Flexible Grayscale OLED Hookup Guide

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Contributors: Englandsaurus
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Introduction

We've been hearing about and seeing flexible screens at CES for years now, but now you can finally get one in your hands and bend a screen! You can’t fold it like paper but this flexible grayscale OLED from Wisechip can be bent to a 40mm radius without damage. The display is less than 0.5mm thick, less than 0.5 grams, and can display some impressive graphics with great contrast.

SparkFun Flexible Grayscale OLED Breakout - 1.81"

SparkFun Flexible Grayscale OLED Breakout - 1.81"

LCD-14606
$50.95

The OLED display is 1.81" long with 160x32 4-bit grayscale pixels. The interface is 3-wire SPI and each pixel requires 4 bits. This means you will need a processor capable of storing a local array of 80*32 = 2,560 bytes in order to truly flex (pun intended) the power of the grayscale display. Basic 8-bit Arduinos can communicate with the display and do things like text but graphics will be tricky.

Required Materials

To get started, you'll need a microcontroller to control everything in your project.

SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

SparkFun RedBoard - Programmed with Arduino

DEV-13975
$19.95
47
SparkFun ESP32 Thing

SparkFun ESP32 Thing

DEV-13907
$21.95
64
Particle Photon (Headers)

Particle Photon (Headers)

WRL-13774
$19.00
32

Raspberry Pi 3

DEV-13825
92 Retired

Tools

You will need a soldering iron, solder, and general soldering accessories.

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

TOL-09325
$7.95
7
Weller WLC100 Soldering Station

Weller WLC100 Soldering Station

TOL-14228
$44.95
1

Suggested Reading

If you aren't familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing.

How to Solder: Through-Hole Soldering

This tutorial covers everything you need to know about through-hole soldering.

Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI)

SPI is commonly used to connect microcontrollers to peripherals such as sensors, shift registers, and SD cards.

Logic Levels

Learn the difference between 3.3V and 5V devices and logic levels.