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
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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!