September 30, 2012   Posted by: Dr. Ace Jeangle

How to connect RaspberryPi to LCD and have fun

You will need:

1. LCD panel
2. LVDS cable with attached miniUSB connector (for touch controller) and ambient light sensor
3. HDMI-LVDS converter
4. miniUSB cable – optionally available during order
5. Power adapter (5V, at least 2A) – optionally available during order

All above you will receive with our LCD bundle order.

Also, you will need additionally:
6. SD card
7. microUSB cable to power RasPi
8. RaspberryPi board itself

Here are the steps to get LCD working:

1. Download latest image of Raspbian from www.raspbian.org or www.raspberrypi.org. I used version “2012-09-18-wheezy-raspbian” for demo.

2. Create SD card based on this image.

3. – if you have 10″ LG panel and your HDMI board has U5 chip installed, then skip to p.4
– if you have 7″ CPT panel with resistive touchscreen, then download this config.txt file and put it to the root of boot partition of SD card
– if you have old HDMI board and 10″ LG panel, then open file called “config.txt” on just created SD card and add single line at the top: “hdmi_edid_file=1″, then download file edid.dat and copy it to the root of boot partition of SD card
– if you have your own LCD, then you should create binary EDID file (full file name edid.dat) yourself following datasheet of your LCD and copy this “edid.dat” file to the root of boot partition of SD card

4. Connect LVDS cable to LCD as on below photos. Cable connector should be fully inserted into mate connector on backside of LCD.

LCD cable 1

LCD cable 2

5. Connect LVDS cable to HDMI-LVDS board as on below photo. Pin 1 of cable is marked with white dot.

6. Connect microUSB cable from HDMI-LVDS board to RasPi microUSB connector.

7. Connect miniUSB cable between RasPi USB port and small red board that is part of LVDS cable.

8. Connect cable of power adapter to HDMI-LVDS board.

9. Turn on power, this will start your RaspberryPi and you should get image on screen immediately. During first run Raspbian will run configuration utility. Touchscreen is not working at yet, and you will need usual USB keyboard to enable option “Start desktop on boot”.

10. After RasPi will restart to GUI, you will be able to use touchscreen as a mouse.

Final SD card image for 10″ LCD (at least 4Gb card) is here: SD card test image
We use this SD card image to test our bundles before shipping.

Some of our first customers (who placed order in September) can encounter problems with LCD backlight. If you see that backlight is not turned on when you apply power to our HDMI-LVDS board (screen is completely black, no light from the side view of LCD), then you has 2 ways to improve this:

1. Short pins 1 and 3 on white 6-pins connector (CON4). Pin 1 has square shape, others pins have round shape. Don’t worry if you short pin 2 as well – it is not connected anywhere.
or
2. Short pins 1,2,3 on PIC microcontroller (U3). Pin 1 is marked with white dot. Don’t worry if you short pin 4 as well – it anyway tied up to power.

UPDATE: here is interesting post from one of our customers about his experience with connection of our 10″ LCD Raspberry Kiosk

71 comments posted in: How-To
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Dr. Ace Jeangle -

  • Jon

    Hi, I have one of these ‘early LCD’s shipped via DHL and I get no backlight – screen is completely black.

    Can you tell me what you mean by ‘shortcut’? Do you mean connect the black and red wires together (short circuit) or cut them (cut)?

    • Jon

      Never mind, I shorted pins 1 & 3 and the backlight came up fine. Thanks.

  • Jens Andree

    Just received my kit and it works as advertised right out of the box. Many thanks!!!
    Will now conduct various tests but the first glance is more than promising ;)

    Results will be posted @ raspi forum

  • Gene

    Did everything according to instructions. Display is black. Though backlight is wisible from the side of the display.
    Any suggestions how to troubleshoot?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      We have support@chalk-elec.com e-mail especially for this.

    • Edson

      were you able to fix it? I have the same problem

      • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

        It was solved for Gene, he used wrong version of Raspbian. Drop email to support@chalk-elec.com with detailed description of your problem with connection photos, I will check and help you with this.

  • Bayees

    Has anyone been able to make it work on debian wheezy?

  • Timothy

    Do you have any data sheets or support documentation for development?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      We work on datasheets, should be available soon.

  • notanimposter

    I’m wondering. How hard would it be to make a small transparent circle (roughly 1 webcam in diameter) in the black bezel of the panel?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      Actually, it already has transparent hole for camera module. Please, check LCD drawings in its datasheet (Support/Sources section on our web-site).

  • Troy

    Just received my order and have them running but the screen seem very dull, is there any way of increasing the brightness?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      Yes, simply remove protection film from the screen.

    • dan

      I have the same issue. It is not the protection screen, seems like the backlight is not on.

  • dan

    Screen is working but very dim. How to increase brightness?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      It is dim because light sensor is not under strong light. Try to point bright light (like flashlight) to sensor (small red board soldered to LVDS cable) and you will see how backlight is increased. More detailed including tip for manual brightness control is here: http://www.chalk-elec.com/?p=1391

      Also, you can always set max. brightness simply shorting pins 3 and 4 on white 6-pins connector.

  • praveen

    screen is working,but touch screen is not working.what would i do

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    Hello Troy,
    Yes, you can short pins 1 and 2 on PIC.

