Simple micropython library for the micro:bit to control the SSD1306 display through SPI
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Basic micropython library to control the OLED SSD1306 128x64 spi with a micro:bit

This library allows the micro:bit to control the typical low cost 0,96" OLED display sold in Amazon and eBay connected to the default spi pins of the micro:bit. Some sort of breakout is required.

You should connect D0 to 13, D1 to 15, RES to 14 and DC to 16. You also must connect the device’s ground to the micro:bit ground (pin GND) and the device's VCC to the micro:bit VCC.

This library uses the full resolution of the OLED, due to some optimizations that can be done when using SPI instead of I2C.


1   Main features

  • Load a 128x64 bitmap file
  • Set and get pixel value
  • Sprites
  • Text
  • Sample programs demonstrating the different functions

2   Preparation and displaying of a bitmap image

  1. Create a bitmap with an image editor with only 2 bits per pixel (black and white)
  2. Use the LCDAssistant ( to generate the hex data.
  3. Copy the hex data into the file and run it on a computer.
  4. Flash a completely empty file from mu.
  5. Copy the generated file to the micro:bit using the file transfer function in mu
  6. Create a file, import sdd1306spi and use the function show_bitmap to display the file
  7. Move the files, to the micro:bit with the file transfer function in mu
  8. Reset the micro:bit or press CTRL+D in the Repl.

3   Library usage

3.1   initilization

You have to instantiate the SSD1306 object before using the display. This puts the display in its reset status.

from ssd1306spi import SSD1306

oled = SSD1306()

3.2   clear_oled()

You will typically use this function after instantiating the object, in order to make sure that the display is blank at the beginning.

3.3   show_bitmap(filename)

Displays on the OLED screen the image stored in the file filename. The image has to be encode as described in the previous section.

from ssd1306spi import SSD1306

oled = SSD1306()

3.4   set_px(x, y, color)

Paints the pixel at position x, y (of a 64x32 coordinate system) with the corresponding color (0 dark or 1 lighted).

from ssd1306spi import SSD1306

oled = SSD1306()

3.5   get_px(x, y)

Returns the color of the given pixel (0 dark 1 lighted)

from ssd1306spi import SSD1306

oled = SSD1306()
color = oled.get_px(10,10)

3.6   draw_sprite(x, y, stamp, color, draw=1)

Draws the sprite on the screen at the pixel position x, y. The sprite will be printed using OR if color is 1 and AND NOT if color is 0, effectively removing the sprite when color=0.

from ssd1306spi import SSD1306

oled = SSD1306()
sprt = b'\xAE\xA4\xD5\xF0\xA8\x3F\xD3\x00\x00\x8D'
oled.draw_sprite(0, 0, sprt, 1, 0)

When drawing a sprite, the contents of the screen just before the first column of the stamp and the content of the screen just after the last column of the sprite is also redrawn. This is done to allow using a function like this to perform a simple movement of a sprite:

def move_sprite(oled, x1, y1, x2, y2, sprt):
  oled.draw_sprite(x1, y1, sprt, 0, 0)
  oled.draw_sprite(x2, y2, sprt, 1, 1)

The previous function removes a sprite at position x1,y1 and redraws it at position x2, y2. Note that the first draw_sprite() does not refresh the screen. The screen is only refreshed once, with the second draw_sprte(). If the sprite is 5x5 and it is centered within the 8x7 area, the sprite will be properly updated if the distance between the two coordinates is maximum one pixel.

3.7   add_text(x, y, text, size=1)

Prints the text given by text at the row x and column y. The screen is divided into 12 columns and 5 rows. If the optional parameter size is set to 2 the the text will be written in double size.

from ssd1306spi import SSD1306

oled = SSD1306()
oled.add_text(0, 2, "Hello, world")