LED array uses ridiculous amount of 14-segment displays

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

    1. 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? :-)

    1. 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.

  1. “This means project creators can’t suggest what the product might do in the future.”

    Thank God..

    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..

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