In this article we look at a new e-Paper-based device from Chinese manufacturer Lilygo that offers a 1.02-inch e-Paper display that is contained inside a 3D printed enclosure.
The device has other features and also comes with a microSD card socket that also serves as the primary storage, a reset button as well as a three-way user button.
The tiny low-power display also offers headers for GPIOs, ADC, DAC, SPI, and more. You can see the device pinout underneath
The all important microcontroller is a ESP32-PICO-D4
ESP32-PICO-D4 SiP specifications:
SoC – ESP32 with two Tensilica LX6 cores, 448 KB ROM, 520 KB SRAM (inc. 8KB RTC memory), 1kbit eFuse
On-module Flash – 4MB SPI flash
WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n/e/i (802.11n up to 150 Mbps)
Bluetooth – Bluetooth V4.2 BR/EDR and BLE specification; ; class-1, class-2 and class-3 transmitter; Audio: CVSD and SBC
SD card, UART, SPI, SDIO, LED PWM, Motor PWM, I2S, I2C, IR
GPIO, capacitive touch sensor, ADC, DAC, LNA pre-amplifier
Sensors – On-chip Hall sensor & temperature sensor
Clock – On-module 40 MHz crystal
Power supply – 2.3 ~ 3.6V
The module requires a downloader called a T-U2T as the board does not have a USB to serial chip on it. You can buy the module with or without one.
A couple of suggested ways to start development
Install VSCODE an dPython
Search for the PlatformIO plug-in in the VSCODE extension and install it.
After the installation is complete and you have reloaded, there will be a small house icon in the lower left corner. Click to display the Platformio IDE home page
Go to file – > Open folder – > Select the LilyGO-Mini-Epaper folder and click the (√) symbol in the lower left corner to compile (→) for upload.
You need to visit the link below
Copy all the folders in the lib directory to “C:\User\<YourName>\Documents\Arduino\libraries”
At the top of the sketch, define the model of the board and screen to be used
Select ESP32 Pico Kit in the development board, and keep the other options as default
If you do not find the ESP32 series in the development board, then you should see the following installation method – https://github.com/espressif/arduino-esp32/blob/master/docs/arduino-ide/boards_manager.md
This costs around £24 from Aliexpress with the downloader, if you don’t need the downloader it costs about £18 – buy the product here