Step 1: The Electronics
The first prototype was made using Vero strip board. The layout on strip board is fairly straight forward. The Transistors in the top left are row drivers and the IC's on the right are transistor arrays that are the column drivers (see circuit diagram at the end of instructable for more info). This allows me to get a bit more current to the LEDs to make them brighter. The Transistor array IC's can be replaced with transistors if you like. You will find circuit diagrams and software at the end of this instructable with which I have included an Eagle PCB layout design as well for a single sided board that combines the controller and display board into one.
Note that if you etch your own PCB the LED's are mounted as normal thru hole components but the IC's, links and other components are placed on the copper side of the board. The LED's and links will need to be mounted first as the AVR covers some of the LED solder points. Details in the pictures.