LED Etch-a-Sketch




About: A materials scientist gone electrical engineer my hobbies include experimenting with electronics and making fun and interesting things. I rarely know what I'm doing when I start a project, but learning new s...

My LED Etch-a-Sketch is my first fully completed electronics project. I'm using four 8x8 LED matrices to make a 16x16 LED matrix drawing surface. Two potentiometers allow user input for column and row movement, while two tilt switches clear the drawing surface when the device is shaken. An ATmega328p handles the ADC from the pots and the multiplexing and driving of the LED matrices. Each individual matrix is driven with a 74HC595 shift register and a ULN2803 Darlington Array. It's probably not the best way to do it, but I found matrix drivers to be expensive and this way worked. The device is powered by 2 AA batteries stepped up to 5V with Adafruit's Minty Boost board. Again, probably not the best choice but it worked. All the electronics are encased in a crude, red acrylic case. The pictures above show various stages in the prototyping stage to the assembly of the finished product.

While it may not be the prettiest or the most energy efficient, it's a fun little gadget that I learned a lot from making!   



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    6 Discussions

    this is a really cool idea! I would love to see a step by step instructable with schematics and code! I'd definitely feature it on the homepage.

    1 reply

    Hi. I just finished the full instructable. There's a link in my previous comment. Thanks for the interest!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    It is very good.
    Do you have a blog with more details?
    Once again, it is very neat. I am sure there are many smart moves under the hood.
    And you can program pong on it too!

    1 reply

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you both for the feedback! I will definitely consider posting a full instructable on this since it seems like people would like to see it.