Arduino Drives A 600-Character Display

[Peterthinks] admits he’s no cabinet maker, so his projects use a lot of hot glue. He also admits he’s no video editor. However, his latest video uses some a MAX7219 to create a 600 character scrolling LED sign. You can see a video of the thing, below. Spoiler alert: not all characters are visible at once.

The heart of the project is a MAX7219 4-in-1 LED display that costs well under $10. The board has four LED arrays resulting in a display of 8×32 LEDs. The MAX7219 takes a 16-bit data word over a 10 MHz serial bus, so programming is pretty easy.

The MAX chip can decode for seven-segment displays or just allow you to light up the outputs directly, which is what the code here does. You can cascade the chips, so it is possible to string more than one of these modules together.

The code is available on Dropbox. The code is extremely simple due to the use of the Parola library and a MAX72XX library. We’ve seen a number of projects based around this chip. Some of the uses are pretty novel.

7 thoughts on “Arduino Drives A 600-Character Display

  1. I just got mine 8×8 (4×1) module in the mail earlier this week! I’m glad to see this project here, and I’m glad to see a link to the library for it. There are multiple libraries out there, and this one sounds like a good implementation of it.

    1. This is also an 8k display… but not all pixels are available at the same.
      Some would even say that this is a good article… but not all text was visible to all readers at the same time.

  2. I did an 11×132 display using the three 11×44 ARGB LED matrices that scrolls a lot more than 600 characters using an Arduino Nano. This is easy peasy piddly. Yeesh. I was expecting a display of all 600 characters.

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