Interfacing an Arduino with a TFT LCD

tft_lcd

Seven-segment displays and monochrome LCDs are fine for most projects, but some things simply look better in color. [John] over at the Little Bird Electronics blog recently wrote up a tutorial demonstrating the use of a TFT LCD panel with an Arduino. The specific panel he chose was a 4D Systems 1.44” TFT LCD that happened to feature a dedicated graphics processor, which should allow for some fantastic visuals when used to its fullest potential.

The LCD takes its commands over a serial interface, making it a simple five-wire display solution for your projects. The display can be programmed manually by sending hex commands over the serial interface, but there are also some user-developed libraries available that will allow you to use the majority of the most popular functions without the learning curve. One thing to note is that the LCD must be flashed with a particular flavor of firmware before it can communicate over the serial interface, a process for which [John] provides a walk through.

The LCD panel can be used with any Arduino-compatible board, so it can be useful in a whole host of projects.

Stick around to see a simple demo of the board in use.

Comments

  1. mengineer says:

    I’ve been using 4D’s 2.4″ touch sceen uOLED, with the picasso sgc chip, for over a year now. It’s a great, easy to implement, powerfull display, as most od 4D’s displays are. They have every function you could ever need built in the picaso, graphis, SD card read/write, touch control, and even the use of open pins on the chip(i2c,uart,general I/o analog/digital). Unfortunately their uOLED will soon be gone unless they find a new supplier so noes the time to jump in if you want a display that looks better,uses less power, and is just generaly superior to LCD’s.

  2. Japala says:

    An article on how to use the 4D’s graphics chips with microcontrollers. Also the touch sensitive ones:

    http://metku.net/index.html?path=articles/4dsystems-
    oled-technology/index_eng

  3. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    We used these:

    http://www.sparkfun.com/products/9363

    The libraries are somewhat spaghetti code and had to be rewritten in many cases. Once you redo them (which isn’t trivial) then you wind up with a small but inexpensive shield that works fairly well. But the existing code needs to be more “plug and play” if this is going to be useful to a wider “arduino newbie” audience.

  4. h3po says:

    well, interfacing an µC to “an lcd panel” is quite hard and would’ve been an interesting topic.
    but since this post is about “interfacing an arduino with a serial lcd controller”, i’m quite disappointed.
    old lcd panels in my junk box: 4. lcd panels with serial controller: none.

  5. anonymous says:

    most cell phones (especially flip phones) have a ribbon cable with just a few wires connecting the screen the the rest of the phone, does this this mean I would be able to use the screen from my old razr v3 with an arduino?

  6. Bill D. Williams says:

    The 4d stuff is way over priced IMHO.

    I wish there was some more DIY alternatives to get these screens working with arduino.

  7. biozz says:

    i want to see one of these do steroscopic 3D

  8. rasz says:

    Newer Nokia TFTs are standarized and come with paraller 8bit interfaced controller chip, only downside is they work at 1.8V so you need 74xxx buffer

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