Which display to use (for begginer)

Hello people :)... I apologize if I have posted this question in the wrong place on forum, but it seems to me like the best place for few of my questions because they are connected with the displays :).

So, I made a project on my old boat with 1602 lcd for watching the voltage of the battery and the diesel tank... But actually i don't like 1602 display, i made it just for practice because i am new to arduino world and programming, but i have a slight background in electronics... So i decided to upgrade my display project with maybe nextion 3,2" or TFT display 2,8 or 3,5...

But, i am really new to this and for the past two weeks I am just reading about theese displays and trying to figure out which one would suit me better for my project... And I have to admit that my head is going to blow :(... So much displays, different sellers, different drivers, shields, problems with them etc. and sooo much things that i've read about that sounds like the nuclear physics for me now... And whatever I order, i would need to wait for one month to arrive (and I am little short with money), that is the main reason why I don't want to order display just like that.

That's why I decided to post this topic looking for few tips for begginer... What would be your proposal for me to buy, and which one is better for begginer, TFT or Nextion?

  • I wouldn't use touch screen in my project, i would create maybe 2 pages that i would scroll with a external pushbutton
  • I am going to need a help for programming that display (althougt I am really going to do my best before i post a need for help topic :)). So, which one is more easy to program and which one has the better support? example, if i need a help with programming is it easier to find solution for nextion or TFT on this forum?
  • The nextion is more attractive to me because it is using only 4 pins, and if i get TFT with shield I will have to do specific things for connecting my 2 sensors in analog input that will complicate everything (if i understanded correctly?) and will be left with just a few inputs on arduino uno?

Sorry for the large text, i wanted to explain everything that bothers me so that you can give me some advice more precisly for my project :).... Thanks in advance

I haven't tried it yet, but I'd lean towards the Nextion due to it's gui type interface that's seems so easy to work with.

If you have a Windows computer, I would suggest you start with a small Nextion to get started. They are inexpensive and easy to use but the screen creation tool only runs on Windows. With an Uno, you'll have to use software serial to communicate with the Nextion which ultimately limits the screen update speed but with a small screen and the limited memory of the Uno, this should not be a problem.

Building your own combination of screen, processor and library can be difficult for a newbie. The hardware is far easier: what size screen, the hardware interface (parallel or SPI) to it and the the processor to drive it. Then there is the library which is biggest, hardest problem to solve. Does it support the hardware you selected? Does it provide the graphics functions and fonts you want? Finally, does it do all you need at a decent drawing/screen update rate?

IMO, it is easier to find the library first that provides the functions/features you need and then select hardware devices from what the library supports.

Gameduino 2 + Arduino Due

FT801 (HotMCU or Riverdi)+ STM32F407VE

FT801 (HotMCU or Riverdi) + Teensy 3.2 (or 3.6)

Gameduino 2 + Arduino Due

FT801 (HotMCU or Riverdi)+ STM32F407VE

FT801 (HotMCU or Riverdi) + Teensy 3.2 (or 3.6)

Glad you mentioned this. I had completely forgot about FTDI's "EVE" which I always meant to have a closer look at but never did. I love their coding platform - their IDE is pretty nice to work with. Did quite a lot with their Vinculum-II. I liked the way of being able to re-assign pins within that development envionment, and am now wondering - thinking back to some things I did with some of the newer Cypress BLE - if Cypress, which does some of the same, got the idea from FTDI.

With all that being said, I'm still guessing that Nextion would be much easier for a beginner, though FTDI's EVE2 seems to certainly win first prize for speed and flexibility.

Thanks everyone… I ordered nextion 2.8" for beginning, I hope that I won’t have much problems with it for my project :slight_smile:

EVE (FT80X) and EVE II (FT81x) are fully compatible with the arduino IDE through the gameduino 2 library made by James Bowman.

I think that in a few weeks you can achieve skills like this:

Gauges and assets


While you are waiting for your display, download the nextion editor and try it out. It really works quite well.

TFT LCD i ordered nextion already but you got me interested with this FT80X also...

This looks interesting but it is really expensive Gameduino 2 with 4.3 480x272 Display and Touchscreen : ID 1654 : $69.95 : Adafruit Industries, Unique & fun DIY electronics and kits

I also found this


I presume that it is possible to buy this display and connect to arduino uno probabbly? But how difficult would it be to connect to arduino uno without gameduino shield because this shield is a little expensive? Is it neccesary to change things in the adafruit libraries, examples and demos to get it to work without gameduino shield? does this display from hotmcu has everything what it takes to connect to arduino uno without adding extra components?

I know that probably some of my questions are stupid but i see that there are not much tutorials on the internet regarding this display and arduino uno... It is much easier for me to ask you because if I go searching for answers by myself I will probably loose few weeks again because i work 12 hours a day so i don't have much free time and I am total begginer, so reading datasheets and understanding them is too difficult for me at this time...

I hope you don't mind answering, if you want me to search the answers by myself i don't mind, but it will take me some bigger time... Thanks for understanding :slight_smile:

You can drive yourself crazy with this stuff if you are not careful. Next thing you know, you'll have 27 tabs open in your browser and will have forgotten what you were looking for in the first place.

I'm still pretty new at this too. I started with the 16x2 LCD with all its connections, then heard about a thing called I2C and realized I could reduce the number of pins necessary to use the display. This opened a whole world because lots of things, I learned, use I2C. Next it was on to the 20x4 in pretty blue. After sidetracking for a while I came back to the displays and decided to dive headfirst into the Nextion. I bought a 7" enhanced. It scared me at first and I immediately stuck it back in the box because i felt, stupidly, that the learning curve for this thing was just too steep and my brain was already black and blue.

Jump forward a few months. Over thanksgiving, I decided to try to dig in to the Nextion and see if I could get it to do anything. Well I'm no expert but in a few hours I had a pretty impressive set of screens built. In fact, I was able to turn LED's on and off with buttons, sliders and hot spots. I set up a temp sensor to and sent temp measurements to the display.

I downloaded a copy of inkscape, watched a couple of tutorials and drew a neat little representation of the system I was working on. Tanks, pumps, compressor etc.

My point is that as you progress you will shelve some things and head in different directions but don't let it worry you....just dig in. I think it was Anthony Hopkins who said, "What one man can do, another can do."

And adding it to the boat is a great idea. Twin Cat 3196's

You can drive yourself crazy with this stuff if you are not careful. Next thing you know, you’ll have 27 tabs open in your browser and will have forgotten what you were looking for in the first place.

Hahah well this really sounds farmilliar :D… I am glad to see that there are many people over here who were having the same difficulties like I do and who are willing to help newcomers in the microcontroller’s world… Thanks for the post friend, it increased my moral :slight_smile:

I'm glad I could help.