Raspberry PI Touchscreen Connection
Created on: 17 February 2016
How to connect the official 7" LCD Raspberry PI touchscreen or touch display to a Raspberry PI.
This article shows how to connect the flat ribbon data cable between a Raspberry PI board and touchscreen. Power for the screen is taken from the Raspberry PI header and connected to the display using the supplied cable.
Raspberry PI TouchScreen and Cables
The screen is supplied with a flat ribbon cable for the data connection between the screen and Raspberry PI board. A set of jumper wires is also supplied which enables the touchscreen to be powered from the Raspberry PI pin header. Both cables supplied with the touchscreen are shown below.
Raspberry PI Display Connection
The connector on the edge of the board at the opposite end to the USB connectors is for connecting the display. There is a second connector of the same type that is for connecting a Raspberry PI Camera. The image below shows both connectors.
Connecting the Touchscreen to a Raspberry PI
Start by placing the screen face down with the header pins on the display circuit board facing towards you and the ribbon cable connector to the right. It is best to leave the protective film on the display and to place the display onto the bubble wrap that it was supplied in to protect the display from damage while working on it.
Place the ribbon cable at the connector to the right of the display board with the silver contacts of the cable facing up at the end that is nearest the board.
The following video shows how to connect a Raspberry PI board to the Raspberry PI touchscreen display. Each step with photos can be found below the video.
Can't see the video? View on YouTube →
1. Connecting the Ribbon Cable to the Display Board
Make sure that the ribbon cable connector is open – the plastic clamp part of the connector will be slightly loose if it is open. If the connector is closed, open it by pulling on both edges of the connector away from the board and parallel with the board – not vertically.
Insert the ribbon cable with the silver contacts facing up and then close the connector by pushing both edges of the clamp part of the connector towards the USB connector on the left of the board.
2. Connecting the Power Cable to the Display Board
Connect the red wire of the power cable to the right pin of the display board pin header marked 5V and connect the black wire to the left pin marked GND.
3. Mounting the Raspberry PI
Place the Raspberry PI above the display board at the back of the screen with the display connector to the right and USB connectors to the left. Line up the four holes in the Raspberry PI board with the stand-offs above the display board. Use four screws to attach the Raspberry PI board to the back of the display.
4. Connecting the Ribbon Cable to the Raspberry PI
Make sure that the display connector on the Raspberry PI is open by lifting the clamp part of the connector. Insert the ribbon cable into the connector with the silver contacts facing the USB connectors. Close the connector clamp by pushing down on both sides of it.
5. Connecting the Display Power Cable to the Raspberry PI Header
Finally connect the power wires to the Raspberry PI header pins. On the row of header pins closest to the edge of the board, skip the first pin on the right and place the red wire on the pin to the left of it. Place the black wire on the pin to the left of the red wire.
For alternative power options for the display, see the blog entry on the Raspberry PI display at the Raspberry PI website.
For reference, here are the Raspberry PI header pinouts:
- Raspberry PI header pinout for A and B models
- Raspberry PI header pinout for A+, B+ and Raspberry PI 2 models.
Testing the Display
With the newest version of Raspbian, the display should be detected immediately and start working when the Raspberry Pi is powered up.
If the display does not work, update Raspbian with the following commands in a terminal window:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get upgrade sudo shutdown -r now