What do you do if you see a bunch of 14-segment LED displays for sale for a penny a piece? [Fritzler], when faced with that conundrum did what any of us would do – he bought 64 14-segment displays and built a huge 16×4 alphanumeric display (German, here’s the translation).
[Fritzler] found a cache of old East German 14-segment displays for €0.01 at electrobi.de (don’t bother, they’re out of stock), and the only thing he could think of was building a gigantic display. He used ULN2803 Darlington drivers for each LED module, but there was still the issue of controlling the entire display.
For that, [Fritzler] decided to make his 16×4 use the same protocol as the Hitachi HD44780 LCD controller. This meant [Fritzler] could wire up his gigantic, power-hungry display to a microcontroller as if it were a simple LCD display.
An amazing amount of work went in to the creation of this display, as evidenced by a pair of pictures showing what [Fritzler] had to solder.
Thanks [freax] for sending this one in.
27 thoughts on “LED Array Uses Ridiculous Amount Of 14-segment Displays”
If anyone can work out how to make electrobi.de do international shipping to the UK, let me know :D
I’m trying to order some items too, I registered but there’s nowhere to put country other than Germany :/
Well, I tried. I put Tschechien after the city name and put the order through paypal. I think there must be many German HAD readers buying up the 7 seg displays, as I had to submit the order several times after removing certain items that went out of stock as I was trying to order. Well, what are the odds that I’ll receive anything huh? :-)
Got my order today, delivered to Czech Republic. They made mistake though and they exchanged some parts. At least I got it.
Wow good work!
Don’t you love the descent of socialism into the world toilet? It let’s ton of good gear hit the market at pennies on the Ruble!
wow! love the display !
i want one
wow! liebe das Display!
Ich möchte ein
Laughed because of the displayed message.
what does it say?
“fuer die” = “für die” = “for the”
“weltherrschaft” = “world domination”
Another proof that he communists just didn’t make proper use of their stuff. No wonder they collapsed.
In that light the message is priceless.
hm i see them in stock :D
The 14-segment ones?
I can’t remember any popular device that used 14-segment displays in the GDR, but here’s a washing machine that uses the 7-segment version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2xRG9hIdik&t=30s
Look for GDR’s educational computer kits.
Or make a travel to Berlin. There is a Computer Museum / GameComputer Museum. You may find some devices using alpha-display.
Gevin the decade old LED there is no place for mockery. Many engeniers in the GDR made a lot of tools widely used in western countries. Sold for cheap in transit via Retailers Otto-Versand, Quelle , Platinum, Braun.
Thats not 14 Segment, its 16 Segments ;)
And yes, theire out of stock, i bought 200 pieces (wanted 400 but limitations…)
“He used ULN2803 Darlington drivers for each LED module” Nope, its Multiplexed ;)
“In that light the message is priceless.” INDEED!
Production year is august 1990.
Yes, 16 Segment
Here the Datasheet (only in German):
First thought: Program a CPLD to act like a HD44780 to control the whole 16×4 array!
Oh wow. I just took a look at the inventory. How come they’re so cheap?
I’m currently in germany, so I’m gonna be broke if I start ordering now…
absolutely gorgeous circuitry. wonderful.
“This means project creators can’t suggest what the product might do in the future.”
Nothing is worse than working and seeing people who have literally done nothing but sensationalize something they know nothing about, and have taken zero initiative to produce, get a years salary of free money..
Call me an A-Hole but I think making people earn things, or even at least show a capable initiative, is the most balances socialism there is..
Ignore that comment.. I’m just glad they make a solid prerequisite that keeps incompetent people and scammers out of the system..
Interesting how this was on an entirely different entry 20 minutes ago..
Why oh why did he only buy 64? I would have bought the full stock!
I think he bought 200.
I bought 200, but only 32 pieces fit on a 10x16cm PCB (euroformat).
2x PCB -> 64 pices (16×4).
And 8lines with 16 chars? hmm…
…were a simple LCD display.
Argh. LED-display, but LC-display. Sorry, I’m getting old and enjoy the grumpiness that comes with age..
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