How To Build Your Own Giant Digit Grid

Today´s post presents a great article for almost everybody. Whether you like real making from scratch, writing code or just working with an FPGA, keep reading.

Somehow the author was fascinated by LED digit displays at some point in his life and so he decided he had to build his own giant LED digit grid. The final design consists of 64 panels of 7-segment digits displays (8 taking into account the decimal point), a total of 4096 LEDs! These diodes are grouped by 16, each group having its own PCB with input and output headers and a LED driver/controller. Then the whole design is controlled by a Spartan 3E FPGA. This guy chose to write the animations on Processing and send them over the FPGA serial port. So you can see there are candies for every taste in this store.

Read the full article to find out that the first draft of the design did not include the use of an FPGA…In the end it did and so did the Verilog code.

The schematic and the layout are given so those who love the smell of the solder can get straight hands on. And code guys are also lucky, there is no Verilog provided and just an example of a processing sketch for displaying the first 512 digits of pi, so you can do what you love to.

Like I said, a great project for everyone.



By Skot

News: EagleUp For Viewing Hardware Designs In Google SketchUp


Here’s an interesting article we found on Hackaday about a software solution called EagleUp, which can open your PCB designs in SketchUp and will give you a 3-d rendering of your hardware.

“This is a wonderful way to make sure that your enclosure designs are going to work without needing to wait for the PCBs to arrive from the fab house. It is available for Windows, OSX and Linux…”

Check out the original article after the jump, and feel free to weigh in in the comments section.  Has anyone used this yet?  What did you think?

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