1.8TFT V1.0 ST7736 Arduino Tutorial 1: Hello World

Make This Low Cost Arduino ST7735 TFT Work

1.8 TFT V1.0Also known as the HY-1.8,  this Arduino TFT display lacks clear and readily available documentation.  This article bridges that gap and turns a device that would otherwise be a waste of money into a viable low cost alternative for your next project.

Operating off of 3.3V, the TFT has a resolution of 128 x 160 pixels.

This particular tutorial shows you exactly what what you will need to do to get this display to operate perfectly.

Where to Find One

The display is found at nearly every major online electronics source that include the ones listed below.   You shouldn’t have a problem getting your hands on one.

Amazon

eBay

Bang Good

1.8TFT 128 x 160 Display Pin Outs

There are sixteen pins on this device.  All are labeled on the rear of the display module and are also shown in the image below.  Those pins that are highlighted blue are those that you will be interested in when connecting as a display for your Arduino.

You will notice that some of the pins share the same name.  Those redundant pins are for the SD card on the rear.

1.8TFT Display V1.0 Pin Out

1.8TFT V1.0 ST7735 Arduino Tutorial

Download and Install Libraries

You will require two libraries to make use of this display.  If you are unfamiliar with how to add libraries to your Arduino IDE,  I recommend reading this article.

The first is the Adafruit_GFX library.   This is library has some time saving functions, that in addition to allowing you to print text, make it easy to create things like boxes, lines and circles.  You can get the Adafruit GFX library HERE.

You will also need a library for the ST7735 TFT Controller.   You can get a copy of the Adafruit ST7735 library HERE.

Connect to Arduino

Even though it may not make sense, you will want to connect your ground and 3.3V power exactly as shown.  Connecting to VCC and ground like you’re accustomed to doing just won’t work here.

NOTE – You should really use a level shifter (or at least 510 resistors) between the Arduino outputs and display inputs.  This will work, but you may cause damage or deterioration over time.

1.8TFT Arduino Tutorial Connections

Copy Paste and Upload the Hello World 1.8TFT Sketch

You could just run the Adafruit ST7735 graphicstest example.  In fact I recommend that you do after running the sketch below.

I recommend you try the sketch below first because it makes the basic requirements clearer.

#include <Adafruit_GFX.h>    
#include <Adafruit_ST7735.h> 
#include <SPI.h>


#define TFT_CS     10
#define TFT_RST    9  
#define TFT_DC     8

#define TFT_SCLK 13   
#define TFT_MOSI 11   

Adafruit_ST7735 tft = Adafruit_ST7735(TFT_CS,  TFT_DC, TFT_RST);

void setup(void) {
  tft.initR(INITR_BLACKTAB);  // You will need to do this in every sketch
  tft.fillScreen(ST7735_BLACK); 
 

  //tft print function!
  tft.setTextColor(ST7735_WHITE);
  tft.setTextSize(0);
  tft.setCursor(30,80);
  tft.println("Hello World!");  
  delay(1000);
  
}

void loop() {
  tft.invertDisplay(true);
  delay(500);
  tft.invertDisplay(false);
  delay(500);
}

9 Comments

  1. easinegg October 10, 2017
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