In this article I will discuss about how to connect the 3.5” TFT touch LCD to the Raspberry Pi. With the help of this touch LCD you will be able to control the Raspberry Pi without connecting it to HDMI monitor and also it will be easy to work with it when space and portability is an issue. At the end of this article you will be able to connect the TFT Touch LCD with the Raspberry Pi so sit back and enjoy learning.
You will need the following equipment for this tutorial.
3.5” TFT Touch LCD.
The Raspberry Pi has on board HDMI port through which we can connect the Raspberry Pi to the HDMI monitor via HDMI cable. So we can have GUI for Raspberry Pi at the HDMI monitor. But if we want to make Raspberry Pi more portable and handy a 3.5” TFT touch LCD screen can also be attached to the Raspberry Pi and can obtain GUI for Raspberry Pi on it. The Raspberry Pi use HDMI for video by default whereas the 3.5” TFT Touch LCD we are using use SPI interface to communicate to the processor. So first we need to the change the setting of the Raspberry Pi to enable it to communicate to the Touch LCD through SPI protocol. This will be done using the HDMI monitor but before this we need to download and install the driver for the TFT Touch LCD screen. After this we will connect the TFT LCD and Raspberry Pi. The specifications of the TFT Touch LCD we are using are given below.
Let’s discuss it in detail. Follow the following steps to know how to interface the TFT Touch LCD to the Raspberry Pi.
OS, Internet and Access to terminal Window:
For this tutorial to follow you must have Raspberry Pi with Raspbian (which is the recommended operating system for Raspberry Pi) already installed and your Raspberry Pi should be able to connect to the internet the importance of this will be clear in the steps to follow. In addition you must have an access to the terminal window of the Raspberry Pi so that we can execute some commands and change the default-settings to enable the Raspberry Pi to connect with the TFT touch LCD. We will be using the HDMI monitor to have access to the terminal window. The terminal window of the Raspberry Pi looks like this.
This point could be confusing but do not worry it would be easier when implementing just keep reading.
Connecting the Raspberry Pi and TFT Touch Screen:
First of all connect the Raspberry Pi and the TFT touch LCD.
The detail of the pins at the backside of the TFT LCD shown in the above image is given in the following chart.
The LCD will communicate with the Raspberry Pi via SPI interface so to enable the Raspberry Pi to communicate via SPI it should be configured for SPI communication. So in the next step we will configure the Raspberry Pi for SPI communication.
Setting The Raspberry Pi for SPI Interface:
After you have connected the TFT touch LCD to the Raspberry Pi power them up with the USB cable. You will see the blank white display on the LCD. This is because the driver for the TFT LCD has not been installed and also Raspberry Pi is not configured for SPI communication. So in this step we will configure Raspberry Pi for SPI communication with the TFT Touch LCD and in the next step we will install the driver for the LCD.
So open the terminal window for the Raspberry Pi and type the following command in the window:
Press enter and the following window will appear.
Navigate to the Interfacing Options in the above image option 4. Click it and you will see the following window.
Click YES and the Raspberry Pi will be configured for communicating with the TFT touch LCD. Yes it is this simple!
Installing the driver for TFT touch LCD:
I am assuming here that you have already downloaded the driver in the Raspberry Pi (I will discuss the details of downloading the driver in the next article). Follow the following lines to install the driver for TFT touch LCD in the Raspberry Pi.
Type the following command again in the Terminal Window of the Raspberry Pi.
tar xvf LCD-show-*.tar.gz
The system will initiate some commands and the process will begin to install the driver. Make sure that your Raspberry Pi is connected to the Internet during the execution of this step. (I will discuss the details of Raspberry Pi connection with internet later in the articles)
After a few seconds the driver will be installed on you Raspberry Pi and it will be Ready to use with the TFT touch LCD.
The Final Step:
After installation of the driver is completed type the final command in the Terminal Window of the Raspberry Pi.
Then restart the Raspberry Pi by typing
The Raspberry Pi will reboot and thus now ready to be used with 3.5” TFT touch LCD.
In the next article I will discuss the Raspberry Pi connection to internet. Now take the pen and control the Raspberry Pi.