ESP32-S2 Reverse TFT Feather

by Adafruit

Image of Board

Like Missy Elliot, we like to [“put our Feather] down, flip it and reverse it” and that’s exactly what we’ve done with this new development board. It’s basically our ESP32-S2 TFT Feather but with the 240x135 color TFT display on the back-side not the front-side. That makes it great for panel-mounted projects, particularly since we’ve also got some space for 3 buttons to go along. It’s like an all-in-one display interface dev board, powered by the fantastic ESP32-S2 WIFI module.

This feather comes with native USB and 4 MB flash + 2 MB of PSRAM, so it is perfect for use with CircuitPython or Arduino with low-cost WiFi. Native USB means it can act like a keyboard or a disk drive. WiFi means it’s awesome for IoT projects. And Feather means it works with the large community of Feather Wings for expandability.

The ESP32-S2 is a highly-integrated, low-power, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi System-on-Chip (SoC) solution that now has built-in native USB as well as some other interesting new technologies like Time of Flight distance measurements. With its state-of-the-art power and RF performance, this SoC is an ideal choice for a wide variety of application scenarios relating to the Internet of Things (IoT), wearable electronics, and smart homes.

Please note the Feather ESP32-S2 has a single-core 240 MHz chip, so it won’t be as fast as ESP32’s with dual-core. Also, there is no Bluetooth support. However, we are super excited about the ESP32-S2’s native USB which unlocks a lot of capabilities for advanced interfacing! This ESP32-S2 mini-module we are using on the Feather comes with 4 MB flash and 2 MB PSRAM so you can buffer massive JSON files for parsing!

The color TFT is connected to the SPI pins, and uses additional pins for control that are not exposed to the breakout pads. It’s the same display as you see here, with 240x135 pixels and is IPS so you get bright color at any angle. The backlight is also connected to a separate pin so you can PWM the backlight up and down as desired.

For low power usage, the Feather has a second RT9080 regulator. The regulator is controlled with a GPIO pin on the enable line and can shut off power to the Stemma QT port and TFT. There is also a separate power pin for the NeoPixel that can be used to disable it for even lower quiescent power. With everything off and in deep sleep mode, the TFT feather uses about 40uA of current.

Features:

  • ESP32-S2 240MHz Tensilica processor - the next generation of ESP32, now with native USB so it can act like a keyboard/mouse, MIDI device, disk drive, etc!
  • Mini module has FCC/CE certification and comes with 4 MByte of Flash and 2 MByte of PSRAM - you can have huge data buffers
  • Color 1.14” IPS TFT with 240x135 pixels - bright and colorful display with ST7789 chipset that can be viewed at any angle.
  • Three User Tactile buttons - D0, D1, and D2. D0/BOOT0 is also used for entering ROM bootloader mode if necessary.
  • Power options - USB type C or Lipoly battery
  • Built-in battery charging when powered over USB-C
  • LiPoly battery monitor - MAX17048 chip actively monitors your battery for voltage and state of charge / percentage reporting over I2C
  • Reset and DFU (BOOT0) buttons to get into the ROM bootloader (which is a USB serial port so you don’t need a separate cable!)
  • Serial debug output pin (optional, for checking the hardware serial debug console)
  • STEMMA QT connector for I2C devices, with switchable power, so you can go into low power mode.
  • On/Charge/User LEDs + status NeoPixel with pin-controlled power for low power usage
  • Low Power friendly! In deep sleep mode, we can get down to 40~50uA of current draw from the Lipoly connection. Quiescent current is from the power regulator, ESP32-S2 chip, and Lipoly monitor. Turn off the NeoPixel and external I2C/TFT power for the lowest quiescent current draw.
  • Works with Arduino or CircuitPython

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CircuitPython 8.2.10

This is the latest stable release of CircuitPython that will work with the ESP32-S2 Reverse TFT Feather.

Use this release if you are new to CircuitPython.

Release Notes for 8.2.10

Built-in modules available: _asyncio, _pixelmap, adafruit_bus_device, adafruit_pixelbuf, aesio, alarm, analogbufio, analogio, array, atexit, audiobusio, audiocore, audiomixer, binascii, bitbangio, bitmaptools, board, builtins, builtins.pow3, busio, busio.SPI, busio.UART, canio, collections, countio, digitalio, displayio, dualbank, errno, espcamera, espidf, espnow, espulp, fontio, framebufferio, frequencyio, getpass, gifio, hashlib, i2ctarget, io, ipaddress, json, keypad, keypad.KeyMatrix, keypad.Keys, keypad.ShiftRegisterKeys, math, mdns, memorymap, microcontroller, msgpack, neopixel_write, nvm, onewireio, os, os.getenv, paralleldisplay, ps2io, pulseio, pwmio, qrio, rainbowio, random, re, rgbmatrix, rotaryio, rtc, sdcardio, select, sharpdisplay, socketpool, ssl, storage, struct, supervisor, synthio, sys, terminalio, time, touchio, traceback, ulab, usb_cdc, usb_hid, usb_midi, vectorio, watchdog, wifi, zlib

CircuitPython 9.0.0-beta.2

This is the latest development release of CircuitPython that will work with the ESP32-S2 Reverse TFT Feather.

