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Thread: OLED, TFT, or what? Looking for suggestions on display...

  1. #1

    OLED, TFT, or what? Looking for suggestions on display...

    Hello All,

    Looking for recommendations on what display to use for a gauge. This will be used on a boat, outside in the cockpit.

    Are there advantages of using a TFT vs OLED? Is one preferred in the outdoor environment? I'm concerned about the elements, and direct sunlight limiting readability.

    I'm thinking about a 3.5" or something in that size range.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ MichaelMeissner's Avatar
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    Note for outdoor usage, TFT displays tend to have one orientation that is hard or impossible to read if you are using polarized sunglasses. I need to wear polarized sunglasses all of the time when I'm outdoors (due to migraines). I find I have major distortions in my brand of mirrorless camera (Olympus and now OM Systems). If I use cameras with a TFT LCD viewfinder on many of the cameras that have one, when I shoot in horizontal orientation the image becomes distorted (there are bands where I can see clearly and bands that are impossible to read). In terms of the viewfinder, if the display is distorted, I can generally frame the shot using the areas that are clear, but I can't use the full display. On one of the cameras with a TFT LCD viewfinder, the image becomes opaque, and not just distorted. While with OLED displays, I can generally see the whole display (sometimes it is darker, but even so, it is readable).

    OLED displays tend to have a wider angle of view than TFT displays. For viewfinders in camera, this isn't much of an issue, but if you are just looking at it as a normal display, you might find you want to view the display from all angles.

    However, over time, particularly with long term usage, TFT displays tend to last longer than OLED displays.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    IPS LCD: Riverdi BT817 3.5" with industrial grade capacitive screen. For these types of demands, a device with better features must be considered.

    The 5" version recently arrived on the workbench and I was very impressed with the performance with the teensy 4.1, I am seriously considering getting the 3.5" screen to use it in the GPS that I already have quite advancedClick image for larger version. 

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by roarkhen View Post
    Hello All,

    Looking for recommendations on what display to use for a gauge. This will be used on a boat, outside in the cockpit.

    Are there advantages of using a TFT vs OLED? Is one preferred in the outdoor environment? I'm concerned about the elements, and direct sunlight limiting readability.

    I'm thinking about a 3.5" or something in that size range.

    Thanks!
    Search for an R61529 or IL9488 IPS display on AliExpress. They work pretty well, but the backlight might not be strong enough for direct sunlight.
    I am using a custom 9488 with a 1000+ nits backlight running on an 8 bit parallel interface for a gauge.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by roarkhen View Post
    Hello All,

    Looking for recommendations on what display to use for a gauge. This will be used on a boat, outside in the cockpit.

    Are there advantages of using a TFT vs OLED? Is one preferred in the outdoor environment? I'm concerned about the elements, and direct sunlight limiting readability.

    I'm thinking about a 3.5" or something in that size range.
    OLEDs wear out, quite fast if you keep them at high intensity and with semi-fixed content.

  6. #6
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    You must consider several aspects:

    - Resistance to the occasional drop of water, and you must protect the MCU and wiring very well from water seepage
    - You must firmly solder the components
    - If possible, try to make the main cover only have the screen installed, the MCU should go on a separate PCB. Opt for wired interfaces with flat cables, they are quite flexible
    - Direct sunlight means handling high temperatures, and reflections in the array, and no matter how good the backlight or viewing angle is, you should consider a cover yes or yes
    - If you consider a touch panel, opt for capacitive screens instead of resistive ones, they are more durable and better resist emergency cleaning or finger grease

  7. #7
    Thx everybody for the replies!

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