IDEA: programmable e-ink sign

I have this idea in my head of creating a programmable sign that would rotate through various text-based messages. But rather than the usual scrolling LED sign, I am more envisioning something that would show the whole message at once. The use-case here is a sign somewhere in the 12-15" range (larger would be better) that would hang on a wall and display various inspirational quotes. Also do not want to have to run anything larger than a RaspberryPi to drive the display.

To me, the ideal display would be one based on e-ink technology. Low energy requirements, no need for fast-changing displayed information, etc. However, I have been unable to source any displays that would be large enough and reasonable in price. I could go the easy way and pick up an Amazon kindle, but again none seem to be large enough.

Alternatively, this could be done with a decent-sized digital photo frame, and then converting all the text into images.

I am throwing this out there to see if anyone has thoughts about how this idea in my head could be made a reality.

Might try searching Hackaday for projects. Seems like just a matter of sourcing a display and a Pi or somesuch to cycle the contents. Adafruit has some smaller e-ink displays.

Or you could go big and find a big Flip-Disc display (like buses use to show what route they’re on) :smiley:

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I have a 7in Waveshare running on a RP4 using MagicMirror and a modified screencap script to feed the Eink display. It works OK but the refresh rate and capture sometimes don’t sync up and you end up with missing data on the eink. You might be better off just doing an LCD and magicmirror.

That being said you will not find an HDMI compatible Eink display under $2k and even then it would be no bigger than 20" or so. The technology is struggling to catch on here in the states for large format and even the small format are directed at the ESL market right now. These use a small preprogramed set of messages not easily updated. There are several android tablets about to be released with EInk displays that might be able to fit the small to medium size content displays.

Eink is much like LG in that they love to show off their tech at trade shows but price everything ridiculously high.


You might take a look at this series of videos:

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I have been meaning to try making something like a lixie display except with like each panel having 1 segment of like a 14 segment display on it.

Not sure if it would still look good with a multiple screens superimposed on each other lighting up at the same time though.