Breadboarding with E-Paper

[David Watts] picked up an inexpensive Waveshare e-Paper display. He made a video about using it with a breadboard, and you can see it below.

The E-Paper or E-Ink displays have several advantages. They are low power, they retain their display even without power, and they are very visible in direct light. The downside is they don’t update as fast as some other display technologies.

To drive the device, [David] used a WeMos D1 to drive the display. He picked up the 1.54 inch display, but they are available in several sizes up to about 4 inches. The smaller display runs about $20. If you find one for less, be sure it has the PCB and isn’t just the raw display panel. As you’d expect, the larger displays cost a little more.

[David] didn’t really provide a tutorial, he simply showed how he connected it to a breadboard and his example project. However, there is at least one Arduino library available. You can also find a lot of documentation, libraries, and examples on the Waveshare wiki.

If these get much cheaper, maybe we’ll see more e-paper business cards. Or perhaps they will become as ubiquitous as sticky notes.

24 thoughts on “Breadboarding with E-Paper

  1. The larger waveshare epaper display I have, has disappointing low power numbers. The display itself doesn’t use any power when idle, but the microcontroller driving it does. You can go into low power mode, but coming out of it wipes the screen (all black, then all white), before you get to draw (again all black, then your image).

  2. I would try to make a watch out of it, that displays moon phase, day of week, year, month, day, hour, and minute… But updated in 5 min intervals… I.e. :00, :05,:10, etc. Then I’d see how absolutely low powered off a watch I could make, add a lipo battery, charging circuit, and solar cell.

    1. I don’t know where you life, I can only speak about my country in central Europe. If you avoid premium shipping like UPS, EMS, etc and choose the ordinary slow shipping, then it was never a problem yet, at least for things like MiniDSO or the TS-100.

  3. When e-paper first came out they said it would be almost as cheep as paper.
    I’ve been waiting for around 20 years for this to happen. I guess I fell for there lies.
    I don’t think it will ever get to a good price.
    I really think do think there cool.

  4. Anyone figure out how to make this display work in portrait mode?
    I have one of the larger screens. I wanted to use it to replace my ID badge at work. I couldn’t find a way to make the orientation of the screen portrait. The built in text functions couldn’t be rotated 90 deg so my only option was to render an image upload it to the displays onboard storage and then display that. Wasn’t terribly easy to do. When I purchased it I figured if I had to wear a badge I should be able to get some use at it too, hit a button get an unread email count, current weather and next 5 calendar items. After 30 seconds return to my ugly mug for ID.

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