The M5Dial is a new device from our favorite manufacturer M5Stack that has a 1.28” round screen along with a rotary encoder included in the housing.
Lately, we have seen the emergence of a series of devices clearly inspired by the Google Nest. And it is clear that round screens have a certain “je ne sais quoi” that is cool.
In this case, the M5Dial is the M5Stack version that, as usual, comes to show us how to make a product right, both in terms of features and in appearance, quality, and finish.
This time the manufacturer has decided to include an M5StampS3 as the “brain” of the M5Dial, which is included in the product.
This has the enormous advantage that we can easily remove the M5StampS3, either for programming or even reuse it between several projects. Which in my opinion seems like a success and a very smart option.
The M5StampS3 is powered by the king of the current SoC, our beloved ESP32-S3. This stands out for its high performance and low power consumption, making it ideal for smart control applications.
In terms of features, we find the Xtensa® dual-core 32-bit LX7 microprocessor, @240 MHz, with 384 KB ROM, 512 KB SRAM, 8MB PSRAM, 8 MB Flash. It also has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 5.
One of the most outstanding features of the M5Dial is its 1.28 inch round TFT touch screen, with 240x240px. For its control, we find the known driver GC9A01, and an FT3267 for the touch.
On the other hand, the M5Dial includes a 360º rotary encoder that accurately records the position and direction of the rotary button. This allows for a more intuitive, precise, and different interaction than usual for your projects.
For example, we can use the rotary encoder to adjust settings such as volume, brightness, and menu options, or to control devices in your smart home, such as lights, air conditioning, and curtains.
The device also incorporates a 13.56MHz RFID detection module. We can use it for reading RFID cards and tags, for example for access control applications, identity verification, or even payment systems.
Here is a summary of the features.
- SoC: Espressif Systems ESP32-S3FN8
- CPU: Xtensa® dual-core 32-bit LX7 microprocessor, @240 MHz
- 384 KB ROM, 512 KB SRAM, 8MB PSRAM, 8 MB Flash
- Included M5StampS3
- 1.28” round TFT screen 240x240px GC9A01 driver, FT3267 touch
- Rotary encoder in the housing
- WS1850S RFID sensor
- Expansion via two PORT-A and PORT-B ports
- Power supply 6-36V
- Consumption DC6V/140.6mA, DC12V/82.5mA or DC36V/28.1mA
- Dimensions 45x45x32.3mm
- Weight 46.6g
For the connection of the device, the M5Dial exposes two connection ports. The PORT-A (G14 SCL and G13 SDA) is intended for I2C or UART communication, and the PORT-B (G2 OUT and G1 IN) for use as GPIO.
In terms of power supply, the M5Dial is compatible with 6-36V DC inputs and has a lithium battery charging interface and circuit for portable use. This allows for a wide range of options to power the device, including the possibility of using a 2S or 3S lithium battery.
To top it off, the M5Dial has a built-in RTC (Real-Time Clock) circuit, a physical button on the housing, and an integrated buzzer. It has everything.
For its installation, the M5Dial can be inserted into a 45mm hole, for example in wood or a plasterboard. For this, the final part of the housing is threaded and a part of the housing itself acts as a “nut” to fix the assembly.
Programming is done directly through the USB-C port, and is compatible with the Arduino environment, PlatformIO, and the M5Stack UI Flow visual programming platform.
The selling price is around 35$ dollars. Which, in my opinion, is a very good price for a device with these features. As is customary in M5Stack, the finish of the device, the documentation, and even the packaging are excellent. A great example to follow for other manufacturers.
The M5Dial is an impressive device that combines the powerful ESP32-S3, round touch screen, and a rotary encoder in a compact package full of “extra” accessories. It is focused on home automation, access control, and industrial control systems. But I find it very easy to imagine a lot of projects where it can fit.
Without a doubt, if you want a device with a round screen, whether to try in your projects or to install in some real application, the M5Dial seems to me one of the most interesting options available.