Raspberry Pi SmartiPi Touch HDMI Mod

Raspberry Pi SmartiPi Touch HDMI Mod

A good mod is a mod that adds on without losing any functions to the design. (DestructiveBurn)

I picked up the SmartiPi Touch for my Raspberry Pi 3 B for the ability to have my Pi mobile or to plug into a TV/Monitor.
After assembling the Pi into the case, I realized that the HDMI port is blocked on the SmartiPi.

So I did some research

to see if it was possible to use the HDMI port with the touchscreen.   I found out you cannot use both together.   However, you can do some changes to the boot config file.  So the first thing I did was plugged the HDMI into the monitor while the touchscreen ribbon cable is connected to the Pi.   When I booted the Pi up, I found it to be true the HDMI will not work until that ribbon cable is removed.  It loaded on the 7″ touchscreen instead.

So I did some tweaks

to the config.txt file and you can disable the touchscreen and this will enable the ability to use the HDMI port.
So the big question is why?  Why was it blocked by the case?  Well,  I did some modifications and maybe when I send this post to Tom Murry (Creator Of The Case) he will make some modifications to fix that issue for others to have that ability without doing what I’m about to do.


Modding the Case

Now that I know having the HDMI and the touchscreen plugged in can work with a simple command and now I can go ahead and find a perfect HDMI 90-degree adapter.   I found one on Amazon that’s perfect for my modification.
UGREEN 2Pack High-Speed HDMI Port Saver Male to Female Adapter Right Angled 90 and 270 Degree Up/ Down (90 Degree+270 Degree)
https://www.amazon.ca/UGREEN-Female-Adapter-Angled-Degree/dp/B00QV4IPVA/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1522975270&sr=8-11&keywords=hdmi+90+degree+connector


In the image, the one you would need is the one on the left.  The one on the right is just a backup for something else but not for this project.


I also picked up a Demel 2800 with a plastic cutting wheel so I can cut out the plastic to fit this thing in and have it all nice.
The concern I had was if I could still screw the screen down to the case or would I lose that ability.   I got lucky and I was able to screw it down.

If you follow the steps I took you are going to need to do some changes to the boot config file.

Open the terminal and type in:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

look for

  • #framebuffer_width
  • #framebuffer_height

Replace both with this

#HDMI - 7" Touch Screen Tweaks. Remove hash tag to change settings.
#framebuffer_width=1100
#framebuffer_height=669
display_default_lcd=0
#ignore_lcd=1

It should look like this

In the screenshot of the terminal, you will see that both framebuffers have # in front.   The hashtag (#) means to disable.
So here’s what you need to do to change screens.

Change to HDMI

#framebuffer_width=1100
#framebuffer_height=669
display_default_lcd=0
#ignore_lcd=1

Change to 7″ Touch Screen

framebuffer_width=1100
framebuffer_height=669
#display_default_lcd=0
#ignore_lcd=1

To save just press Ctrl and O to WriteOut changes.  Now just restart your Pi to see your changes.

framebuffer changes the width and height of the touchscreen.
display_default_lcd=0 enables or disables the LCD port on the pi.   lcd=0 means disable and lcd=1 means enable.   But instead of changing the 0 to 1 just use # in the front ofdisplay_default_lcd=0 to enable/disable.
#ignore_lcd=1 is only a backup option if display_default fails to work. it does exactly as it say’s.  It ignores the port.

The only issue is that the screen backlight stays on when the software disables it.  So you will need to manually disconnect the screen’s power or by a switch you make.


Screen Shots

Here are some screenshots of what it looks like.

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Video

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