How to Interface a 4x3” TFT Display With an Arduino

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Intro: How to Interface a 4x3” TFT Display With an Arduino

FocusLCDs.com sent me a free sample of a 4x3” TFT LCD (P/N: E43RG34827LW2M300-R) to try out. This is a color active matrix TFT (Thin Film Transistor) LCD (liquid crystal display) that uses amorphous silicon TFT as a switching device. This model is composed of a Transmissive type TFT-LCD Panel, driver circuit, backlight unit. The resolution of a 4.3” TFT-LCD contains 480x272 pixels, and can display up to 16.7M colors.

For this project, you would need the RA8875 driver board (available at AdaFruit for US$35) to interface the TFT display to the Arduino. It comes with a header which you can solder on as needed.

Summary of Features

  • 480x272(105.4x67.15), 8/16/18/24-bit RGB interface
  • WHITE LED backlight, Top view
  • Wide temperature
  • Transmissive, 4-wire Resistive Touch Screen
  • 300 NITS
  • Controller: ILI6408B
  • RoHS Compliant

Step 1: Materials Needed

Materials

  1. Arduino UNO
  2. 4x3” TFT LCD; E43RG34827LW2M300-R
  3. RA8875 40-Pin Driver Board
  4. Solderless Breadboard
  5. Dupont Jumper Wires
  6. 2.54mm-Pitch Headers
  7. Arduino IDE
  8. USB Cable
  9. Soldering Iron
  10. Soldering Lead or Tin

Step 2: Step 1: Connect RA8875 Board and Install Libraries.

  1. Solder the accompanying header to the RA8875 board.
  2. Download and install these Adafruit libraries. Just copy and paste the unzipped folder to Documents/Arduino/libraries (in Windows 10). Note that the Arduino IDE doesn’t like dashes “-“ in the filenames; just replace it with an underscore “_”.
    1. Adafruit_RA8875_Master (https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_RA8875)
    2. Adafruit_GFX_Library_Master (https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit-GFX-Library)
    3. Adafruit_STMPE610_Master (https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_STMPE610)
  3. Connect the TFT display to the RA8875 board. Take note that the display should be facing up.
  4. Connect the Arduino to the RA8875 board like so in the image:
    1. RA8875 VIN to Arduino UNO 5V.
    2. RA8875 GND to Arduino UNO GND.
    3. RA8875 SCLK to Arduino UNO Digital #13.
    4. RA8875 MISO to Arduino UNO Digital #12.
    5. RA8875 MOSI to Arduino UNO Digital #11.
    6. RA8875 INT to Arduino UNO #3.
    7. RA8875 CS to Arduino UNO #10.
    8. RA8875 RESET to Arduino UNO #9.

Step 3: Step 2: Open an Example Sketch and Customize.

  1. Fire up you’re the Arduino IDE. Take care to select the correct board i.e. Arduino UNO or MEGA, etc. and select the correct COM port.
  2. In the Arduino IDE, select File>Examples>Adafruit RA8875>buildtest
  3. In the sketch, look for line 39: “if (!tft.begin(RA8875_480x272)) {“… Make sure “RA8875_480x272” is indicated.

Step 4: Step 3: Upload the Sketch and View the Result.

  1. Upload that sketch to the Arduino UNO by pressing CTRL-U.
  2. And voila! Your screen should show something like this.

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