Faux LED scroller using phosphorescence


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.

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