Arduino ST7735 SPI 128×160 TFT Display Module

A quick guide describing how to hook up an ST7735 128×160 SPI TFT display to your Arduino and get the library to display something.

tftlcd18_1

Here is a link to the module I purchased from AliExpress: Smart-Electronics-1-8-Inch-128-160-Serial-SPI-TFT-LCD-Module-Display-PCB-Adapter-Power

It came packaged in in an anti-static bag with a label indicating that it uses the ST7735S IC:

tftlcd18_2

On the back it has two sets of pins and an SD card holder. I used the pins that already had a pin header soldered in.

There is also a jumper (J1) you can solder to select between 5V and 3V VCC. It looks like this jumper just enables a a voltage regulator on the VCC line for you. I could unfortunately not get the display to work using 5V signal lines from the Arduino. Using the IO directly from the Arduino just resulted in a white screen. Luckily this did not damage my module.

tftlcd18_3

I had to use level shifters to convert the Arduino IO to 3.3V

level_shift_module

I used two 4 channel level shifters because that’s the only ones I had and the display module required 5 IOs,  but you also get 8 channel ones.

I used two of them because each level shifter could only shift 4 IO’s and the display module required 5 IOs.

Connections

For this test I used an Arduino UNO, and hooked everything up this way:

Display Connection Arduino UNO
1 – RST Level Shifted Digital 8
2 – CS Level Shifted Digital 10
3 – D/C Level Shifted Digital 9
4 – DIN Level Shifted Digital 11
5 – CLK Level Shifted Digital 13
6 – VCC Direct 5V
7 – BL Direct 3.3V
8 – GND Direct GND

To connect the level shifters:

GND Arduino GND
LV Arduino 3.3V
HV Arduino 5V
LV[1-4] Display Module
HV[1-4] Arduino IO

Libraries

Adafruit TFT Library

I tried out two different libraries. The first is the Arduino IDE built-in TFT Library (TFT Built-In by Arduino, Adafruit Version 1.0.6)

This library allows drawing text, images, and shapes on the Arduino TFT graphical display.

This libraries examples will work without modification if hooked up as above.

Open File -> Examples -> TFT -> Arduino and choose any of the examples, and upload the sketch.

Ucglib by oliver

The second library I tried was Ucglib, by oliver. This library I installed using the Library Manager in the IDE (Ucglib by oliver Version 1.3.3).

The library description is: A library for true color TFTs and OLEDs Supported display controller: ST7735, ILI9341, PCF8833, SSD1351, LD50T6160, ILI9163, SSD1131, SEPS225. Features: 18 Bit color depth, many fonts.

To use the examples that come with this library you need to modify the code a little bit to select the type of display you have. I started with the GraphicsTest example. Since I’m using a ST7735 SPI 128×160 display connected to the hardware SPI pins of the Arduino UNO I uncommented the following line:

Ucglib_ST7735_18x128x160_HWSPI ucg(/*cd=*/ 9 , /*cs=*/ 10, /*reset=*/ 8);

tftlcd18_4

 

 

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