For a party we were about to have I wanted a cool light display to use with my new Xmas present - an Arduino Uno. Having looked at the LED matrix's here I wanted a bigger one that I could hang on the balcony.
I also wanted it to interact with music and flash at different sound levels and have a keypad to select which animation to run.
Thus I came up with this one using some spare Xmas lights I had already butchered for some outside art projects. I also wanted it to look arty, hence the use of copper wire for inside the frame.
Before we start on the construction I will go through some of the theory behind the matrix.
Please Note : I didn't use resistors between the matrix connecting wires and the Arduino. You should really use them to limit the current to the LED's and also avoid damaging the Arduino. If you don't use them then that's at your own risk
Step 1: Materials Required
Timber for making the frame. This frame used approx 3.6m of 45mmx18mm of timber.
Power Supply (I used a 9v battery)
Copper Wire for the wiring inside the frame. This copper wire has a coating on it which is not conductive so is ideal for this. The type used in motor windings is ideal. I got this from the local metal scrapman. Need about 19m of this. The thicker the wire the better.
Cat 5 (network) cabling so the matrix pins can be connected to the microcontroller.
Screws and/or wood glue to build the frame.
Keypad, Microphone, Resistors, Capacitor's and op-amps required for the hardware add-ons. Please see those steps for the links to the other instructables that list the required components.
Saw for cutting the timber
Staple gun for attaching the copper wire to the frame
Soldering Iron and solder
Electric Drill + drill bits
Computer to program the Arduino along with the correct USB cable.
Sharp knife - Stanley knife or similar.