Saturday, May 18, 2013

Arduino IDE New Version 1.0.5 and Arduino GTFT Support

The Arduino Team released a new version 1.0.5 of their development environment (the last planned for the version 1 fork).  Subsequent revisions will be on the version 1.5 form which supports both traditional AVR Arduinos and the Arduino Due systems.

This version adds support for some of the newly announced products to include the GTFT display for the Arduino Robot and Esplora.
Specifically for Esplora, the Esplora libraries have been augmented to contain display writing capability.  This is based on the Adafruit libraries for the ST7735 display and GFX high level drawing routines.

Basically the new TFT library supports the ST7735 on any Arduino.  The EsploraTFT routines implement the same functions but do not have to have pin numbers passed in the begin routine as they are already known (and that I documented in a previous post).

The documentation for EsploraTFT is a bit light.  You should look at the TFT library and use EsploraTFT as the instance of the display (all calls are in the form EsploraTFT.begin, EsploraTFT.background, etc.)

Finding examples may be trickier than expected.  There are Esplora TFT examples but they are not in the Examples-Esplora area.  They are in the Examples-TFT-Esplora tree.  There are some interesting examples demonstrating the Esplora:
  1. Esplora TFT Bitmap Logo: Read an image file from a micro-SD card and draw it at random locations.
  2. Esplora TFT Color Picker: Using the joystick and slider, change the color of the TFT screen
  3. Esplora TFT Etch a Sketch: An Esplora implementation of the classic Etch-a-Sketch
  4. Esplora TFT Graph: Graph the values from the light sensor to the TFT
  5. Esplora TFT Horizon: Draw an artificial horizon line based on the tilt from the accelerometer
  6. Esplora TFT Pong: A basic implementation of the classic game
  7. Esplora TFT Temperature: Check the temperature with the onboard sensor and display it on screen
I have tried these examples with the Adafruit 1.8" TFT Display and they work with it as well (although I did not try the SD card bitmap as I didn't have everything to do it).
The Pong game I ported has a few bells and whistles the example does not

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