12.1 Inch Display Question


I’m looking to throw together something like I’ve seen in this video on YouTube.

The other finished options are either hella ghetto with crappy panels, wonky stands and Chinese menus…or overrated, overpriced stuff like GeChic.

That original 7" panel is a really good panel, with good color & viewing angles, led backlighting, and [best of all]–THE CORRECT ASPECT RATIO for ol’ skool games! Sorry, but I hate the ‘black pillar syndrome’ I get when I fire up my Pi for gaming on a modern 16:9 display.


Could anyone tell me if this would be a good one to buy?


Many Thanks :)


Hey all,

A little annoying that it’s such a struggle to find a panel+driver board that’s compatible and cheap!

I’ve gone for one of these units:

…per recommendations above. I appreciate it’s CCFL but the one-stop shop appeals - I’d get the hump if I were ordering boards which didn’t work with panels, etc. Seller with expedited shipping estimates later this week delivery - we’ll see.

For power I’m using a RAVPower charging unit:

…with power to the Pi and Pi => Picade as normal (I want them to power on/off together). I take a second output for the original display panel - the other ones I’ve reserved for illuminated buttons, marquee light etc. Instead of drilling and mounting through the case, I stuck it to the base with gorilla tape - it seems pretty secure.

To step the power up for the 12V required for the panel I’ve gone with this:

Note this is NOT the unit I posted before - cut and paste fail :)

Will advise on results!


Got everything assembled and working.

The panel shipped (with UPS expedited) in 2 days (!) from Hong Kong, which I was pretty impressed about. I need to do some more cable management, and some tidying up around the shim, as my cutting to size wasn’t perfect, but otherwise it’s all worked out pretty well.

This is the 5V - 12V step-up converter. Powered from the RAVPower charger and supplying 12V to the panel. So far it hasn’t even got warm to touch - I’m going to leave it running but it should be well within its limits:

DROK converter to display panel:

The second USB output I’m using to drive the Pi, via a PowerBlock. (Yes, I know I should have used standoffs rather than blutack - I didn’t have any spare - and yes, I know it’s shitty soldering :) :

The power switch is latching on/off with built in LED:

Et voila:

I now have a working Picade with a single power cable leading into the chassis. The power switch does NOT control the screen; however, when the Pi is powered down it goes into standby which is close enough for my purposes.

Still need to upgrade the buttons and add some funky lighting.


I bought a 12.1 inch LCD from Displaysscreen.com and ordered a Control Board from Ebay from seller from China like some of the other guys on here and its not working. I have normal 2.5 Adapter plugged into Pi3, and 12v adapter I got to power Control Board. When I turn it on the LCD turns blue, then says No Signal Found, then turns black. I see the Pi is still powered on and LED blinks green. Then I notice the Picade board that is installed inside blinks and you can hear a Static sound. Any ideas?


I’ve been considering of upgrading to the 12.1 option for quite some time. I’ve been doing a bit of research and I would definitely would go the Samsung route, but I was also wondering if there might be more LED-backlighted models to choose from. Obviously I have found alternatives online, but the question is how should I go about looking for possible controller boards. Would these work for most displays considering the sellers setup these boards based on the model number?

PanelLook 12.1 LCD Listings

Thank You


Having some issues finding the exact model listed above, but am having lots of luck finding LTN121XF-L01’s - the model number is only slightly different, and from a google - sounds like pretty much the same spec.

Or even the Toshiba LTD121EA4X, as this one appears to be a bit cheaper on eBay…


I’m having a little trouble too with the 12.1 upgrade as well and have hit a bit of a wall. I’ve been having a great time (and learning LOT) modding my Picade thanks to everyone here (so tremendous thanks to xartle, Luis, Dyltone, Paulcheffus, and everyone else!).

