Large 1080p 4-6" LCD for project with photon/electron

I’m looking for any recommendations on what display I should use and the general setup. I don’t want to use the TFT screens where you have to press hard and have mediocre resolution, but more like a tablet or phone capacitive type screen.
Should I have 2 systems with the photon/electron controlling the IoT side of things and then connected via I2C to a second microcontroller which controls what is displayed?

The interface on the screen is fairly simple with only a couple buttons, and the temperature from the electron.

Is it possible to communicate from the electron directly to a cheap tablet off of amazon?
If anyone has seen of any projects that have done this please let me know!

I’d consider 1080p a bit over-speced for a 4-6", especially with only a few controls to display.
Or do you intend to watch videos on the screen?

But 4D Systems and ITEAD Nextion HMI displays aren’t bad (both with cap-touch).

What do you consider direct?
If you donate a BT module to the Electron, that’d be a way.
Or you wait for the Argon/Boron which already has BT/BLE capabilities built in.
With a Photon you can connect via WiFi (via Router, Photon SoftAP -> Tablet, Tablet hotspot -> Photon).

Plenty of options for you to pick from :wink:

I have built a unit for medical data logging using the 3.5 in display with a glass capacitative screen from 4Dsystems. A bit pricey but I needed the glass display for infection control purposes.

I do not have any recent experience I with the Nextion displays. I bought one of their early displays but the resolution and contrast was poor and the resistive screen cannot be cleaned with alcohol wipes. No doubt they have moved on since then.

The resolution of the 3.5 in 4DSystems display is great. There is a slightly cheaper 3.2 in version but resolution is only half. There are also larger more expensive variants.

4Dsystems have a great development environment that is on a par with the Particle IDE.

I found that I was able to do everything that I needed using the wysiwig VisiGenie editor. The unit has a number of different screens, all of which have one or more user controls as well as numeric and text displays. One screen has a scope display for presenting pressure versus time to the patient.

If you are interested In the 4DSytems approach i can send you a couple of photos and am willing to provide a few pointers about integration between the Photon and the display. I have benefitted from the advice of others on this forum.

I second 4D Systems LCD displays with Capacitive Touch Glass displays. They have them in the larger sizes your looking for.

The largest I have used on a Photon is a 4.3" with Capcitive touch. I drive the panel with a RA8875 via SPI.
I get all my LCD’s from these guys.

What do you consider direct?

There is a possibility that I won’t be using wifi, so in terms of direct it would have to be bluetooth directly, or using the usb interface. A cool product would be a micro usb dongle for old smartphones to connect to the particle product line and act as a screen!

I think the 4D systems control panel is what I’ll experiment with. User OziGreybeard has used them and has offered to help with some of the integration process which is awesome. Thanks!

Hey, I think I’ll be going with the 4D systems route based on the responses. I watched a video by sparkfun on visi genie and arduino, is it fairly similar with the particle photon/electron? I’m looking at the gen4-uLCD-50DCT-CLB-SB. (5 inch, capacitive touch, cover lens, superbright display. 800x480(meh). I saw a post you made on some errors you were getting, did you manage to fix those?

Yes, it all works smoothly. The VisiGenieSpark library is available on the Particle site.

I have a number of screens including a Start menu with several fields and a start button, a Settings menu which has various radio buttons, and a training menu which has a scope which displays pressure vs time. The Settings menu is protected by a password which is entered via keyboard on the display.

4DSystems have a large number of Application Notes which are helpful in getting going.

Best of luck

I bought this one also and its a very nice screen and can be seen outside.

There is a new Visigene library on their GitHub page with new features.

If you want to use an iphone (not sure if Android variant is available) you may be interested in the following. I am keeping an eye on use of a phone instead of a dedicated display but have concentrated on getting a number of standalone units out for clinical trials. The forthcoming Argon/Boron/Zenon will open up a number of different opportunities.

oops that is demo’d on an android phone :sleeping:

Dear Sir,

I am working too on a medical device for clinical trials. I am developing the device with the Particle Electron, that allows cellular connectivity of the device.

I am actually looking for a 3.5 or 4 in display with a glass capacitative screen to display data and user interface. Glass display would be nice for infection control as in your case.

Based on the experience with your project, I was wondering if you could suggest me a display that could fit my requirements, and some suggestions on how to interface the screen with the Particle Electron (I suppose it will be similar to the particle photon).

Any help will be highly appreciated.


I am using a 3.5” display from 4DSystems - they also have 4” and 5” displays with capacitive touch and glass bezel. The glass bezel is critical from an infection control perspective.

They have a series of Application Notes on their web site that are very helpful in getting going.

There is a comprehensive development environment Workshop4 with several different capabilities. I found that I can get all I needed with the VisieGenie wysiwig. Screen layouts are generated in the Workshop4 IDE and loaded on to a uSD card fitted to the back of the display.

The Photon or Electron communicate with the display via the serial pins. There is a library containing a driver for the display comms in the Particle library.

As an indication my unit starts up into a Start screen which includes several text and numeric fields and Start and Settings buttons. Selection of the Settings button brings up a numeric keyboard for entry of a PIn which allows entry into the Settings menu. This menu has a number of radio buttons as well as allowing the Photon to jump into Safe Mode (useful for development). Once in recording mode it either displays a very basic screen with a bar that flashes at 1 Hz to indicate recording is in progress or a training mode which displays pressure versus time at 5 Hz rate (although I have been able to update it at a 200 Hz rate). Data is recorded to uSD using SdFat.

Five of the units are undergoing initial clinical evaluation and I am about to transition to an Electron - I do not anticipate any significant issues. My end goal is the Boron/Argon/Xenon series which will give me a choice of 3G, LTE, BLE or WiFi using a common PC board.

I am happy to send you more specific details if you decide to go down this route. Suggest you PM me if you want further pointers/details. I would also be interested in learning a little about your application.=