New remote with 1.5 inch RGB OLED 128 x 128

In the esk8 community, there’s probably nothing where you can be as creative as with you choice of remote. It’s the only thing you’re interacting with your whole rides, so you want a reliable, good looking, good feeling remote. There are solid and cheap options like the Nano or Mini remote - the market is growing fast. People invented their own remotes, including small displays in order to view telemetry info while riding. New safety and control features were introduced. Now, even the Chinese remotes come with displays, light control and whatsoever.
But to this point, there is no flawless remote. And to be honest, there will never be such a remote, we can only come closer and closer to a perfect remote. So why don’t take another step?
To this point, all remotes available use OLEDs. Their suited for this application. They’re rather compact are very bright and consume very little energy. Most often, you will get across white or blue OLEDs and I for my self really like both. There’s also blue yellow OLEDs used by flipsky in their VX2 remote, but in my oppinion, yellow really isn’t the color to use for your battery or clock or really anything. So why should you limit yourself to two colors?

And that is how all this started. I looked up on AliExpress and found various OLED displays, although the selection of RGB capable ones is much smaller. As the trend in basically every part of life is going bigger on everything (cars, phones, the list goes on), the Firefly for example had a 128x32 display to start of, which is now replaced by the Firefly Nano with a 128x64 display. The idea behind it seems to be trivial - more space to display more data with better readability. The next step would be a 128x128 display, and luckily there is a 1.5 inch display (44,5mm x 39,5mm) with the SSD1331 driver which allows for the use of the wonderful Adafruit GFX library. This library makes GUI writing so easy, I learned it in half a day. Here’s my first try with a 128x32 monochrome OLED:

The RGB OLED has a maximum current draw of 70mA, the common power draw is lower obviously. You can also decrease the power consumption by changing the OLEDs brightness, which you can in 256 steps.

So, what’s the point of the thread after all this?
Well, until now, remotes were built by individual people. I really respect the effort and work of everyone that made his own remote, but obviously you are limiting yourself by doing everything on your own. By splitting work in an open source project, you maximize the work efficiency and the end result.

As you can probably already tell, my question is, what you guys think about this display for a remote. By the way, I would use the Firefly Nano as a base for everything. So I would a Lora 32 as the heart of the project. One thing the Chinese did good, is the display position on the VX2. You don’t have to twist your hand in order to read values. Going faster than 40km/h you don’t want to have problems reading something on your remote, do you?

My second question is, if anyone here would be interested in taking part in this project. This are needed skills:

  • Shell designers
  • Programmers for backend
  • GUI designers (I would lead this with pleasure)

Here are the main points of the new remote that’s in my head:

  • 128 x 128 RGB OLED 1.5 inch with Adafruit GFX lib
  • use the awesome and compact Heltec Lora 32 (one without the display)
  • use the awesome code of the Firefly Nano
  • make a new shell
  • probably top mount the OLED (size is 44,5mm x 39,5mm)
  • remote eco mode (lower brightness)
  • maybe add a rotary encoder for menu usage

Please share your thoughts using the comment function and the surveys :slight_smile:

  • Wow, a bigger display!
  • Not a big fan of it…

0 voters

  • I want a RGBible
  • Monochrome is enough for me

0 voters

  • Crush your thumb to turn a wheel
  • I like gun triggers

0 voters

  • Lora 32
  • Other

0 voters

  • Top mount
  • Side mount

0 voters

  • Rotary encoder
  • Buttons
  • Nothing

0 voters

Here’s a brief explanation of the GUI:

At the top of the display, you can see arrows, similar to the ones on your mobile phone. Here, they tell you if you’re remote is connected to the receiver currently. No arrows mean something is not working correctly.

Then we have a clock, I hope you all know what this is.

In the top right corner is a Battery Indicator for the remote itself, with the battery percentage next to it. The Battery Indicator behaves like on your mobile phone. Less battery means less filled Battery Indicator. Less than 20% will make the Battery Indicator red (normally its just white).

