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LED matrix (lichtkrant)

Introduction

A LED matrix felt like a cool project: some electronics to make, some software to write, and a nice wood case to make to finish it off. It had all the components to make for many a fun evening… I try to do something in every project that I haven't done before, and in this project, this was making a custom printed circuit board (PCB), rather than using pre-etched perfboard. Also, there were some improvements to be made to my usual way of making cases for projects.

The matrix will have 24 columns and 6 rows, so in total there will be 144 LEDs to control.

This short video shows the end result in action:

So, what's involved in making such a thing? Let's dive into the details…

Components

  1. Electronics
    This page describes how the electronics are built up: the LED matrix PCB, the controller PCB, and the Arduino.
  2. Software
    This page give details about the software I wrote to make the thing tick.
  3. Case
    This page shows the case I made to finish off the project.

Reference

The schematic for the controller circuit was taken from this Instructable:
http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-24X6-LED-matrix/
The instructable also contains basic software to display scrolling text on the LED matrix. I used that as inspiration to get started.