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OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?
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OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:32 pm

Hello,

Recently purchased 2 of these and I can't seem to get either working with the Raspberry Pi Zero W. I'm fairly sure my soldering, while beginner, is sufficient enough though I've attached pics just in case. I'm pretty darn sure I've been wiring everything correctly for both I2C & SPI and yet still I don't even get a flicker or a line or a dot. Nothing.

I'm using the "Luma OLED" python driver set to get things working after trying adapted versions of the learning article here on Adafruit for the SSD1306. I also even tried this guide on Reddit showing how to "force" a driver install then show console to a different frame buffer: Sending console to SPI displays?

Again, nothing has even giving a glimmer or a pixel at any time. Any help or ideas would be immensely appreciated. Thanks!

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Attachments
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Last edited by BackToBasics on Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 1.5" w/microSD holder

by BackToBasics on Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:43 pm

Here's the SPI wiring too

IMG_5397 (2).jpg
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Here's the I2C wiring direct to the OLED to take the bread board out of the equation. Still no dice.

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:48 pm

Here's the I2C error and the i2cdetect showing no I2C devices. I'm not sure if I'm not getting power or the data/clock pins are the problem. Time to bust out the multimeter?

IMG_5412.jpg
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I also read in another thread on the same product that it was a good idea to clean up the soldering on the pins. So I went ahead and did that, both on the raspberry pi zero w, which is pictured below and on the 2 OLED's which you can see 1 of in the pictures above, with no better luck unfortunately. Any ideas would really help, thanks!

IMG_5413.jpg
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Also, I have activated both SPI & I2C in raspi-config and in the Raspbian preferences which I assume just accesses the same file. I've also used the separate I2C pins located lower on the board with no better luck. I've also used different 3.3v & 5v pins as well the entire time testing. Just thought I'd add that so any experts can X that off the list as well.

UPDATE: Just used the multimeter and was getting proper voltage readings on the power pins and getting some activity on pins 2, 3 & 4 but beyond that none of the other pins are giving any readings. Do I have to try using the pins to get an actual reading? Just double checked the product specs and I don't think this thing can do I2C? It only lists SPI on the product page. Is I2C even possible?

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Thu Nov 30, 2017 1:02 pm

Okay, so after redoing the soldering on the Pi Zero W 4 times now I can confirm that these pins are showing voltage:

All power pins
BCM 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14 & 15
...

No matter how much I desolder then try to properly apply solder to the other seemingly non-working pins I just can't seem to get them to show a reading on the multimeter. What am I missing here? Do I have to just keep redoing this process until all pins show a proper voltage reading? Any ideas anyone?

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:34 pm

So after days of looking at similar problems I'm 75% sure that my problem is due to poor initial soldering of the pins. I've ordered a good organic acid based rosin flux paste and I'll try using that in conjunction with the desoldering air gun & wick, then attempt to once more properly solder the hopefully cleaned up joints. I'll report back with my findings but would still appreciate any other input if anyone can think of anything else...

The only positive out of all this is check out how much my soldering has improved LOL!

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by microfruit6 on Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:37 pm

I have a monochrome 1.3 " 128x64 OLED and I've wired it for SPI using the guide from Adafruit here: https://learn.adafruit.com/monochrome-o ... t-3-128x64
I am using the SPI example sketch provided in the library. But the display will not turn on at all. I've tried to find more people who have a similar problem, but there aren't many. I'm not sure how similar my problem is to yours because you're using Raspberry Pi, but my display is not working at all so maybe they're somewhat similar. Sorry this isn't an answer, but I'll keep searching and if I find something I'll put it here.

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:59 am

Heh. No worries. But I'm hoping my flux will come in today so I can re-solder because that's what I'm thinking my problem is. If I were you I would use a multimeter to test your devices header pins and just verify that they're working as intended. Most of the other re-solder posts here on the forums were on the displays themselves so maybe you should make sure that's all good to go and there's no cold solder joints. That seems to be the running theme when it comes to displays simply not doing anything at all, somewhere there's a bad solder joint. Hope that helps!

