Raspberry Pi – Tontec 3.5″ Screen Installation


Hello everyone,

today I want to show you how I set up my Tontec 3.5″ Screen on my Raspberry Pi B. I thought I should write about this in my blog since it took quite some research to get this screen up and running. Ok. Let´s start 🙂

Used Hardware:

  • Raspberry Pi B
  • Tontec 3.5″ Screen (I bought it from here.)

Used Software:

  • Raspbian Wheezy (You can download it from here.)

The first step is simple. Build the case and attach the screen to your Raspberry Pi. When you are done it should look like this:

tontec_raspberry_pi_screen
Now we will update the Raspbian Wheezy Operating System:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo reboot

Now we will download and install a firmware update. To do this simply run the following commands and wait a few minutes:

sudo apt-get install rpi-update
REPO_URI=https://github.com/notro/rpi-firmware
sudo rpi-update
sudo reboot

The next step is to adjust the SPI and Overlay settings to our Tontec MZ61581 display:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Add the following code to the end of the file and hit save:

dtparam=spi=on
dtoverlay=mz61581
gpu_mem=128

Your config.txt file should now look like this:

# uncomment if you get no picture on HDMI for a default "safe" mode
#hdmi_safe=1

# uncomment this if your display has a black border of unused pixels visible
# and your display can output without overscan
#disable_overscan=1

# uncomment the following to adjust overscan. Use positive numbers if console
# goes off screen, and negative if there is too much border
#overscan_left=16
#overscan_right=16
#overscan_top=16
#overscan_bottom=16

# uncomment to force a console size. By default it will be display's size minus
# overscan.
#framebuffer_width=1280
#framebuffer_height=720

# uncomment if hdmi display is not detected and composite is being output
#hdmi_force_hotplug=1

# uncomment to force a specific HDMI mode (this will force VGA)
#hdmi_group=1
#hdmi_mode=1

# uncomment to force a HDMI mode rather than DVI. This can make audio work in
# DMT (computer monitor) modes
#hdmi_drive=2

# uncomment to increase signal to HDMI, if you have interference, blanking, or
# no display
#config_hdmi_boost=4

# uncomment for composite PAL
#sdtv_mode=2

#uncomment to overclock the arm. 700 MHz is the default.
#arm_freq=800

# for more options see http://elinux.org/RPi_config.txt
dtparam=spi=on
dtoverlay=mz61581
gpu_mem=128

Now we will install the necessary dependencies to set our Default Display to our Tontec Screen:

sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg-video-fbturbo

After you have successfully installed the dependencies you need to alter the following file:

sudo nano /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/99-fbturbo.conf

All you need to do is to alter the following line:

Option "fbdev" "/dev/fb0"

To look like this:

Option "fbdev" "/dev/fb1"

This will switch the Default Display from HDMI to the Tontec Screen.

Here you can see how your 99-fbturbo.conf file should look like:

# This is a minimal sample config file, which can be copied to
# /etc/X11/xorg.conf in order to make the Xorg server pick up
# and load xf86-video-fbturbo driver installed in the system.
#
# When troubleshooting, check /var/log/Xorg.0.log for the debugging
# output and error messages.
#
# Run "man fbturbo" to get additional information about the extra
# configuration options for tuning the driver.

Section "Device"
Identifier "Allwinner A10/A13 FBDEV"
Driver "fbturbo"
Option "fbdev" "/dev/fb1"

Option "SwapbuffersWait" "true"
EndSection

The last step is to tell your Raspberry Pi to display the boot screen on your Tontec Screen. To do so edit the following file:

sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt

Now add the below code before “rootwait“:

fbcon=map:10

Your cmdline.txt file should now look like this:

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=ttyAMA0,115200 kgdboc=ttyAMA0,115200 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline fbcon=map:10 rootwait

Now reboot your Raspberry Pi one last time:

sudo reboot

Now when your Raspberry Pi boots your screen should switch on and you should be able to see the boot screen on it.

tontec_raspberry_pi_screen_working

Well, that´s it. Your Tontec screen is now ready to use 🙂

If you want to have a look at my config files or the documentation of the screen I found online you can find them here.

I hope you liked my post and I hope to see you again next time 🙂

Sources:

https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=45746&start=75

http://www.riess-group.de/2015/08/29/raspberry-pi-mit-35-zoll-touchscreen-auf-raspbian/ (german)

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2 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi – Tontec 3.5″ Screen Installation

  1. Brian Coville says:

    That worked really well. Thank you!

  2. Vinegart says:

    Hello,
    I want to ask something, it’s possible to use Kodi with tontec 3.5 screen??
    Thanks

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