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Raspberry Pico OLED Display Tutorial


See the Pico OLED build in Action!

Why Make This?

"Everyone dreams about it. One of the first gadgets we all dream of making is our own wristwatch...oh sorry...apparently, it's now a smartwatch...yeah. It's so smart it can form its own opinions, tuck you in and tell you your favorite bed time story, know intuitively when you are craving a martini with 2 rails of Spanish olives...


Wait...oh that's right, "smart" devices don't do any of that shit. Be careful! You wouldn't want to have to replace a cracked screen by accidentally bumping into the side of a toilet or falling off your bike in a Delaware street...

Who is going to remind you about your dentist appointment tomorrow at 10 am? Not your other device! Not Alexa, Not Siri, Not a piece of paper written by you and posted to the front door of your studio apartment!


Hey, I understand. You just wanna make a little bing bing wahoo screen with colorful dancing lights so you can show your special someone.

You are so lucky to have me.

By the end of this tutorial you will understand how to hook the popular OLED display to your Pico and the code that runs it so you can know how to make changes; making you smarter than your friends.

It's time to BOSS UP!


  • Turn ON Raspberry Pico

  • OLED displays some words or anime pics

  • Turn OFF Power: OLED Turns OFF

pet laser trip alarm

Electronic Components

There are 4 parts to this OLED Build:

  1. The OLED Display

  2. the Raspberry Pico

  3. USB Cable

  4. Dupont Wires


  • Install Thonny: A lite and powerful code development IDE for Python that supports the PICO and micropython libraries are free to download!

3d printed laser alarm

The LDR Box Code for ATMEGA328P Chip

Study the //notes, Don't worry too much about the code.
Focus on how the Microchip does the job!


#include <avr/io.h>              //Files we need to turn the pins on and off
#include <util/delay.h>          //Files we need to make the chip wait some time
#include <avr/interrupt.h>    //Files we need to make an interrupt trigger ( ISR )

#define noteDuration  8000          //How long we want the note to play for

//First We Set up the Rules for the Trigger

void interruptEnable(void)  {
   EIMSK |= (1 << INT0);      
 //ISR enabled on INT0 pin which is PB0
    EICRA |= (1 << ISC00);        //triggers on any change in voltage
    sei();                        //enables global interrupts

/*Next we set up a Function to scan the amount of analog voltage coming in on our
pins connected to the analog to digital converter*/

uint16_t readADC(uint8_t channel) {      /*ADC value will be a 10 bit number made of 2x 8 bit numbers                                                                                   from each ADC pin we can call "channel" */
    ADMUX = (0xf0 & ADMUX) | channel;    //Conversion process
    ADCSRA |= (1 << ADSC);                 //Signal that it is busy doing conversion
    loop_until_bit_is_clear(ADCSRA, ADSC); //Keep at it until the job is done and all clear is given
    return(ADC);                           //give us that new digital value from that pin we scanned

/*The playNote function is confusing but you will better understand it if you play around with one value at a time*/

void playNote(uint16_t wavelength, uint16_t duration) {              /*this is a function that will vibrate the

                                                                                            piezo speaker based on wavelength and duration*/
  uint16_t elapsed;                                             //to remember how much time has passed during each note
  uint16_t i;                                                            //a counter
  for (elapsed = 0; elapsed < duration; elapsed += wavelength) {        

                 //This For Loop puts limits on the duration in order to create a wavelength
for (i = 0; i < wavelength; i++) {                                    //This For loop with delay selects the pitch
    PORTB ^= (1 << PB1);                                     
//We alternate the pin on and off each loop to make it vibrate

uint8_t x;                //Container for a value in our loop later

/*MAIN Staging Part of our code*/

int main(void) {
   uint16_t adcValue0;        
//Like a container to hold our adcValue for later
    interruptEnable();      //Tell the interrupt to get ready
    DDRB |= (1 << PB1);     //The speaker is connected to pin PB1 and it's negative leg to a capacitor which connects to the Ground of the chip
    DDRC |= (1 << PC5);        //Turns on the pin connected to one leg of the LDR sensor, it's other leg connects to the positive voltage of the chip

/*This is the loop of code the chip runs over and over and over*/
while(1) {                        //while the chip is running...

   adcValue0 = readADC(5);        
/*set that adcValue container to hold the value that pops out from the 

                                                       readADC function on ADC pin 5 (PC5) */
    _delay_us(10);                //wait 10 microseconds for it to complete
if (adcValue0 < 20) {        //if the adc voltage value for the LDR is less than 20 then do...
                            //20 seems like a nice piercing pitch on our 8mhz chip (timing and speed changes sound)

         for (x = 0; x < 50; x++) {    //count up to 50 total but only add 1 each time through this loop    
       playNote(30, noteDuration);    
//using our playNote function for the wavelength and duration
        PORTB ^= (1 << PB1);       // Alternate the speaker pin on and off to make it vibrate during this process
   else {                         //Otherwise...
        PORTB &= ~(1 << PB1);  //we keep the speak pin PB1 OFF and quiet

return (0);                //This is just here, don't worry about it

Simple LDR Schematic 

Terrible LDR Connection Sketch

ldr alarm_bb.jpg

UGLY LDR Soldered Concept
in 3d Printed Box

Yikes...I know. Concepts are always ugly.

You can make it prettier later with small improvements over time.

However you do it, stick to the schematic and you will be fine.

I flashed the program to my chip first.

If you want to see how to do all that you have to check out my Programming of this Atmega328P chip video that now has nearly 25,000 views!

Simple LDR Schematic 

Now, let's take a look at the MUCH simpler Laser side!

Satisfying Laser Connection Sketch

UGLY Laser Soldered Concept
in 3d Printed Box

Need to learn how to solder quickly? Check out this short video!

WHEW! What a complicated Build for such a simple concept!

Want a FULL Explanation Video?
I got you...right below!

advice I wish I had learning Electronics

This was pretty challenging and if you made it to the end, I want to let you know that
you are different.
This is going to become easier and easier.

You have the potential to learn how to create some amazing inventions and gadgets.

do SOMETHING with electronics every single day, especially day dreaming concepts!

I have an
Exciting announcement coming up in a video soon, make sure to subscribe with the linked video below!

See you in the next video!
Stay Grounded!

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