Using OLED displays on phi-panel
January 3, 2013 5 Comments
I got a request from Kenny G. that he wants to run OLED displays on phi-panels and got interested in modifying the software and hardware to work. Thanks to Kenny, who loaned me an OLED display from adafruit (wintech 1602AB), I was able to tinker with it last night and today. I eventually made it to work:
Here is some photos:
One of the photos is a diagram on how to modify the backpack PCB. Please check out the google code page regarding the firmware.
Long story short, the adafruit OLED library is only half-baked. Here is my post on their forum:
Pretty bad, basically clear() blink() cursor() display() and their counterparts are not working. I confirmed most of these with the simplest setup. On the other hand, home() works so I can limp on with home() and writing a lot of blanks to clear but can’t show cursor or blink anymore.
So I commented out these functions and modified clear() to write 80 spaces and do a home(). It works as it should. With other software this would have flicker on the screen but with phi-panel’s display buffer, it does not flicker.
In the future, if there is enough interest, I will make some special backpack PCBs that don’t need modification to work with OLEDs.
Meanwhile Kenny is testing other OLEDs he has regarding adafruit library usability. I felt that adafruit didn’t go all the way to provide a reliable library for us this time but without spec sheet, what more than this can they do? Maybe being a bit more upfront with their limitations?!