"8-bit" letter sign build with 432 LEDs

While browsing around on Alibaba, I ran across those 4x4 LED matrix pieces that are 30mm x 30mm square. I had this notion to create a 8 bit letter similiar to the fonts found in the consoles of yesterday.

I kind of knew what to expect but I was still completely blown away when I got it running! This letter B has 27 “pixels” with 16 LEDs each for 432 total. Most 2D patterns are running between 20-30 fps on a pixelblaze v3.

I still have 6 more letters to do to complete the sign. I’m starting to think that one PB isn’t going to deliver something ~20-30 fps when all seven letters are joined up. My napkin math indicates 2656 LEDs all together. Would the the output expander help here or am I better off having one PB per letter and synchronize them?


What kind of chip are they? WS2812b-ish or APA102-ish?

I’m not qualified to answer the multi-PB vs expander question, but the chip type might be relevant. I suspect you’re on the edge and the final answer might depend on exactly how complex you want to make the patterns.

… but really I am just writing to say that this looks awesome :relaxed:

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Very cool!

Yes the expander will help out quite a bit for WS2812, depending on the patterns. Probably not enough for the entire thing. You can configure your PB as if you had one to see what kind of FPS you’d get. I’d guess 18fps or so.

thank you! and correct, they are WS2812 type.

i have it in the budget to run a PB on each letter if necessary but I’d love if I could treat the whole sign as a single mapped item. i’ll try doing the complete mapping and see what rates we’re getting.