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Mon Dec 04, 2017 6:32 pm

Welp I'm at a total loss. Flux came in today so I went ahead and desoldered with the air gun & wick then applied each soldering after dipping in the flux so there was no lack of flux being used. No better luck however. All the pins give the exact same readings...

Here's what the results look like. Not the best job but should be PLENTY sufficient now..

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And here's the resulting error message when I try to load SPI with the gpio utility.

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So at this point I'm completely unsure what's going on. I have another Rasp Pi Zero W coming and so will test if maybe I just got a bad board or something. I also went ahead and ordered an Arduino Micro with the header pins already good to go and so I'll be testing that out and am hoping I can get the displays working with that and I can just worry about the Raspberry Pi at some point in the future. Any feedback or input from anyone is still welcomed as always!

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Wed Dec 06, 2017 1:27 pm

Okay, so I'm back with good news & bad news. The good news is that I FINALLY got something to show up on BOTH of the OLED displays. Bad news is it's all garbled and not showing properly. Also lesser bad news, not really "bad" news but I got it working with the Arduino Micro that came in the mail yesterday instead of the Raspberry Pi Zero W. No big deal because the project isn't dependent on using a Pi per se but I really do want to remedy that situation in the future though I'm now thinking somewhere along the way the Pi got fried either out of the box or more likely due to my many times re-soldering and overall sloppy soldering.

Anyways, here's what the display test looks like working off the Micro:

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Here's how I have it setup on the breadboard:

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And here's another shot just so you can clearly see which pins I'm using on the OLED:

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Here's what I have the pins numbered as in the test example code:

// You can use any (4 or) 5 pins
#define sclk 9
#define mosi 10
#define dc 19
#define cs 8
#define rst 13

One thing that has been really frustrating for a newbie at least as far as the Arduino Micro is concerned is finding clear and coherent pinout diagrams has not been ideal to say the least. The one provided here while some what adequate is still pretty confusing trying to find which pins are digital pins. Especially considering the analog pins are clearly marked. I found some help by looking at the Leonardo pins coming of the chip which the diagram I was looking at did denote which were digital pins, here's the link for that diagram.

If anyone knows what I'm doing wrong now with this Micro please by all means chime in. Is this garbled display due to my poor initial soldering again? Should I just go ahead and solder again with the flux? At least I'm making progress lol...

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:49 pm

Yet another update. I messed with the pins and now I can see stuff fairly clearly but there's still major issues obviously. Here's the ending result of the test:

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And here's where I have the jumpers connected to the pins:

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Here's what I have in the code:

// You can use any (4 or) 5 pins
#define sclk 9
#define mosi 10
#define dc 12
#define cs 8
#define rst 13

And just FYI I'm using the hardware SPI option in the test code and have commented out the software version. I've had more luck with that hardware version...

Any help or input/ideas is welcome as ever!

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Wed Dec 06, 2017 11:47 pm

I'm so very happy to announce that I do believe we can call this whole fiasco/learning process, a wrap! I have successfully been able to use the Raspberry Pi Zero W with the Luma.OLED python library to drive the SSD1351 OLED display! Here is the glorious proof!

The stylish Hello World:

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Here's the setup with the jumpers going to the Pi with the Arduino Micro still wanting to achieve the same results:

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And I felt this summed things up nicely:

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So to explain.. I had 2 Raspberry Pi Zero W's the entire time but the 1st one, the one I'm using now successfully got royally jacked up when I tried to remove some GPIO pins after realizing just how badly a job soldering I had done on it. I didn't have the proper soldering iron tips to do the job right but was pretty frustrated at that point. Long story short it looked like a posting for r/techsupportgore ... I was wrong. I got the solder tips in today and cleaned up the RasPi ZW properly. Didn't have any GPIO pins besides the single row version. Since I thought it was already thrashed I didn't even bother setting it completely flat on the breadboard because the Micro was in use at the time... With even 1 perhaps both rows of GPIO pins slightly slanted to one side I applied the solder with the flux. I threw it in my bag and took it home for testing...

