Spark + eInk/ePaper?

Is anyone else working on using eInk/ePaper displays with their Spark? I hooked up an EPD Extension Board with a 2.7" ePaper display to my spark with the following connections:

Pin Number Description Color

  1. Vcc 3V Red 3.3V*
  2. (LED1) White - - -
  3. (UART_RX) Grey - - -
  4. (UART_TX) Purple - - -
  5. (SW2) Blue - - -
  6. Temperature Green A0
  7. SPI_CLK Yellow A3
  8. BUSY Orange D7
  9. PWM Brown D5
  10. /RESET Black D6
  11. PANEL_ON Red D2
  12. DISCHARGE White D4
  14. SPI_MISO Purple A4
  15. SPI_MOSI Blue A5
  16. (RST/SBWTDIO) Green - - -
  17. (TEST/SBWTCK) Yellow - - -
  18. FLASH_CS Orange D1
  19. /EPD_CS Brown D0
  20. GND Black GND

I ported their EPD library to work with spark.

I thought it was going to work great, but all I get is a black screen, even if I call EPD.clear() over and over again. Is anyone else working ePaper stuff? Has anyone already gotten this working?

Once I finish testing my new Digole library changes this afternoon I’ll pull my EPD kit out and work on your code. Is your board the one with the MSP430 BoosterPack headers on the bottom?

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That would be an exciting application! timb and others have a thread on lower power displays here:


Awesome. Thanks so much for your help. Yeah my board has the headers on the bottom, but I’m using the other connector.


did you ever get this working?

@avidan, if you need this, I can look at the library for any obvious problems though I don’t have an EVP module for testing. :smiley:

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@avidan not sure if you ever saw this one?

Hello, I am new to SparkCore. I got involved specifically for the e-paper idea of using SparkCore to be small form Wi-Fi and .h code loader to the e-paper display remotely installed at a client. It sounds like you are after the same vision. What is the latest progress or continued interest on this?

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Heya @Dogan,

I would love to have some epaper displays that would be compatible with the Core / Photon. A display like this uses 3K of ram, so it should be totally do-able on either! – Maybe we can help them port the code or support Spark on the site?


The two you identify are both Pervasive Display, the dominant global supplier of EPD in all sizes. On this case Adafruit also sells their shield to drive the board. Seed Studios also sells the smaller sizes 2.7" and below with a Seed Shield you drive with Arduino Uno. The larger sizes use another shield called a Timing Control Manager TCM with built in memory to receive the new image file in an other format than .h file. There are some upload speed differences not sure because of hardware or software. We are developing a process to use Spark Core or Photon to be both the communication device and upload device. Both the price and form factor make it attractive. No doubt we will discover challenges along the way in Porting and compress and decompression to use Wi-Fi. We also want to use the power of the Spark Core maybe with BLE to have some simple 2 way communication with the remote device and BYOD Smartphone and status LED at display end. DigiKey is the best price supplier I found for the e-paper panel which is the largest expense.

@Dave, I am working on the port but I can’t test it because I don’t have the Adafruit unit so someone else can do that :smile:


Hey @peekay123, have you been able to continue working on the port? I am keen on getting into this epaper/spark thing and this post seems to be the most promising so far… Thank you, I really appreciate your work. And of course: Happy New Year!

@HrMense, which display size and board are you using?

I have ported seeedstudio’s ePaper library for a client. Perhaps that would be on interest?


@peekay123: Thanks for your fast response! Not decided yet, I am looking for a starting point. I’d love to prototype with a display as big as possible. 2,7" would be good, like the adafruit display you mentioned above. The bigger the better.

@harrisonhjones: Would that be the library to run this display?: — or do you use the library to run a different display? Either way: that would be a great start, too. How did you hook it up?

Thanks guys!!!

Yes it would run that display but I’ve only used Seeedstudio’s e-paper shield. Do you have that by chance? I can see if the adafruit one is similar

I don’t own any displays/shields so far. I want to order one but my choice depends on the chance to be able to run it with a core. So did I understand that right: with your ported library you were able to run a seed e-paper-shield with mounted display via a core? That would be exactly what I need for my project!

Yes that is correct. To be clear you will need both the panel and the shield. Also, I will need to shoot my client asking if they are alright will me releasing the library. I imagine they are but given that they have effectively paid for me to port it I need to ask.

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Sure thing, @harrisonhjones. Thank you for all the trouble! By the way (and perhaps also interesting for your client): I am working on a private project and do not intend to earn money with this. I just try to understand the matter.

@peekay123: your library port would work for the adafruit shield only, right?

@HrMense, if @harrisonhjones can’t get permission, I’ll port the code for you. The SeeeStudio library is a bit cleaner than the Adafruit one only because of lack of documentation for the different versions in their repo. :smile:

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