ESP8266 MAX7219 Dot Matrix Display as MQTT Client

A MAX7219 driven Display, controlled by an ESP8266 SoC and MQTT

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This project describes how to connect a MAX7219 to an ESP8266 Chip and let it act as a MQTT client. Its based on my ninHOME Node Project where you can optionally add a MAX7219 Display. But it can easily adapt to work without the other functionality especially without SPIFFS support to save space on your ESP.

Updated to Version 0.2 with updated MAX72XX Library and a whole bunch of text animations

The Firmware is completely based on Sming Framework for ESP8266 and is hopefully easy to use.
I will upload some binaries which you can upload without the compiling.

Formerly i use this firmware and its options for my SmartHome integration with ioBroker from where I script everything i want to control or measure. And it isn't completely ready, so if you want to contribute something ...

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Current firmware binaries

gzip - 446.55 kB - 05/13/2018 at 00:36


  • 4 × 8x8 LED MAX7219 Dot Matrix Display
  • 1 × ESP8266 Development Board (Modded)

  • 1
    Connect Display to ESP8266

    Connect jumper wires to all 5 Pins of the first MAX7219 Display board (On the side where Data In is printed on PCB) and connect the other ends of the jumper wires to the corrosponding pins like described in the table below.

    LED MatrixESP8266
    CSChoose free GPIO, e.g. GPIO2
  • 2
    Flash the ninHOME Node Firmware

    You have more than one option to flash the ninHOME Node Firmware.

    1. Get the Source Code and compile, afterwards flash with make command 'make flash'
    2. Flash directly the Binaries with or esptool-gui -p /dev/ttyUSB0 -b 230400 write_flash -ff 40m -fm qio -fs 4m 0x00000 0x00000.bin 0xa000  0xa000.bin 0x52000  spiff_rom.bin
  • 3
    Setup the ninHOME Node Networking

    After flashing the ninHOME Node Firmware and starting up your ESP8266 it won't find any configuration in the SPIFFS so it
    will open up a Wifi Access Point which you can connect to, if you havent changed the name in the source it will be called 'ninHOME Configuration'. 

    After you connected to the Access Point you can open up a Browser and got to (if not changed in source)

    There you find an overview of the reachable Wifi Networks.

    Click on your desired network and give in the Wifi Password, after that reset your ESP8266.
    Now your ninHOME Node should be connected to your choosen Wifi Network,
    the IP of it you can find in your Router or if you open up a Serial Monitor on the ESP8266. 

    A more easy way will be implemented soon.

View all 6 instructions

Enjoy this project?



tyjtyj wrote 06/30/2020 at 02:16 point

I manged to flash using this command -p COM7 -b 230400 write_flash -ff 40m -fm qio -fs 32m 0x00000 0x00000.bin 0xa000 0xa000.bin 0x5A000 spiff_rom.bin

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dplischke wrote 07/06/2018 at 06:47 point

Hi, I tried to flash your bin's into one of my Wemos D1 mini (4 MB). But I get errors from It says "Detected overlap at address 0x52000". If I try to Flash a single bin after another, I can Flash it, but it will not work. Can you tell me how to flash into my Wemos D1 mini?

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harkirat wrote 05/16/2018 at 01:52 point

i am trying to flash this to Nodemcu esp8266 but i canot get it to work can i get help

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harkirat wrote 05/11/2018 at 20:02 point

Hello Can i have Binary plz

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Andre wrote 04/23/2018 at 19:38 point

I would love to get the binary! :)

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NoizzioN wrote 03/13/2018 at 05:01 point

Hi ninharp , can I have the binary please ..thanks

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uwe28 wrote 03/10/2018 at 20:37 point

hi, nice job! Can you send me the binays please?

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ninharp wrote 02/22/2018 at 17:19 point

Hi, i can send it to you if you want

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NoizzioN wrote 03/13/2018 at 09:18 point

very nice project and exactly what im looking , but im not really good on this .. can you share the binary ..or somehow direct me to a instruction . (sorry my knowledge is on network only) ..thanks

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ninharp wrote 04/22/2018 at 23:55 point

Hey. For sure i can help you. havent seen your message so the belate response ;) Write me a pm for more 

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tokaphi wrote 02/21/2018 at 17:01 point

hello, how can I have the binary file to test please.
Thank you

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ninharp wrote 05/16/2018 at 12:16 point

sure. what is your esptool version nd how does your flash command look like?

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