This PCB is specially made to match the Adafruit 4×4 elastomer keypad. Each Trellis PCB has 4×4 pads and 4×4 matching spots for 3mm LEDs. The circuitry on-board handles the background key-presses and LED lighting for the 4×4 tile. However, it does not have any microcontroller or other ‘brains’ – an Arduino (or similar microcontroller) is required to control the Trellis to read the keypress data and let it know when to light up LEDs as desired.
Each tile has an I2C-controlled LED sequencer and keypad reader already on it. The chip can control all 16 LEDs individually, turning them on or off. It cannot do grayscale or dimming. The same chip also reads any keypresses made with the rubber keypad. The connections are ‘diode multiplexed’ so you do not have to worry about “ghosting” when pressing multiple keys, each key is uniquely addressed.
The tiles have 3 address jumpers. You can tile up to 8 PCBs together (for a total of 4×32 or 16×8=128 buttons/leds) on a single I2C bus, as long as each one has a unique address. All the tiles connect by the edges with solder, and share the same power, ground, interrupt, and i2c clock/data pins. So, you can easily set up to 128 LEDs and read up to 128 buttons using only 2 I2C wires! The tiles can be arranged in any configuration they want as long as each tile is connected to another with the 5 edge-fingers.
Each LED is multiplexed with a constant-current driver, so you can mix and match any colors you like. You don’t need it to be all blue, all red, etc. Mix it up! Any 3mm LED can be used, although we find that diffused LEDs with 250mcd+ brightness look best.
This item is just for the Trellis driver PCB assembly: LEDs and buttons not included. You’ll probably want to pick up a matching button pad (see below) and also some 3mm diffused LEDs (we suggest red, blue or white which look best). Some soldering is required to put the LEDs into the PCB, and then attach wires that go from each Trellis to an Arduino microcontroller (or whatever microcontroller you prefer).
NEW PRODUCT – Silicone Elastomer 4×4 Button Keypad – for 3mm LEDs – So squishy! These silicone elastomer keypads are just waiting for your fingers to press them. Go ahead, squish all you like! (They’re durable and easy to clean, just wipe with mild soap and water) These are just like the light up rubber buttons you find on stuff like appliances and tools, but these are open source and easy to integrate into your next project.
Each button is 10mm x 10mm square and 10mm tall. There is 5mm of grid spacing between the buttons. You can ’tile’ the button pads edge-to-edge and they’ll grid up correctly. You can also cut the pads down if you like, the silicone is very soft. The way they’re molded, they give about 3mm of travel when pressed for a very satisfying feel. They are completely quiet, however.
NEW PRODUCT – BlinkyTape by Blinkinlabs – BlinkyTape is a very special LED strip, taking the smarts of NeoPixels and combining it with an Arduino-compatible for an all-in-one ready to go design. You don’t have to source your own microcontroller, power supply or connectors. Simply plug in a standard USB battery pack or wall charger, and you’re good to blink.
BlinkyTape has 60 independently controllable full-color RGB LEDs, all wrapped up in a weather-resistant silicone case. All this is powered by a integrated light processor (e.g. Atmega32u4 microcontroller) which has a standard micro-USB connector. This means you can connect it to a battery or power supply to run on its own, or it can talk to a computer for interactive installations.
When you first plug in your BlinkyTape, you’ll be greeted by a colorful rainbow pattern. But the fun doesn’t stop there: the BlinkyTape comes with a full set of companion software to make it easy for you to make the patterns and effects you want. You can graphically draw pattens and animations the LED strip using PatternPaint (http://blinkinlabs.com/software/patternpaint/). If dynamic lighting is more your style, check out our Processing library (http://blinkinlabs.com/blinkytape/docs/processing/) — it has a range of examples that allow you to create an LED light soundtrack to your favorite tunes, a backlight for your monitor, and more!
NEW PRODUCTS – Small 1.2″ 8×8 Ultra Bright White LED Matrix + Backpack – Make a scrolling sign, or a small video display with this 8×8 gridded cool white LED matrix. Only 1.2″ on a side, it is quite visible but not so large it won’t plug into a breadboard! 64 white 250mcd LEDs are contained inside the plastic body, in an 8×8 matrix. There are 16 pins on the side, 8 on each, with 0.1″ spacing so you can easily plug it into a breadboard with one row on each side for wiring it up.
Since the display is in a grid, you’ll need to 1:8 multiplex control it. We suggest either using a 74HC595 and TPIC6B595 (using the 74HC’ to control the 8 anodes at once and then using the TPIC’ to drive one cathode at a time) or just using a single MAX7219 which will do the multiplexing work for you.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit! The DIY 3D printing community has passion and dedication for making solid objects from digital models. Recently, we have noticed electronics projects integrated with 3D printed enclosures, brackets, and sculptures, so each Thursday we celebrate and highlight these bold pioneers!
