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Topic: multi rgb hookup help needed.. (Read 1 time) previous topic - next topic


Dec 20, 2012, 06:50 pm Last Edit: Dec 20, 2012, 06:57 pm by Ruffsta Reason: 1
ok, i would like to make a 10x10 matrix (100 rgb leds).. eventually there will be 2 of these working together...

1.) how do i hook up all the leds so that they are controlled easily, yet individually? how many resistors and such
  1a.) yes, they will change color individually with simple on/off
   1b.) yes, it's a game i would like to make
    1c.) yes it will be powered by batteries and/or power supply (incase there is no batteries around)

i would tell you exactly what it is, but i don't want to give out the project idea at this time (unless i was working with someone 1 on 1).. so please bear with me

2.) how do you define the colors in the coding? is it something like this: http://www.arduino.cc/en/Tutorial/ColorCrossfader

if there is a schematic i can follow - i would love to see it..

thanks in advance...

ps, i thought it would be something like this, but those all work at the same time and is not what i'm looking.. close tho...


do you have a link to your 10x10 RGB matrix?
My GitHub:


i haven't even started on it yet.. need to know how it's hooked up and what it requires so i can finish gathering all the parts i need


I need to know myself what you want to get, so that I can help you out.
No info, no help. Otherwise I could be giving you completely wrong information.
My GitHub:



Dec 20, 2012, 07:33 pm Last Edit: Dec 20, 2012, 07:38 pm by DVDdoug Reason: 1
I believe you'll need 300 drivers or 300 "ports" to drive the 300 colors.     As far as I know, you can't wire it as a matrix (with 20 drivers for each color) because each LED has a common anode or common cathode shared by each internal LED.  Of course, you can arrange the LEDs in a matrix and and program it to work/act like a matrix. 

how many resistors and such...
That really depends on what kind of driver circuit you choose.   

how do you define the colors in the coding? is it something like this:
That will depend on your hardware design. 

300 individual colors is a LOT of wiring (unless you can make a PC board).   I'm working on a project now that has 48 individually addressable LED, and the soldering/wiring for that was tedious.   I used 6 MAX6968 driver chips, which have 8 ports each.  (There are other driver chips with more outputs.)  The chip I used takes serial data, so it only uses 3 Arduino I/O ports to drive/address all 48 LEDs.  And, it has a built-in constant-current driver, so each LED doesn't need a resistor.


Dec 20, 2012, 07:35 pm Last Edit: Dec 20, 2012, 07:44 pm by HazardsMind Reason: 1
I dont want to to say "yea it can be done, no problem", but I wont because your looking at 300 pins total. 10 anodes (you could probably tie together), and 10 cathodes for the red, green and blue LEDs, and thats just for one line.

This is an 8x8 rgb matrix. It does look easy but also may not be.
look at this: http://francisshanahan.com/index.php/2009/how-to-build-a-8x8x3-led-matrix-with-pwm-using-an-arduino/

You will need 3, 16 bit shift registers, to do this project with your 10x10 matrix.
and many more for all the individual LEDs, for your project.

EDIT, I needed more info.
My GitHub:


Dec 20, 2012, 07:41 pm Last Edit: Dec 20, 2012, 07:48 pm by Ruffsta Reason: 1
i hate being new to something... i got the arduino for my son as an x-mas gift (so we are both new this).. so he hasn't opened it yet.. we both have our own ideas on what to make (ofcourse i will have to get one for myself)..

eventually we will not be putting the arduino as our final source - but more of a boarduino... they're alot cheaper..

i can solder.. i've done that many times before. just need to know exactly what i need and how to hook it all up.. and for coding, i used to code alot back in the day (vb 6.0, html) made pc games and websites, ds games... but c/c++ is a new to me


Dec 20, 2012, 07:57 pm Last Edit: Dec 20, 2012, 07:59 pm by Ruffsta Reason: 1
i was also told this by someone on another site..

Starting with discrete RGB leds, you are looking at 100 RGB leds, 300 resistors, and 300 I/O pins to drive them. The leds and resistors are straightforward enough. 300 I/O pins is a little more involved. The Arduino has 20. The Mega still only 69. You will need some port expanders like the MCP23017. You can chain up to 8 of these on an i2c bus for 128 pins. Using 'softI2C, you can create multiple i@c busses to get beyond that.

but i'm still at a loss and confused as to how to hook it all up (so i've been searching the things they/you all mention).. they talk like i know what they are talking about  :smiley-sad-blue:


That link I gave you has a somewhat decent schematic. Look at the picture, the wires are color coded.
My GitHub:



2 of these then is enough for 1 grid of mine.. since it can drive 128 leds together no?

MAX7219 8Digit LED Disp Driver Multiflexing for Arduino 7219C Drive 64 LEDs
Can be used to drive 64 LEDs using 4 pins of Arduino

but as mentioned before... in the end, we will be using a different source.. like a boarduino


2 of these then is enough for 1 grid of mine.. since it can drive 128 leds together no?

MAX7219 8Digit LED Disp Driver
With single-color LEDs, yes.  But, I don't believe those will work with RGB LEDs.   You need 2 connections (anode & cathode) per LED).   So you'd need 6 connections for the 3 LEDs inside each RGB LED, and they are not made that way.   There are only 4 connections.

...but i'm still at a loss and confused as to how to hook it all up
The trick is to start small (with a few LEDs) and experiment.   Don't start by soldering-up 100 LEDs! ;)   And, buy a few extra parts so you can try different things, and in case you "fry" something.

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