Inky Impression with other devices

Apologies if this is the wrong place, it’s sort of very specific and very general! :|

So I have a Inky 7 colour Impression and it’s my desk calendar.
I love the simplicity and the fact that it doesn’t radiate light! Perfect for an unobtrusive thing like a calendar.

I want to add another display for a clock and any ‘right-here-right-now’ (hah, I know what song YOU have stuck in your head now) messages like ‘package delivered’ emails or ‘your chair is ACTUALLY on fire right now’ notifications.

I asked the Discord community and a simply marvellous individual suggested it might be tricky as the circular Hyper Pixel I was looking at likely requires too many pins in comparison to the Inky, which although it attached to all pins, actually only required a subset.

That got me thinking about the Adafruit SHARP LCD panel and that’s appealing as it looks like its only I2C or SPI so likely will be fine, but then I actually looked at my Inky and I’m now baffled as to how to get pins off for SPI or I2C.

I see there’s a pin marked block with 3v3, SDA, SCL, #4(?), GND, MOSI, MISO (nom nom), SCK, CE1 (again, ?) and 5v but these look to me to be connectors in some way for the Inky…

…but then I look under the mounted Pi and I see a LOT of board connections, and I light shine highlight the traces and only a couple of the pin marked block pins have top traces, so what is this block for?

…which then leads me to, how on earth do I ‘normally’ connect additional things to Pi pins?

…which is always and consistently predicated by me thinking ‘I’m missing something stupidly obvious, aren’t I…?’

SDA and SCL are for i2c.
I2C at Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout
MOSI and MISO etc are for SPI
SPI at Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout

The i2c bus can have multiple devices connected as long as no two devices have the same i2c address. If you look at the breakout garden breakouts, GPIO 4 is used for int etc on some.
And you can have multiple devices on SPI. Each device must use a different chip select, CE0, CE1 etc. The inky is using SPI 0 CE0 which is why only CE1 is brought out.
Inky Impression at Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout

The way you use that block on the back is you plug in male DuPont jumper wires.
That block gets you access to those select pins on the Pi’s GPIO header.
Another way is with a pHat Stack etc.
pHAT Stack – Pimoroni


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Well thank you very much.
I’ve hooked up two SPI displays on SPI0 and three on SPI1.
Breakout garden stuff, 0.96" SPI Colour LCD (160x80) Breakout – Pimoroni
I’m currently tinkering with this one on a PICO.
1.54" SPI Colour Square LCD (240x240) Breakout – Pimoroni
Text info mostly, environmental info from a BME280.

The Hyperpixel is a nice display, but doesn’t play well with others that want to also use the GPIO header. It uses DPI which uses all the pins and repurposes them for special functions.
DPI at Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout

@alphanumeric cheers for the above :D

Right, a bit of an update on this if anyone appears wondering how it went (don’t you hate those? someone asks a question that your interested in, gets an answer and then never updates it? what happened here? did it work? is this how the robot uprising starts?)

Yes it works, like REALLY easily. The black port is indeed just a bunch of flat Dupont’s, so you can just poke a wire in and job done. I very briefly looked up which of these pins matched with which GPIO pins on the PI, then just brought out my cheapo multimeter and beeped them out.

So, anything to say?
No not really, because it all just works. I used the Adafruit Sharp 400X240 LCD display because it’s not lit so goes with the Inky Impression nicely. It’s using a low refresh (1 per second currently) but in testing seems pretty quick so suspect it’ll be great at faster display times than even that.

I’m now working on integrating my two python apps (one for the Impression and another for the Sharp display) into one app as I’m already using the Impressions buttons to control selections on the Sharp display.

Oh, and I just bought a Pimoroni camera so if someone’s at the door I can get a horrifically pixelated and mono image of their face on the Sharp display :D

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Thanks for the extra info. I have several camera setups, official Pi Camera. Two have the Pimoroni Pan Tilt Hat. I run them headless with Motion Eye OS. I view them over my LAN / WIFI on my PC or Pi via a web browser.
I use them to watch for parcel deliveries and to keep an eye on my dog when she’s tied up out front.