Then, we have two bar graphs on the left side of the display. They’re blue and orange by default, but you can change this to your prefered color of course. The blue graph shows your current throttle. Positive values will make the blue graph bigger, going from bottom to top. When braking, the graph is going from top to bottom.
Here’s an example picture to help explain:

In the middle of the display, you have your standard telemetry data, namely:

  • Speed
  • Battery Voltage
  • Battery %
  • Distance

I’ll add a screen about power draw etc. in near future too.

On the right, there’s a small compass for aesthetics and to guide you if your phone dies. :slight_smile:

in work - -


Id be happy to do some backend, but I dont really understand the last poll, is that for the thumbwheel/trigger? if so I think a hall effect sensor or a regular potentiometer works fine but if its for auxiliary outputs I’ll take what I can get.


Ouh, sorry, I don’t know how to make the poll names visible.
The last one is about the menu control :slight_smile:
Like for setting control on the go
What chip would you recommend as the heart of this?
Is the Esp32 Lora still the best?
We don’t need its display… There’s a non display version I think but it’s about the same price

If we use the ESP32 with its two Cores, you can have a look at @Jamie42 github, he updates the Firefly Nano code :slight_smile:
It uses the Heltec Lora 32 too

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Reason why I voted for a side mounted display is because I like my remotes thin enough to fit in my jeans. Obviously top mounted is easier to view when riding, but being pocketable is so much more important to me.


That’s a good point!
Just preference if you want it too fit your pocket or have better ergonomic positioning of the display

Don’t you take a backpack with you when you have a certain destination? Maybe we could include some clip to mount it to your jeans?

yeah I dont know anything about polls on discourse, but I think buttons would work fine providing they arent near where your hand rests on the remote similar to the 3 buttons on DaveGA for navigation. For the usecase I think the ESP32 Lora would be pretty ideal especially with the gain antenna internalized or something like that. I will look at @Jamie42’s github since its probably a good place to start.

writing on pos roll-up keyboard apologies for mistakes

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I have a lot of work to do for school sadly, but two or three weeks I could work on it basically 24/7.
Since a lot of people seem to not really need a RGB capable display, I could Write a GUI for both a monochrome and a RGB OLED.


Chiming in here, ya should’ve tagged me in the original post @Niklas, highly interested here.

So there’s one vote I didn’t do and that’s LoRa/Other, here’s my reason why. The FireFly Nano is a pretty decent remote and I personally really love it. BUT I know of no-one who has battle tested the LoRa (not LoRaWAN) protocol in high RF dense areas, like big cities. I myself live in a pretty small city and ride it everyday without any cutouts (never had one, ever), but that’s not everyone’s case. Now I am really defending this remote because I love it and well, this is my antenna setup: Big one in the board (those hard plastic ones), small pcb antenna (encapsulated by a big hand) in the remote. But I don’t know how it will handle and we don’t want this to go like other remotes that suddenly had problems in big cities.

I really do love your 128x128 idea though. And if the LoRa 32 without a screen is pretty much the same, implementation would be easy. I would say to keep that trigger switch though when you’re going thumb control.

I could also help with the code for this thing, I really know every piece and order in the FireFly Nano code, which you could easily adjust for this usage.

@itsrow I don’t know if you were able to find me on Github, but my username is Jamie4224.


What alternatives are there?
Is the NRF24L01 used in the Firefly tested? I just love the simplicity of the Lora 32… No stupid 30AWG wires soldering. Big antenna in the board and pcb one in the remote seems good. I could test the remote in the city in a few months when I got the remote and my assembled my esk8 :slight_smile:

I expected the code adjustment to be little! Great to Ave this confirmed by someone who knows more about this topic!
The enclosure is the biggest work besides the GUI probably… I don’t even have a 3d printer yet haha

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I wouldn’t know, probably others here who know about the stability of the og Firefly.

When you are doing this remote, you can’t keep it as thin as the firefly nano, if you make it a little bit thicker and the screen goes on top, you could probably fit a big antenna in it.

