In this short post you will learn how to make a cheap Grove 0.96″ OLED display module. In fact, it should end up costing you 4-6x less than the off-the-shelve product.
Just real quick in case you stumbled upon this post not exactly sure what you are looking for.
Grove is a modular, standardized connector prototyping system from the wonderful Seeedstudio. Grove takes a building block approach to assembling electronics. Compared to the jumper or solder based system, it is easier to connect, experiment and build and simplifies the learning system. The Grove system consists of a base unit (stem) and various modules (twigs) with standardized connectors. The Base unit, generally a microprocessor, allows for easy connection of any input or output from the Grove modules. And every Grove module typically addresses a single function, such as a simple button or a more complex heart rate sensor.
That’s the shiny side of the medal. The flip-side is that the whole system is proprietary. Seeedstudio has a monopoly and charges top dollars for all components.
The Grove premium
Today I needed to replace a Grove 0.96″ I2C OLED display module in my SwitchDoc Weather Station. They sell the original module for $14.45. Seeedstudio charges $14.90 for their display.
This is outrages.
I normally buy those 0.96″ I2C OLED display for a couple of bucks. This module here for example costs ~$2.50 at Banggood. True, you need to solder the pins yourself and it hasn’t got a Grove connector. But that doesn’t justify the huge price difference at all.
Build a cheap Grove 0.96″ OLED display yourself
Of course you can easily turn such a standard display into kind-of-a Grove display. All it takes are four female jumper cables, crimping pliers, heat shrink tubing and a soldering iron.
- Cut off the Grove plug on one end of the Grove cable and separate the 4 cable strands
- Cut 4 female jumper wires to equal length
- Crimp the 4*2 wire ends
- Slide a pieces of heat shrink tubing over each jumper wire
- Solder a jumper wire onto each strand of the Grove cable
- Put the heat shrink tubing in place
If in the end the four wires are not exactly equally long – mine never are – you can twist them until all are perfectly lined up. It is not ideal if you have pull or push stress on one of the wires because it is too short or too long.
If you like you may also glue the connectors of the jumper wires together with superglue to create a solid and super practical plug.