Scrolling text with flexible 32×8 RGB LED Matrix

Needed a way to display scrolling text or messages? This Flexible 32×8 RGB LED Matrix display may suit your needs! With 256 LEDs on it, you can display text, patterns or even animation if you want to. Therefore, in this tutorial, you’ll be learning how to interface this display with an Arduino.

Overview

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Basically, this display is made up of 32 x 8 = 256 LEDs & it is powered by a ws2811 driver, which makes it easier to control (or address) all of the 256 RGB LEDs. It uses a single wire control protocol: which means that we only need one wire to transmit the data into the RGB LED matrix display.

There are actually various arduino libraries available that can be used to control this matrix (such as the FastLED library), but in this tutorial, I’ll be using Adafruit Libraries.
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Parts required

  • Arduino Uno x 1
  • 32×8 RGB LED Matrix x 1
  • Jumper wires x 3

 

Demo

 

Setup

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There are 3 main wires connecting the RGB matrix: Red, Green & Yellow. The red one is power line (+5V), green is data line & yellow is ground. Connect the red wire to the 5V pin, green wire to digital pin D3 & the yellow wire to ground using female to male jumper wires.

 

Testing the LEDs

Now that the wires are connected to the board, we will first test out all the LEDs to make sure that they are all working. Before that, download Adafruit’s NeoPixel library here: https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_NeoPixel. After installing the library into the Arduino’s library directory, copy the following code & upload it to the Arduino:

After uploading, you should see the matrix turning on & off one at a time.

 

Scrolling the Text

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After the testing is done, we move on to the ultimate part: scrolling text! To do that, we will first have to import some libraries:

Adafruit GFX Library: https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit-GFX-Library

Adafruit NeoPixel Library: https://github.com/adafruit/Adafruit_NeoMatrix

For now, we would be scrolling test as the text in 7 different colors each round, but you can change it if you want. We would set the order to NEO_MATRIX_ZIGZAG, as the LEDs are connected in a “zigzag” manner. The code is as follows:

And after uploading the code, you should see test scrolling across the matrix!

 

 

 

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