Arduino Tutorial: How to use the 4.3′ E-Paper display with Arduino from Gearbest.com

Arduino Tutorial: How to use the 4.3′ E-Paper display with Arduino from Gearbest.com


Dear friends welcome back! I am Nick from
educ8s.tv and today we are going to see how to use the 4.3’ E – Paper display with
Arduino. The big advantage of this display is its power consumption, it can display text
and graphics even if it is not connected to power! Without any further delay, let’s
get started! Electronic paper and e-paper are display technologies
that mimic the appearance of ordinary ink on paper. Unlike conventional backlit flat
panel displays that emit light, electronic paper displays reflect light like paper. This
make them more comfortable to read, and provide a wider viewing angle than most light-emitting
displays. Many electronic paper technologies hold static text and images indefinitely without
electricity. That’s why I wanted to test an e-paper display
with Arduino. I would like to find out if it can benefit our Arduino projects so I chose
to test the 4.3’ e-paper display that I found on Gearbest.com. The display costs around
61$ and Gearbest.com webstore was kind enough to send me a sample unit in order to test
it and share my opinion about it with you. You can find a link for the display in the
description of the video. As you can see the display is big. Its resolution
is 800×480 pixels, it can display graphics and text and it can display 4 shades of grey.
We only need to connect 5 wires in order to make it work with Arduino. Vcc goes to Arduino
5V. Ground goes to Arduino Ground. DOUT pin goes to Rx pin of the Arduino Uno. DIN pin
goes to Tx pin of the Arduino Uno. Lastly Wake_Up pin goes to digital pin 2.
The software side of the project is very easy as well. All we need to do is to use the library
that comes with the display and load the demo sketch. That’s it. The library provides
all the basic functions in order to display text and graphics on the display easily.
Let’s watch for a few seconds the demo sketch. As you can see, the display is able to display
graphics, it can draw shapes and it has a couple of fonts installed, English and Chinese.
The refresh rate of the display is low, it can take up to 3 seconds to update, so we
have to forget playing animations on it. The big advantage of the display is its power
consumption. Check this out. If I remove power from the display, the text does not disappear!
We don’t need power to display something on the display! We only need power in order
to update it! Great! But how much current do we need in order to update it? Let’s
find out! At the back of the display, we can find something
interesting. We can find a big ARM processor that runs at 72MHz! There is also 128MBs of
FLASH memory for image storage and an SD card slot. It is like having an Arduino Due to
control the display. That’s not promising at all about the power consumption. Using
a multimeter we can see that the display needs around 110mAs of current when it is updating,
and about 4mAs when it is sleeping. The sleeping current is not bad for big display like this
but too big for battery powered projects. So, in order to use this display in a battery
powered project, we have to disable it every time it is updated using a transistor. This
way we can reduce the current down to zero for the display. Since the update current
huge for an embedded project, this display is ideal for battery power projects that update
the display rarely, let say once a day. I am looking forward in building a project
with this display in order to see, how long we can make it last on batteries. That’s
my first experience with an e-paper display and I think that the e-paper technology is
a very promising one. I would like to hear your thoughts on that. What do you think about
this display? Can it be useful to your projects? Do you have any projects in mind that will
benefit from a display like this? Please post your comments or ideas in the comments section
below. Also, if you want to see the latest channel
news, like what project I am currently working on, you can follow the Facebook page of the
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If this is your first time here, I would love to have you subscribed. In this channel I
post videos about DIY projects every Saturday. I build projects with Arduino, Raspberry Pi,
I build robots and simple electronic circuits. I love making things and helping people doing
the same. I hope that you will join our community. Until next Saturday, Watch, Learn, Build!

42 thoughts on “Arduino Tutorial: How to use the 4.3′ E-Paper display with Arduino from Gearbest.com

  1. Such an E-Paper display would be great for a status display where the status doesn't change very often – think about a list of incoming phone calls or as a door label at a conference, displaying topic and start time of the next item of the agenda in that room.
    Looking over the product details I noticed that it takes 3.3-5V with a serial input – you could hook this up directly to a Raspberry Pi and use any programming language to send data via /dev/ttyAMA0 to the display.

