Bigger screens?

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ICMF
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Bigger screens?

Post by ICMF » Tue Mar 07, 2017 7:47 pm

Does anyone have experience with larger screens for PiZero handhelds?

I'm working on a GBZ-inspired build, but I'm designing my own case, and want a 4.3" or 5" screen. Bigger screen = better screen, right? :D Right now, I'm leaning towards a Waveshare 5" LCD (B) - it has decent resolution, runs off HDMI and has a touchscreen (if I want to go that route) and looks to be relatively plug and play. But I haven't been able to find much info on framerates and general picture quality with Retropie. And finding 5" composite screens has been a bit of a nightmare.

So... has anyone here tried anything larger than 3.5" for their handheld builds? If so... what screens are decent?

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Re: Bigger screens?

Post by dadi4168 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:19 pm

I have the waveshare 5 inch hdmi screen hooked to a pi 3 in it's own cheap case with a 360 controller on it. My first attempt at portability. The screen is excellent. I had moonlight installed so at one time, I was playing my Steam games off the main computer on it wirelessly at 720 -30fps.

It tops out at 800x480. But it is nice....

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Re: Bigger screens?

Post by ICMF » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:12 pm

Good to hear.

Which version of the screen are you running? Is it the one that plugs into the GPIO, or the one that connects via USB?

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Re: Bigger screens?

Post by dadi4168 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:50 pm

It has the HDMI bracket. It also uses the GPIO for touch screen although I don't use it.

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Re: Bigger screens?

Post by ICMF » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:44 pm

Update, in case anyone's interested.

Screen arrived yesterday (surprisingly quick delivery). I did a quick test with Windows first - it's supposed to be plug and play (with Windows) and... it was. Touchscreen set up automatically - just plugged in the USB cable and it found the drivers.

Touch accuracy is pretty terrible though; it's okay in the centre of the screen, but gets worse as you move out (it's like the sensor is drawn to the centre), and has zero detection around the edges of the screen. Might be okay for a simple point and click game, but it's basically unusable in any detail.

For my initial test with a Pi3 and Pi0, I got an image just plugging in power and HDMI. The aspect ratio was wrong, and there were some worrying red lines running down the screen, but these went away when I appended the config.txt. With that done, the screen works fine with the Pi, so, pretty simple a setup.

Picture quality is generally pretty good. Refresh rate is good. Colour is good. But the touchscreen has a matte finish and a visible texture, which makes things look a little blotchy. Not terrible, just, you know something is in front of the screen. Given the fact that the touchscreen kinda sucks anyway, I'm seriously tempted to just remove it - it's attached with double-sided tape, and comes off easily with the careful use of an X-acto. It makes a noticeable improvement on the picture.

Also interesting to note: it has weird viewing angles. It's fine from straight on. It's got a wide viewing angle left, right, or up. But viewing from only slightly below, you start to see heavy polarization. Basically, the whole 'bottom' area in this:

Image

That area sucks. It's... weird. I'm actually debating whether I should mount the screen upside down and rotate the picture, to get a more usable viewing angle based on how I'd actually hold the handheld.

Finally, thickness. It is kind of thick. The touchscreen adds .85mm. There are also a couple of 2mm adhesive foam spacers between the screen and PCB, so you could shave some of that thickness with a few easy modifications. Peel off the touchscreen, feed the ribbon cable behind the PCB (vs. through it) and mount the screen directly to the board, and it's down to about 4.5mm, plus a couple of mm for the circuitry on the back of the PCB.

TL;DR: Works easily, decent picture, looks better if you lose the terrible touchscreen. :D

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