Alpha development releases are early releases. They are unfinished, are likely to have bugs, and the features they provide may change. Beta releases may have some bugs and unfinished features, but should be suitable for many uses. A Release Candidate (rc) release is considered done and will become the next stable release, assuming no further issues are found.

Please try alpha, beta, and rc releases if you are able. Your testing is invaluable: it helps us uncover and find issues quickly.

Release Notes for 9.0.0-beta.2

Built-in modules available: _asyncio, _pixelmap, adafruit_bus_device, adafruit_pixelbuf, aesio, alarm, analogbufio, analogio, array, atexit, audiobusio, audiocore, audiomixer, binascii, bitbangio, bitmaptools, board, builtins, builtins.pow3, busdisplay, busio, busio.SPI, busio.UART, canio, codeop, collections, countio, digitalio, displayio, dualbank, epaperdisplay, errno, espcamera, espidf, espnow, espulp, fontio, fourwire, framebufferio, frequencyio, getpass, gifio, hashlib, i2cdisplaybus, io, ipaddress, jpegio, json, keypad, keypad.KeyMatrix, keypad.Keys, keypad.ShiftRegisterKeys, locale, math, mdns, memorymap, microcontroller, msgpack, neopixel_write, nvm, onewireio, os, os.getenv, paralleldisplaybus, ps2io, pulseio, pwmio, qrio, rainbowio, random, re, rgbmatrix, rotaryio, rtc, sdcardio, select, sharpdisplay, socketpool, ssl, storage, struct, supervisor, synthio, sys, terminalio, time, touchio, traceback, ulab, usb_cdc, usb_hid, usb_midi, vectorio, warnings, watchdog, wifi, zlib

Absolute Newest

Every time we commit new code to CircuitPython we automatically build binaries for each board and language. The binaries are stored on Amazon S3, organized by board, and then by language. These releases are even newer than the development release listed above. Try them if you want the absolute latest and are feeling daring or want to see if a problem has been fixed.

Previous Versions of CircuitPython

All previous releases of CircuitPython are available for download from Amazon S3 through the button below. For very old releases, look in the OLD/ folder for each board. Release notes for each release are available at GitHub button below.

Older releases are useful for testing if you something appears to be broken in a newer release but used to work, or if you have older code that depends on features only available in an older release. Otherwise we recommend using the latest stable release.

Install, Repair, or Update UF2 Bootloader

Latest version: 0.18.1

The UF2 bootloader allows you to load CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino programs. The bootloader is not CircuitPython. If a UF2 bootloader is installed, you can check its version by looking in the INFO_UF2.TXT file when the BOOT drive is visible (FTHRS2BOOT, MAGTAGBOOT, HOUSEBOOT, etc.)

It is not necessary to reinstall a UF2 bootloader you unless a BOOT drive is not visible when in UF2 bootloader mode, or you know of a problem with your current UF2 bootloader.

If a UF2 bootloader has never been installed on the board, or the UF2 bootloader was removed by erasing or overwriting the flash, the UF2 bootloader must be installed in order to flash .uf2 files onto the board. .bin files can be uploaded without a UF2 bootloader, using the ESP Web Flasher or esptool.py.

Note: update.uf2 files are not currently working on ESP32-S2 or ESP32-S3 boards.

Important: this will erase previously flashed firmware and sketches from the board, but needs to be perfomed only once.

The instructions here are general. We recommend you consult the manufacturer's board documentation for detailed instructions, which may be different.

  • Unzip to find the file combined.bin.
  • Place board in bootloader mode:
    • Plug board into a USB port on your computer using a data/sync cable. Make sure it is the only board plugged in, and that a charge-only cable is not being used.
    • Press and hold down the BOOT or 0 button.
    • Press and release the RESET or RST button.
    • Release the BOOT button.
  • Upload combined.bin (Google Chrome 89 or newer):
    • Open ESP Web Flasher in a new window/tab.
    • Select 460800 Baud from the pull-down menu (top-right).
    • Click Connect (top-right).
    • Select the COM or Serial port from the pop-up window.
    • After successful connection, click Erase.
    • After successful erase, click any Choose a file..., then locate and select the combined.bin file unzipped earlier.
    • After successfully choosing combined.bin, click Program.
    • After the TinyUF2 firmware update is complete, press the RESET button on the board. A new drive BOOT should be visible in your file browser.

After installing the UF2 bootloader, enter the bootloader by double-clicking the reset button. On boards with an RGB status LED, tap reset once, wait for the LED to turn purple, and tap again before the purple goes away. On other boards, consult the board documentation.

After you update, check INFO_UF2.TXT to verify that the bootloader version has been updated. Then you will need to load or reload CircuitPython using the .uf2 file.