  2. very interesting tech… a bit pricey, though it would be a great way to bring Harry Potter's Marauders Map to life.

  3. Very interesting indeed, but I am in Australia and it would be $90 plus $20 shipping. Also a bit excessive for the sort of projects I am likely to need to display information. It will be interesting to see what you (and others) do with it however.

  4. Does it have a serial connection that would let you add an ESP8266 WiFi module directly to the display? Then you could have it wake up every time period and check a server for a change in data, if there is new data it downloads the new screen to the display and goes back to sleep. When it gets the new data it can also get instructions about when to wake up again, that way the server can have it adapt to the rate new data is available, or the time of day etc.

  5. Here is much cheaper:
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/4-3-inch-26PIN-FPC-E-ink-E-paper-800-600-AXT526124-Connector/32565816733.html?ws_ab_test=searchweb201556_2,searchweb201644_5_505_506_503_504_301_502_10001_10002_10016_10017_10010_10005_10006_10011_10003_10004_10009_10008,searchweb201560_5,searchweb1451318400_-1,searchweb1451318411_6451&btsid=d6279a66-5716-4e5b-b7ee-9e9596ab4623

  6. Hi,
    Really interresting tuto!
    I would like to know please if it's possible to display text for ex a sentense with a specific font ?
    In fact each word of the sentense should have it's own font for example : "Hello world !" –>" Hello" in bold with a font size = 15 and "world" in normal ?
    Thank in advance for your help

  7. The display is a good one but is kind of expensive for what you are getting, especially being so slow.But I can understand since E-ink technology is still new.
    as for any projects, I would make a smart clock that gives notifications and other data such as temperature and humidity ect,

  8. Is it possible to keep the data on the module AFTER I plug it back to the microcontroller / arduino??? This is what I am wondering about. I would like to use this, but the datasheet was not clear to me in this sense – I have a feeling that in the very moment I plug my controller back in, I lose all the screen-data. Is this true??? I would want to let it stay as it is for my ideas.

    Basically what I wish is that in case the power goes down, the picture is still shown and when it comes back I finish drawing over some parts of the screen. Does this sound weird or not I don't know, but in my little plan the other parts of the system handle this with non-volatile ferro-electric ram and logical design for this so I wonder if it is possible.

    Other than this one, I only know about the smaller 2.7" versions from other companies which seem to have what I want, but it would be nice to have a bigger screen than that. Also I guess the module knows what I want so I could get some from "good-display" and such, but I am not a pro in electronics and dunno how to easily integrate those FPC connectors they have. I think I can't solder them or can't have a connector that will connect them into something I can solder…

  9. This looks awesome, albeit a bit slow. Is the refresh rate slow because it clears the whole display for every image? Does it support partial refresh, for example typing in a text editor? Could this connect to Raspberry Pi and be used to display Linux terminal? I'd love to see that. This is quite exciting! 🙂

  10. Can i install other fancy fonts instead of use their fixed font? I had use this panel for the bus stop dashboard, to tell me what time the bus will come to the bus stop.
    But i don't like the built in fonts. How do i change the fonts?

  11. hi! Epaper is a great display under light sun!! Is possible to have code without zipping? thanks!

  12. excellent project, but i think the cost of the screen for its size is way too much.. with few more dollars we can buy an ebook reader.. perhaps if you find a broken one and get its screen will be better?
    great video bythe way

  13. Are there any e-ink displays that update faster than 3 seconds. I don't need animation speed but being able to update some numbers on the screen would have to be much faster for my application. thanks.

  14. 4.3inch e-paper fast delivery: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B071HW537F/ref=twister_B071VTC3ML?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

  15. lo siento pero pareces una azafata dando las instrucciones del chaleco salvavidas , no lo digo para fastidiar pero al final dejas de escuchar

  16. Hi, I'm in search of a short and wide e-paper display, perhaps 0.75" high and 8-13" wide. Have you run across anything like that? Thank you.

  17. Waveshare have very shitty support for their products. I strongly advise to go for a different product. Nice video though.

  18. I plan to make project with this e-paper display on my sailing boat, to display wind speed and direction. But i need update evry 1 sec it will be to slow.

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