AND IT WORKS!!!! LOL!

Takeaways:

- Always dip solder in flux before applying
- Make sure to use the right tool for the job and if you don't have it wait for it to arrive or go get what you need if possible
- If things don't seem to be working and everything should. Check the soldering
- The Raspberry Pi Zero W is a beast that can take an actual beating

I'm still going to be working on the Micro as I want to get that working properly as well now. I'll use the other OLED display since I have 2 of those too that way I can be sure everything works as it should. Even though I'm pretty much the only one seemingly following this thread or at least responding to it, I do hope that it will help someone in the future. I will update once I have the Arduino Micro working properly with the other OLED display...

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:46 pm

Okay so I guess the trials continue...

I've tested the Arduino Micro with both OLED screens that were confirmed as working properly with the Raspberry Pi Zero W and using the example code provided by Adafruit, 1 OLED doesn't seem to work at all while the 2nd OLED only kind of works and only using the hardware SPI option in the code. And even then it's still not presenting correctly. See the above posts for reference.

Here's how I have it in the code which reflects how I have it wired up as well:

// You can use any (4 or) 5 pins
#define sclk 9
#define mosi 10
#define dc 12
#define cs 8
#define rst 13

If I move the CS from 8 I don't get anything presented to the screen, same if I move DC from 12 to any other pin be it digital or otherwise.

I'm pretty lost at this point once again. I doubt my solder on the OLED's is the issue given the fact they work like a charm with the RasPi ZW. And I ordered the Arduino Micro with the headers already soldered FROM Arduino so I dunno.. I would really appreciate some help on this.. Anyone?

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Thu Dec 07, 2017 6:50 pm

The mix of pleasure and frustration is palpable at this point... I FINALLY, finally kinda figured out what the problem has been displaying anything properly to the Arduino Micro. It can only work when using the hardware SPI configuration in the code where only DC, CS & RST are setup AND only when I denote DC = 12 while actually wiring DC to pin 26 the very bottom pin on the Micro. When I actually assign the correct pin nothing appears. When I assign DC to any other pin besides 12 nothing appears on the OLED. As soon as I move it to pin 26 while still being denoted as pin 12 in the code, BOOM magically works...

There's absolutely no way I would've ever figured this out had I not just tried moving DC and CS to different pins while not changing the code in the Arduino IDE. This took probably 2-3 hours of solid trial & error. No joke. At this point I'm kind of thinking that somehow the routing for pins 26 and 12 are switched, like somewhere on the board itself like maybe the copper lines themselves are misaligned or going to the wrong GPIO. At any rate it's been super SUPER frustrating but I can't deny I've learned really quite a lot from just how things are SUPPOSED to work to actually diagnosing then fixing the problem.

Oh and BTW both OLED's work perfectly so they were fine the entire time most likely. I did however solder them again with flux just to be sure. Here are some glorious pics as proof:

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One last word on the Raspberry Pi Zero W.. If your Pi ZW isn't booting up & you don't see any green LED activity that means your Pi isn't reading off the microSD card and you should either format that card and set it up again or use another microSD card because that will likely get things working again. I forgot to add that bit in my last post.

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Re: OLED Breakout Board - 1.5" Not Working/No Power?

by BackToBasics on Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:01 pm

And just to conclude here's a screen shot of the Micro which I pulled off the breadboard and hooked directly to just to take things out of the equation...

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Once again, if anyone has any info as to just WTF is going on here and why it works they way it does I would surely SURELY appreciate that input! At this point I'm pretty happy with myself and I really do hope this thread helps someone in the future...

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