Picture of PS/2/You: Go-anywhere, LED digital message board
Combine three inexpensive LED matrix display panels, an Ardweeny microcontroller and a standard PS/2 computer keyboard into your own go-anywhere, instantly updatable 768-pixel digital message board.

The code can hold up to six lines of text with a maximum of 100 characters each. Pressing a key on the keyboard gets you to input mode. Use the up and down arrow keys to select which line to edit. ENTER puts the system back into output mode. When in output mode, each line of text will display for 1 second (you can set this in the sketch), or if the line is longer than 16 characters, it will scroll across the display before moving onto the next line.

Send some text messages:
The uses for this contraption are many. Plug the keyboard in and enjoy putting your wittiest “wiseclacks” on it in the safety of your home, shop, or office, or use the battery option to take it into the wide world. We like to leave the keyboard accessible so that passers by can add a riposte or two to the dialogue, but if monologue is more your thing you can always take it elsewhere. Here's another idea: drill a broomstick-sized hole in the bottom of the frame and add a removable handle so you can wander the streets digitally promoting your geekified political leanings.  Score keeping at sports events, birthday greetings, advertising your wares at a farmers market, beaming cryptic messages to your neighbours across the street – the possibilities are endless!

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Mahmoud-Nasef2 months ago

Hi , when i compile the code , this error shown

( In file included from PS2You.ino:29:0:

C:\Users\MAN\Documents\Arduino\libraries\MatrixDisplay/font.h:4:35: error: variable 'myfont' must be const in order to be put into read-only section by means of '__attribute__((progmem))'

unsigned char PROGMEM myfont[92][5] = {


Error compiling. ) !

what the reason of the error ?

Earthling! (author)  Mahmoud-Nasef2 months ago

I'll check on this

Any update? I'm currently having this issue!

Earthling! (author)  doodlebug9512 days ago

Yes, I believe it's because of an incompatibility with the new Arduino IDE. We'll try to update the code to fix this.

I had the exact same issue :P

zajactom11 months ago

I know subject is nearly 2 years old - however is still so cool ;-)

I wonder if will be OK to use USB instead of PS2. I do not have PS2 keyboard USB keyboards are more popular now then PS2. I found this instructable http://www.instructables.com/id/USB-to-PS2-convertor/step1/The-Project/ and wonder if this will work? or will lead to damaging the arduino or/and LED panles.

Earthling! (author)  zajactom11 months ago

Hey there, thanks for the interest! I don't know if that will work or not. I will look into it.


Keep on making more projects this is cool.

Did you find out if the USB to PS2 refit to USB Keyboards would go into this device as you worked it out ... Nice project .... As soon as you let me know it's able to work with a USB keyboard I'll be able to make this ...... Thank you very much for your time and patience please & thank you.

csheldon18 months ago

Really enjoyed this. Have you or do you know of any way to retrofit the cpu of an old ticker display (I have a very old Sunrise Systems EMX-2000/3 from 1996 which has a DB25 serial connector) with an arduino/raspberry pi unit instead?

Earthling! (author)  csheldon17 months ago
Hmm, I don't know about that. Thanks for the interest!
valolopez9 months ago

Hello, I wonder if this would work with an Arduino Uno, rather than the Ardweeny, and if with the UNO i would still need the FTDI breakout.

Earthling! (author)  valolopez9 months ago

I believe it would, and no, you shouldn't need the FTDI if you're using an Uno.

bonedoggie1 year ago

Anyone had any luck using a RaspberryPi to drive this?

