Bring a little bit of Times Square into your home with this 64×32 square RGB LED matrix panel. These panels are normally used to make video walls, but in New York they are seen on the sides of buses and bus stops, to display animations or short video clips. Adafruit thought they looked really cool so they picked up a few boxes of them from a factory.
This version is the 5mm pitch 64×32 RGB LED Matrix. Please note you cannot use an Arduino UNO to drive this size, its way too big! Use an Arduino Mega, Raspberry Pi, BBB or other device that can handle displaying to RGB matricies and has plenty of RAM.
This matrix has 2048 bright RGB LEDs arranged in a 64×32 grid on the front. On the back there are two IDC connectors (one input, one output: in theory you can chain these together) and 12 16-bit latches that allow you to drive the display with a 1:16 scan rate.
These displays are technically ‘chainable’ – connect one output to the next input – but Adafruit’s Arduino example code does not support this (yet).
- A single 64×32 RGB panel,
- An IDC cable
- A plug in power cable
- Also included is 4 mounting screws and mini-magnets (it appears these are often mounted on a magnetic base).
Keep in mind that these displays are designed to be driven by FPGAs or other high speed processors: they do not have built in PWM control of any kind. Instead, you’re supposed to redraw the screen over and over to ‘manually’ PWM the whole thing. On a 16 MHz Arduino Mega, Adafruit managed to squeeze 12-bit color (4096 colors) with 40% CPU usage but this display would really shine if driven by any FPGA, CPLD, Propeller, XMOS or other high speed multi-core controller. The good news is that the display is pre-white balanced with nice uniformity so if you turn on all the LEDs it’s not a particularly tinted white.
Of course, we wouldn’t leave you with a datasheet and a “good luck!” Adafruit has full wiring diagrams and working Arduino library code with examples from drawing pixels, lines, rectangles, circles and text. You’ll get your color blasting within the hour! On an Arduino, you’ll need 16 digital pins, and about 3200 bytes of RAM to buffer the 12-bit color image.
- The back of the matrix will either be green or black
- This product may come with one or two power connections
- There may be a short coupling data cable installed in the center
- Dimensions: 318mm x 158mm x 15mm / 12.5” x 6.2” x 0.6”
- Panel weight with IDC cables and power cables: 453g
- 5V regulated power input @ ~4A (with all LEDs on)
- 5V logic
- 1/16 scan rate
- Indoor display, 160 degree visibility
- Displays are ‘chainable’ – connect one output to the next input – but Adafruit’s Arduino example code does not support this yet