DSI Screen on PI

I’m thinking of combining my BalenaSense Pi with Pihole. Currently my PiHole runs on Raspbian and it has a SPI screen. I would purchase a Waveshare DSI screen so that I could use a screen with the environmental sensor.

My question is, how would I install the drivers? They’re available on their wiki but not in a BalenaOS format.

Hi @moxy, first of all welcome to the balena forums : )

It’s a good idea to combine such projects and run them on the same device. Have you seen our related blog post about this? Perhaps it could help out with the overall direction:

As for adding DSI screen. I haven’t tried it myself then I found the following documentation and 2 blog posts that gives couple of pointers:

Could you please take a look at these and see if they help?

Let us know of your progress and if we could help out further.


Thanks for the welcome. I’m using the first article to combine PiHole and Balena sense.

My main question for asking is that my PiHole currently has a 3.5 SPI display that I run PADD on. Given BalenaSense sensor uses the GPIO, my first thought was that my display won’t work. Now that I’ve looked further into it, pins 3,5,7 are not used by the screen so I just need to find a way to wire them in.

My screen is https://www.elecrow.com/wiki/index.php?title=3.5_Inch_480x320_TFT_Display_with_Touch_Screen_for_Raspberry_Pi

Under Ubuntu, I had no problems running manufacturer’s installer to install the drivers and get things up and running but BalenaOS doesn’t work that way. How do I go about getting display working in your environment?

You would run the initialisation steps you mentioned in a service container :+1: Then that service would run alongside the balenaSense and PiHole services and start your screen etc.

You might also need to add the elecrow35a-overlay.dtb file from https://github.com/Elecrow-RD/Elecrow-LCD35 to the boot partition of the balena os image and update the config.txt file to load it. See https://www.balena.io/docs/reference/OS/advanced/#setting-device-tree-overlays-dtoverlay-and-parameters-dtparam.

Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll go and Frankenstein the screen and sensors together and then I’ll let you know how things go or maybe be back with more questions.