Step 1: Skill Level and Basic Tools
The most challenging part is soldering the 100 pin Atmega2560 to the Schmartboard daughterboard. Using the Schmartboard makes it a lot easier that soldering it directly to a PCB. These guys have made several YouTube videos to show you how it works – more on that later.
You should be proficient at soldering and have a decent solder station with a couple of different tips. You will get lots of practice assembling the matrix! You will need a couple of different tips for your iron - a normal 1.6mm or similar for the LEDs and a .2mm tip for the Atmega and the SMCs.
You should know how to use a Digital VOM to help diagnose problems.
Programming – The source code for the project is C++. C was not my native language - I am an old school FORTRAN and PL/1 programmer – the C++ routines are probably not the most efficient or well-designed programs, but they work. The development environment was AVR Studio 5. The hex, source and makefile files are in the download section. You can load the hex file and not need to do any programming!