PaPiRus eInk Display for Raspberry Pi

PaPiRusA good friend of mine called in just before I went off to Spain and dropped in the results of one of his Kickstarter funds – a PaPiRus eInk display for the Raspberry Pi.

This comprises a small board which connects to the Pi along with the most beautifully thin panel, reflective silver on the back and dead white on the front.  This is the large 2.7” version of the PaPiRus displays and works out at about £35. The company Pi-Hat who developed this are using a Pervasive Displays e-Paper module and the result is a display which uses VERY little current unless it is actually changing.  A coin battery is fitted to the board.

You probably know this already but e-Ink mimics the appearance of ink on paper and works in brilliant sunlight – so if you’re planning on making a tiny parking meter for Spain this will be right up your street. Not so much in the UK where most of us can’t remember the last time the sun was out.

Out of the box, the display is separate from the backboard but as there is only one connector and it only fits one way, you don’t need instructions to connect the two.

You do however need instructions to go any further and there I got a little confused as the card inside the box says “For assembly guides, code examples, tips, tricks and much much more…visit our website at”. Well, for the life of me I could not find anything other than an ad for the board. Actually without searching I could not even find the ad for the board!! How weird is that. I can’t help thinking the website is a “work in progress” as there’s a section on how passionate they are about education – but then merely contains the phrase “Here at Pi Supply we are passionate about education”.  I think they should work on that.

But as an aside I did come across this.

Isn’t that handy – I didn’t know you could do that!

So… the website proved otherwise to be a waste  for this display – looks like they have the product out but haven’t quite gotten around to the promised information… and that really isn’t good enough as I understand they are already shipping to Kicksrtarter supporters.

The Kickstarter campaign indicates that by now quiet a few people must be getting annoyed  – as they will have had their package for several days and still no info.

Thankfully this fellow almost came to the rescue – so much so that there is little point in me replicating the info – I just hope if you are the recipient of one of these boards, his blog sorts you out. Unfortunately after all his altruistic work, he dropped the Pi and managed to utterly destroy his display.. but not before giving us enough information to use the display from the command line – now that might not sound like a lot but of course for all you Node-Red users out there, we can use the EXEC function to send information – yes – to the command line – but read on.

Now, it just so happens that I have a Raspberry Pi looking for a job! I connected the PaPiRus display. Sure enough, all the issues referred to in the link above appeared and were easily fixed but WHY do companies do this – surely just after sending out Kickstarter rewards they would have been looking at reviews and fixing issues? Perhaps not.

I also spotted an error – missing indent in a file – thankfully the issue was obvious, I put the indent back into 3 lines and I was up and running with a clock.  Well almost a clock as it occasionally went backwards. I don’t think I like the use of indents as necessary programming features (as in Python)… so easy for editors to mess up.  I was all set with this “success” when I went on to sent text to the display – another indent issue – this time one I could not find – well I could find the line but nothing wrong with it.

And so there it sits – I’ve left a message on their GITHUB page which apart from fonts does not seem to have been updated for some months!


7 thoughts on “PaPiRus eInk Display for Raspberry Pi

  1. Received mine recently as well with thrbplansnto make a user interface for my OpenSprinkler PI system. Work is always in the way though. Check out this githib site for the PaPirus. Maybe it will help.

    P.S. love your site and posts. I got tired of waiting for a good off the shelf security system and so I have big plans to grow my own. Sure wish I had found you before buying the 20 ESP-01’s. Back to eBay they go.

Comments are closed.