I ordered the LTN121XL01-N03 from displaysscreen.com and the control board from EBay. The screen failed to respond with the first control board, so I ordered a second to validate - with the same result. The control board LEDs light up green, turn red when I toggle power, etc., but all I get from the panel is the inky blackness of space and the stench of death (imagined). I’m guessing DOA. While the EBay seller is incredibly responsive, displaysscreen.com is not so much - I’ve sent them a couple of notes requesting RMA and have not heard back in several days.

I’m hesitant to throw good money after bad and blindly buy another panel from displaysscreen, but the Picade is so great, it almost requires this mod. So I find myself searching for the white whale - a 12.1” LED-backlit XGA LCD with an HDMI controller board included. This is as close as I’ve gotten:


What do you guys think about this panel?

The obvious disadvantage is that the display+side brackets width is listed at 279mm (so nearly 11”), and we only have 10.5” inside the cab to work with. I’m thinking that’s nothing that a Dremel couldn’t fix (or alternately - extra cuts in the sides of the cab which would be last-resort). The seller happens be the reliable EBay provider that I believe a lot of us here have used, so bonus points there.

12" TFT upgrade - current situation (March 2018)

Hi, out of interest, which eBay seller did you buy your controller board from?

I made a topic back in January (only a few posts down on this forum) about an issue I’ve been having with my setup which is either the controller board or the LTN121XL01-N03 which is causing the problem.

My system has been gathering dust since then due to lack of time and motivation due to the issues I’ve been having. I’ve had 2 boards from a seller on ebay by the name of “driverboard”. Is this the same person you got your boards from?


Hi Dave - the seller I used was ‘chinatobby2011’.


Have you sent back the controller boards / are you sending them back to that seller?

The reason I ask is that I still have 2 boards from my seller and dealing with the seller has been a long process.

If you are UK based I don’t mind posting you out one of my boards to try with your screen unless you are completely sure it’s your display at fault? I’d love to try a board from a different seller to help work out if it’s my display or controller board it’s at fault and chinatobby2011 was going to be where I was next going to source a board.

We can try a board swap with each other if you like?


HDMI cable always a suspect


A board swap is a great idea - I’ll PM you my address. Hopefully it will work for you!

Unfortunately not the HDMI cable. It works with other sources - have also tried the other inputs on the board with no luck. I figured there was also some kind of OSD even with no input.

Edit: the forums won’t let me send you a PM for some reason. PM me if you’d like (or are allowed to!) - or if email is better, I’m at coffeefueled@gmail.com


Thought I’d chip in here with this…

Our new Wide Input SHIM might be handy for these Picade setups with 12" displays, allowing you to power the Pi and the display with a single 12V power supply and a y-splitter cable.


@coffeefueled I’ve sent you a message to your gmail. Cheers.


Cheers! The board is on the way and fingers crossed.

Pimoroni Crew, are there any plans to source 12.1" LCDs for the Picade in the works, or has that been abandoned entirely? I’d much rather be purchasing from you guys than random eBay sellers!


Unfortunately, we’ve found it basically impossible to source those 12" displays in any sort of quantity. The previous batch we got hold of were end-of-life stock and they’re all gone now. :-(


Hi all!
been reading this with keen interest! just wondering what the physical dimensions of the 12.1" displays are I wanted to see if they would fit in a case I’m designing?

I was wondering what links people are using these days for the ones with good viewing angles/clarity etc?


Hi guys, ordered the LTN121XL01-N03 from displayscreen but they’re sold out (sent refund despite saying “Instock” on website). Anyone know the next best 12.1”? Heard bad things about the mixed TN panel eBay listings so want to avoid those. Or if anyone has an extra LTN121XL01 I’d be happy to buy it at the displayscreen price.

Edit: Saw the old post about the LTN121XP01 PVA screen, not cheap but seems there’s still some around so will look into it.


I’m thinking about a LQ121S1LG75 (generic, the original was SHARP) which can be found on ebay or aliexpress for around USD 110 including the controller.
It has WLED background lighting, is brighter and has better contrast and viewing angles as CCFLs, but it would need a (small) modification to the Picade and it is only SVGA (800x600).
See also my new thread about that.