240×320 2.8” TFT Display breakout using driver ILI9341

9341breakout1.jpg Playing around with 2.8” TFT display with driver ILI9341 from ebay. This one has SPI connection and SD card reader built-in at the back of this TFT display. I choose the display without touch-screen because I don’t need it for my next project.

But it seems I always have trouble with things from ebay: this TFT display using driver ILI9341 that accept 3v3 signal and the module doesn’t come with a level conversion chip like this LCD Shield using driver 4535.


Because this TFT doesn’t have a 5v to 3v3 level shifter IC, so it simply won’t work with Arduino UNO which using 5v signal. So I have buy a level shifter ic.

You can be creative to get 3v3 TTL level out of 5v TTL level by using many methods:
- voltage divider using just couples of resistors
- transistors (in saturation mode) to switch between Vcc and Gnd
- mosfet (such as BSS138) which can be found in some Logic Level Converter module
- CMOS ic like 74HC245 that can be found in most TFT display that accept 5v signal
- or even a CD4066 (quad bilateral switch) could do the job (switch between 3v3 and GND)

To make it easier, you can get a 5v-3.3v Logic Level Converter module like this from ebay with a cheap price. It’s best for experiments with breadboard.


Let puts everything together.

There are 7 signal pins that need to be connected to Arduino UNO, but my level shifter modul has only 4 channels. So:
- I use 4 channels for SCK, MOSI, DC, CS.
- MISO and RESET pin, it is 3v3 level from TFT Display to 5v level at Arduino UNO which (might) accepts 3v3 as HIGH. So, it should work without of level shifter
- And for LED pin, just hook it up to 3v3.

Tada! It works in first try!


- Using ILI9341 library from Adafruit
- MISO can be left disconnect if you don’t need to read the TFT driver id
- CS connect to pin 10 of Arduino UNO
- DC connect to pin 9 of Arduino UNO
- SD_CS connect to pin 8 of Arduino UNO
- RESET connect to pin Reset of Arduino UNO

  1. Elsie Zhou

    Monday, October 19, 2015 - 18:14:20


    Hi! Ceez, do you have interests in reviewing or doing tutorials for Nextion TFT HMI Display(http://wiki.iteadstudio.com/Nextion_HMI_Solution)? We are truly appreciated if you can do it, and we will send you the samples. Contact me if you are interested. Tks!

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