This lovely little shield is the best way to add a small, colorful and bright display to any project.
Adafruit took their popular 1.8" TFT breakout board and remixed it into an Arduino shield complete with microSD card slot and a 5-way joystick navigation switch and three selection buttons! Since the display uses only 4 pins to communicate and has its own pixel-addressable frame buffer, it can be used easily to add a display & interface without exhausting the memory or pins.
New! Adafruit have updated this shield to be 'Arduino R3' format compatible so you can now use it with any and all Arduinos or Metros - including the Metro M0 or M4, Arduino Mega, Zero, etc. They also use Adafruit seesaw for the TFT backlight, TFT reset, and button inputs - you can query the buttons and joystick over I2C now, so only 2 pins are needed to communicate with all 8 switches.
The 1.8" display has 128x160 color pixels. Unlike the low cost "Nokia 6110" and similar LCD displays, which are CSTN type and thus have poor color and slow refresh, this display is a true TFT! The TFT driver (ST7735R) can display full 18-bit color (262,144 shades!).
The shield has the TFT display soldered on (it uses a delicate flex-circuit connector) as well as a ultra-low-dropout 3.3V regulator and a 3/5V level shifter so its safe to use with 3V or 5V Arduino compatibles. Adafruit also had some space left over so they placed a microSD card holder (so you can easily load full color bitmaps from a FAT16/FAT32 formatted microSD card), a 5-way navigation switch (left, right, up, down, select) and three tactile buttons marked A BC. The microSD card is not included.
If you just want to display text, shapes, lines, pixels, etc the shield uses the SPI pins (SCK/MOSI/MISO), I2C pins (SDA & SCL) and digital #8. For the microSD card, you'll also give up Digital #4. This shield works with any Arduino UNO and compatibles, Mega, Zero, etc. If it's shield compatible, you're good to go.
Comes as a fully assembled and tested shield with the display, microsd card holder and nav switch as well as a stick of 0.1" header. To finish up and use, you will need to solder on the header onto the shield PCB, a quick 10 minute task.
Of course, we wouldn't just leave you with a datasheet and a "good luck!" - Adafruit have written a full open source graphics library that can draw pixels, lines, rectangles, circles, text and bitmaps as well as example code and a wiring tutorial. The code is written for Arduino but can be easily ported to your favorite microcontroller!
Datasheets, Fritzing library, and EagleCAD PCB GitHub files available in the product tutorial
As of August 19, 2020, Adafruit now include a handy rubber knob cover for the joystick to make it easier to use!
- 1.8" diagonal LCD TFT display
- Physical dimensions: 2.71" (69mm) width, 2.1" (53.5mm) height, 0.27" (6.94mm) thickness (top of joystick)
- 128x160 resolution, 18-bit (262,144) color
- 4 wire SPI digital interface
- Built-in microSD slot - uses 2 more digital lines
- 5V compatible! Use with 3.3V or 5V logic Arduinos
- Onboard 3.3V @ 150mA LDO regulator
- 2 white LED backlight, transistor connected. PWM controlled via I2C seesaw chip
- Comes with header, requires soldering!
- Display current draw is mostly based on the backlight, with full backlight the current draw is ~100mA, this does not include the SD Card. SD cards can draw 20-100mA based on read/write. Measure current draw in circuit to get precise numbers.
Product Dimensions: 68.5mm x 53.0mm x 11.8mm / 2.7" x 2.1" x 0.5"
Product Weight: 22.0g / 0.8oz