Cheap OLED display for your TI Launchpad

The guys over at the 43oh forums have been working on an OLED display booster pack for the TI Launchpad. The booster pack is now available in the 43oh store and is pretty cheap to boot.

The TI Launchpad is an awesome little dev board with a ravenous fan base. We’ve seen a lot of projects on Hack a Day use a Launchpad – everything from intervalometers to chicken coops. Unfortunately, the MSP430 doesn’t have the market penetration of the ‘board that shall remained unnamed,’ so it’s not very common to see a new Launchpad “shield.”

[bluehash] on the 43oh forums has been hard at work for the past month to put together his OLED booster pack. The display is 128×64 pixels with an incredible amount of brightness that we would expect from an OLED display. The software for the display is based on the SSD1306 driver with two font packs – Courier New large and small. Not a bad little piece of kit for an under appreciated dev board.


  1. Jan says:

    Does TI offer an IDE that runs on OSX for the 430 yet or an online IDE? Windows is a joke and that was last time i checked.

    • Pete S says:

      I think OSX is a joke. Open source is where it’s at or you might as well run Windows that has the market penetration.

      • Jan says:

        Yes, Open Source IDEs that run on OSX are acceptable as well.

      • Jan says:

        sorry i meant to say:
        having only a windows IDE (no linux or OSX, last time i checked) is a joke for TI that tries to target the hacker/maker crowd. Now they got Cloud 9 enabled with the new Beagle Bone, so i guess they have learned from their mistakes. now something like cloud9 that compiles for the 430 would be sweet, like MBed does it. I know some people don’t like online compiler, but the offline toolchains will still be available.

      • anyone says:

        lol i love how that guy didnt beat around the bush when bashing windows. classic apple user. “my big evil company is better than that other big evil company, just because everyone knows windows sucks”

        anyway… the IDE works fine under wine 1.2.2 on ubuntu 10.04 LTR

      • anyone says:

        not too big of a fan of the TI launch pad (just because i havent used it really)…but still cool implementation.

        and sooo glad it’s not the ‘board that shall remain unnamed’ LOL

      • Jan says:


        Love how you are not able to grasp the difference between product and company.
        Also as an owner of Apple hardware i’m able too run ANY OS of my choice on my desktop and after working with all of them i picked OSX by free choice for my desktop and i’m a HUGE fan of it, but i’m also a HUGE fan of Linux that runs on all of my servers. Oh and i’m also a HUGE fan of some Microsoft products, like my XBOX 360. None of those could be replaced by any other OS for me. Picking the best tool for the job without being religious about it, you know.

    • DanJ says:

      Jan, look at

      I’m able to do tons of micro-controller development on OS X. It’s still more work to get setup than using Windows but more and more chip manufacturers are supporting OS X. I definitely love the unix under the hood personally.

    • GWDev says:

      You can install mspgcc and use xcode as your ide.
      MSPGCC Xcode
      Also, one of the guys wrote an OSX serial port driver for the launchpad.
      OSX VCP Launchpad

    • ScottinNH says:

      You could try running the IDE on OSX, using ‘WineBottler’.

      Wine’s not ideal, but that’s no reason not to try it. With OS X running on Intel now, WINE runs as good as on Linux/x86 (possibly even better, since OS X integration is easier than GTK vs Qt stuff on Linux).

    • JonnyMax says:

      TI’s remit was to produce a development board at throw away price. Multi OS support would have driven up the price.

      Except that fact that the only reason the hobbyist market is supported is so that, in the future you may use their products commercially. There is no real profit in the hobbyist market for Chip makers.

      At least you spared us the Ubuntu line. You know Ubuntu the commercial company that took the only true free commercial level version of Linux, Debian and made it their own, which kicked the legs from under Debian.

  2. Shadyman says:

    The-board-which-shall-remain-unnamed shall remain unnamed on Hack-a-day? Surely you jest ;)

  3. I’m confused. So, the anger against the board-which-shall-remain-unamed is only against that one in particular? I thought it was against the idea of microcontrollers in general and that hacking should only be for those willing to build things from TTL gates.

  4. Not that I agree with that philosophy myself — I have a Launchpad, a PropStick and one of those “other” boards…

  5. Leaky McLeakster says:

    I have it on good authority that TI might be working on a follow up to the launchpad…

  6. crenn says:

    Took a look and noticed there doesn’t seem to be an option for a female header.

  7. Sam says:

    Just bought the last one!

  8. bluehash says:

    First, nice to see this here. Thanks!. It was fun making it.

    This was run to see if the board could be made cheaply. Secondly, most of the code used was from the community. We have a wonderful community at 43oh. Feel free to hop in to ask questions and browse around.

    Lastly, unfortunately we had only 8 boards and they are all gone. Remember to leave your email in the shop form to remind you when it is back in stock.

    Thanks again.

  9. Jan says:

    I will throw all my controller board in the bin (TI 430, Arduino and Mbed) if the Beagle Bone can deliver what it is promising. Only for having Cloud 9 onboard so i can write code on it over the network from my every platform down to my smartphone/tablet.

    Honestly all those IDEs, toolchains and compiler i don’t really wanna care about. i’m programmer in my day job, if i want to do some recreational embedded coding i want to jump straight to coding and don’t wanna bother with the tools as well. I know there are hardcore hacker that enjoy those kind of things equally but not me and i recon i’m not the only person with this attitude. i trade that in for having less control anytime. I think the beagle bone will be a huge success.

  10. Mike Szczys says:

    I feel their pain with the fonts. I’ve spent my fair share of time going from Gimp BMP file to C array and fixing the formatting by hand.

    Maybe I should write my own font array format script?

  11. bluehash says:

    These boards are back in stock now. The new rev has two pushbuttons for user interface and a breakout for the OLED display for use with other micrcontrollers.

  12. lasershark says:

    i prefer the early stuff. it all went down hill after the second album when they signed to a major. i am way cool.

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