ESP8266 ESP-01 with SSD1306 OLED display

This post shows how to connect ESP8266 (ESP-01) module with SSD1306 OLED display where the display used in this project has a resolution of 128×64 Pixel and works in I2C mode. The ESP-01 module has 8 pins only of which 4 can be used as I/O (input/output) pins (GPIO0, GPIO2, RX and TX), the SSD1306 requires 2 pins for the I2C bus and an additional reset pin (if the SSD1306 OLED board has a reset pin).

If you want to see how to use the ESP-01 module for the first time, how to use it with Arduino IDE and how to program (upload sketches) it with Arduino or FT232RL, read the following topic:
ESP8266 WiFi module programming with Arduino UNO board

The SSD1306 OLED used in this project is configured to work in I2C mode, some SSD1306 OLED boards may require a small hardware modifications (to select between SPI mode or I2C mode) such as soldering, placing jumpers …

SSD1306 OLED driver for Arduino IDE:
Adafruit Industries provides a very nice library for the SSD1306 OLED, it can be easily installed using Arduino library manager (Sketch —> Include Library —> Library Manager), or manually by downloading it from the link below and adding it to Arduino libraries folder (C:\Program Files\Arduino\libraries):
Adafruit SSD1306 OLED library

Note that the Adafruit SSD1306 OLED driver supports 3 types: 128×64, 128×32 and 96×16 pixel, we can select between them in the driver header file Adafruit_SSD1306.h. Opening the file with a text editor such as the Arduino IDE gives (scroll down as shown):

Adafruit SSD1306 OLED driver modifiy

I commented the default display type #define SSD1306_128_32 and uncommented #define SSD1306_128_64 because I’m using 128×64 pixel display (0.96″).

We need an other library named Adafruit GFX (graphics library) which can be installed through Arduino library manager or manually by downloading it from the link below:
Adafruit GFX library

ESP8266 ESP-01 SSD1306 OLED I2C mode circuit

Hardware Required:
The components listed below are required for this project.

  • ESP8266 ESP-01 module
  • SSD1306 OLED display
  • AMS1117 3V3 voltage regulator (LM1117 3.3V)
  • 2x10uF capacitor
  • 0.1uF (100nF) ceramic capacitor
  • 5V source
  • Breadboard
  • Jumper wires

Interfacing ESP-01 module with SSD1306 OLED circuit:
ESP8266 ESP-01 with SSD1306 OLED board circuit is shown below.

ESP-01 ESP8266 SSD1306 OLED in I2C mode

(All grounded terminals are connected together)

The AMS1117 3V3 regulator is used to feed the ESP-01 module with 3.3V form the 5V source, its role is to step down the 5V into 3.3V, because the operating voltage of the ESP-01 is from 2.5V to 3.6V.

The SDA and SCL lines of the I2C bus come from GPIO2 and GPIO1 of the ESP-01 module (respectively), they are connected to SDA and SCL (SCK) pins of the SSD1306 board.
SSD1306 board reset pin (RES) is connected to ESP-01 module TX pin which is GPIO1.

Arduino code for ESP8266:
Project code is Adafruit library example code (ssd1306_128x64_i2c). I added Wire.begin(2, 0); to configure the I2C bus pins. SDA is set to GPIO2 and SCL to GPIO0.
The default clock frequency is 100kHz, for 400kHz clock uncomment line number 65 (L for long):

Full code is below:

ESP-01 module + SSD1306 OLED display video:

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