Adafruit PiTFT Plus 480x320 3.5" TFT

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Adafruit PiTFT 35" Touch Panel


This guide shows how to bring up Adafruit PiTFT 3.5" touch screens on Tinker Borad (TB) step-by-step.
PiTFT is a little display with 480x320 16-bit color pixels and a resistive touch overlay, you can visist the official website for more details.

Porting Steps

1. Configure kernel
First of all, we should configure kernel to support the devices, FBTFT and Touchscreen.
Add the following lines into {codebase}/kernel/arch/arm/configs/miniarm-rk3288_defconfig:


And copy the DTS overlay files into {codebase}/kernel/arch/arm/boot/dts/overlays/ to notice kernel there are new hardware devices.
Please reference to the overlay files pitft35-resistive-tinker-overlay.dts in attachment.

Next, modify the makefile to compile those new overlay files.
Add the following red line into {codebase}/kernel/arch/arm/boot/dts/overlays/Makefile:

        hifiberry-amp.dtbo \
        hifiberry-dac.dtbo \
        hifiberry-dacplus.dtbo \
        iqaudio-dacplus.dtbo \
        waveshare35a-tinker.dtbo \
        waveshare32b-tinker.dtbo \
        pps-gpio.dtbo \
        w1-gpio.dtbo \
        pitft35-resistive-tinker.dtbo \

The kernel now can support our new device, please re-build the image and flash to SD card.

2. Configure DTS overlay
To launch our setting in step 1, please add following line into /boot/hw_intf.conf on Tinker board:


Please note that the overlay keyword is changed in newer image, if you have old one (i.e. <= v2.0.1), use below command instead:


3. Install packages & setup

After Kernel configuration, we need to install the required packages to support display.
Please follow the instructions below:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-fbdev

After above, modify the config file /etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/20-modesetting.conf:
The red parts are modified.

Section        "Device"
        Identifier        "Rockchip Graphics"
        Driver            "fbdev"
        Option           "AccelMethod"     "glamor"
        Option           "DRI"                    "2"
        Option           "fbdev"                 "/dev/fb0"
Section        "Screen"
        Identifier        "Default Screen"
        SubSection    "Display"
                Depth        24
                Modes      "1920x1080" "1280x1024" "1024x768" "800x600"

Then, save the file and reboot, you should see the desktop on PiTFT.

Additional Information

If you have done above steps, both of display and touch screen should work well now.
However, there are different applications, and you may want to change the rotation angle of display or calibrate the touch screen.

For the screen rotation, you can modify the rotation degree in pitft35-resistive-tinker-overlay.dts

rotate = <0>;    // modify the number to 0, 90, 180 or 270 for your preferred screen rotation

And the vendor, Adafruit, has provided many kinds of ways for the touch calibration.
Please reference to the vendor's teaching page for more information.

Pitft in TB.jpg