One of the things that I am most excited about with Windows coming to the Raspberry Pi is the support of displays. I have an existing 7” touch display that could serve a great UI experience in many IoT projects. This is the procedure that I followed in order to get the display working with the Pi 2 running Windows IoT Core Insider Preview. This article expects that you already have a Raspberry Pi 2 and that it is running the Windows IoT Core operating system. If you don’t currently have this setup it is quite easy to begin by going to the Windows on Devices website.
Disclaimer: Windows IoT Core Insider preview is not an officially released product. Expect some changes as the product matures and is released, it may not be perfect! This is my experience setting up this display. I am noting that while the touch aspect is working, it seems to have some difficulty identifying the “click”, like when attempting to shut down the Raspberry Pi. While I investigate this further, I may be updating this article.
Equipment that I used:
- Adafruit 7.0” 40-pin TFT Display with Touch
- Adafruit TFP401 HDMI/DVI Decoder with Touch
- Raspberry Pi 2 running the Windows Core Insider Preview
- Windows-based computer (Not the Pi 2) to setup Decoder board
- Software Required: AR1100 Configuration Utility
Setting up and calibrating the decoder
First download and install the AR1100 Configuration Utility linked above. The download is in the form of a zip file. Unzip the files to your desired location, and run the install program.
Next, connect the 40 pin ribbon from the monitor to the decoder board. Insert an HDMI cable from the decoder board into your PC. Finally, insert a micro-USB cable from the decoder board, and plug it into a USB slot in your computer (ensure you are using a data cable!). Windows will identify the device and install files, this may take a few minutes to complete.
Once identified, go into your display settings and setup your screen as the secondary monitor.
Now we are ready to start configuration. Run the AR Configuration Utility. We will begin by setting up some preferences. Click on the Exit button.
Now click on the Options item.
Select to configure the secondary monitor, as well as using the USB Mouse communication for the AR1100. Click on the Verify Communication, to establish that there are no errors. Close the options window, and exit the application.
Re-open the Configuration Utility once more, this time we will select AR1100 USB Mouse, 4-wire and 9-Points from the manual setup. Once selected click the “Use these settings” button.
You will now be able to configure your touchpoints on the screen. Use a stylus for accuracy.
Once completed, the application will register the test points. You can now exit the configuration utility and disconnect it from the computer.
Setting up the Raspberry Pi 2 for the Display
In order to use this board and screen, we will need to make some changes to how the Raspberry Pi 2 is configured for display. To do this we will be editing a configuration file on your operating system image (on the microSD card). Put the OS card into a card reader in your windows machine, then in the root, open the config.txt file in your favorite text editor. Add the following lines to the configuration:
max_usb_current = 1 # Power over USB
hdmi_cvt 800 480 60 6 0 0 0
Once this is completed, save the file, and re-insert your OS into the Raspberry Pi 2. Hook the USB cable from the Raspberry Pi 2 to the decoder board, as well as connect the HDMI ports using an HDMI cable. Once these are all connected, insert your Ethernet cable and power up the Raspberry Pi 2.
I am thrilled about the opportunity to start developing user interfaces with XAML for my IoT projects. I will continue investigating display opportunities used in conjunction with IoT applications.
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