Parts

You'll need the following parts to follow this guide:

CircuitPython board.  This guide focuses on the ESP8266 and Feather M0/SAMD21-based boards, but any CircuitPython board that supports SPI should work.

 

If your board doesn't come with CircuitPython running on it already then check out your board's guide for how to load CircuitPython firmware.  For example the Feather M0 express guide is a good reference.

ILI9341/9340 TFT Display Breakout or FeatherWing.  If you're using a Feather the TFT FeatherWing is the perfect option that easily connects to the Feather.  For other boards you'll need a ILI9341 or ILI9340 display breakout, like this large 2.8" TFT display breakout.  ILI9340 displays like the 2.2" TFT breakout or 2.4" TFT breakout should work too.  Make sure the display you're using has the ILI9341 or ILI9340 driver chip!

Breadboard and jumper wires.  If you aren't using a Feather and FeatherWing you'll need a breadboard and jumper wires to connect the components.

 

Soldering tools.  You'll need to solder headers to the boards  Check out the guide to excellent soldering if you're new to soldering.

Make sure to follow the board and TFT FeatherWing or 2.8" TFT display breakout guide to assemble and test the hardware before continuing!

Wiring

If you're using a TFT FeatherWing and Feather just slide the wing onto the Feather board and you're all set!  The FeatherWing will automatically be connected to the board using its SPI connection.  Skip to the next page to learn about the software to control the display.

If you're using a TFT display breakout you'll need to connect its power, ground, and SPI connections to the board.  For example the wiring for a 2.8" TFT breakout to Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 might look like:

  • Board SCK / SPI clock to Display CLK / SPI clock.
  • Board MO / MOSI / data output to Display MOSI / data input.
  • Board GPIO 0 (or any other GPIO pin) to Display CS / chip select.
  • Board GPIO 15 (or any other GPIO pin) to Display DC / data/command.
  • Board 3.3V power to Display VIN / voltage input.
  • Board GND / ground to Display GND / ground.
  • Display 3.3V output to IM3IM2, and IM1 (but not IM0!) pins.  This configures the breakout to use its SPI interface.  See the breakout guide for details on soldering closed these connections to make the SPI interface the default.
This guide was first published on Nov 16, 2016. It was last updated on Nov 16, 2016.
This page (Hardware) was last updated on Oct 25, 2020.