Nextion - The New Generation of Display Touchscreens!

I was doing some research on new microprocessors to replace the Arduino Uno in my
Geo. Stevens pickup winder project, and I started to see articles on the Web about something
called HMI touchscreen displays, or human-machine interfaces. Basically, HMI's are part of the
"Internet Of Things", a webconnected world where you can access anything and everything in
your own home on the Internet from any smartphone or computer.

Very soon, I started reading a lot about a new display technology called Nextion.

What is Nextion?

Nextion is basically a display on steroids - a touchscreen for your project with its own processor
and memory that looks and works a lot like the screen on a smartphone. Instead of spending days trying
to design and write a display screen for a project by yourself that would use most of your computer's
memory and hardware just to run, Nextion is designed to use graphics generated by programs like
Photoshop and its own screen editing program to write your own displays in hours. Best of all, since
Nextion uses its own computer to drive its screen, you only need four wires to connect it to your project
instead of the fifteen I used with my old touchscreen! This means that I can have a professional quality
display on my Stevens winder that can keep up with the new Arduino Mega computer at high speeds... and
not use most of the computer's memory and power just to show the data!

The photo above (from Nextion's website) demonstrates the possible screen quality from a Nextion touchscreen

Nextion HMI's are very popular with ham radio operators who use them to make control screens
for homebrew digital radios, and also with people who use them to make digital automobile dashboards.

I bought a five inch wide Nextion Enhanced touchscreen, and I'm learning how to use the programming
editor and Photoshop to design my own controller display for my winder. Unlike the older programming method of
writing the program first and then programming the display to work, I must write the display program first using the
Nextion program editor, test it in the editor as a simulation, and then use the names the editor assigned for the
data values (like measuring the amount of winds or motor speed) I want to monitor on the screen.


For computer 'geeks' only...

The Nextion website is here -

The Nextion uses an ARM microprocessor and a serial data line to transmit and send only data to and from itself
to a computer. Older technology touchscreens use a parallel data transfer system with many data lines to send
data on, which takes up much of the host computer's available hardware. Even worse, older systems
rely on the
computer itself to draw the display's information on the touchscreen at the same time it's trying to collect data
from whatever sensors are being used... which slows down the computer!

The Nextion Editor you use to write the program the screen uses is free but closed source - here is latest version

There are seven different sizes of Nextion screens available ranging from 2.4 inches wide to 7 inches wide.
There are two basic types - Basic and Enhanced. Large enhanced models (like mine) five inches across and larger

have much faster processors and are upgradeable with an accessory board with four extra pushbuttons for added
functions - sold separately. The information for each available model is at the Nextion website here

Nextion HMI's are available at the Nextion website, Ebay (duh :) ) and

There is one major problem with buying a Nextion product. You need to know this.
There are two different models available depending on where you live - models with the first two digits of the model
number starting with the letters NX, and others with the first three letters TJC. The NX models are made for the US
market and the editor program is written in English. DO NOT buy the TJC models because they are made for the
Chinese market only and
are *not* supported by Nextion. Even worse... the editor for the TJC models is written in
, that is if you can even find one.You have been warned.

The Facebook group for ham radio operators using Nextion units on their radios is here - lotsa good info!

Two good Youtube videos on programming a Nextion screen - basic and advanced.
Many other videos are available, and I suggest watching as many as possible because
there are not very many tutorials available.

Basic one is here

Advanced one is here

If you are doing a project of your own using Arduino or Nextion units of your own,
I wish you good luck with your project!

And before anyone asks - I paid for all of the parts you're reading about in this blog,
and I have not received any compensation of any kind at all for mentioning them
in my pages. I mention them only because I'm using them myself.

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