A beautiful 16x16 RGB LED Matrix using discrete 5 mm LEDs and controlled with DM13A sink drivers.Designed by Kamprath Hacks in United States of America
What is it? This is a DIY kit to make a 16 by 16 RGB LED matrix consisting of discrete 5 mm RGB LEDs and a controller board design to be driven by a micro-controller. Using a dual board design, thi...Read More…
This is a DIY kit to make a 16 by 16 RGB LED matrix consisting of discrete 5 mm RGB LEDs and a controller board design to be driven by a micro-controller. Using a dual board design, this kit yields a beautiful RGB LED matrix with a 6 mm pitch that is suitable for displaying LED image art or as a display for simple, retro video games. The kit is simple enough to enable tinkering with LED matrices in general, allowing you to learn how such systems work.
You can buy pre-made LED matrices, and these are pretty convenient if you want to quickly get going with a matrix. However, I don't think they look good. I strongly prefer the aesthetics of the a discrete RGB LED with a diffused lens. However, most matrices that use discrete LEDs (my own older kits included) do not space the discrete LEDs densely, resulting in a display doesn't look the best. So I set out to design a discrete LED matrix that looked good, and this kit is the culmination of that project.
This kit allows you to create a beautiful matrix suitable for framing. You can get both the satisfaction of building the matrix and the enjoyment creating fun full color images with the matrix's 256 RGB LEDs. Furthermore, the simple design of this matrix enable some advanced features. The 16x16 matrix board's is electrically laid out as 4 independent 8x8 RGB LED matrices. This allows the tinkerer to experiment with alternate drivers for the matrix. The included driver board leverages the DM13A constant current sink drivers and logic level MOSFETs to create a stable image at varying levels of brightness.
This kit requires moderate soldering skills, and thus would not be appropriate for first time solderers. While every part in this kit only requires through-hole soldering (no surface mount soldering!), the most challenging aspect of its construction is soldering the fine pitch RGB LED leads without creating solder bridges. To do this, it is highly recommend that flux be generously used when soldering the LEDs. Similarly, it is recommended to use flux cleaner to wash the board when soldering is completed.
If you use the recommended driver library to manage this matrix, most entry level micro-controller development boards, such as the Arduino Uno or Nano, do not have enough RAM to manage a matrix his size. The recommended driver library uses a double buffer approach to ensure a stable image while enabling programmatic image management. It is recommended that you use a 32-bit micro-controller board, such as the Teensy or ESP32, to drive this matrix. This matrix has also been tested successfully with an ATmega1284P micro-controller. You could choose to write your own driver and forego some of the more advanced features of the recommended driver library. In that case, with some effort and cleverness, you could drive this matrix with an Arduino Uno.
Parts are included that give you the choice of running this board at high levels of current, and thus at high brightness, or at lower levels of current and brightness. At the brightest setting, this board can draw well over 1 amp of current. As a result, at the brightest setting this matrix cannot be powers by a micro-controller development board alone. An additional 5V power supply would be needed. At the lowest setting, the matrix is still adequately bright to be viewable in sunlight and can be powered by the 5V USB power frequently powering the micro-controller board.
A micro-controller development board is not included with this kit.
This kit contains the following parts:
|16x16 RGB LED Matrix PCB||1|
|Matrix driver PCB||1|
|5 mm Common Anode RGB LED||265|
|1X6 Right Angle Male Pin Header||1|
|1x7 Female pin socket||1|
|2x24 Male Pin Header||2|
|2x8 Male Pin Header||2|
|2x24 Female Pin Header||2|
|2x8 Female Pin Header||2|
|10K Ω SIP9 Resistor Network||1|
|2K Ω SIP7 Resistor Network||1|
|4.7K Ω SIP7 Resistor Network||1|
|10K Ω SIP7 Resistor Network||1|
|1K Ω SIP5 Resistor Network||2|
|10K Ω Resistor||1|
|1K Ω Resistor||8|
|0.1 µF Capacitor||7|
|24P IC Socket||6|
|16P IC Socket||1|
|M2 PCB Standoff and nut||4|
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