Introduction: Epaper and Arduino UNO

About: I love making things. I have for as long as I can remember liked to make stuff. Now days I have two kids (Thomas and Emma) and most of the things I do are safe for them! I love electronics and Microchips, I ha…

E-Paper controlled by and Arduino UNO.

I recently got sent a few items to try out from GearBest, and of the items this was the one i most interested in trying. I have never played with e-paper so it was a bit of a learning curve for me.

The items i was sent were all designed to be used on a Raspberry PI, but this E-Paper will work with an Arduino just as well.

When the unit arrived it had a nice picture already displaying and at first i thought the picture was on the screen protector, however once i removed the protector the image remained! And this is a key element of epaper, once you have put an image up you can turn of the power and it will remain.

Step 1: Connections to an Arduino Uno

This device uses SPI connections, so should be wired up as follows.

e-PaperColourUNO PLUS (3.3V)
3.3V Red 3V3
DIN Blue D11
CLK Yellow D13
CS Orange D10
DC Green D9
RST White D8
BUSY Purple D7

To make these connections i have had to put pins from a section of IDC strip into the ends of the plugs, otherwise you have female connections at each end.

Step 2: Arduino Library and Image2Lcd Software.

So once you have made the connections you will want to get a sketch loaded to see if it works. Helpfully there is a zipped folder with loads of code available from the website. Just follow the link in the wiki page. you will find the Demo code in the Resource section. There are also examples for the Raspberry PI and a STM32 board.

Also in the "How to display an image" section is a link to a piece of software which allows you to convert photos into the code required to display.

once you have downloaded the required zip folder, you should then unzip it and in the case of the Arduino files the libraries should be placed in the libraries folder and the demo sketch in your normal place.

The Image2Lcd program needs to be configured correctly and the setting is different depending on whether you want to use a portrait picture or landscape, i have included a picture of both so you can see the difference. Also you may need to drag the program out to display all the required picture. AND if you change from portrait to landscape then you must click the little button next to the dimension boxes.

Once you have got all the settings correct and adjusted the brightness to get the required effect you then press save and a text file will pop up. I am not sure of the correct way to transfer this over, but all i do is copy the entire text and paste into the imagedata.cpp file of the Arduino sketch deleting the original data (but not the first bit) then you will need to delete the extra line at the top. In the case of my picture delete "Aconst unsigned char gImage_monstert[8512] = { /* 0X00,0X01,0X2C,0X01,0XE0,0X00, */" then you should be able to upload the new sketch and see the picture.

Step 3: What Works Well?

Pictures can be very hit and miss, you can see from the picture of the plane that most of the fuselage is missing. This is because i had to adjust the brightness to get the detail i wanted.

One picture that did work well was hand drawn pictures. So i drew a rectangle 14 * 10.5 cm and drew some pictures on. this was then scanned in and the image cropped to 3:4 ratio then put into the Image2Lcd program. I was very surprised by the small text you could get away with.

Any way i hope you have enjoyed this instructable, and big thanks to GearBest for sending me this item to try out. if you wish to purchase this item then please follow the link below. Thanks.

Link too GearBest