Octoscroller takes the Hexascroller to the next level

octosc2

The folks at NYCResistor have a new toy in the Octoscroller. For a couple of years now the NYCResistor crew has used the HexaScroller as a clock and general alert system. Now that RGB LED panels are cheaply available, the group decided to upgrade both the number of sides and the number of colors.

Octoscroller uses eight 16×32 RGB LED panels. These panels are relatively easy to interface to, but require constant refresh even to display a static image. This makes them both memory and CPU intensive for smaller microcontrollers. Brightness control via PWM only increases the difficulty.

On the plus side, the panels are structurally strong. This allows the Octoscroller to avoid the plywood ring which made up the frame of the Hexascroller. 3D printed brackets and hardware were all that was needed to complete the Octoscroller frame.

The brain of the this beast is a BeagleBone Black running LEDscape along with some custom software. Imagery comes from the Disorient Pyramid.

If you’re in the New York area, NYCResistor plans to offer classes on building your own Octoscroller.  You can also see the Octoscroller in person at MakerFaire NYC this weekend.

Comments

  1. noouch says:

    Next step: infinite sides, Circlescroller!

  2. Galane says:

    How much did it cost to build? Would need 20×30, 600 panels, to make a 640×480 video display.

  3. Blue Footed Booby says:

    I misread the title as “hexapod” instead of “hexascroller” and thought it was an insane light-up bug robot. Was disappointed. :V

  4. If they took the hexascroller to the next level, wouldn’t it be the septascroller? I think somebody skipped a level…

  5. wernicke says:

    anyone else think of the octospiders in Arthur C Clarke’s Rama books?

  6. Whatnot says:

    On the subject of refresh; intel made a push to have monitors refresh themselves so computers can be mad powersaving by switching off the display electronics when nothing is happening on the screen. It seemed interesting but I fear it’s hard to convince monitor makers.
    But anyway, if that would to take off it would be interesting for hackers too I imagine, being able to push an image to a monitor and then switch off again.

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