Seems like every great monster film sets off a chain of sequels. Bride of…, Son of…, Revenge of…, Teen Wolf Too (hey, they can’t all be winners).

Our electronic eyeball projects have spawned their own little franchise, with Pi Eyes, HalloWing, Monster M4SK and more. The arrival of the Matrix Portal M4 board made another sequel inevitable — this time a retro-style return to form of our first project of the series, but punching it up with bright colors, full-screen themes, and coded all in CircuitPython now.

This makes a nifty Halloween window or tabletop display. And it’s a not-too-daunting introduction to CircuitPython and graphics. When the Halloween season’s over…if you don’t keep the decorations up year ’round like some of us…everything can be repurposed into your own projects, or try out some others like a Moon phase clock.

This project requires:

  • Adafruit Matrix Portal M4 board
  • Any of our 64x32 pixel “HUB75” (not NeoPixel) RGB LED matrices
  • USB C cable
  • USB power supply with output of 2 Amps or more

This guide will get the software running on the bare Matrix Portal hardware. Mounting or supporting the clock in an enclosure or frame is left as an exercise to the reader.

Parts

Adafruit Matrix Portal - CircuitPython Powered Internet Display

PRODUCT ID: 4745
Folks love our wide selection of RGB matrices and accessories, for making custom colorful LED displays... and our RGB Matrix Shields...
$24.95
IN STOCK

You can use a USB C power supply or a USB micro B with a micro B to C adapter

USB Type A to Type C Cable - approx 1 meter / 3 ft long

PRODUCT ID: 4474
As technology changes and adapts, so does Adafruit. This  USB Type A to Type C cable will help you with the transition to USB C, even if you're still...
OUT OF STOCK

Official Raspberry Pi Power Supply 5.1V 3A with USB C

PRODUCT ID: 4298
The official Raspberry Pi USB-C power supply is here! And of course, we have 'em in classic Adafruit black! Super fast with just the right amount of cable length to get your Pi 4...
$7.95
IN STOCK

5V 2.5A Switching Power Supply with 20AWG MicroUSB Cable

PRODUCT ID: 1995
Our all-in-one 5V 2.5 Amp + MicroUSB cable power adapter is the perfect choice for powering single-board computers like Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone or anything else that's power...
$7.50
IN STOCK

Micro B USB to USB C Adapter

PRODUCT ID: 4299
As technology changes and adapts, so does Adafruit, and speaking of adapting, this adapter has a Micro B USB jack and a USB C...
$1.25
IN STOCK

If you'd like your LEDs diffused (and if your LED matrix is 4mm pitch or smaller), some acrylic may help:

Black LED Diffusion Acrylic Panel 12" x 12" - 0.1" / 2.6mm thick

PRODUCT ID: 4594
A nice whoppin' slab of some lovely black acrylic to add some extra diffusion to your LED Matrix project. This material is 2.6mm (0.1") thick and is made of special cast...
OUT OF STOCK

Adafruit carries a number of 64x32 RGB LED Matrices, varying between the space between LEDs (pitch) and whether rigid or flexible. Choose your favorite - larger pitch means the display is larger, width and height-wise but with the same number of pixels, and larger may be easier to read further away. Smaller for near your desk, for example.

64x32 RGB LED Matrix - 3mm pitch

PRODUCT ID: 2279
Bring a little bit of Times Square into your home with this sweet 64 x 32 square RGB LED matrix panel. These panels are normally used to make video walls, here in New York we see them...
$44.95
IN STOCK

64x32 RGB LED Matrix - 4mm pitch

PRODUCT ID: 2278
Bring a little bit of Times Square into your home with this sweet 64 x 32 square RGB LED matrix panel. These panels are normally used to make video walls, here in New York we see them...
OUT OF STOCK

64x32 RGB LED Matrix - 5mm pitch

PRODUCT ID: 2277
Bring a little bit of Times Square into your home with this sweet 64x32 square RGB LED matrix panel. These panels are normally used to make video walls, here in New York we see them on...
$79.95
IN STOCK

64x32 RGB LED Matrix - 6mm pitch

PRODUCT ID: 2276
Bring a little bit of Times Square into your home with this sweet 64x32 square RGB LED matrix panel. These panels are normally used to make video walls, here in New York we see them on...
$84.95
IN STOCK

64x32 Flexible RGB LED Matrix - 4mm Pitch

PRODUCT ID: 3826
If you've played with multiplexed RGB matrices, you may have wondered "hey, could we possibly manufacture these on a thin enough PCB, so it's flexible?" and the...
$79.95
IN STOCK

64x32 Flexible RGB LED Matrix - 5mm Pitch

PRODUCT ID: 3803
If you've played with multiplexed RGB matrices, you may have wondered "hey, could we possibly manufacture these on a thin enough PCB so it's flexible?" and the answer...
$79.95
IN STOCK
This guide was first published on Sep 26, 2020. It was last updated on Sep 26, 2020.
This page (Overview) was last updated on Oct 21, 2020.