May 15, 2014

Build huge alphanumeric LED displays with Arduino

When you need to display a large message that doesn't required the complexity of a dot-matrix display, then another option is always alphanumeric display modules - however they're usually not affordable in larger sizes. One method of solving this dilemma is to make your own - using LED strips for each segment. 

This process has been demonstrated by Marco Nicolato who uses darlington transistor arrays and shift registers to control each character with ease - and can be done with any Arduino or SPI-capable board. A quick demonstration is shown in the following video:

For more information, check out Marco's interesting website (opens in Google Translate). And for more, we're on facebooktwitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well. 

When working with 74HC595 shift registers and solderless breadboards (or more permanent solutions) consider using the Freetronics EXPAND: Expansion/Shift register module. It contains the 74HC595 shift register on a small board with standard 0.1" spacing holes that are perfect for soldering header pins into for breadboard use, and a small "power on" LED.

By doing this you have a robust vehicle to insert and remove easily without tools or the risk of bending the IC pins. This is only one of our large range of prototyping modules - check the full range today!


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