The LED display controlled from a Windows PC over Bluetooth and LED diffusion techniques

Some examples of pixel art and animations running on the LED display

Contents of the PIXEL Guts Kit

In this Instructuable, we'll show you how to:
  • Do an LED matrix art project with 1,024 RGB LEDs with no coding or soldering
  • Control the LED matrix from an Android device (over Bluetooth or USB) or a Windows PC over Bluetooth
  • You can display static images, animations (using the animated .gif format), and scrolling text.
Optional - If your project needs to be portable/battery powered. This battery will power PIXEL for roughly 12 hours.
Disclosure: I am the creator of the PIXEL project and receive a portion of revenue from the PIXEL Guts kit.

For DIYers, here's an alternative/lower cost way to do the project.

Step 1: Assembly

While scrounging at a local electronic surplus store, I came across this enclosure which used to be some sort of graphing charting device. Just my luck, it fit the LED panel perfectly.

After removing the inside metal plate, I used this template to drill holes to mount the LED matrix. The LED matrix has 8 mounting screws on the back of it. The mounting template shows the placement of the 8 screws on the back of the LED panel as well the cut-out needed for the LED panel header and power cables. Use (8) 4-40 x 5/16″ pan head screws (not included in the kit) for mounting.

Here's also a generic mounting guide for the kit.

You'll also need to cut a rectangle cut-out (also in the above template) for routing the cable to connect the LED matrix to the IOIO board.

Then it's just a matter of connecting the ribbon cable (included in the kit) from the IOIO board to the LED matrix and mounting the board inside the case (hot glue used in this case).

The whole project is open source. If you can code in Java, then you can leverage PIXEL's SDK to add in new functionality.

PIXEL developer information ==> Link
Source code for Android ==> Link
Source code for the PC application ==> Link

Special thanks Ytai Ben-Tsvi, creator of the IOIO board, for all his invaluable help on this project and to Roberto Marquez who developed PIXEL's PC application.

This is a fascinating product, and if I had the discretionary income at my disposable, I'd definitely consider buying this. That being said, this isn't really an 'ible. It's a user manual for a specific product at best, and targeted advertising at worst. At the very least, I think it should be mentioned in the title that this is not a true DIY project.
I agree. I also think the "no soldering" term in the title is not appropriate here, because the kit contains soldered-and-all parts.
I'm open to change the title but I'm not understand your comment. This project does not involve any circuitry wiring or soldering.
When I recommended changing the title, my thought was that it might be mentioned that completing this project requires purchase of a specific kit. Otherwise, I think it would generally be construed to mean that a person might just go to a hobby store, pick up some LEDs and a couple other small supplies, and create LED-based pixel art from base components. Again, this is a really cool concept and I'm truly impressed with the quality of your work and design, but it's kind of misleading. People go on instructables so they can enjoy true DIY and enjoy benefits such as minimized cost, choice of equipment source, tweaks and modifications, and a sense of accomplishment. It's impossible to make this without spending $200 on a kit that you can get from only one source and that requires only minor assembly work.
That's a good point, I've updated the title accordingly. Also added a link to an alternative, lower cost way of doing the project by sourcing the components individually and doing some soldering.
Now that shows class! Thumbs up!!
Most wonderful! It's refreshing to see someone take feedback so gracefully. Good luck on the sale of your kits.
Hey thanks, appreciate the advice & feedback.
Appreciate the feedback. The objective was to enable an artist or otherwise non-technical user to create an LED installation/project without needing to code or wire up circuits. It is also an open source project, one can tweak the code & create their own Android or PC apps to drive the LEDs. As yokozuna has noted, there is no secret that a portion of the revenue from the kit goes to me. If the community feels a project like this doesn't belong on Instructables, I am fine to remove it.
From the introduction: "Disclosure: I am the creator of the PIXEL project and receive a portion of revenue from the PIXEL Guts kit." I understand your concern, I hate adverstructables, and they're becoming all too common. However, this is a somewhat unique project, with disclosure in the opening, and since it is a kit still seems to fit within the DIY community so I'm a little more tolerant in this instance.
There are a few LED matrix projects that I've wanted to do but the tedious and error prone construction always held me back. I'm glad you made this available and I'll get one when the time is right.

About This Instructable




Bio: Al is a wearable tech entrepreneur and creator of a line of smart phone controlled LED handbags http://catclutch.com With 22 years of experience ... More »
More by alinke:Kitty Kraft - Hovercraft Kindle Art Make a Massive 4096 LED Display for Retro Pixel Art 
Add instructable to: