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BeagleBone Black gains $50 4.3-inch cap touchscreen Cape

Feb 3, 2017 — by Eric Brown 3,274 views

Element14 and Adafruit have launched a 4.3-inch, 480 x 272 capacitive touchscreen for the BeagleBone Black at an unprecedented price of only $50.

Adafruit has launched an Element14 made, 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen for only $50, making it the only cap touchscreen for the SBC we’ve seen that sells for under $100. The Element 14 LCD Display Cape, also referred to by Adafruit as the 4.3” LCD Capacitive Touchscreen Display Cape for BeagleBone, is a full-color, backlit TFT touchscreen with 480 x 272-pixel resolution. The “high luminance,” 105.5 x 67.25 x 4.75mm display comes with a 69 x 67.5 x 17mm Cape interface board.

Element 14 LCD Display Cape with BeagleBone Black from two angles
(click images to enlarge)

The Element 14 LCD Display Cape joins a variety of touchscreen Capes for the community-backed BeagleBone Black SBC. Most, however, use resistive touch technology, with lesser responsiveness and speed than capacitive when using a finger rather than a stylus. While the relatively few capacitive displays for the BB Black cost well over $100, the Adafruit models comes in at about the same price as the SBC itself.

The Element 14 LCD Display Cape ships with an ID EEPROM for plug-and-play functionality with the default Debian OS, without requiring driver installation. It works on Black, Black Wireless, and White versions of the BeagleBone.


Other major BeagleBone touchscreen Capes and add-ons, with product names linking to product or shopping pages, include:

Finally, DIYers looking for a cap-touch solution for the BB Black can turn to this open source project that integrates a variety of off-the-shelf components. The 800 x 480 touchscreen appears to be a work in progress.

Demo of Element 14 LCD Display Cape

Further information

The Element 14 LCD Display Cape is available now at Adafruit. More information and sales of the 4.3-inch touchscreen may be found at this Adafruit shopping page.

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