Neo7Segment displays are RGB LED based 7 Segment boards that you can chain together and control via any micro-controller just like you would control a strip of RGB LEDs. They just require VCC, GND ...Read More…
Neo7Segment displays are RGB LED based 7 Segment boards that you can chain together and control via any micro-controller just like you would control a strip of RGB LEDs. They just require VCC, GND and Data from a GPIO.
The Neo7Segment Arduino library allows you to simply pass your display a string of text, and have it not only display the text, but animate it's colours in vibrant and exciting ways!
The Neo7Segment Arduino library requires the Adafruit Neopixel library to be installed and the LEDs on the boards are WS2812B and SK6812 packages.
The project started out as a "I wonder if this would work, and what type of library would I need to write to make the displays useful" and then I started a youtube maker channel, and used my first proto-type boards to make a colourful and animated subscriber counter - doh! Of course I did!
That got me super excited about the possibilities, so I finalised the board design and went to town on the library adding all sorts of cool effects, including some that don't even use numbers or characters, like Knightrider!
Each Neo7Segment display measures approximately 45mm * 75mm, and they are much bigger than regular 7 segment displays, so are great for building signs and displays that are super impactful up close and from a distance.
The Arduino library supports as many characters and numbers as it's possible to display, but of course, adding more is as easy as extending an array in the library!
The library also includes the ability to set each Neo7Segment digit individually, as well as sending a byte to a digit to set each segment individually, to display anything you like!
This kit requires surface mount assembly and due to the nature of the plastic construction of the RGB LED's it is not advisable to attempt construction with a soldering iron.
As each LED is made from plastic, please reflow using 138deg C or max 182deg C solder paste.
I have made the board designs open hardware, and I have included the EagleCAD files and Gerber files in the Neo7Segment Github repository along side the Neo7Segment library.
Each RGB LED (29 per board) can draw up to 60mA, so please keep power draw in mind when chaining Neo7Segment digits together and using power from a micro-controller. We recommend powering your digits from a seperate power supply capable of delivering 5V and up to 4-6 Amps to ensure no damage is done to your micro-controller.
If you'd like to know more about my journey designing the Neo7Segment, I have a lots of info available here...
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Packages with multiple displays might be split into multi-part smaller packages, depending on destination.
David | May 23, 2018
Stephen | May 16, 2018
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