GC9A01 Round LCD with ESP32 & Arduino

Learn to use the GC9A01 circular LCD module with an Arduino Uno and an ESP32.

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We have worked with LCD modules many times before here in the DroneBot Workshop, but this one is a bit different – it’s round!

Round LCD modules like this one are excellent choices for instrumentation and metering projects. They can also be used for special effects in robotics and animatronics, as we will see when we use two of the displays to build some animated eyeballs.

We will start, of course, by looking at the specifications of this display. It is an SPI bus device, and the Waveshare model I’m using can operate on both 5-volts and 3.3-volts. Note that there is another model of this display, also using the GC9A01 driver, that only operates on 3.3-volts (and also has some very confusing pin markings).

Next, we will use the display with an Arduino Uno. We will start by using the Waveshare sample code, but after that, we will switch to another library that is much better documented.

After that, we will use the display with an ESP32, which has better performance than the Arduino Uno as it’s much faster and has more internal memory.

Finally, we will build a set of animated eyeballs using the ESP32 and two of the GC9A01 modules.

Lot’s to learn, and there is even a bonus “riddle” in the video for science fiction fans – of course, I give you the answer in the end!

Here is the Table of Contents for today’s video:

00:00 – Introduction
01:13 – GC9A01 IPS Display
05:11 – GC9A01 with Arduino
18:12 – GC9A01 with ESP32
33:12 – GC9A01 Animated Eyes
43:08 – Conclusion

Hope you enjoy it, and I really hope you pick up a few of these displays and build something cool with them!

And, for those of you who solved the “riddle”, congratulations – and for the rest of you, DON’T PANIC! (that was a clue, BTW).



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