The Partyscroller LED Display

As [Plasma2002] put it, “Those jumbo screens at concerts that display your text messages can be a lot of fun. Wouldn’t it be great if you could have the same thing for your own parties or social gatherings?” The answer to this question came in the form of this hack, a scrolling marquee sign that guests simply had to text to get it to display messages. Apparently guests at the party loved the device, and who wouldn’t?

More importantly for [HAD] though, is that [Plasma2002] decided to show everyone how it’s done. He gives us an overview of the process via a nicely illustrated block diagram, then breaks everything down into the actual code used. A Google voice account is used as the dial-in number and everything is kept anonymous. A “bad-word” filter is used to keep everything semi-appropriate.

Really a cool device, and one that we hope will show up at hacker’s parties everywhere. Who knows, maybe something like this could enjoy mainstream success as well. Check out the video after the break to see this device in action! [Read more...]

Faux LED scroller using phosphorescence

poor_mans_phosphorescent_led_scroller

Hackaday reader [BGR] wrote in to share a video he put together showing off a cool “poor man’s LED scroller” that he built. Rather than build a huge array of LEDs, spending tons of time time wiring and programming, he decided to use only a handful of LEDs on a moving display instead.

The scroller is built upon a PIC16F887 microcontroller which resides on an EasyPIC6 dev board he borrowed for the project. The PIC controls a strip of eight bright white LEDs, which are used to write text on a long strip of phosphorescent paper that can be found at many printing supply outfits. The paper’s dispensing mechanism was cobbled together with parts from several sources, including  a laser printer and VCR.

When he wants to display a message, he inputs text into a flash application he wrote. The app sends the LED byte values to his scroller via a separate serial proxy that talks to the pic over his computer’s COM port.

The effect is pretty slick, looking similar to a slow-moving diffused LED scroller. The messages disappear after about 5 minutes in a pitch black room, which is perfect, since he originally intended to use the device for displaying Twitter updates. He is already considering a second revision of the project, which he wants to mount on the wall – sounds great to us!

Be sure to swing by YouTube to see the video, or continue reading to watch it here.

[Read more...]