IOT Message Board Puts Fourteen-Segment Displays To Work

We’re not sure, but the number of recognizable alphanumeric characters that a seven-segment display can manage seems to have more to do with human pattern recognition than engineering. It takes some imagination, and perhaps a little squinting, to discern some characters, though. Arguably better is the fourteen-segment display, which has been pressed into service in this just-for-funsies IOT message board.

As [Steve] tells the story, this is one of those “boredom-buster” projects that start with a look through the junk bin to see what presents itself. In his case, some fourteen-segment common-cathode LEDs presented themselves, and the result was a simple but fun build. [Steve] used some clever methods to get the display stuffed onto two protoboards, including mounting the current-limiting resistors cordwood-style between the boards. A Raspberry Pi drives the display through a very neatly routed ribbon cable, and the whole thing lives in a tidy wooden box.

The IOT part of the build allows the display to show messages entered on [Steve]’s web page, with a webcam live stream to close the loop. Strangely, the display seems stuck on the “HI HACKADAY!” we entered as a test after [Steve] tipped us off, so we’re not sure if we busted it or what. Apologies if we did, [Steve]. And by the way, if your cats are named [Nibble] and [Pixel], well done!

No matter what you do with them, multi-segment displays are pretty cool. But if you think they’re something new, you’ve got another think coming.

4 thoughts on “IOT Message Board Puts Fourteen-Segment Displays To Work

  1. Yup, they’re [Pixel] and [Nibble]. Of course, contrary to expectation, [Nibble] is not actually a computer-related name. He earned it because he enjoys lightly nibbling on things and people. :-)

  2. I like the led segments you used. I made a 21 segment dot matrix message board that doubles as atomic clock about 7 years ago with esp8266. Had a few issues with daylight savings but fix that about 5 years ago. Been running ever since.

  3. Thanks! Displays are great fun… Who knows what I’ll do with this one when the “let the Internet play with it” novelty wears off…

    Or I’ll find something else to do. Never know what. =)

  4. Thanks for showing the project and the source files
    Short the links you coud have put better in ONE place, links heh?


    I do not agree. Do not downplay “old” technology.
    LED displays are the way to go when it comeds to READABILITY even in the sunlight.
    Think of those users like me , the older poeple with weak eyesight.
    The big shining bright LED displays are godsend. The often do way better than the LCD, even when those have backlights.

    See this LED display.
    The maker thanksfully turned the YT hit counter to a NTP clock.

    One complaint
    Can the stuff like this run locally only, no f** IOT crap please?

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