HOWTO: Raspberry Pi with 3.5 inch TFT Waveshare clone.

This has been tested on Raspbian Jessie.

I recently build a kind of Raspberry Pi Rig, with the Pi 1B, 2B and 3B. To finish things I wanted to add some displays to it so I am not looking at a blind panel.

Luckily you can find all sorts of displays at E-bay so I bought one cheap-ass touch TFT display for around 11 Euro’s.

After playing around with the display I found out it’s a cheap waveshare clone. As expected, there came no documentation with the display, so basically you’re on your own.

I’ve searched the internet and found the things I needed to get things running. So after making a backup of my Pi3 SD card I installed the display and got to work.
After powering up th Pi the screen is white, with nothing else to see (backlight only).

Since I am running Raspbian lite, without X I won’t be doing anything with the touch features of the screen, I am on CLI only mode.e
Logon to your pi and enter the following commands (you don’t need sudo for the display installation)

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y
tar xvf LCD-show-*.tar.gz
cd LCD-show/
chmod +x LCD35-show

Some packages must be installed, answer with yes (y)

The pi will reboot and the display comes to life!

It is very well possible that your screen is up side down. If that is the case you need to find a solution yourself since I didn’t find any, and I don’t care about it since I just rotated the whole rig 🙂

After installing the display it would be nice if it shows something more then just a login prompt. Htop would be nice, for a start.

This is how to do it:

sudo apt-get install htop
sudo raspi-config (boot options > console autologin)

Don’t reboot yet, do:

nano .bashrc

At the end of the file add:

if [ $(tty) == /dev/tty1 ]; then

crtl-x to save the file.

To keep the screen on, do:

sudo nano /etc/kbd/config

Set the folowing:

Save the file

sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt
set consoleblank=0
to the single line

Comment (add a # in front) the line that starts with dtoverlay=ads7846,cs=1,penirq=17,penirq_pull=2,speed=1000000,keep_vref_on=1,….

Save the file.

sudo shutdown -r now

Sit back and enjoy your Raspberry Pi display showing HTOP 🙂

If you want to watch pi-hole stats, replace /usr/bin/htop with /etc/.pihole/pihole -c in .bashrc

5 Responses

  1. David says:

    Schade, habe Haargenau das gleiche Display, sogar der Farbstich passt.
    Doch leider funzt bei mir die Anleitung nicht 🙁

  2. Nick says:

    Nice article! You’ve inspired me to repurpose my Raspberry Pi’s that are now just gathering dust.

    Quick question: where did you find the display that cheap? Searching on Ebay I came out to some screens that seem similar, but are double or more the price that you mention (€11). Could you maybe send a link to the item you purchased?

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