Particle display shield?

Does anyone know of an ‘off the shelf’ display shield for the Electron? Would need to be either OLED or LCD, but I’m open to suggestions!

I want to build a simple signal tester, that prints out rssi etc of the Particle Electron.


I don’t know of any for the Electron. I know Adafruit sells a 3.5" 480x320 display with touch screen that has a feather socket. It should work with the Boron when it comes out.

It shouldn’t be that hard to use any of the SPI or I2C displays that are easily available with the Electron, there’s not a lot to wire up. But that’s not ‘off the shelf’ as you mean it.

@joearkay, I like using Digole displays since they support Serial/I2C/SPI communications, are “smart” and use simple text commands. I typically use them in Serial or I2C modes since that only uses four wires to connect (RX/TX or SDA/SCL and power).

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For very small displays I use 0.96" OLED LCDs, typically using I2C interface. The displays are really inexpensive and only require power and I2C (D0/D1).

For larger displays I use the Nextion displays. They connect by serial and are smart displays, storing the fonts and graphics on the display unit, taking the load off the Photon. That’s a touchscreen model, but I only use it as a display device.


You have been holding out on us Rick. :joy:
That second picture project looks awesome. Love the look of the whole thing.


Thanks @rickkas7 and @peekay123 for the input. Both displays look really nice. The common theme is to use ‘smart’ displays it seems - so I think I’ll go with this. I do like that shield though @rickkas7, I know at least one guy who’d buy it :wink:

Thanks all

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I have been using LCD’s from BuyDisplay

@rickkas7 how long have you been using those 0.96" OLEDs?

I ordered a couple last month and hopefully I’ll have them pretty soon. While I was reading the datasheet, I saw it has a shelf life of 20,000 hours (about 2 years), or active lifespan of 10,000 hours (about 1 year), defining failure as dimming to 50% of original brightness.

Are these displays really that bad? At $2.50 each, the cost of replacement every year isn’t too bad, but it’s a huge hassle that would make the display useless for a production device and not worth using for a hobby project either. And because of the short shelf life, you can’t even stock spares, so you’ll always need to have a source of replacements handy.

I’m still looking forward to playing with the ones I ordered, but I’m not sure they’re worth using. What has your experience been with this issue?

@DevRandom, OLED is like that. Often, users will turn them off to conserve power and increase lifespan. What kind of lifespan are you looking for?

I have had about 6x SSD1306 displays running continuously for a year and none have spontaneously failed. I did start socketing them in later projects so swapping them out would be easier.

Also beware: Sometimes the VCC and GND pins are reversed!

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@peekay123, I was expecting the displays to last as long as the devices I build them into (as I’m used to with character LCDs), at least 5-10 years and longer for some projects. For example with a freezer monitor, I’d like to show the temperature and humidity on one of the OLEDs and have the entire device last the lifespan of the freezer.

@rickkas7, my understanding is that they generally don’t spontaneously fail, but gradually dim over time and 10,000 hours is the time to 50% brightness. It will continue to dim past that but that’s what the manufacturer defines as end of life. Do you notice any reduced brightness on the displays that have been running for a year compared to a new display?

That’s also how LED lightbulbs fail, they just dim over time (unless something else causes premature product failure, they are very cheap build qualities). So several years in everyone will be sitting in dim rooms and not even know their lightbulbs are no good.

Thanks for the tip about Vcc and GND. I was planning to socket the displays, so that’s good to know, I’m not sure it would have occurred to me to double check while replacing one. Can I assume that I can rely on the labels on a given display module though?

Hi Joe
Modulo have a system that interfaces with the Photon.

It is basically just an i2c bus.
Sparkfun have an OLED shield.

These screens are small, but if you wanted an off the shelf socket for a screen then these will do.

Both of these could be hacked to use a larger screen very easily.

Otherwise any i2c (or spi) screen, some jumper leads, a battery, some ‘Blu-tak’, a Photon and you have a handheld device.

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