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Science is Wonderful

4 January 2009 3 Comments
Science is Wonderful

Kids are like giant sponges. I finally got my Arduino powered RGB LED Matrix soldered together and firing on all cylinders last night. I wrote a simple interface in Processing and then showed the kids after lunch today. Within about 30seconds they were having fun turning on and off lights. Here’s the result:

They saw how things were linked together, how a click on the screen lit a dot on the matrix and it was simple enough but yet they could quickly make shapes and letters. They got a big kick out of it and I’m really glad to be able to expose them to science and learning at such an early age.

If you’re interested in a closer look at the matrix driver circuit, checkout the gallery here:


  • Jaume said:

    Did you made Pulse with modulation with shift registers? How could you make new colors since you said you were limited to 6+1 colors.


  • Francis said:

    Hi Jaume, to answer your question, yes I found some code to do Pulse Width Modulation over shift registers. At time of writing I was limited to R, G, B, RG, RB, GB or RGB. With the PWM you can have colors that are partial-on.

    I have a post in draft that’ll include the code. As you can see from the pictures in the gallery lots of colors are possible. I have 16 shades of Red, Green and Blue so that’s 16x16x16 = 4096 in all I guess. It’s very hard to take photos or video that capture the variation of the colors but in real-life it looks pretty good.

    Since writing this I’ve also made a nice case for it that you can checkout here: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ixT6QrC1MWkoiO6cHRVVNg?feat=directlink

    What do you think?

  • Jaume said:

    Amazing!! I asked because i saw the pictures and i thought there were more than 7 colors.

    I’m wating for the code, if it’s possible :) I’ll try it with RG Led MAtrix, because i don’t have a RGB one.

    So thank you for the answer.

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