4.2" Red/Black/White E-paper Breakout Board

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After my previous breakout board success, Pervasive Displays were kind enough to send me a couple of their 3-color epaper screen! Thank you!

I whipped up a breakout board and was happy to find that the basic layout considerations were very similar to my previous design for their other model. I sent out the board files to OSHpark, and it only ended up costing like 7 bucks for Super Swift because the board is so small.

Putting it together can be a little tricky if you've never done SMT work before, but rest assured that these 0805 packages are hand-solderable by even a 6'5" giant with kielbasa for fingers.

I included a very short example program showing how to communicate with the display. Basically the display needs to be initialized by pushing out a specific set of commands over SPI ( software SPI is fine ), followed by two framebuffers containing a bitmap mask of Red and a second bitmap mask for Black. The display is then sent a Refresh command, and the display

I put the breakout board files in the Files section; you can buy a set from OSHpark:
Here is the Digikey cart I ordered to go with 3 copies of the board:


// This example requires at least 30Kb of memory! // This means it wont run on a normal Arduino // Arduino Zero would work here barely // Teensy microcontrollers are your best bet here

ino - 179.76 kB - 04/17/2017 at 03:43


brd - 102.25 kB - 04/17/2017 at 03:37


sch - 158.88 kB - 04/17/2017 at 03:37


partlist - 1.93 kB - 04/17/2017 at 03:37


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RobinBlood wrote 02/01/2018 at 11:33 point

Hi There, great project. Love you SoftSPS approach :-)

Makes it a lot clearer for me what is actually happening on the bus.

Where did you find all the insides for PanelSettings? 

I'm busy struggling with some ePaper Displays from "GoodDisplay" like this one

I'm a bit afraid to break it if I temper with the data. There are a lot of documents along with the display but this doesn't really help me (too much information). Maybe there is a simpler way if you could explain where you found the indexes.

Tried your code with this breakout board: and a 4.2" r/b/w Display.

400x300 display, so 0x0190 times 0x012c so much I could figure, but unfortunately the display does nothing at all :-( how would you debug this?

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RobinBlood wrote 02/02/2018 at 11:25 point

After some hours of testing, I found GxEPD-Library and figured that I missed to put BS-pin to Ground:

DESTM32-S2 pinout (top, component side view):
         |  VCC  |o o| VCC 5V  not needed
         |  GND  |o o| GND
         |  3.3  |o o| 3.3 
         |  nc   |o o| nc
         |  nc   |o o| nc
         |  nc   |o o| nc
         |  DIN  |o o| CLK 
         |  CS   |o o| DC   
         |  RST  |o o| BUSY  
         |  nc   |o o| BS  ->  GND

some problems just solve themselves :-)

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oshpark wrote 10/27/2017 at 04:59 point

Is there a Teensy wired up to the breakout board?

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oshpark wrote 10/18/2017 at 05:26 point

I'm wondering if this would work with the FancyEPD library

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Frank Buss wrote 04/19/2017 at 16:54 point

I modified your breakout board, all capacitors are now 0805 (they are cheaper and might be easier to solder for others) and all traces are 10 mil minimum. Routing is changed, too, but it still fits on the same board size. OSH Park is really nice, easy to order:

I added the Open Source Hardware logo, I hope you don't mind. I can add your webpage and logo again, too, was not much room left on the top silk screen anymore, but maybe it will fit in the center. For my final board I will draw this again in KiCAD anyway, including the solar cell, super cap and ESP32 module.

This is the Digikey cart to populate 2 boards, and including one display:

For the cheap parts I rounded up to the next price break. Are all parts the right ones? I used another inductor than you used.

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jareklupinski wrote 04/19/2017 at 17:15 point

Looks good! If you want to add my url on there that'd be cool, but I'm not gonna force you or anything :)

The inductor looks to be identical to the one I used? IFSC1515AHER100M01

Let me know how it works!

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Frank Buss wrote 04/19/2017 at 17:52 point

Right, looks like it is the same inductor, I was confused by the SparkFun library. But will need some time until I can test it, because I chose the free shipping from OSH Park.

PS: my hand-routing, with optimized parts placing, needs only 15 vias compared to your 17 vias :-)

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Rachel Sandeman wrote 04/18/2017 at 08:34 point

Looks really good!

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oshpark wrote 04/18/2017 at 01:27 point

Very exciting!

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Jaren wrote 04/17/2017 at 20:48 point

Screen in question: E2417CS051  available for $48.5 (as of 4-17-2017)  in single qty on digikey

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Frank Buss wrote 04/19/2017 at 21:14 point

Note, I asked Pervasive Display with the support page, just to be sure, and this is what they answered:

"DigiKey has not yet placed the 4.2” with red on their website. Please contact MSC ( ) they have them in stock"

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Frank Buss wrote 04/20/2017 at 04:17 point

Another guy from Pervasive Display contacted me, now it is available from Digikey:

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