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White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero
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White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by sigilvii on Fri Mar 09, 2018 2:26 pm

Hello Adafruit community! I am new to the forums but have worked on a few electronics projects before.

I just finished soldering up my recently purchased PiGRRL Zero kit. I used a Raspberry Pi Zero which I already owned. It does not have the onboard camera connection (which makes it v1 I think). I used the premade image (provided by Adafruit's tutorial) and loaded it onto a 8GB SanDisk microSD card which I already had and used successfully with that Pi Zero.

All my connections looked good, so I excitedly turned it on. I was rewarded with a white screen, followed by static. At first I might have had a loose connection, and I did find a loose ground wire from the gamepad PCB to the Zero. But resoldering that did not fix the issue: the PiTFT displayed a white screen again.

The green light on the Zero flickers and looks like it is going through a boot procedure and working fine. I thought maybe I needed to wait longer than a minute, but waiting ten minutes or more does not yield results. Occasionally, the screen will go from white to static again and then stay that way until restarting.

I am experienced with soldering but I am no expert, so I was worried that I made a bad connection. But I also searched the forums for help and found several recent posts with what sounds like the same issue (1 2 3 4 5). There don't seem to be any solutions to this issue posted either. I am growing concerned that it is not an issue with my handiwork, but instead I got one of the bad screens.

My screen is marked '4717' on the back, which was noted as one of the bad boards in post 3.

I am discouraged because replacing the PiTFT likely means I need to replace the Zero as well since they're thoroughly soldered together. Any help would be appreciated!

sigilvii
 
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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by sigilvii on Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:45 am

Still waiting and hoping for a response. I emailed support and was told to wait it out on the forums. It doesn't appear to me that Adafruit is being very responsive. If there was a ready solution available in the forum I wouldn't take issue, but I cannot find anyone who has sorted this problem out, so the ball is in their court.

I've tried doing a reset by jumping the two pins below the GPIO strip. There was a post about a TFT that failed to come on after a hard reset, and doing an on-board reset fixed it, but it was not on a Raspberry Pi Zero. Anyway resetting it this way did not help. The light went out and came back on, flickering like it was going through boot.

I can't see the display output since this custom Raspberry Pi image will not output to HDMI, but maybe I would be able to solder onto the composite video. I had a 3.5mm connection soldered to the composite video before, and later upgraded to an analog output PiHAT (which I had to remove for this project). If I could access the display via composite video, I could at least do some troubleshooting. Does anyone know if this image will output composite? If that works then I would be able to get it online, then access it via SSH and provide some diagnostic info.

I am considering trying to pull the screen off of the PiTFT board so I can check the ribbon connection. There are some forum posts about white screens on other TFTs which were fixed by reseating the connection. I think the screen is just attached with double sided foam adhesive.

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by Hellasius on Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:21 am

Hello,

I just want to let you know that I have the same problem than you. And adafruit support told me the same thing, I still waiting for a consctructable remark from adafruit forum support. you certainly already see my post.

It is the first time I order something on adafruit, and I have to say that I am quite disappointed.

Like you I tried to resolder the pin from PiTFT side and pi side (I have a zero W)

I succeded to have an image on the screen once, but when I reboot the pi, I have a white screen again (without changing anything). Also I see a blinking Led when I touch the yellow tape connection of the screen. (see video)

This is obviously a PiTFT issue. And we are not the first, I don't understand why adafruit is doing nothing.

I suspect the yellow tape connection to be badly soldered on the PiTFT Board.

I will let you know if I have some news.

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by sigilvii on Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:52 am

Thanks for the reply, Hellasius. Sounds like we have very similar if not the same problem. I have emailed support@adafruit.com and have been advised to wait for a reply from Tech Support here on the forum. Just sent a follow-up email last night so hopefully I'll hear back today.

I see what you're talking about regarding the light coming on in your video. I'm no expert but I think that's a backlight LED and it's supposed to be on all the time, not just when you push on it.

I was able to pull the screen away from the metal retaining bracket, which let me see the ribbon cable underneath. I had hoped that I'd be able to push the yellow tape ribbon cable back into the board connection. Unfortunately it is soldered to the board. I couldn't tell if there was a connection issue there. I am tempted to hit each contact with my soldering iron, although I am not experienced with surface soldering and I've heard it's challenging, so I haven't done this. Perhaps I should add solder to the GPIO pins on the PiTFT as recommended to you in your post, just to be certain.

