The display


This bit of the project I’ve actually already completed, so I’m writing this retrospectively so excuse the misuse of tense. After a lot of research, and purchasing a screen that wouldn’t be a good fit, I discovered that for the best OpenGL acceleration and framerates from the Pi Zero you should hook up a composite display. Apparently the 2.8″ PITFT screens are okay for gaming, but the bigger ones can look bad.

After some more research I saw that a lot of people were buying cheap car reversing cameras, because they’re extremely cheap, readily available and easy to modify, so I followed suit. The cameras state that they need a 12v input, but as the Pi only delivers 5v people are modifying the PCB to accept 5v and it seems to work!


Here’s the link to what I bought:Â }}

The first thing I did when the screen arrived was rip open the box and take the casing of the display off. I’ve read that it’s a bit of a lottery with these screens as there is a huge variation in the PCB’s that it is supplied with in terms of size, quality and modability (if this isn’t a word then it should be). Looks like I won the lottery here:


(this image is actually after 5v mod). Not only is it a tiny PCB, but it actually ran without any modification at 5v! I connected all of the cables up, red to 12v, black to ground and yellow to the composite out on n the Pi Zero.


(Bottom left in the picture above is all you need)

And here it is working!


The screen worked but it was extremely wavey/fuzzy, which indicated either some sort of interference or low voltage. I ran a multi meter over the voltage regulator chip on the board and noticed that the 5v output pin was only running at 2.5v. After running 5v directly to this pin, all of the fuzziness went away. Hurrah! Success.


To clarify, I removed the red cable which is meant to bring in 12v to the board and I’ve attached my 5v supply (from the Pi Zero’s 5v) header. I decided to use Dupont cables so that it’s easier to attach and detach the screen bits when it comes to assembly. Ideally the 5v wire to the board would be red, but I used yellow just to annoy you (and because I had a spare end from the composite out on the Pi Zero :)).


I’ll use hot glue to secure all of the connections.

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