Dear friends welcome to this Arduino E-Paper display tutorial.
In this video, we are going use this small e-paper display with Arduino for the first time and talk about its advantages and disadvantages.
WHERE TO BUY
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This display is small, it is 1.54inch, and it is relatively inexpensive. It costs around 15$. I will post a link to it in the description below. I can hear you ask, is it really inexpensive? It costs 15$ and it is so small! You are right, it is very expensive for a tiny display like this, but you have to take in consideration that it is an e-paper display, and e-paper displays are expensive. For example this 4.3-inch e-paper display I reviewed a few years ago costs around $50!
For the first time, we now have access to smaller and cheaper e-paper displays. So, we can now build low-cost projects which will use e-paper displays! I am really excited about this. But why use an e-paper display in a project?
E-Paper or Electronic paper are displays that unlike traditional LCD or OLED displays does not emit light but reflect light. It is like the ink on the paper. This characteristic makes e-paper displays very comfortable to read, and they have excellent readability under direct sunlight. Another great thing about e-paper displays is that they can hold static text and images for months without electricity! Yes, that’s correct, the display can show text and images even when it is off! That makes e-paper displays ideal for low powered projects!
Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages as well. The price of e-paper display is still very high. Another significant disadvantage is that e-paper displays take a lot of time to update, as much as 2-3 seconds. So, they are only helpful for static text and images and not animations.
📥 Official Demo:
Let’s now see how to use this small e-paper display with Arduino. The display offers a resolution of 200×200 pixels which is great and it uses the SPI interface. It is a 3.3V display so Vcc must be connected to the 3.3V output of the Arduino Uno. The other pins of the display are 5V tolerant. The next pin is GND and it goes to GND. The third pin is named DIN and it goes to Digital Pin 11. The fourth pin is CLK and it goes to Digital Pin 13. The fifth pin (CS) goes to digital pin 10, the 6th pin to digital pin 9, the 7th pin to digital pin 8 and the last pin to digital pin 7. That’s it, we are now ready to load a sketch to the Arduino and watch the display in action.
At first I am going to use the example the company that produces this display offers. As you can see, this demo sketch uses 65% of the RAM memory of the Arduino Uno. The demo sketch displays some graphics and text, but in my opinion, the most important thing that it demonstrates is that it can update part of the display, without updating the whole display. This is very useful because updating the whole display takes about 2 seconds and requires a lot of current. In contrast, updating part of the display is fast and it does not require a lot of current.
The biggest problem I face with this library is that it only supports a few fonts with very small size. This is the biggest font size we can use. So if we need to use a bigger font size we are out of luck since I haven’t found any way to design my own fonts yet.
CODE OF THE PROJECT
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