White screens and an update

Hello everyone,

this a the first update in a long time. For those of you wondering why – I needed a little distance from the software development to gather new energy (this does not mean that nothing happened but see for yourself…)! It’s as simple as that. What matters most is that I am currently working on the next release and also have some other great news so let’s get to it!

White screen issue

The white screen issue was solved – finally. As it turns out, there was an update on the hardware of display which is used for the miniEngine version 2. This update was done without any recognizable information to the public (thanks for that ITEAD!). This basically meant that they updated the hardware of the display without updating the documentation. The new display uses a new driver chip and this is was what causes the white screens. I guess ITEAD produces the displays with the driver chip that is available very moment without worrying about their customers… Here is the result.

White screen issue

Anyways, here is how you fix the white screen issue – Open your miniEngine v2 code and change the lines 319 and following in the file miniEngine2.ino

// Display: 

to this one:

// Display: 
UTFT tft(TFT01_24_16, PIN_TFT_RS, 

Upload the new software and you should have a working miniEngine!

Next software release

The next release is in the works and will be published within the next 30 something days. This release will bring the following two major updates:

  • Bouncing functionality that will repeat a shot in reverse direction until one presses the START / STOP button to abort it.
  • Daisy chaining – You will be able to connect multiple miniEngine v2. One will be the master and control the connected clients. This will allow you to add more axes to your move or shoot simultaneously from different angles with 2 or more cameras.

Version 3

some time ago I started working on the next version. That included gathering ideas and requirements for a “next level” miniEngine and sorting all of that. I started developing the hardware and so some fist hardware prototypes are being tested by me to make sure that the final miniEngine works as flawlessly as possible. Here is a photo of a little 4-layer test PCB that was tested recently.

v3 prototype 1

This next version version will be entirely surface-mount-technology (SMT / SMD) and readily assembled so that there is no (or almost no) need to solder. It will support 3 instead of 2 motors and most likely have another display than the current version 2 (for obvious reasons 😉 ).


7 thoughts on “White screens and an update

  1. Amazing! Huge thanks for the update. I’m hella excited for the daisy chaining functionality in next release.

    Also that v3 board looks mighty tasty. Since it’s using the same ATSAM3X8E processor as the Due, do you anticipate it will use the same or similar firmware as the MEv2s. And that both the v2 and v3’s will be daisy chain-able? Also will there be a usb connector on the v3’s for easy re-programming? Apologies for all the questions. I’m just really stoked on the updates ;D

  2. Sounds great!

    Maybe post up your detailed plans for the new hardware version in the suggestions thread so people can make any suggestions before you finalise the hardware. One thing I would say from the pictures posted is an extra mounting hole or two on the left hand side of the board. Although I guess this is a very early prototype!

    Working on my pan-tilt design at the moment, trying to make a fully featured PT head, as small as possible, which can carry large rigs.


  3. Hello

    the new hardware will use more or less the same software with some add-ons of course. The new hardware will also be bigger than the very first test PCB! 4-layer boards are not as cheap as 2-layer ones and I am thus trying to make every board as small as possible. The final one will contain a lot more components and will also need some copper area which is used as heatsink.

    I will do my best to allow v2 and v3 to be chainable.

    Yes, there will be a USB plug for programming.

    I will not post a detailed plan as I still have quite some requirements / wishes from v2 on the list. I see v3 as the finalization of all the things that were left open until now.


  4. Hello Airic, any news about the V3 version? I am currently building a DIY dolly and I am looking for the controller right now. Should I go with V2 version or can you share the V3 with me for testing? Thanks!

  5. Hi, is this also applicable for arduino? I got the exact problem, I tried the
    code change but still shows up with white screen as your sample. Even when i try it with the sample sketches from the libraries… can somebody help me on this one? been searching for an answer for almost a week now. Sorry for the newbie question. Thanks

  6. Found a solution to this for those that this didn’t quite work. I was pulling my hair out.

    Under the library folder for UTFT (bundled with miniEngine2) there is a PDF titled UTFT_Supported_display_modules… open it up.

    Look at the table on page 2 you are looking for the display module found on your TFT. You can find this on your manufacturer’s website or specs.

    Look at Model for UTFT() and copy that.

    Replace the UTFT() value in miniEngine2.ino here:

    // //
    // D I S P L A Y T Y P E //
    // //

    // if you have an older version of the display, use
    // this line of code (if you get a white screen with
    // this one, change to the other display type):
    //#define DISPLAY_TYPE ITDB24E_16

    // Your display type should go here:
    #define DISPLAY_TYPE ITDB24

    That should fix it.

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