You have to connect the CA to +5, and NO, doing so will NOT "overvolt and damage them" - unless you don't use a resistor!
When the LED is ON it's forward voltage is "3.5V"
So, the balance of the 5V will be across the resistor - 1.5V
That 1.5V across the resistor will determine the LED current
1.5V / 100Ω = 15mA
PERFECT i am starting to understand! Thank you for this confirmation, i had just read this:http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100308024927AAg0UQI
And now I am going to put a 102 ohm resistor (brown - black - red - gold) [right ? hehe] on each ground wire for this display.
zzzz.. think i read this wrong- 4band vs 5 band resistors :/ guess brown black red gold is actually 1000 ohms lol
Looks like ill have to get to radioshack for some 80-100 ohm resistors...
How can I test that the resistors are working? Should i just use a spare LED? I don't want to fry a segment on this display...