Step 8: Improvements
Well here's a few idea's that have been bouncing around my head.
SMD LEDs, okay, what if the leds were much smaller, that'd drop the total thickness of the project by what, 5mm, smaller is better. Plus SMD is so much cooler looking, geek +5.
SMD PIC, whoa, more SMT goodness, geek +10 at least, okay it'd be un-removeable, but you can still download programs to it while it's on the board. Oh and it'd drop the thickness of the project, at the back by 5mm (don't forget the download socket though).
Professional PCB manufacturing, well, how easy woudl that be, sure it'd cost a bit, but it would mean the boards are perfect, well, as perfect as you made them. You also get to play with fun functions like multi-layers or double sided boards, imagine a double sided PCB, you wouldn't need 2 seperate PCB then. Add to that SMD componants like resistors, LEDs adn PICs and you've got a very classy, but expensive board. Here's a list from CadSoft, the people that made Eagle, PCB Manufacturers .
Larger display, most displays are 5 by 7, mine's a 4 by 5, so making it larger would open up a whole new range of display options. Of coruse you'd need more outputs, I only had 9 available, but if you were to use a PICAXE28X you have up to 17 available outputs, thats an 8 by 8 display. Nice. However if you move away from PICAXEs onto other microcontrollers I'm sure there are ones with different output pins. Another option is to Charlie-Plex the outputs, although you'll need to be able to set output pins as inputs to get that working. I believe this is possible with most non-PICAXE PICs, especially Arduino's.
Hopefully once my website ( TheDarkPlace or just The Dark Place) is up and running, I may be able to sell kits of the 4 by 5 display, with a few options, such as 2 seperate boards, 1 complete board and 1 complete board with 2 layers. That however depends on how many people like it.
Or you can just email me at: pinski1[at] gmail.com
Here's some pictures of the layouts.