LED matrix?

I'm interested in making an led matrix with random effects.  I have no programming experience, so if theres a simple way to do this with a 555 timer or something of that sort please send me a link to a site or give me details. thanks.

Thanks for the help everyone. I'm looking into programming microcontrollers. I guess it would be cheaper and easier than using a bunch of 555 timers

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jwflammer6 years ago

and bam! it runs off audio and if audio is not your thing then just switch the TIP31 with your 555 timer at r1 = 4.7K and r2 = 100K and C1 = 10uf
555 timer setup.JPG
musick_08 (author)  jwflammer6 years ago
thanks! this helped a lot, i didn't think about switching the tip31 with a 555 timer
seandogue6 years ago
erm. a 555 can be used as a clock input to a counter, a multiplexer, or combinations thereof...

now...let's continue.
AndyGadget6 years ago
You could make a 1 x 1 LED matrix with a 555 - Maybe not quite what you're after. 

With a LOT of 555s you could make a matrix and have them flashing at similar (but not identical) rates which would give you a random effect.  Check out 555 astable circuits).
There are also ways of loosely interlinking those so the flash rate varies depending on what those around it are doing.

There are several LED matrix Instructables and a microcontroller really is the easiest way to do it in this day and age.  If you don't want to get into the programming side, there's probably a fair few kits available with the programming done for you.
rickharris6 years ago

Its' no harder to use a micro controller (if you select the right one), than use discrete electronics and may be cheaper in the long run and even easier and faster to modify.
mman15066 years ago
There really isn't. usually a shift register is used to control the led's. you could hook a 555 to a shift register but the effects would be really random and jerky.