This is a guide to setting up the PiScreen adapter board to connect an OLED128 display to a Raspberry Pi.

What's In The Box

  • PiScreen adapter circuit board
  • 2x5 pin right angle headers (supplied loose, optional for remote mounting.)

You will also need an OLED128 display module (separate.)

If you plan to attach the OLED128 via cable to the Pi, instead of mounting it on top, then you will also need a 10 pin IDC cable with 2x5 pin connectors on each end.

Assembling the PiScreen

Start by placing the PiScreen board on top of your Raspberry Pi, like this. On Model A & B Pis, the 36 pin "P1" header on the right hand side of the Pi should line up exactly with the connector on the PiScreen.




On Model B+, the connector lines up with the top of the 40 pin header:




Option 1 - Mounting the display directly

To mount the OLED display on top of the Pi, just insert it's connector into the 10 pin female header on top of the PiScreen:

Easy, right? Everything is connected up, and you're ready to go!


Option 2 - Mounting the display remotely

If you want to mount the display somewhere else apart from on top of the Pi, there are a few extra steps. To make the connection you will need a 10 pin IDC cable with 2x5 pin female connectors on each end (not included.) You will also need a soldering iron and some solder.

Solder the 10 pin header

Start by soldering the 10 pin header onto the PiScreen board. This header is supplied loose so the footprint of the Pi doesn't increase, if you're not using it.

Once soldered, the header should look like this:


Connect the cable

Connect the IDC cable to the PiScreen, and to the OLED128, as shown:


The orientation of the cable is very important! The red mark on the cable shows which end is "pin 1", and both the OLED128 and the PiScreen have markings to show which pin on the connector is pin 1:


PiScreen end:


OLED128 end:



All done!


When you come to configure the software for OLED128 output, you may see garbled or off-colour artifacts depending on your cable length. If this is the case, reduce the SPI clock speed as shown in the Troubleshooting section of the OLED128 QuickStart for Raspberry Pi.


Setting up the Raspberry Pi


The OLED128 QuickStart guide explains how to install the "fbtft" kernel modules into the Raspberry Pi. This allows you to use the OLED128 as a "framebuffer" display device.

Click here to go to the "Installing FBTFT" section in the guide.

All of the default pin assignments are the same as the defaults on the PiScreen, so no customisations are necessary.


Using the Prototyping Area & GPIO Breakouts


The PiScreen also provides a prototyping area where you can solder other devices or wires to connect to your Pi:


The yellow boxes at the left and bottom sides mark areas with power pads. The pads in each area are connected to the Ground, +3.3V and +5V pins on the Pi, respectively.


The vertical row of pads marked "GPIO Breakout" allow you to access the GPIO ("General Purpose Input & Output") pins on the Pi, without having to remember where those pins are on the 36-pin header.


Remember that no GPIO pin on the Raspberry Pi can handle more than 3.3V voltage input! You will need a level converter (like our LEVEL module) in order to use 5V logic with the Pi.


Each GPIO Breakout pad is numbered with the GPIO number of the pin it connects to. Note that these are GPIO numbers (as you'll use to access the pins from software running on the Pi), not pin numbers on the 26-pin header.


The GPIO Breakout area is marked with GPIO numbers for Revision 2 Raspberry Pis (these have mounting holes on the Pi PCB.) Revision 1 Raspberry Pis (without mounting holes) have three differently numbered GPIOs. These are the different GPIOs on Revision 1:


 GPIO on Revision 2GPIO on Revision 1


Some GPIOs are used by the OLED128 connected to the PiScreen, so you probably will not want to use them for your own connections. These GPIOs are numbers 8, 24 and 25.

The SPI bus pins (GPIOs 9, 10 and 11) are not present on the PiScreen GPIO breakout, however you can take these signals from the OLED128 headers if you want to connect another SPI device. The i2c bus pins (GPIO 2 & 3) are marked.