Introduction: 64x16 RED LED Marquee

Picture of 64x16 RED LED Marquee

The purpose of this small scale LED marquee is to display messages to our classroom in a more modern and centralized way. In the classroom, this construction would save white board space and is convenient because it can store a large amount of information. It is also fairly simple to program and has a mount, making it easy to place anywhere within the classroom setting.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

The first step of this project is to gather all the materials necessary to assemble your miniature marquee.

  • 1 64x16 LED matrix that can be ordered here.
  • Access to a 3D modeling computer program such as SolidWorks in which you will be able to create the mount for the Marquee and the containment box for the arduino processor
  • 1 Arduino UNO processor and Arduino coding software
  • 1 9v battery
  • 9 male-female pin cables

Step 2: Construct Your Marquee Mount

Picture of Construct Your Marquee Mount

Using your 3D software (we used SolidWorks), design a mount and Arduino processor containment box.

We have provided our own measurements and STL files for both the mount and the containment box, but feel free to make your own adjustments.

Print out your designs.

Step 3: Schematic/Pin Assignments

Picture of Schematic/Pin Assignments

The next thing you need to do is wire the electronic marquee to the Arduino. The pin assignments are as follows (as well as included in the code):











Note: we had to toy with this quite a bit in order to get the correct fit for our marquee. If you purchase a different LED panel, you may need to alter the pin assignments to meet your own needs.

Step 4: Program Your Marquee and Add Power

Attached is the arduino code that we used for our marquee.

Adjust our provided code to your purpose and upload your message into your arduino.

Using a battery power adapter, connect your arduino processor to your nine volt battery to power up your marquee!


majlogon1 (author)2015-05-21

I am having an issue with your code: It seems that the latest version of the Arduino IDE will not compile your code with the "#include <pgmspace.h>" in the code. When I commented the line out, the program will compile, but all I get is a solid red marquee upon upload. Any suggestions?

cafer (author)majlogon12017-10-23

ı can not dowload #include <pgmspace.h>.So, this program give a eror

can you publish on a link

I found that I do not need the R2 = pin 11 connection on Arduino; when removed, the code works fine. I respect the work and effort that went into its code development. Nice job.

htapaha (author)majlogon12015-05-26

the pgspace.h is already in the IDE library so delete that line because it's not necessary

We had to do a lot of toying with the code to fit our own needs and the particular marquee that we have, and so our best suggestion would be to do the same - take a look at the latter parts of the code.

ronw5 (author)2015-05-23

Well I got my marquee today, 3 actually, which are identical to yours. Hooked it to my uno using your sketch and it doesn't do anything. Sketch compiles OK...triple checked the wireing based on the sketch/pictures but it's like it's not getting power. I'm using a fresh 9v battery and I also tried another board incase one was faulty. Must be something I'm missing. I also tried using a seperate 5v to the power connection on the back of the display.
Any suggestions????

jholwege (author)ronw52015-06-16

I found that the drawChar line did not work. It is set to start drawing on row 16, I had to move it to 0.


Changed to


Jaap-WillemD (author)jholwege2017-07-07

Saved my day aswell! Ty!

Murrphy (author)jholwege2016-12-20

Thank you! This fixed the problem for me and its working now!

DanieleS (author)2017-06-21


Thank you for this great post and project. I am building one of these.

Am I wrong or one stl file is missing? The support should be made of three items.

Thank's again.


cvsurrecets (author)2017-06-20

Good day sir! What library you used for your code? Thanks in advanced and God bless!

DennisB36 (author)2017-06-18

I've setup the code as downloaded on my Mega 2560 board and looked at the change recommendations below but all I get is a single line at the bottom of bright red LED's. Help, I'm fairly new at working with these large (64x16) LED arrays.

gusm3 (author)2017-01-27

is there anyone try this code with nodeMcu esp2866

koenaryi (author)2017-01-24

Great Job

Your code work

May i know sir

How to expand led matrix as 128x16 ?

need to change code ?

محمدغ2 (author)2017-01-03

I am in a country difficult to buy from the Internet Is it possible to Create

64*16 dot matrix led at home .If possible scheme of the department, if possible,
Murrphy made it! (author)2016-12-20

Thank you each very much! I bought one of these displays a couple of years ago but never got it to work - I've learned a lot from your Instructable! (author)2016-02-24

well got my display up and running....... but it is inverted so i change the false to true and now i have a line in top and buttom and a block of solid blincking letters in at the right side , no changes to the code what ever


my code under.


so how do i get it to display it like you. and how to stop the scrolling

ArtWelderAndy (author)BlueEye.dk2016-07-14

To fix the inverted issue, In the shiftOut() function, add tilde (~) before buffer[index]...


PORTB |= !((~buffer[index]>>(7-i)) & 0x01) << (data_R1-8); // top set of rows

PORTB |= !((~buffer[index+128]>>(7-i)) & 0x01) << (data_R2-8); // bottom set of rows


Then set inverted back to false when you drawChar()

ULUDAĞ42 (author)2016-04-19

can we add bluetooth to this code ?

ve3joc (author)2016-03-30

Sorry JoshS138. I never got a response to my question. (author)2016-02-24

what do i change if i dont need it to scroll....

