Strange rows on OLED display of Arduboy FX

Hi all,

I just received my Arduboy FX but I noticed a strange thing on OLED display: when there is a light background and some black pixel, there is/are horizontal row/s, like these on picture:

Do you see them? It’s really frustrating, given that I just received it…!

Please, could you load the game “Mystic Balloon” and check on your own Arduboy FX? Could you tell me if you see the same issue? Thank you!


This is a common artifact of multiplexed displays that don’t have more complex ratiometric drives. The problem is that each row is time multiplexed with the same delta, and there must be a constant current such that the more pixels lit, the lower average brightness and vice versa. This means that lines with sharp transitions of many pixels on or off result in noticeable brightness differences compared to adjacent lines.


I can’t speak to other production Arduboys, but my homemade one gets some banding like that.

I also noticed it most playing Mystic Balloon. Not sure why it happens, but I’ve gotten used to it. Perhaps someone else here who’s more knowledgeable on these things will chime in.

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@sjm4306 @clintonium-119

So you’re saying that it is normal?

Any other people could try, please?

Looks like someone more knowledgeable did while I was typing my response. Thanks @sjm4306 :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes, given @sjm4306’s explanation, I would assume it will be the same for everyone.

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OK, but I’d like to read more testimonials…

Furthermore I noticed that the clear plastic above the display is totally scratched!!!

Look here:

How is it possible???

IIRC the plastic is polycarbonate which is relatively easily scratched. On the other side of the coin, PC is also very easy to polish and buff out scratches (though it’d be a good idea to add some sort of screen protector to prevent it from scratching again).

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how can I polish and buff out scratches?

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OK the protection but the problem is that my plastic is already scratched: how can I fix it?

Use plastic polishing compound and lint free tissue to polish the scratches out. I use novus 3 step plastic polisher for this kind of stuff (mostly to polish scratched cd’s which are also made of polycarb).


@alfioscuderi1978 The “artifacts” on the OLED display you are seeing are normal. All OLED displays of this type will do it. It happens when rows of the display have majority of them lit full white. It’s actually something that the manufacturer of the OLED recommends against.

It’s also something I recommend for game developers to not use all white backgrounds for this reason. Additionally it consumes about twice as much power as a darker game. But for this game Joeri was adamant about having this background.

As far as the plastic scuffs you are seeing, did the console come that way? Minor defects are sometimes visible from the factory but if it came that way then you should use the contact form and I can help you out from there.

For wear/tear the Polycarbonate we use is as scratch proof as possible. It’s actually the same kind of plastic used in safety glasses.

The scuffs I see I would consider “normal” if you you have carried the device with you for some time.

But as I mentioned before, if it came this way it’s not correct. So no need to polish it if you didn’t cause the scratches yourself.


I received that Arduboy FX just today and, as soon as I took it out of the box, the display was already in that status…

I’ve just used the contact form you suggested me. Thank you!


Yeah I’mma go ahead and have a word with my factory over this one, I’ll get you taken care of. Thanks for sharing!

Regarding my screen protector post above:

It appears that GuardFilm is no longer in business and Zagg no longer sells protectors using the type of film I used.

I think that the film I used was similar to or the same as the “Paint Protection Film” (PPF) that is used to protect vehicle paint these days. If there’s a shop that applies PPF to vehicles close to you, they might have a small piece left over from trimming that they would give to you.

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I’ve got a pair of the Nothing Ear (1) headphones and their case is similar design:

(not my picture)

These even have a permanent screen protector on them and get scratched up too.

The good news is that most of the time when the display is on it’s bright enough to punch through the scratches. But yeah it is actually possible to polish these out but it’s extremely delicate, time consuming and will leave an uneven surface unless done “perfectly”, not sure it can be done by hand correctly. In extreme situations it might be worth a try I think maybe I could put a tutorial on it.

This also reminds me I PAID for extra front covers on my last batch and never got them so, thanks for reminding me I’ve been wanting to put them in the store for a while.

I’ve found these watch screen protectors good:

(Tip: Avoid rigid glass ones, as the front of the Arduboy is not completely flat. You need the compliance of a plastic screen protector, otherwise they don’t adhere nicely).

I was about to comment on your nice nail polish.

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