Control a bunch of 7 segment displays

Ever needed to have a bunch of 7 segment display? Me neither, but I still made this.

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Since I had some free time during the past week, I wondered what useless thing I could do.

I settled for this project, a way to stack a bunch of seven segment displays, driven by some 74hc595. For this, I used SMA42056 segment displays, and the quad version of it.

For now, I've got a rough idea of how things are going to get together :

Two 74hc595 can control up to 8 digits, since each digit is made of 8 led anodes(the 8th one is the dot), and 1 cathode. Therefor, I'll go for a few board designs :

- A 8 * single digit board
- A 2 * 4 digits board
- A single 4 digits board, if someone wants to use this for reasonable size displays

I also plan on making an Arduino library to make an easy communication(The boards will be compatible with anything, since the shift registers aren't for arduino only).


Here's the eagle project with the first board. It shouldn't be hard to turn it into the other boards mentionned earlier

x-zip-compressed - 301.72 kB - 07/28/2018 at 20:12


8 x single

The gerber files for the first board, that can serve as an host for 8 single digits display

x-zip-compressed - 98.86 kB - 07/05/2018 at 19:14


  • 2 × 74HC595 The shift registers used
  • 8 × SMA42056 The displays used
  • 1 × Quad SMA42056 Same as above, but with 4 digits included
  • 1 × Bended pin headers To have multiple boards connected, you need some 5 male bended pins and 5 female bened pins
  • 1 × Female pin header To plug the display in place

  • Shelved for now

    Etienne07/28/2018 at 20:10 0 comments

    Hey guys, I'm gonna stop this project for now, I've started it since I had some time to lose, but obviously I don't have enough since I haven't touched it for a while...

    I'm gonna drop the eagle files so that you can continue it if you feel like it, and may finish it later but it's not in my priorities.

View project log

  • 1
    Get the board and components

    To use this, you'll need to get the gerber files for one of the boards in the files section, and get a manufacturers to make it. If you don't know which one to choose, I usually go for

    For the components, take care of what you'll need. Usually, you need at least one 5 pin bended header, to connect the board to the controller(arduino, raspberry, ...), 2 x 74HC595, required for all boards, some 220R resistors, in 0805 packages, one per digit used on the board, and some female header pins to plug the display.

  • 2
    Solder it all

    Yeah, that's pretty self axplanatory, but important ^^

  • 3
    Program a controller, say, an arduino

    Once I'll have the library ready, it will get easier, so, I'll leave this blank for now

View all 4 instructions

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