  • Sam

    What do you mean by short pint

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      You just connect together 2 pins with a wire.

  • Kyle

    Does the R-Pi have to run the specified image of Raspbian in order for the screen to produce a picture or should it work on any format of linux. I have XBMC media center on a friends Pi and trying to connect screen. Touch screen works in windows so touch function not broken but no picture showing on screen. It does flicker when I remove the adapters of the LVDS board. What could be wrong?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      First batch of HDMI converter has no EDID block, so they are for Raspbian only. Others distributions can also work, but will require some software patches. New batch of HDMI converters can work with any system that supports native LCD resolution.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    Universal HDMI converter with audio output and LVDS scaler is in the development at the moment. We are going to release it end of this year. Also, we work on special unit for car pc applications.

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  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    RasPi does not support 1024×600 resolution natively, you need to select 1024×768, and then play with screen blank parameters to get video fit screen size. Look here for details: http://elinux.org/RPi_config.txt

  • Chisleu

    Will this work out of the box with the adafruit distro? Seems like it should

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      Do you mean Occidentalis? I didn’t tried, but I guess it should work OK following their features list.

  • Tom

    I’m trying to use RaspBMC off my RPi. The screen looks great, and I can control it with a keyboard, but the touchscreen doesn’t work. Any ideas?

  • Lel

    Did everything as per instructions.
    Read comments and checked everything possible.
    Still cant get a display.
    I have a backlight and also used the same image from link on this page.
    Definitely have all cables plugged in correct position.
    :(

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      Drop email with detailed photos of your connections to support@chalk-elec.com. Also, check that your power supply can provide at least 2.5A (5V).

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    Drop email to support@chalk-elec.com, I will email to you my config.txt parameters for this case.

  • Bayees

    Is it possible to make it work on debian wheezy?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      Last release of board (with U5 installed) can work with any OS and does not require special config.txt and edid.dat files.

      • Bayees

        And if I have the old board. I need a different edid.dat?

        • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

          EDID file is not changed, but I’m not sure that Wheezy allows to define external EDID file. If it allows, then no problem – you can use the same configuration as for Raspbian.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    We have step-by-step guide with photos, I think this should be enough to understand. That’s pretty simple procedure. Touch driver is available in Raspbian by default, so you don’t need any additional actions to enable it.

  • Mario Ray Mahardhika

    How much does the lcd (bundle?) cost and where can I buy it?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      Bundle will be available in stock right after NY holidays. Each bundle costs $134.99 + shipping.

  • Neil Bullock

    Do you have a recommendation for a 7″ panel with capacitive touch screen, preferably 1280×720 or similar, to use with your solution? Thanks!

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      We are going to release 1280×800 IPS 7″ with capacitive in January.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    You mean small LCD or small board?

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    Yes, last 2 batches had this chip installed.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    Work is in progress, stay tuned.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    If you can setup output resolution to 1280×800, then yes, it will work.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    It will work with any HDMI source that supports native 1280×800 resolution.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    We think about it, will work on this after release universal HDMI adapter next month.

  • tommaso Rosa

    the touch interface is REALLY shaky and imprecise, i’ve tried it on my raspberry pi and on my laptop, and the results are the same… i checked the connector on the back of the lcd, but it was fine…
    what are the chances of a faulty touch screen?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      Sometime this happen if LCD was twisted/bend during usage or transportation. Another option is damaged/broken wire or bad USB cable. Drop email to support@.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle
  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    No, LG display accept only exact 1280×800 resolution. You will get black screen for others resolutions. You should wait until we release new board with LVDS scaler – this one will work with any HDMI source.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    I didn’t tried XBMC, so can’t tell for sure. I would suggest to check xorg.conf file for both cases, because all touchscreen settings for X11 are stored there.

  • sake kumar

    Hello,
    We are having a raspberri pi model B.
    We have a web-app and use the touch screen for input.
    Can u advise us about the operating system we should use and any extra hardware we will need to buy other than your complete kit?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      Raspbian is the best choice for RasPi at the moment.
      You don’t need any additional hardware except our full bundle (with optional cables and power supply).

      • Saket

        Thanks a lot.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    This is correct for panels that we sell in bundle with board. Others panels can require separate power supply.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    what you asked is provided by software that you run on your board (like Android), not by hardware.

  • http://www.sandycorzeta.tk/ Sandy Nicko Mac Corzeta

    About this touchscreen ? is this a capacitive type?… and is this good for drawing?..
    cause i want to make a custom mod Raspberry Pi that can be capable to do drawing

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      This is capacitive. You can also buy active N-trig stylus and draw with very high precision like on Wacom tablet.

  • Rob Gibbons

    What would be the best way to power this setup from my car?

    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      Any 12V->5V converter that can provide 2A should work OK.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle
  • gilles
    • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

      I think yes Just check that central pin is positive, and outer diameter of jack is 5.5mm.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    yes, correct.

  • http://www.chalk-elec.com/ Dr. Ace Jeangle

    Our 10″ is also multi-touch (up to 10 fingers).

  • Orbitus007

    Beautiful…. everything works great…. I had an issue with the system image not having the correct resolution and therefore the LVDS and the screen didn’t light up at all…. But I fixed that with a clean install of RaspBMC! Thank you! WOnderful!

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