I'll be sure to update you if I make any progress!

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by sigilvii on Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:32 pm

I have some progress to report.

I went back over the joints on the GPIO pins and added more solder. There were a few spots that I suspected did not have good contact.

That didn't fix the issue, so I then removed the screen from the metal bracket and inspected the yellow ribbon cable where it connects to the board. I could not tell if there was a connection issue, but I touched a soldering iron to each contact briefly. I was nervous about damaging things so I just rubbed the solder joints a little (through the yellow tape).

I turned it on and instead of a white screen, I saw a black screen. There was life in there! It flickered and went through its boot process. Emulationstation loaded and I saw the retropie menu. Fantastic progress!

Then I tried to assemble everything into the case. Plastics cracked. Curses were invoked. Once I had it together I tried turning it on and it was back to a white screen again.

In summary, I still don't have a working PiGRRL, but I believe my exploratory soldering was a step in the right direction. The PiTFT is not totally broken—it just has bad connections.

sigilvii
 
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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by sigilvii on Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:59 am

Somehow I have damaged the Raspberry Pi Zero itself. The screen still turns on, but the green light on the Pi does not.

I've ruined it.

what a waste.

I don't expect to continue this project any farther. It's getting shelved in the garbage can.

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by brianlight on Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:49 pm

I have actually attempted the pigrrl zero twice two separate pitft 2.2 displays and the second time around I've not soldered the pitft to the zero to avoid wasting another one and I've tried premaid images etc and always get the white screen my soldered connections look good if anyone comes across resolution please post here.

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by brianlight on Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:47 pm

Ok I was able to get my display working I did have to lift the display off the adhesive pad and take a iron clean of solider and dragged across the area where the krypton ribbion cable is service mounted to the PCB it seems like this is where the connection issue lies I'll attempt this on the other one I recently purchased to see if this resolved the issue there seems like there may need to be a little more qaulity control on these prior to shipping.
Last edited by brianlight on Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by sigilvii on Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:12 am

Thank you for responding, brianlight. It's fantastic that you were able to reproduce the fix. It reinforces the hypothesis that there are boards going out with defective soldering. Good luck!

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by brianlight on Sat Mar 17, 2018 12:53 am

I've always been happy with my purchases from adafruit & have countless weekend project that where always smooth sailing but I absolutely dislike how finicky this display was to get working at first I thought it was due to me attempting the project with a zero w in the guide it recommends manual setup for zero W's. in the future I don't think I'll be using one of these gpio spi interface displays again I have one of those backup cam displays on it's way and And original DMG GameBoy case to modifiy for the lager display and additional buttons. Hopefully my soildering iron drag over ribbon cable behind the display holds out. One suggestion I would make for a future Rev on this hat is to use one of those snap down connectors to snap in the ribbon cable. If somehow the connection was broken during shipping and handeling. I really thought it was my soildering job and was racking my brain my soildering job looked so clean no cold joints bridges or silver blobs anywhere.

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by brianlight on Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:26 am

Well I'm back to just a white display after a couple shutdowns and the display not displaying anything I've gone through two of these units and I'm pretty confident it's not my solidering work I'm done with the pitft 2.2

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by rottenapple311 on Sun Mar 18, 2018 6:28 pm

Any news on this? Just went through 2 displays myself due to the white screen. Inspected solder joints and they look decent. sd card boots up on my other PI, no problems. Its gotta be the 2.2 display.

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by sigilvii on Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:02 am

What I've learned is that the PiTFTs are out of stock currently but you might be able to get a refund.

Also, don't mess with it too much while troubleshooting. I killed my Raspberry Pi Zero while trying to get the screen working.

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by adafruit2 on Tue Mar 20, 2018 12:05 pm

Hiya there's something that is going on but we dont know what yet. we've taken the 2.2" screens out of stock until we can figure out whats happening. we do test all the screens, but there may be something else going on.

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Re: White Screen on 2.2 PiTFT for PiGRRL Zero

by brianlight on Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:18 pm

When you get to the bottom of it please share currently my display intermittently works & when it does it seem like it's after lightly pressing down on the top of the display I suspect a weak connection between the display & the hat PCB visually inspecting the connection it's hard to tell if there is anything wrong there.

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.