Adding a mini display to show METAR information to the METAR map

Recently I decided to add a new functionality to my METAR map to support a small display that shows the METAR information for the various airports on the chat.

I decided I wanted to keep it compact, so I bought this small 128 x 64 pixel display from Amazon to embed into my METAR Map. It’s about 2.5 x 1.5 mm (1 x 0.5 in) in size, so it takes up very little space.

Mini LED display using SSD1306 chip

This particular one has the text in Yellow for the top 16 pixels and then blue for the bottom 48, but there are also many others available that are just normal black and white. As long as they use the SSD1306 chip and are I2C, they should likely work just the same.

First thing is wiring them up, they use the SDA and SCL pins on the Raspberry Pi and a 5V and Ground pin. Below is a picture how I wired them up. You can refer to Raspberry Pi GPIO Pinout for a graphic of the pins.

Pin setup for the display

With the wiring done, I’ve set up the software functionality for the Raspberry Pi to be able to communicate with the display.

The detailed steps for that are on the Github page for the METAR map.

With the wiring and the software completed, I made a small cutout in my chart to embed the display, here’s the final picture:

Final display integrated in my METAR map

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3 thoughts on “Adding a mini display to show METAR information to the METAR map

  1. Anthony Varga

    Phil, a great add. What would I do to keep the display static on one airfield ? I would like to mount it by my home field and only report on that field.

    Reply
    1. Philip Rueker Post author

      Hey,

      In the metar.py file, instead of looping through the airports towards the bottom of the file (there’s a comment “Rotate through airports METAR on external display”)
      Remove the indented code under:
      if disp is not None:
      and replace it with this (replace “KPAE” for whatever airport you want to show it for, just make sure that airport is present in the airports file for the LEDs):
      displaymetar.outputMetar(disp, "KPAE", conditionDict.get("KPAE", None))

      Reply
  2. Anthony Varga

    Philip, I had left a comment about not being able to load one of the libraries (libjpeg-dev) needed for the display so if you see that please disregard as I resolved with a sudo apt-get update then it installed.

    Reply

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