Have you considered building a 3D project around an Arduino or other microcontroller? How about printing a bracket to mount your Raspberry Pi to the back of your HD monitor? And don’t forget the countless LED projects that are possible when you are modeling your projects in 3D!
The Adafruit Learning System has dozens of great tools to get you well on your way to creating incredible works of engineering, interactive art, and design with your 3D printer! If you’ve made a cool project that combines 3D printing and electronics, be sure to let us know, and we’ll feature it here!
Bradley from the Adafruit Community spotted this and shared it with us: Tail Lights: LED Wearable Safety Indicators for Your Next Horse Ride. I particularly appreciated the photo showing options they considered before the locked in on the bright RGB LED strips they are using here. A TRON horse costume might win you some points in the barn and the yard, but be less safe an indicator on the side of the highway:
On a cool November evening Sami, our founder, and her friend were riding both of Sami’s horses back to the barn. Despite living in an equestrian community and using reflectors, Sami’s horse and her friend were struck by a car. It was a hit and run.
Although her friend was thankfully unharmed, her horse Afar was not. Thousands of dollars later in veterinarian expenses Sami made it her mission to design and develop the most advanced safety lighting system for horses the world has ever seen.
That is how Tail Lights, the product, was born. She wanted a bright, versatile, tough, yet beautiful way to make her and any others horses presence on the road known.
…The Tail Lights family hope that you love this product as much as we do. This product is made by horse people for horse people.
For Malmö music hack weekend (MMHW) I decided to hack something with LEDs. I had the idea of building a led wall that reacted on music and showed different animations. So I ordered 4 meters of 144 LED/m led stripes, a PSU to handel the load of 576 LEDs and a Teensy 3.0. Sadly I didn’t finish on time for the presentations and only had the LED wall running a test program to blind the audience with at the end of the hack.
Similar to my previous post on Interfacing BeagleBone Black with Adafruit 7-segment LED display, I have hooked up the Adafruit 8×8 LED matrix with I2C “backpack”. This means the matrix is connected with just 4 wires (3.3VDC, GND, SDA, SCL) to the BeagleBone Black (e.g. BBB) which is mounted on the Adafruit BeagleBone Black Proto Plate.
Adafruit Mini 8×8 LED Matrix w/I2C Backpack – Red: What’s better than a single LED? Lots of LEDs! A fun way to make a small display is to use an 8×8 matrix or a 4-digit 7-segment display. Matrices like these are ‘multiplexed’ – so to control 64 LEDs you need 16 pins. That’s a lot of pins, and there are driver chips like the MAX7219 that can control a matrix for you but there’s a lot of wiring to set up and they take up a ton of space. Here at Adafruit we feel your pain! After all, wouldn’t it be awesome if you could control a matrix without tons of wiring? That’s where these adorable LED matrix backpacks come in. We have them in two flavors – a mini 8×8 and a 4-digit 0.56″ 7-segment. They work perfectly with the matrices we stock in the Adafruit shop and make adding a bright little display trivial. (read more)
NEW PRODUCT – RA8875 Driver Board for 40-pin TFT Touch Displays – 480×800 Max – Have you gazed longingly at large TFT displays – you know what I’m talking about here, 4″, 5″ or 7″ TFTs with up to 800×480 pixels. Then you look at your Arduino. You love your Arduino (you really do!) but there’s no way it can control a display like that, one that requires 60Hz refresh and 4 MHz pixel clocking. Heck, it doesn’t even have enough pins. I suppose you could move to ARM core processors with TTL display drivers built in but you’ve already got all these shields working and anyways you like small micros you’ve got.
What if I told you there was a driver chip that could fulfill those longings? A chip that can control up to 800×480 displays, and heck, a resistive touchscreen as well. All you need to give up is 5 or so SPI pins. Would you even believe me? Well, sit down because this product may shock you.
The RA8875 is a powerful TFT driver chip. It is a perfect match for any chip that wants to draw on a big TFT screen but doesn’t quite have the oomph (whether it be hardware or speed). Inside is 768KB of RAM, so it can buffer the display (and depending on the screen size also have double overlaying). The interface is SPI with a very basic register read/write method of communication (no strange and convoluted packets). The chip has a range of hardware-accelerated shapes such as lines, rectangles, triangles, ellipses, built in and round-rects. There is also a built in English/European font set (see the datasheet section 7-4-1 for the font table) This makes it possible to draw fast even over SPI.
