Arduino Touch Screen Room Control

Introduction: Arduino Touch Screen Room Control

About: I am a recent graduate from the University of Pittsburgh. While i was there i got a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and explored a few new hobbies, one of which being circuitry. I purchased a few Arduin...

Hey everyone, I finally finished my touch panel for my bedroom wall and am here to show you how i made it. Unfortunately its not installed in my wall yet as I might be moving and don't want to make anymore holes in my walls, but its coming with me and has already proven itself very useful in the state it is in.


- Infrared control of TV
      * Power Toggle
      * Volume Control
      * Mute
      * Input
- RF controlled outlets
      * power on or off for 2 outlets

- Local internet control using a Netduino


1x Arduino mega

1x Touch screen and touch screen shield

1x Netduino

1x pack Shop Basic  3pk indoor wireless remote control

4x 2n3904 transistors

1x Infrared led

1x switch (kills RF transmitters battery, saves battery power)

Step 1: The Build

The build was not too difficult so I won't go into that much detail.

RF - wall outlet transmitter
i used 4 x 2n3904 transistors to simulate pressing the buttons for the RF transmitter. The remote still works as normal, just has a hole in the back with some wires now. In addition to running a ground wire from the RF transmitter i also added a kill switch to the battery. They are a pain to order online (12v, 23amp battery) and they don't last that long.

The netduino has 5 wires connecting the digital pins (out) to the arduino's analog pins (in) to simply trigger 4 of the buttons on the RF transmitter as well as the TV power toggle by reading in the voltage.

Arduino Mega with touch screen
Besides the 5 pins in the analog from the netduino, I wired in 6 wires out, 4 to trigger the RF transmitter's buttons, 1 for a ground, and another for the infrared led. Bolted that sucker to the front of this nice wooden box and called it done :) The box will be behind a wall so only the touch screen will show anyway.

Three wires poke out of the box to hook everything up, a USB cable for power, an ethernet cable, and the IR led (which will be installed higher above the device).

Step 2: The Menu

Here's a quick overview of the menu:

Main Menu (1st image)
   From here you can choose between the "TV" menu, the "Settings" menu or toggle the power of my two wall outlets. The network toggle is just to prevent errors when the netduino powers on. Plus it keeps my friends from messing with my room.

TV Menu (2nd image)
   One of the initial reasons for this touch screen was to power on/off my TV when leaving and entering the room, i plan on placing the screen above my light switch so when I am rushing to leave i don't have to search for the remote.

Options menu (3rd image)
   Why not toss on a quick paint application and background changer? While learning the touch screen i had a little fun, figured it would be a waste to leave them behind.

Memo  (4th image)
   Simple paint like drawing.

Background (5th/6th/7th image)
   Drag to choose color, after you change the color the buttons become the opposite (in hex value) to keep visibility.

Step 3: The Code

"if it isn't broken don't fix it "
  Neonmika's netduino webserver is excellent to use; it allows for individual pin control including pwm, and is very easy to use. For some reason I had a lot of difficulties with my netduino (should have just budged for the arduino network shield) and this webserver was exactly what i was looking for.

Arduino Mega
UTFT - Thanks to Henning Karlsen which helped me get started using the touch screen

and like my other posts, i have no problem sharing my code with anyone who wants it (email me at, but my code is for my specific set-up and most likely of no use to you entirely. If you are having troubles with anything i worked with PLEASE email me and i will gladly send you my code, as well as (try to) answer any, if not all of your questions!

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    5 Discussions


    7 years ago

    Yeah the Arduino + Ethernet shield's are usually so expensive, so the netduino seemed like an excellent affordable alternative. However it differs so much from arduinos, which led me to make "triggers" instead of an actual serial connection between the two. I'm sure the serial communication can be done (and it's probably easy) but I went with a quick easier (imo) alternative instead. It is still working for me today and has proven itself to be a pretty solid build! Thanks a lot for your feedback crimson, im glad the instructable sparked some ideas for you!


    May I suggest a 12 volt input for the Arduino insted of the USB? That way you can power the 12 volt RF remote from the Vin pin on the Arduino and still have 5v to the other component.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    That's a very good suggestion! I did want to implement an alternative power supply for the remote but only had one rf remote and was actually afraid of breaking it. Which led me to attaching a switch to the battery of it as to not drain the battery when not in use. Your right though I should have grouped the power with the arduino, would be much simpler and more integrated. Thanks so much for your interest in my instructable, if I get around to updating the wall display I believe that'll be the first thing I improve upon!


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    And ofcourse I must point out the genious in combining the Touch Screen and Netduino. My current controller is wired to my computer through Visual Basic so this really opened my eyes on this, awesome!