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Dot Matrix Display
Posted on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 3:54 pm

Last summer I purchased 6 SLM1604 bicolor, 16×16 LED matrix modules from Ebay. With an afternoon's amount of coding, I got the displays to work!

The hardware and custom PCBs work flawlessly. The display uses an Atmel AVR Atmega168 @ 20Mhz to provide a display refresh rate of 70Hz. the display has Bluetooth to connect with a PC for control. Small buffer boards with 74LS245 chips buffer the control signals as they are distributed to the bussed modules. A power distribution hub sends power to each module and the logic board.

The display can draw up to 10 amps! A PC power supply is used. The LEDs become quite warm after an hour of continuous operation. That's a lot of power!

 
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Tutorials

Electronics
Using open-source Gerbv, see how to panelize multiple boards onto one PCB for production.
What the big problem with 7-segment displays? It's that they take up dozens of pins and resistors. Learn how to save pins through multiplexing.
A bright RGB LED pumpkin candle designed to replace tea candles in Jack-o-Lanterns. Has an AVR with PWM for fading effects.
How to use an off-the-shelf bridge rectifier to protect adapt your circuit against reverse polarity damage.
An AVR "home" automation project with IR control, LCD, 8 channels, presets, and more features is built and installed in my bedroom. Includes deciphering IR codes.
The Room Automation project is extended to include iTunes control capabilities. Discusses the iTunes API for C# .NET.
See how I installed christmas lights, video game consoles and other electronic gadgets in my school locker.
I purchased a countdown-equipped decommissioned pedestrian signal from BG Micro. Details of its operation, a 555 timer-based controller, and an AVR controller.
A custom product developed for a film sound mixer.
Robots / RC
Follow my FRC team, 4611, on our Flickr feed. See our Team Website as well.
For fun me and my cousin build a remote controlled robot with a camera that can drive through storm drains and take pictures!
School Projects
A school project where we had to design a flying mini hot air balloon. Pictures and videos of the actual flight.
Details of a Rube Goldberg machine me and two friends built for a school science project.
For a school research poster, I made an interactive system to play videos on my poster, like in museums.
Upcoming Articles/Projects
Details of an upcoming homemade PBX system with four lines, dialing, ringing, and an external line interface.
AVR & Arduino
I make a 16×96 bicolor LED panel using SLM1604 modules, an AVR, and bluetooth.
To speed up prototyping, I made a breadboard compatible AVR module that boasts a single power connection, crystal, and a built-in ISP header.
How to use GPS Modules! Plus, learn how to connect them to an arduino and print you position onto an LCD.
A track timer that measures times down to the microsecond using infrared gates for a science class project
The professional version of the above timer project.
Wireless
Learn all about the cool new 2.4 GHz wireless modules that can add wireless communication to your next project!
Tutorial on making a 440 Mhz yagi antenna. 4 elements and a half-folded dipole driven element for a 50 Ohm, mid-gain antenna.
Car
Yell at pedestrians, bad drivers, and people in the way with this concealed, external megaphone on your car!
Chemistry
H2O can be split into pure oxygen and hydrogen with a little bit of electricity and glassware.
Once methane and oxygen reach a certain ratio, they combust violently.
Other
My Flickr feed showcases my photography, travels, and other endeavors.
A homemade mini ball drop prop for a New Year's party.
My FRC team built tennis ball shooters as a pre-season exercise.
This winter, me and some friends built an igloo the size of a car. See how we made it and learn some tips for your own snow projects!
As a sequel to the original igloo, me and my friends built another, bigger igloo in 2013.
Silly project that involved making a patrol vehicle to look after my family's cats.
Exploring and researching a historic railroad feature from the 1920's in my hometown.