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Have you worked with ready-made 8x8 LED matrix as displays? They come in various sizes and are quite interesting to work with. A large readily available size is around 60mm x 60mm. However, if you are looking for a much larger ready-made LED matrix, you may be out of luck.

For this project, we will be building a single color large LED matrix display which is made up of a few large 8x8 LED matrix modules daisy-chained together. Each of these 8x8 LED matrix modules is around 144mm x 144mm in size.

The unique thing about this display is that other than the LEDs, one is able to view the background behind the display. This offers some creative use of these displays such as placing them against glass panels whereby people around it is able to see happenings behind the display. You may place some form of backing for your display if you find it distracting to read what is being displayed.

For this project, we will be using 10mm orange color LEDs to build the display. You may use LED sizes of your choice for your display. Commonly available sizes are 3mm, 5mm, 8mm, and 10mm.

Though our display is not designed to work with any particular microcontroller, we will be using the popular Arduino board in this instructables to drive it via SPI using only 3 signal wires. For those who prefer not to mess with too much wiring, the large 8x8 LED matrix module is available as a DIY kit at our Tindie Store.

To build this project, basic electronics knowledge with electronics component soldering skill and some knowledge on using the Arduino are required.

You may view the following YouTube video to see what we will be building.

There are many Arduino libraries out there which can support to drive our LED Matrix display. However, we will be using the awesome Parola for Arduino library contributed by Marco Colli for this project. Our demo example is adapted largely based on one of the Parola library's example but our demo will not be showcasing the full capability of the library. It will simply display one of five predefined messages scrolling across the display which is selected by a push button.

Our last instructable is JolliCube - an 8x8x8 LED Cube. Marco Colli is sharp to notice in the instructable that the LED Cube PCB design is modular and that there could be a possibility to separate the 4 modular parts on one board and set them up narrow end to narrow end, effectively creating a very large 8x8 flat matrix (vertical) that can be used with the Parola library he created. He is spot-on and here we present you the large 8x8 LED matrix display in which the base PCB is a part of our JolliCube base PCB.

Step 1: Design of Large 8x8 LED Matrix Module - Arrangement of LEDs

For our design, we will solder the LEDs together using just the long legs on commonly available LEDs. Here, we will be using clear 10mm orange LEDs with long legs. You may use any size and color of LED available but the LED leg length (more than 23mm) should be sufficiently long for them to be bent and soldered together. The LEDs will be arranged as an 8x8 matrix with the cathodes soldered together for the rows and anodes soldered together for the columns.

<p>That is awesome. Looks really cool. I have an idea of doing something with it, but therefore I need to know how fast I can possibly update the whole 8x8 matrix. Is it the frequency my microcontroller is abled to or are there any limits on other parts?</p>
<p>A more powerful microcontroller will definitely update the matrix more quickly. A well-done program code will also help to speed up display update. For this project, we are using the popular entry-level Arduino board to drive the display which is more than sufficient here.</p><p>If you are using the Arduino board to drive your project which requires very quick display updates, you may seek guidance from the Arduino gurus at http://forum.arduino.cc/.</p>
<p>I need 1 layer printed circuit can you give me</p>
<p>hay there I want to know about this., can I run this without Arduino? please help me guys.</p>
<p>The display cannot work by itself. You will need some micro-controller or microprocessor to drive it. We used an Arduino micro-controller here to drive the display.</p>
can I please have the schematics of the base PCB
<p>You can find the schematic in Step 2.</p>
I made the Matrix, but a few LEDS do not light up. I checked each one individually and they work, but not in the testing program. Any suggestions?
<p>Did you build the display using the base PCB board purchased via Tindie store or did you build the circuit yourself? Is the test program lighting up the rows of LEDs row by row and repeating the test after every row of LEDs are lit?</p>
<p>I built the base myself. Each row lights in sequence, and then as you can see in the picture a few LED's do not light up. Its strange. I double checked my connections with a multimeter, reattached the wires to the sockets, and still have those LED's out. I guess I will just have to build another one!</p>
<p>Using Chopstick + Rubberbands to hold the leads while soldering = clever!<br>Using cardboard as spacer to keep cross over leads from shorting the layer below = brilliant! Much simpler than using extra wires! Kudos!<br>Thank you for sharing your techniques!</p>
<p>Thanks for the compliment. This is our first 8x8x8 LED Cube design. We developed these techniques after researching on-line on how others went about building their cubes. We do not want to invest too much time building elaborate jigs to help with the alignment of LEDs so we came up with simple jigs which enables us to build acceptably aligned LED cubes for hobbyists.</p>
For years I have wanted to put one of these on the front and back of my car windows with pre-programmed messages so I can &quot;politely&quot; tell people that they are an idiot :)<br><br>Nice instructable, congrats on making the email newsletter!
<p>It very cool. I like.</p>

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