I know that the OSRR is switching to something NRF52 related, that might work but I don’t think I am capable of deciphering the VESC SW and figuring out how to use the NRF52 module with it.

A bit late maybe but the OLED module is <4cm wide…
Even if the remote was 4,5cm as an example, this is only at the top. The rest can be made thinner.

I think my APS remote is ~4cm at the top, thinner elsewhere. If I really need to I can pocket it, but it’s hard. I usually throw it in my backpack, but it’s gotta be said, being able to grab a remote from your pocket and ride off is something you take for granted till it’s gone.


It’s pretty thick when comparing to the nano though, it’s like 1,5-2 cm.


I’ll look for a thinner RGB OLED…
More than half of the people don’t really care about RGB though… I’ll see what RGB OLEDs you can get first

This 1.27 inch one is only 3,5cm but has a resolution of only 128x96… I have to draw it on paper… Can’t really tell how big this display is in reality then.
Flipsky VX2 uses a 0.95 inch

I don’t really like the thicker top idea anymore because of what @rusins said plus it just doesnt look as clean in my humble oppinion.
You won’t stare at the remote the whole time (okay… Maybe you will if it’s your first ride with it :))
I don’t think a quick hand twist is a drama
drama llama
This allows for the usage of the Firefly Nano case.

Is there enough space to solder wires to the Heltec Lora? Could you send me a link to one without a display attached? Would you still keep it the way, the micro USB sticks out?
Its very handy to have a universal charge and programm port :slight_smile:
But maybe you could add a micro USB extension, possibly to USB C(?) could you still charge and programm then?

Then, we need to figure out a good place for our screen. I insist on OLEDs, they are very bright on very low power usage and have astonishing viewing angles, fuck TFT.

With side mounting the display, there’s room for the 1.5 inch version for sure!

Also, would you guys agree on placing the display a bit more centered as it is pretty far at the bottom now and with the new design we can place it where we want. Do you like the Firefly or Firefly Nano shell more?

I would order the parts the next day (oled, ESP 32 Lora without display, need link for that…)

I’ve read through a few threads and I’m scared af now… In wonderful dream Netherlands, Esk8s seem to be a gray zone where’s in Germany it’s “Strengstens untersagt” lol. Basicay everything is forbidden here. Take Marihuana for example - forbidden because its a illegal drug ~ our ex drug politician Marlene Mortler.

Back to the topic… @Jamie42

You have an anti police mode on the Firefly Nano right? I couldn’t really figure out it works, would you mind explaining?
Since the cops might bust you in the a** I think its necessary to have a way to switch quickly and without them recognizing it.
I don’t know why but I think buttons are dangerous because they are easily discovered by the police men… I don’t know if they take everything out of your pocket when they stop your ride, but I somehow fell in love with this:

You could hook it up to a BT module or something like that and make it communicate to the mcu. The nice thing is you don’t even have to really touch it. Maybe a super small layer of filament over it would still make it functional. So you could have a little car key sized thing in your pocket to quickly put your thumb on in order to activate anti cop mode…

But this is not really better than a button on your remote I realize now…
Well forget what I just said :joy:

I’m turning into 007…
Maybe put that in your remote… I have yet to understand how it works and especially how good it works. But maybe you set a startup word like “Go” and a secret mystery word like “Llama”.

The clue is “Go” is the safe cop mode, you can explain them you have a voice recognition module, they will trust you. And if you’re safe you say your secret mystery word.

I love how this is like in third year in school as a kid :slight_smile:

You could also just add two buttons and make two codes with them, one for safe mode, one for normal mode, would also prevent unauthorized people from riding your esk8 without permission.

Is this really that dumb as it sounds or…?
Voice recognition would be so awesome if it works good!!!

@Jamie42 it has 15 commands you can Program to it if I’m not wrong! Each command has 3 versions recorded of you saying it. Max length of a command is 1.3 seconds