profort1 year ago
How much would it cost to make a scrolling 1 x 3 foot sign then convert it to solar please?
Earthling! (author)  profort1 year ago
Profort: Good question -- I really don't know. I haven't investigated the pricing on panels that size, but I'm sure they exist. Let me know how it turns out.
ritzanab2 years ago
hello, great project....
do you think that my LEDs do not work, for this is the second time I have attempted to do this project and everything is in the right places and I am getting power in the ardweeny. The only thing that is not working is my LEDs they have yet to turn on. Thank you,
Hi Anabelle,
I am having the same problem as you. Did you ever get yours working? What did you do?
maboy2 years ago
What's the total cost?
Earthling! (author)  maboy2 years ago
That depends on how much of the supplies you have or can scrounge. If you have to buy all the stuff I'd say somewhere around 60 bucks. I hope this helps!
mwilkinson92 years ago
What voltage does this use if I am using DC mains rather than battey
Earthling! (author)  mwilkinson92 years ago
Around 9 - 12v
nyo tom2 years ago
I have a problem getting my keyboard to work. It doesn't send what I write to the display and the welcome screen just stays and says Hello, Welcome and start typing. Any suggestions?
pedro1472 years ago
Hi Earhling!, nice job there very impressive. I only have one Sure 3208 display at this stage and was wondering if the ps2 keyboard input would work with only one display (with any necessary software modifications) as opposed to the three used in this project. I would just like to make sure I can get it up and running before I commit to spending A$32 for two more displays. Thanks Pedro.
Edward_2 years ago
I have it all working perfect! Thanks for this great Instructable.

By the way, does your brother have code for a version of this that will accept SMS messages from a GSM/GPRS modem? That would be a Great followup project.
Edward_2 years ago
You've seen a message board where the text moves from right to left, and repeats, scrolling may not be the correct term. Its usually a longer message than the display is wide. Similar to this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10zQRe3FpHw
Earthling! (author)  Edward_2 years ago
Ah yes, I see what you mean. Scrolling is the right word and in fact the PS/2/You display does exactly that by default.
Edward_2 years ago
Terrific project Earthling!

Do you have a scrolling version?
Earthling! (author)  Edward_2 years ago

What do you mean by a scrolling version?
parjok2 years ago
awesome !!!
can u help me, how if i use standard led dot matrix 8x8 with 74hc595 shift register??
can u send me the schematics and code to my email parjok21@gmailcom ?

*sorry i'm an amateur in english
markie2 years ago
Very nice instructable!! Im building this for a friend of mine, but i want to know if its possible to use these led matrix boards:


Greetz from the Netherlands :)

Earthling! (author)  markie2 years ago
Hi Markie,
Sorry for the slow response. I asked my brother who did the code for this project and he said those boards probably wouldn't work without modification to the code. Are you having trouble finding the other ones? Good luck, E
ingkiller2 years ago
Hi! i build this led message board and it works fine!
Thanks for that!
But i'd like to use it as a time/temp meter.
Do you maby have a code that displays that?
JesusB2 years ago
Hi! I just followed your instructable and very detailed very nice but I have a problem! when trying to upload the code it gives me this error "MatrixDisplay does not name a type", I already built it and I'm reallynew to arduinos, please help me!
Thank you very much, I liked it. Today I have come diaplay from sure and start to ride today.

Thanks, I'll tell you
How would this work in a bright light environment. We are thinking of incorporating this into a swimming pool environment (as a display for what races are getting ready) and wonder how this would show during daylight hours?

Great project!

Earthling! (author)  iowafalconer3 years ago
Thanks, I haven't tried it much outside but my guess is that it wouldn't be that great in a bright environment.
maclee4real3 years ago
nice job, but is there a way to build the microcontroller that will work perfectly like the one?
i'm really impressed i must confess. good work once again

please email me at maclee4real@yahoo.co.uk if there is a way to build a microcontroller
maceide3 years ago
Here comes anoter one: ;)
Can one somehow integrate this with an ethernet-shield and send messages over internet to it? Fex via Txitter etc.?

That shouldnt be to difficult, should it?
Earthling! (author)  maceide3 years ago
Hi maceide,
Thanks for your interest in the project and all the questions!

First one first: it should be fairly easy to modify the code so that it stores the messages until the next time the system is turned on. This would be nice, and is something we have talked about doing. I can let you know if we get it into the main code.

As for the other two questions, they also should be do-able. I'll ask my brother who did most of the code for me about them and we'll see what we can do. It would be good to do an update for the system and these would be fun things to include.

Cheers and thanks -- glad you are having fun with the project.
maceide3 years ago
Also I was wondering:
Is it possible to somehow make it display scandinavian characters? Like these ones: http://www.fiskeklubben.org/charcters/how-to.html
Mabye by replacing the bytes from those input on the keyboard with those letters?

Thanks alot!
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