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Author Topic: RGB LED Matrix spread over 400 square feet (43 square meters)  (Read 1734 times)
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Toledo, OH
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What would be the viewing distance and viewing angle or in other words would the LED panel be installed vertically ?
What are the viewing environment be dark and indoors or outside in bright daylight ?

It's a vertical installation, indoors with lights on. The viewing distance should be short, in the 6 feet (2 meters) range.

The thing is I can't rig the whole thing from scratch. I just don't have the knowledge, so I thought there might be a way to modify something already on the market, like the links I provided at the top. Time is not an issue, but this is a personal project and definitely I am not willing to spend thousands of dollars.

To maybe provide a better picture, imagine one of those old maps used to learn geography that had light bulbs on each state or country. A bulb comes on and you have to identify the location.

I need something similar, ideally with colors, and I thought it would be easier to control with a computer, as I would need to input individual addresses or a group of them, let's say I can turn on/off B23 or turn on/off B23, D18, G8, J15, A2. 

Since you need them to be individually addressable, it's probably the same complexity as if you wanted to display an animation.  Primary colors would make it 3 times as complex as a single color.  To do any other colors other than R, G, B, white and black would make the project significantly more complex.  This is probably not something that a novice is going to be able to accomplish.  Very experienced people have made very small versions of what you're talking about and it was very difficult, time consuming, and expensive.  Your project is easily in the thousands of dollar range and months worth of work, even if you knew what you were doing.

Why not first start with a blink sketch?  Then toy with a port register, and then use two port registers in a matrix.  Next, move to RGB LEDs and see if you can duplicate that same LED matrix in RGB.  Finally, work on trying to control that RGB LED matrix to display exactly what you want.  Once you get to this point, you'll probably see how unrealistic your project was.  It's not impossible, just exceedingly complex, expensive, and time consuming.  And really, you should master the blink sketch before you want to take on a project like this.

Tim
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Thanks a lot for everyone's feedback and help. Now that I know that the project is complex and more so for a noob I can maybe rethink the whole thing.

The ability to display colors is an important part so I guess that just adds to the complexity and cost.

It might be a good idea to start with a small, single color matrix and try and understand its workings and eventually try to scale up from that.
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do any other colors other than R, G, B, white and black would make the project significantly more comple
No you get the secondary colours as well just as easy.
Mind you those black LED are cutting edge, there are currently avaliable in three shades of black as well.
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Even burned out leds can do black. But still it is a viable palette choice.

Perhaps with not-really-fast changes the leds could be run through lots of shift registers. 300 baud?

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Black LEDs are basically white LEDs but wired up backwards so the light is sucked into it not pushed out of it.
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I thought that was leds as light detectors.
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No I am having a laugh, there is no such thing as a black LED. I wish there were because one project of mine is stalled because I want a black "light". I have tried using a smoked plastic filter but it is not very satisfactory.
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This project isn't really that bad. I'd use an Arduino Mega (for the larger SRAM, mostly) and see what can be done with WS2811 pixels. Break up the array into several 50-100 pixel chains. It would still be a lot of soldering, unless you got some small custom boards and cables made. I don't see any easy solution coming in much less than $1500...that's how projects work, you have to trade knowledge and work for money in one direction or the other.
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Unique RGB LED Modules and Arduino shields: http://www.macetech.com/store

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do any other colors other than R, G, B, white and black would make the project significantly more comple
No you get the secondary colours as well just as easy.
Mind you those black LED are cutting edge, there are currently avaliable in three shades of black as well.

Sorry, forgot to mention "or 100% combination thereof".  Glad to see the picky police are here to "help".

IR LEDs are kind of like black LEDs, and they do come in different shades ;-)

Tim
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 01:31:47 pm by teckel » Logged

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Black LEDs are basically white LEDs but wired up backwards so the light is sucked into it not pushed out of it.

In a dark room, wiring up a white LED backwards would indeed make it black.

Tim
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 05:26:15 pm by teckel » Logged

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No I am having a laugh, there is no such thing as a black LED. I wish there were because one project of mine is stalled because I want a black "light". I have tried using a smoked plastic filter but it is not very satisfactory.

Me too. Led as a detector does soak up photons, like I can see any difference!

But for the practical, an unpowered led on a relatively big black background, could I see the difference there? If the background is light color (grey to white) though, then   smiley-red

Maybe he should try flip-dots? Real big flip dots....
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Glad to see the picky police are here to "help".

Yes, like the faculty of the Unseen University in Pratchett's Discworld novels.
Just ignore it unless you want to laugh.

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IR LEDs are kind of like black LEDs, and they do come in different shades ;-)

Tim

Oh, I didn't recognize you, Dean!
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I find it harder to express logic in English than in Code.
Sometimes an example says more than many times as many words.

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