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Using Hobbytronics/ Adafruit 1.8" TFT display (page- ec1tft-st7735-use.htm)

Great easy to use, inexpensive, display for Arduino, Pi, BBC Micro:bit, etc.

Great little device! Vivid colors, Crisp image. Very readable.

I speak of the Hobbytronics 1.8" TFT display with microSD socket, £24 inc VAT, but excl p&p, July 15... and still £24 at 10/17!

A SIMILAR device is available from Adafruit, $20, 7/15. N.B. I have not "played" with one of those.

I did a separate page for getting started with Hobbytronics serial connected 1.8 inch TFT display. It tells you about connecting the three wires (power, ground, and one data line!), and takes you through a "Hello World" first program.

The device isn't "just" for microprocessors. It could be hooked up to a "big" computer, too, easily enough.

Sending text and graphics to the display

There's a set of commands for the device, neatly set out at the Hobbytronics page.

There are commands to set background and foreground colors, clear the screen, change font size, go where you wish on the screen to put a letter (or letters) (If you say "goto(text) 2,4", you will be in the right place to put a letter on top of whatever is currently in the 3rd position of the 5th row of the grid which is sized to put letters on the screen.)(You "say" this with a string of numbers, by the way, not by sending what I wrote.)

You can also "goto" a position specified by the underlying grid of physical pixels. (There's a separate command for that.) Once there, you can draw lines to other places. (There is no command for "make the pixel at x/y such and such a color". (You could "create one" by setting up a function to draw a very short "line".)

I would like to thank Hobbytronics for permission to reproduce the following table, in case anything ever happens to the copy... more clear!... on their site. And for the device itself! I am always happy to pay a little extra for hardware that "takes the load off" of the Arduino. There are other TFT displays available, but I am not aware of another that can be driven so simply, over a single data line.


You use the commands by sending the ESC character (decimal 27, hex 0x1B), then the command sequence and then finally decimal 255 (0xFF) to terminate the command. The HobbyTronics page offers sample programs. ("Sketches".)

The demos include a set of overloaded subroutines sharing the name "tft_command()". They make using any of the commands in the table above easy.

I have only scratched the surface. (Of the topic. Happily, my display remains pristine.) There are good videos to show you the splendid results which are possible. Plus, I hope you will enjoy trying things in the table above, which I believe to be comprehensive....

... but as far as I can tell, almost no one visits this page. If you came here, and it "sort of" gave you what you wanted, but you wanted more, tell me what it was you were looking for, and I will try to oblige with a personal answer to you, and the next time someone visits this page, maybe they won't have the hassle.

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