A much larger rainbow board of many ping pongs

[George] started with an 8×8 grid, but just couldn’t help himself from upscaling to this 32×16 pixel ping pong ball display. That’s right, It’s a 512 pixel array of fully addressable RGB LEDs diffused with one ping pong ball each.

We featured the predecessor to this project back in January. That one was an 8×8 display using a Rainbowduino as the controller. [George] took what he learned from that build and expanded upon it. The larger display is modular. Each module starts as an 8×8 grid which connects back to the Arduino using a breakout shield with some Ethernet jacks used as quick connects. The LEDs are driven by 595 shift registers, with transistors which protect the logic chips from the currents being switched.

He had a lot of help soldering all the connections for the display and ended up bringing it to show off at the Manchester mini maker faire. See it in action in the video after the break.


  1. ino says:

    Even if it’s the same old “led matrix” type of projet, this one makes me jealous :)
    So pretty !

  2. svofski says:

    “The LEDs are driven by 595 shift registers, with transistors which protect the logic chips from the currents being switched.”

    Transistors are probably switching currents, that’s what they do, and hardly protecting anything.

  3. AO says:

    For a moment I read 595 as the *quantity* of shift registers (as opposed to the type)!

  4. Greg says:

    It would be awesome to play Pong on this Display =D

  5. Crazy Person says:

    Wanted: High speed/low latency 640×480 grid of this! Too bad the costs would be prohibitive. 300k RGB LEDs, even at a cent a piece would still cost me three grand and that’s before hooking it up to any type of input architecture.

  6. rockets4kids says:

    For larger displays, go with a borderless, modular approach and build boards as time/funds permit.

    Also, does anyone have a good source for cheap ping pong balls?

  7. ApexLogic says:

    Modular approach is the way to go. Save your sanity.

  8. ginge says:

    Manchester maker faire is this weekend! Woo.
    come visit on 28th & 29th

  9. MorbiousStone says:

    but can I play doom on it?

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