JoshS138 (author)BlueEye.dk2016-03-27

I could know how to do that aswell, did you find out?

ve3joc (author)2016-03-15

I have the identical matrix board as you are using but I need some clarification on the pin connections to the Arduino UNO. Looking at the matrix board from the back, there is a set of 16 pins, (two rows of 8 pins), which is shown as "OUTPUT". Each of these pins are marked with LA, LB, LC, LD, etc. On the left side of the matrix board there is an identical set of 16 pins shown as "INPUT" which is what you have used to hook the matrix to the Arduino. These pins are not marked at all so I am just guessing that they are identical to the "OUTPUT" pins. Is this correct? I am assuming that SK=12; means pin SK connects to pin 12 on the Arduino. I tried hooking it up this way but all I get is 4 LEDs at the very top left corner of the matrix to light up. I would really appreciate some clarification on the pin connections. - Thanks. (author)2016-03-02

if you have OC insted of EN

here is a link to my code

PaK3 (author)2016-02-29

One more question, are all of the pin assignments you show the digital pins on the Arduino?


PaK3 (author)2016-02-29

Great project, I was just wondering how you hooked up the 5V power for the matrix board to the 9V battery - was it through the Arduino board (if so, how specifically)or was it a separate connection - and if it was a separate connection how did the board handle the 9V? How would I hook up the matrix board to a 5V battery bank? And/or use the 5V battery bank for everything.

Thanks, in advance

Tony9343 (author)2016-02-27

This is a great instructable. I bought the same unit and have been scouring the internet for code samples.

You did the hard work, so I have I don't have to!

Thanks for sharing this :o) made it! (author)2016-02-24

Thx for the code.

workes great but got some flaws for me... if i fix it ill post it

esulat (author)2016-01-11

Great instructable!

fpleiva (author)2015-11-14

Hi, I would like to thank you for this code it is really great and it works perfectly. But now I need the same code for the arduino mega 2560, I tried to use this one but it doesn't work. If you could help me with that please

dancopy (author)2015-07-13

This page stopped in time?
No one else made a similar design to that?

dancopy (author)2015-06-18

I thank the "girls" who kindly provided this very interesting project!
I had bought a display that in Aliexpress and used this code but, for me shows the characters in the inverted display: the text place the LEDs are off and the rest of the LEDs are lit; I would be grateful if anyone has any solution!
Thank you all

kshowell (author)2015-05-30

Awesome job !!

timpep (author)2015-05-16

How do you add the code to arduino all I can do is put it in a text file?

You can paste it into your own program template. You have to know how to upload code to an Arduino though. Lots of Instructables on that here...

Ritik Bhardwaj (author)2015-05-16

Which software did you use for 3D Modelling???

SolidWorks! Is there anything else? ;)

Gorgus (author)2015-05-14

Very nice! A pity though that it doesn't "smooth-scroll" the characters in at the right, they just appear.

carlos def (author)2015-05-12

Grande Projeto estao de parabéns, continuem ASSIM compartilhado conhecimento.Brazil

AugieE (author)2015-05-11

Woot Woot! Tustin High in the house! Class of 2004! GO TILLERS! Great project!

a7me_d (author)2015-05-11

Excuse me , but I have no idea how to code ?

I would recommend that you use some of the coding resources like Khan Academy or from vendors like or

You can't do much with Arduino if you simply cut/paste. It is easy to get started!

ronw5 (author)2015-05-10

Am I correct in assuming that the uno is powered by a 9v battery, and the display is powered by the 5v wall wart?
Also what 3d printer are you using....I'm looking into getting one and would appreciate any advise.

Tustin High T-Tech (author)ronw52015-05-10

Actually, you can do it either way. Currently, both the display and the Arduino are wired to run off the 9v battery although it will only run for a couple of hours before draining the battery. For its permanent location it will all run off an AC adapter.

As for the 3D printer, we use an Airwolf3D.

akdoggie (author)2015-05-08

You can buy the marquee board for about half at this site on ebay also.

rajbex (author)2015-05-08

Can you post a clear picture of the backside of your display? I bought one 16x64 display from Aliexpress while ago and I would like to make sure if it is the same as yours. Thanks.

Here they are, hope this helps. Let us know if you would like an alternative view.

song706 (author)2015-05-06

and... how is the wire connections?
don't you need a control module?

Thank you, we just added a section including the pin connections. They are also already included in the code we provided. As for the control module, it is all controlled through Arduino.

efahrenholz (author)song7062015-05-07

This is probably bit banged through the pins using software serial. if you look at the way he has the pins laid out, and the fact that there is a series of circuit boards behind the panel, this leads me to believe the whole thing is a bunch of smaller arrays, but the front appears to be one piece. I haven't looked at the code yet, but that's my best guess.

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