On the PCB we have the main chip, level shifting so you can use safely with 3-5V logic. There is also a 3V regulator to provide clean power to the chip and the display. For the backlight, we put a constant-current booster that can provide 25mA or 50mA at up to 24V. The connector to the screen is a classic ’40 pin’ connector. All the 40-pin TFT’s in the Adafruit shop are known to work well. There are other 40-pin displays that have different pinouts or backlight management and these may not work – they may even damage the driver or TFT if the boost converter pushes 24V into the display logic pins! For that reason, we only recommend the displays we’ve tested and sell here.
To get you started we’ve written a graphics library that handles the basic interfacing, drawing and reading functions. Download the Adafruit RA8875 library from github and install as described in our tutorial. Connect a 40 pin TFT to the FPC port and wire up the SPI interface to an Arduino as described in the example code. Once started you’ll be able to see the graphic/text demo and then touch the screen to ‘paint’. For more advanced details on what the RA8875 can do (and it can do a lot) check the datasheet.
Each order comes with an assembled, tested RA8875 breakout and a stick of header. You’ll also need to purchase a 40-pin TFT screen. We currently have 4.3″ and 5.0″ screens available (see below).
NEW PRODUCTS – 4.3″ 480×272 & 5.0″ 800×480 40-pin TFT Displays with Touchscreen – These 4.3″ and 5.0″ TFT screen have lots of pixels (the 4.3″ has 480×272 and the 5.0″ has 800×480 to be exact) an LED backlight and a resistive touchscreen overlay. They’re great for when you need a lot of space for graphics or a user interface. These screens are commonly seen in consumer electronics, such as miniature TV’s, GPS’s, handheld games car displays, etc. A 40-pin connector has 8 red, 8 green, and 8 blue parallel pins, for 24 bit color capability.
These are “raw pixel-dot-clock” displays and do not have an SPI/parallel type controller or any kind of RAM. The displays are supposed to be constantly refreshed, at 60Hz, with a pixel clock, V sync, H sync, etc. There are some high end processors such as that used in the BeagleBone that can natively support such RGB TTL displays. However, it is extremely rare for a small microcontroller to support it, as you need dedicated hardware or a very fast processor such as an FPGA. Not only that, but the backlight requires a constant-current mode boost converter that can go as high as 24V instead of our other small displays that can run the backlight off of 5V.
For that reason, we are carrying these only as a companion to the Adafruit RA8875 driver board in the store, which is a chip that can handle the huge video RAM and timing requirements, all in the background. That’s the best way to interface these displays to just about any microcontroller (including Arduino & friends). If you are an advanced electronics enthusiast you can try wiring these directly to your processor, but we don’t have any support or tutorials for that purpose.
Nike’s LunarENDOR QS snowboard boot commands a whole new level of recognition. Impressive enough standing still, these LED-adorned beauties will mesmerize crowds as they rotate through the night sky at this season’s biggest snowboard competition finals. The swoosh’s 30 LEDs are powered by an embedded lithium ion battery, and it’s on/off switch is conveniently located atop the boot’s cuff so you can go UFO whenever the mood strikes.
I imagine you’re here because you have heard about the internet enabled fish tank, the world’s most advanced taking aquarium. I made it as a one-off project purely to push my technical skills to the limit and create something awesome. I had a vision and loads of crazy ideas of what I could make it do, some seemed way beyond my level of technical skill. I’m happy to say I proved myself wrong. I’m really happy with how it turned out. Naturally there’s a few bits I’d like to neaten up or spend more time on, but overall it’s a finished project.
These LED panels take care of all the work of making a big matrix display. Each panel has six 8×8 red matrix modules, for a 16×24 matrix. The panel has a HT1632C chip on the back with does all the multiplexing work for you and has a 3-pin SPI-like serial interface to talk to it and set LEDs on or off (you cannot set the LED to be individually dimmed, as in ‘grayscale’). There’s a few extras as well, such as being able to change the brightness of the entire display, or blink the entire display at 1 Hz.
After laying out each of the 192 LEDs, they’re arranged at 90-degree angles, half reflecting upward and half reflecting downward, and all of them with an additional reflector that shoots the light rearward. Lastly, a diffused inner lens is laid on top of all of them, which reduces the pixelation.
Because designers have had success with LED lighting, it’s helping Chrysler as a whole to move away from traditional bulb lighting, but don’t expect every Chrysler product to have Durango and Charger rear lights. For now, just have fun looking at these things in the dark.
This is a 128×32 pixel LED display built from 8 “P10″ LED Panels and a Raspberry Pi board. The code its running is takes UDP data from another computer and displays the pixels in either one or two bits per pixel. The sign is pictured here being driven from an empeg mp3 player. It can be driven by anything with ethernet (a network port).