Bring a little bit of Times Square into your home with our 16 x 32 and 32 x 32 RGB LED matrix panels. These panels are normally used to make video walls – here in New York we see them on the sides of buses and on bus stops – to display animations or short video clips. We thought they looked really cool so we picked up a few boxes from the factory. One has 512 bright RGB LEDs arranged in a 16x32 grid on the front, the other has 1024 LEDs in a 32x32 grid. On the back is a PCB with IDC connectors (one set for input, one for output: in theory you can chain these together) and 12 16-bit latches that allow you to drive the display with a 1:8 (16x32) or 1:16 (32x32) scan rate.
These panels require 12 or 13 digital pins (6 bit data, 6 or 7 bit control) and a good 5V power supply, up to 2A per panel (when on full white). We suggest our 2A regulated 5V adapter and either a terminal block DC jack, or solder a jack from our DC extension cord. Please read the rest of our tutorial for more details!
Keep in mind that these displays are designed to be driven by FPGAs or other high speed processors; they do not have built in PWM control of any kind. Instead, you're supposed to redraw the screen over and over to 'manually' PWM the whole thing. On a 16 MHz Arduino, we managed to squeeze 12-bit color (4096 colors) with 20% CPU usage but this display would really shine if driven by an FPGA, CPLD, Propeller, XMOS or other high speed multi-processor controller.
Of course, we wouldn't leave you with a datasheet and a "good luck!" We have a full wiring diagrams and working Arduino library code with examples from drawing pixels, lines, rectangles, circles and text. You'll get your color blasting within the hour! On an Arduino, you'll need 12 digital pins, and about 800 bytes of RAM to buffer the 12-bit color image (double that for the 32x32 matrix).
Last updated on 2012-12-11 at 03.54.34 PM