I call it the Blue PIXie board…… (part 1)

Ever since seeing smart watches and other devices that use OLED displays I have been interested in making my own board that I can use for different projects.  I have a couple in mind…..a Smart Watch and an upgrade to my previous project from 4 years ago an OBDII Gas gauge which can be found here.


Based on what I wanted, below were my requirements:

  1. Small as possible.  Ideally no bigger than the OLED display.
  2. Integrated OLED display.
  3. Programmed via micro USB
  4. Compatible with the Arduino IDE
  5. Expandable
  6. Low power consumption
  7. Can be run off coin cell or lipo battery
  8. Lipo battery charged via USB

A lot of the inspiration for this project came from the excellent work done by Zak Kemble at his blog.

I took some of his design and modified it for my use.  His design was specifically designed to be a watch and I wanted something more generic that I could use for multiple different projects.  I split his design into multiple boards.  FYI – His design and code is excellent and if you need to start electronics design

I can tell you I did go through many iterations of the design and all I am going to do here is show the final design, my decisions and some of the issues I had in retrospect.

Below is the final result and here are the specs:

CPU:  Atmega32u4.  Configured to 8Mhz internal oscillator
Display: SSD1306 1.3″ OLED (Blue or White)
RTC: DS3231M (rather expensive, but very accurate chip)
BootLoader: Catalina (looks like a Leonardo in Arduino IDE)
Power: Micro USB, or additiional LIPO board that charges via USB.  I also have a coincell board using CR2032 but not sure how long that would last.
Dimensions: 35.5mm x 23.0mm x 6.23mm (max thickness at USB connector.  OLED+ board is only 3.33mm)
Connector: Board To Board mezzanine connector

Blue PIXie with LIPO battery backpack attached




Part 2 will details the schematic and the Lipo board.


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