A simple, self-contained 7-segment display


It’s no secret that seven-segment displays are an easy and useful way to relay data, so [Kelvyn Panici] decided to put together a minimalst, self-contained display for use around the house.

The display itself is a 16-digit model he picked up from DealExtreme for under $10. He wanted to find a microcontroller small enough to fit behind the display’s footprint, so he chose an ATtiny85 to control it. After mounting the mcu on a small piece of perfboard, he burned the Arduino bootloader and uploaded a small sketch to drive the display.

Things worked out quite well as you can see by the video below where he shows off a pre-perfboard prototype. [Kelvyn] currently does not have any immediate projects in the works that will utilize the display, though there are a plethora of possibilities. We think it would work great anywhere if it were fitted with a battery and some sort of wireless radio in order to make it completely self-contained.


  1. NatureTM says:

    I saw these the other day on DX and thought I’d mention what I bought instead: http://www.dealextreme.com/p/8x-digital-tube-8x-key-8x-double-color-led-module-81873
    I think it would work nicely for a midi pattern controller. It uses only 3 control pins and can be chained together. Also worth mentioning — I bought it over a week ago and they’re still “waiting for supplier.” It might be awhile before I get to use them.

  2. Jenna Fox says:

    ATTiny85’s do not have a bootloader feature. They did not burn a bootloader to it, as none exist for this chip.

  3. sc0rch3d says:

    i would love this! the 2 things i need in the morning – weather for the day and a countdown timer for when i have to leave the house. :)

  4. Guilherme says:

    Be warned, I’ve been waiting on this since December. Dealextreme probably didn’t have a lot of them, so they definitely seem to be waiting on the supplier… but since it’s only 8 bucks I didn’t cancel it, let’s see how long it takes.

    I did by other stuff from the same supplier (JY-MCU) and got that already… a very cheap bluetooth serial module.

  5. CodeAsm says:

    I also ordered 1 in december 2011 and mine arrived 2 weeks ago.
    I cant seem to get the library to compile but im looking for help and advice elsewhere :P Its a awesome display and using the Buspirate it works, anyway I can say that DX takes a long time, and now chinese new years over maybe they are getting quicker again. Goodluckbuy also has awesome stuff, no JY-MCU :( but on ebay there’s alott. Cheap to :)

  6. Stef says:

    I also ordered on the 8 january some arduino part on DX , it s don’t arrived yet , but the projetc look like http://www.dealextreme.com/p/jy-mcu-16x-digital-tube-yellow-led-module-104311 .
    And this one will be nice too : http://www.dealextreme.com/p/jy-mcu-16x-digital-tube-yellow-led-module-104311

  7. Mike says:

    anyone know if this 16x strip can be daisy chained together like the 8x strips people are mentioning in the comments

  8. Boyan says:

    Any documentation on the commands and data format used to control the module?

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