Hooking up to e-ink display?


18 posts
by clashcityrocker » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:24 pm
Want to design a raspberypi based paper-like desk/wall calendar that syncs with Google Calendar (and the utterly awesome Google+ Events).

Wondered if anyone has managed to hook up the RPI to an e-ink display, as it doesn't need power to display, the PI could wake up at predefined intervals, sync, refresh, power down.
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by ghans » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:23 pm
You would have to solder (DSI port) and use the GPU.

Note that there is NO documentation available for DSI , CSI or the GPU (the code will HAVE to run on the GPU).
It's a trade secret , but the foundation members (Broadcom employees) have access to it (and will release a display - maybe).
Reverse engineering is deemed impossible , especially because the GPU has an unknown architecture and instruction set.

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by piglet » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:33 pm
I suppose you could use a rooted Kindle, and ssh to it over USB or WiFi.

http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Kindle_ ... break_Hack

http://www.turnkeylinux.org/blog/kindle-root
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by Alligator » Sat Jul 07, 2012 1:39 am
You could try a display from Kent Displays. I've successfully connected them to an Arduino, so I imagine they could easily work with a Pi.
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by jacksonliam » Sat Jul 07, 2012 4:24 pm
Yeah those chLCD displays with spi drivers are probably the way forward, I've not seen any decent sized cheap eink displays that are easily interfaced, but the chLCD are just as good for this purpose.

You'd have to run it off the gpio and draw the gui yourself, unless you write a framebuffer driver or something. I've seen people write framebuffer drivers to talk to spi displays before... Don't think it's easy though!
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by ceteras » Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:00 am
This is the only e-ink display I could find for sale, but it's interface is similar to some old-school STN technology, I have no clue if it can be hooked up to the PI.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... ink:top:en
opendevices.ru/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/ED060SC4V2.pdf
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by deanbeasley » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:20 am
I'd love to use an eink display with my pi. My goal is to build a thin client that uses very little power. Everything is sorted apart from a low powers display... Sigh
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by deanbeasley » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:23 am
Btw, I vnc'd from my kindle to pi, not as good as a direct link from pi to eink though
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by mikerr » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:47 am
A rooted kindle (its a 500Mhz ARM running linux) could do that all on its own - but I suppose that's not the point ;)
http://www.turnkeylinux.org/blog/kindle-root
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by deanbeasley » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:55 am
Thanks for the reply. Yeah I've seen that, very neat. I might just turn my Kindle into a Pi lol
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by jcg » Mon Jul 16, 2012 11:48 pm
mikerr wrote:A rooted kindle (its a 500Mhz ARM running linux) could do that all on its own - but I suppose that's not the point ;)
http://www.turnkeylinux.org/blog/kindle-root


The trouble is, it is a very difficult job to plug a keyboard into a Kindle. AFAIK people have gotten close (manufactured serial connectors and messed a bit with the serial port) but I haven't been able to find an example of someone actually getting a keyboard to work with a Kindle.

I probably should have posted http://www.raspberrypi.org/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?p=124884#p124884 here instead.

deanbeasley wrote:Btw, I vnc'd from my kindle to pi, not as good as a direct link from pi to eink though


How might we fix this? Can we mount the Kindle display directly over USB network rather than using VNC? VNC isn't The Right Thing^{TM} if all we want to do is talk to the Kindle hardware.

EDIT: It also might be valuable to mention here that the Kindle is far more than just a screen... it is in fact, as mikerr mentioned, a 500MHz ARM box. It has a wifi card. It has an extra CPU. It has extra storage. These things, enslaved by the R-Pi, would be useful. Then consider that it is all these things for ~$80US and it becomes clear that to get this right is The Right Thing!^{TM}.
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by ryanthejuggler » Tue Jan 15, 2013 2:44 pm
The Kobo Touch is super-hackable; you'd easily be able to write an app that could display pictures sent to it from the desktop. I'm currently creating a Java-based replacement OS at github.com/ryanthejuggler/Clay that you could use as a launching point.
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by ghans » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:45 pm
Doesn't the nature of E-ink dislays render them not
very useful for VNC (Slow display updates) ?
Anyway , after you get usbnet working on the Kindle ,
you could run any kind of server on the kindle AFAIK. Even
X11 ??


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by ghans » Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:58 pm
Googled a bit about the Kindle :
Yes , you can get X11 up and running.
But the problem of slow screen updates persists.


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by Cael » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:49 pm
while i own a Kindle Keyboard myself the idea of using its screen for anything other than programming/non video/or Window manager in use? Bad idea.

i got a GNUBoy port done by geekmaster on the mobileread forums running on mine. this will show you why that the Pearl eInk screens in the K3 K4 and PW arent a good target for anything Beyond reading.

http://youtu.be/g9lfYziEvQk

it's hard to see (crappy tablet camera) but playing the game on it actually Hurts my eyes on teh slow refresh. so if you use it for anything but writing reading or beyond use w/o what window manger (GUI w/e you call it) it's going to hurt. might have some better luck picking up say off ebay an broken tablet where the screen's still good for dirt cheap.
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by rurwin » Mon Jan 28, 2013 10:55 pm
You could ask this guy how easy it would be. He's done something very similar.
viewtopic.php?f=64&t=31482
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by Cael » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:53 pm
rurwin wrote:You could ask this guy how easy it would be. He's done something very similar.
viewtopic.php?f=64&t=31482

easy yes. pratical? No. the eye straign w/ constant refreshes on teh screen even with dithering. is painfull on the eyes w/ the e-ink screens in the kindles speficly. now i've seen people do it w/ teh nook one and a few other e-ink screens that were build for fast refresh rates. Those? yes easy likely and feasable. just teh ones in the older kindles? just not feasable for more than working text.
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by karadoc » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:36 am
And what about Pixel Qi display ?
It should be easier to implement, refresh rates are good and seems to need only ~0.4W with backlight off

http://www.mydigitaldiscount.com/pixel-qi-10.1-inch-transflective-lcd-display-screen-module/

The downside is that it still need power, it's thicker than a e-ink display ... and it's expansive.
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