Inky Frame 5.7" (Pico W Aboard)

by Pimoroni

A Pico W powered E Ink® photo frame / home dashboard / life organiser with glorious seven colour display and wireless connectivity.

Inky Frame features our nicest, biggest, seven colour E Ink display (which can also be found on Inky Impression 5.7"), with loads of space for displaying images, text, graphs or interfaces.  There's five buttons with LED indicators for interacting with the display, two Qw/ST connectors for plugging in breakouts and a micro SD card slot for all-important storage of cat photos.

Every Inky Frame comes with a pair of sleek little metal legs so you can stand it up on your desk (and a selection of mounting holes if you'd prefer to do something else). There's also a battery connector so you can power it without annoying trailing wires, and some neato power saving features that mean you can run it from batteries for ages.

We've designed Inky Frame with organisation in mind, here are some things we reckon it would be really great for:

  • Checking your calendar and upcoming appointments at a glance!
  • Attaching to your office door to display your availability
  • Displaying motivational posters, quotes, or images (fungible or otherwise)
  • Showing readouts from other wirelessly connected environmental boards (like our new Enviro range?)

Pico W x E Ink®

Multi-colour EPD displays use ingenious electrophoresis to pull coloured particles up and down on the display. The coloured particles reflect light, unlike most display types, meaning that they're visible under bright lights. It takes approximately 30 seconds to refresh the display, so they work best in projects that don't need constant refreshing.

E-paper is also ultra low power (EPD displays only consume power while they're refreshing), and the images on the display stick around for a really long time whilst the display is unpowered.

Features

  • Raspberry Pi Pico W Aboard
    • Dual Arm Cortex M0+ running at up to 133Mhz with 264kB of SRAM
    • 2MB of QSPI flash supporting XiP
    • Powered and programmable by USB micro-B
    • 2.4GHz wireless
  • 5.7" EPD display (600 x 448 pixels)
    • E Ink Gallery Palette™ 4000 ePaper
    • ACeP (Advanced Color ePaper) 7-color with black, white, red, green, blue, yellow, orange.
    • Ultra wide viewing angle – >170°
    • Dot pitch – 0.1915 x 0.1915mm
  • 5 x tactile buttons with LED indicators
  • Two Qw/ST connectors for attaching breakouts
  • microSD card slot *
  • Dedicated RTC chip (PCF85063A) for deep sleep / wake **
  • Fully assembled
  • No soldering required.
  • C/C++ and MicroPython libraries
  • Schematic (coming soon)

Inky Frame Only includes

  • Inky Frame 5.7" (with Pico W Aboard)
  • 2 x metal legs

Inky Frame + Accessory Kit includes

  • Inky Frame 5.7" (with Pico W Aboard)
  • 2 x metal legs
  • 3 x AA battery pack
  • 3 x AA batteries
  • USB micro B cable
  • Velcro square for attaching battery pack
  • microSD card (16GB)

Software

Our C++/MicroPython libraries are packed with nifty software tweaks to get the most out of this screen. You'll get best performance using C++, but if you're a beginner we'd recommend using our batteries included MicroPython build for ease of getting started.

Connecting Breakouts

The Qw/ST connectors on Inky Frame make it super easy to connect up Qwiic or STEMMA QT breakouts. If your breakout has a QW/ST connector on board, you can plug it straight in with a JST-SH to JST-SH cable

Breakout Garden breakouts that don't have a Qw/ST connector can be connected using a JST-SH to JST-SH cable plus a Qw/ST to Breakout Garden adaptor. Want to use >2 breakouts at the same time? Try this adaptor!

Notes

  • Measurements: 131.4 x 127.5 mm (L x W)
  • * A micro SD card can be added to cache data downloaded over wifi or for logging information prior to uploading via wireless. It can also be used to preload assets for your user interface. Certain tasks (like decoding a jpeg or downloading a file) require an SD card to be present as they need a large working space and wouldn't be able to fit entirely in RAM.
  • We've found Pico flavoured C++/MicroPython is quite fussy about SD cards so if yours doesn't work, try another or formatting using FAT. The cards in the Accessory Kit, or our 32GB or 64GB NOOBS cards will work fine.
  • ** Inky Frame's onboard RTC (Real Time Clock) means it can be put into a super deep sleep mode that only draws about 20uA of power. Inky Frame can turn off the power that drives the Pico W and the display completely. It can be woken back up by the RTC , the front buttons or the external trigger on the extension header. You can also read the RTC to keep track of the time and date, of course!
  • On the expansion header is an external trigger input. if this is transitioned from low to high then Inky Frame will wake up from deep sleep. This lets you add your own wake button or circuit or build Inky Frame into a more complicated system. The external trigger is 3.3V max.

About Pico W Aboard

Our new Pico W Aboard products come with a built in Raspberry Pi Pico W. This means you get all the advantages of a RP2040 microcontroller - a speedy fast dual-core ARM processor, a dynamic, growing ecosystem and a choice of different programming methods to experiment with. Most excitingly though, Pico W has wireless connectivity, so your Pico/RP2040 devices can communicate with each other, and the internet! 🌍

Wireless is very new to Pico/RP2040 - be aware that things will move fast and change! Software support (wireless examples, tutorials, CircuitPython support etc) will take a little while to catch up. If you're an absolute beginner to Pico/RP2040, you might have a better experience with wireless if you wait until everything is a little more settled.