5″ capacitive touch panel with GSL1680 up’n running with arduino

Some months ago I wrote about getting a 7″ capacitive touch LCD up’n running with Arduino. Since that time I’ve investigated 5″ displays with capacitive touch. There are some, such as the NHD-5.0-800480TF-ATXL#-CTP from Newhaven which uses the FT5306 capacitive touch controller. That one is interesting because I already have touch driver for the FT5x06 series. However, it costs $70.

5″ capacitive touch panel with GSL1680 up’n running with arduino

A much cheaper alternative is i.e. the RA8875 based 5″ from BuyDisplay. It costs $35. Half the price. You can also buy separate touch panel to put on your own display for $8.50. The problem is that they use a Silead GSL1680 touch controller which is a bit tricky when it comes to writing drivers for it. Among other things it requires special firmware to work. I just gave up on it. That was until Tomek started the Has-anyone-tried-running-the-GSL16880-capacitive-touchscreen-controller-with-Teensy3 thread over at PJRC(Teensy) forum. January 14th, wolfmanjm got the buydisplay GSL1680 based board up’n running with a STM32L100 discovery board. He posted a video on youtube. After that it was tested on Teensy, and finally CosR1 managed to get it up’n running on an XMEGA AVR.

fter some help from wolfmanjm and CosR1, I managed to get a separate Buydisplay based GSL1680 touch panel up’n running on an Arduino Mega (1280) with only minor modifications to wolfmanjms code.

The firmware is an integrated part of the sketch. Instead of using ram, it is put in the flash memory using PROGMEM. Some, to me, special memory magic is used to read the firmware from the sketch flash (Thanks to CosR1). There might be other ways, but I haven’t investigated further. From there it is easy to write the firmware to the GSL1680 though the I2C bus. Initialization of the GSL1680 is also a bit special. It needs some special sequence of operations. I’m not sure if the code is optimal in that regard, but it seems to be stable. Linux-sunxi.org has a wiki with some info. There is even some information on the internal firmware registers here (haven’t verified if this info is correct).

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About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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