a 3d file of a case on web and I'm editing it, but I was stuck with the screen. I need a 2.8 to 3.2 inches screen, but those available at aliexpress and eBay wouldn't fit because of the breakout board width. I found some bare lcds but was in doubt if it was a good idea using it, plugging it somehow with the Opi. I saw some FFC FPC connectors and I'm wondering if it's work. Can I use them to do the same as you did or it doesn't work for that? Any tips for the number of pins the screen and the connectors must have? I found a nice screen but it's 18 pins, and the closest I could find was a 20 pins connector. Will it work the same or it has to have exactly the same number of pins?
    Also: is there any other kind of screen I could use like that plugging on the gpio, but something quite like a plug and play stuff, I mean, something that doesn't need any coding? Sorry for the many questions, I'm still a learner so there are still a lot of doubts lol btw, thanks by now, mate

    References:
    https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/8V0UASc
    https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/ciUHoWGu

    1 answer
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    陳亮watyuson38

    Reply 4 months ago

    The most important thing is read the datasheet before buying it.

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    mambstardust

    Question 7 months ago

    Does it only work with ili9341 LCD?

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    mambstardust

    Question 7 months ago on Step 9

    Wanted to make with a 4.3" LCD. Is it possible?

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    WouterK11

    Question 1 year ago on Step 8

    I cant find /etc/modules-load.d/fbtft.conf

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    sam57719

    1 year ago

    I have one question, how would i connect the touch pins to the raspberry pi?

    Thanks

    1 reply
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    陳亮sam57719

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi sam57719, the LCD in this instructables does not have touch panel. If you have one in your LCD, please refer to the pin definition according to it's datasheet.

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    kooth

    3 years ago

    Very nice! That is some delicate soldering! Thanks for sharing your Instructable!

    5 replies
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    MUSIC VIDEOEkooth

    Reply 3 years ago

    What a great guide... Wanted to say to Kooth.. that... this fine of soldering is easily done more by utilizing solder paste on the lcd board connections as a relatively inexspensive high quality soldering unit that incorporates both solder iron and hot air solder iron is as important as a base tool... as it is to always have a full set of US and Metric wrenches... using a 1/2 inch wrench.... on a 12 mm bolt head... much like dating our own sisters... :) is something we just don't do... ( don't know why.... my sister is kind of hot ) :) The solder paste method is the easiest way to solder a chip to a project board with chip solder locations... lots of good videos on YouTube on that practice... Gr'eat INSTRUCTABLES posting

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    koothMUSIC VIDEOE

    Reply 2 years ago

    @Music Videoe, thanks for that info, I'll check it out!

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    ToolboxGuyChrome98

    Reply 3 years ago

    However, "we" can say that about your sister, but it'd help if you posted photos (of your sister....)

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    AaronN2

    3 years ago

    Just a note to remind people to use 3.3V as you describe and not 5V like I did. It will work, but gets very hot and will probably burn out eventually. I was used to using the screens with breakout boards that included a voltage regulator on them and just connected there by habit. The bare screen doesn't have a voltage regulator and so should only be powered by 3.3V.

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    SudiptoB3

    3 years ago

    need more details

    about it ... mainly input device

    1 reply
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    陳亮SudiptoB3

    Reply 3 years ago

    what further detail you want to know?

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    DannyGH

    3 years ago

    Where did you buy the pi Zero? they seem to be out of stock everywhere.

    1 reply
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    陳亮DannyGH

    Reply 3 years ago

    I left my email at pihut and waited 2 months.

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    adillbeck

    3 years ago

    Does the TM022HDH26 have touch controls?

    I saw a couple for sale on aliexpress, but they don't. There's a ili9341 screen on adafruit that does, but costs a lot more, and I'm curious if it's needed...

    1 reply
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    陳亮adillbeck

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes, I can found 2.4 inch ili9341 screen with touch sensor.