Simple 8x8 LED display

Not going to change the world exactly, but it's a small, fun project.

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And 8x8 LED matrix display controlled by a microcontroller. It's an easy way to display text or very low-resolution graphics.

This is something that I did a few months ago when I was bored that I decided to share. It's a quick and dirty way to display things on an 8x8 LED display. The project relies on POV to display characters. My prototype uses an Arduino Mega which of course is overkill, but it was what was laying around when I thought of the idea. You can use any microcontroller of choice, preferably one with hardware SPI.

To reduce component count (and make things less cramped on the breadboard) I chose the TLC5916IN constant-current LED sink driver which allows me to eliminate series resistors for the LEDs. I only need 1 resistor to set the current limit for the sink driver.

The two shit registers (the TLC5916IN and m74hc595b1) are daisy-changed similar to what is shown here.

Below is sample code of the project (using the Arduino IDE) that's currently configured to Display "NICKY" one letter at a time:

UPDATE: The code is now on GitHub:

  • 1 × TLC5916IN Used to control cathodes of LED Matrix
  • 1 × m74hc595b1 Used to control anodes of LED Matrix.
  • 1 × 2k Ohm resistor Used to set current output for pins on TLC5916IN
  • 1 × Atmega 2560 MCU used to control display.
  • 1 × Breadboard and hookup jumpers

View all 6 components

View all 4 project logs

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