Massive LED screen project

The folks over at are working on a massive LED display. They currently have one 32×32 RGB panel working. It displays 50 fps at  140 hz but the one above is only running at about 24 fps. The final display will be 40 of these panels. This thing is going to be massive. We have to wonder how this compares, financially and performance wise, to the commercial signage that displays videos.


  1. landon says:

    that is gonna be epic when its finished.

  2. Ken says:

    …this will be something that i follow, i second the first comment, this will be epic lol

  3. ReKlipz says:

    “… Capable of up to 50 frames per second at 140Hz refresh rate …”

    “… Shown in the video is 24FPS, 75Hz …”

    The code for this must be horrible…

  4. ReKlipz says:

    “… Firmware was written in BASIC …”

    Suspicions confirmed!

  5. sunjester says:

    im mean, ok, i guess, if i ever want to use leds as a monitor source

  6. efnx says:

    why write in basic and not c/c++?

  7. polymath says:

    well if they make the panels stackable in any direction, so you could make a grid, give it a relatively idiot proof gui, and internal flash memory it would make for an interesting product.

    i’d panel my ceiling in it…. that or the out side of a VW micro bus.

  8. andres says:

    “50 fps at 140 hz”


  9. corster says:

    isn’t this what is used in the “ceiling” of the Old Las Vegas strip?

  10. RatPatrol says:

    Well this is how Jumbotrons are made, Six Flags just put a bunch in …

    16×9 – 3 sections make up the sign … uses a standard DVI Connector

  11. Dom says:

    I want, nay… need one!

  12. rossitron says:

    To me this sounds like 50 unique frames are being drawn while the screen itself is being redrawn completely (row by row, you can see it while out of sync with the camera) 140 times per second.

  13. googfan says:

    holy sh!t

  14. andrew says:


    ah, thanks for the clarification. i too was confused for a sec there.

  15. andrew says:

    for me, the step from basic to c was a lot easier than i thought it would be. it also feels really good to know another language :)

  16. Mike says:

    This reminds me of Kevtris’ “display of doom” display. He hasn’t updated the blog in a while, but his latest posts are:

    48 x 32″ display requiring 12 power supplies and a big blower fan to keep it all cool.

    From the pictures, he’s using it as a gameboy display. Awesome!


  17. Jeremy C says:

    Wow, that has to be really expensive… My experience with industrial Leds are one that size would be hundreds of dollars – that’s for a 1 color light. Hopefully this guy has a good hook up.

  18. Jeremy C says:

    Pretty awesome though.

  19. TheKhakinator says:

    This ROCKS… hope they’re buying at wholesale rates.

  20. Agent420 says:

    @ reklipz : “… Firmware was written in BASIC …” Suspicions confirmed!

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with BASIC, provided you use an effecient compiler rather than an interpreter as this product uses. The Bascom Compiler for the AVR micros is an excellent example of how well this can be done.

    I find many modern implementations of Basic to be very power and easy to use, often able to code more quickly than C, but C has the definite advantage of being a standardized language with cross compatibility.

  21. Agent420 says:

    … speaking of which, I note this micro module is specd at 115000 instructions/sec… That seems rather slow in today’s multi-mhz age.

    And $70 seems a bit expensive for a micro module.

  22. watavr says:

    $70 ???

    You can get a more powerful avr128 stamp from futurelec for $20…

  23. Hacksaw says:

    I wired communications for the 2008 republican national convention.the giant screen behind the stage was an array of a commercial version of this project…all I can say is AWESOME I have been wondering if there was someone working on a DIY version this is too cool!

  24. bronko says:

    is there more information about the display ? their website doesn’t give more info away.

    its exactly how rossitron mentioned, every frame is repeated several times to achieve 140Hz. but the high output framerate is only necessary when filming the display or making pictures because of the short exposure time speed of the camera.
    most commercial displays have 400-800Hz and you can test them using a SLR camera and setting the exposure time to 1/800s or below.
    its because the brightness of the LEDs is controlled through a PWM

  25. 32*32*3 = 3072… Woow, that’s a lot of leds…

  26. Hmm, actually, the original post says 1000 leds, I wonder if their calculator was written in BASIC too: 32*32*3 == 1000?

  27. adc says:

    @ frank

    I believe those are RGB leds, no need for the *3

  28. Dale Kubin says:

    It was a typo. 32×32 =1024. The LEDs are RGB so there is acutally 3072. We did it with BASIC to show it could be done. 115,000 ips is a complete command loop. This wouldn’t change much even if it were in C. The renesas CPU is true 32bit AVR is 8bit. The AtomPro is available for less than $50.00. It has a graphic in circuit debugger where most don’t.

    There will be more. Next is a wall of 40.

  29. JD says:

    This is awesome. I’ve thought about building one, until I did the math of how much the LEDs would cost. RGB LEDs of significant brightness are multi-dollar items (even in bulk), which makes a small panel thousands of dollars. Unless you don’t care about brightness, then its still $1000.

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