But how would I go about it with a huge 6.5 inch single digit segment display?
But if I tried lighting more than one segment, like b and c to draw the number 1, the brightness significantly decreases, which makes sense.
A schematic would help so much too
Exactly the same way. The only difference is that you will be driving transistors, not displays. The transistors will drive the display.It only makes sense if your power supply can not provide the necessary current.A schematic is not a programming tool. This IS the programming forum, you know.
I made a really rough draft here:
Its common anode
They're common cathode so every time I ground one of the wires it turns on
Hi, so which is it? Grounding wires to turn segs on sounds like common anode.If it is common anode, you could use either NPN bipolar transistors or N-channel field-effect transistors. Don't worry about the technical differences between those 2 kinds just yet, either will do the job. You would put the transistors between the segment strip's cathode and ground. The segment's anode would connect to your 12V supply.How much current does each segment draw? You will need an ammeter or multimeter to measure that. Only then will we be able to recommend a transistor to use.However, my guess would be that BC337 transistors would be suitable, or a ULN2003 or ULN2803 chip, which is 6 or 7 transistors in one package, saving you some components to wire up. TPIC6C595 is also a possible suggestion. That would involve code changes, but would also allow you to chain several displays together to make a clock for example, without using any more Arduino pins.Paul
No, all you did there was short the segment and the power supply out with the meter. I don't know why you only got 3.3mA reading, you should have seen the max current the power supply could deliver and blown the fuse in your meter! As that did not happen, i don't think you described accurately what you did. Was the meter on current or voltage range?To measure the current drawn by the segment, you need to put the meter in series with the segment. So 12V to the segment anode, the red meter probe to the segment cathode and black meter probe to ground. When measuring an unknown current, always start with the meter on highest range, then work your way down.
Agreed, those mA and uA readings make no sense. Perhaps you blew the internal fuse. You should replace it to find out. My meter reads zero when I have blown the internal fuse in the past, but my meter is not autoranging.The reading of 0.08A on the 10A range could be right. You may have blown the internal fuse when you shorted the power supply, its maximum is 400mA and the power supply is 1000mA.Your meter is like mine and most others. There is a 10A range with its own separate socket. There is no fuse on that range. The other ranges all use the other socket and there will be a quick-blow fuse to protect the meter from damage. You will have to unscrew the back of the meter to replace it with a similar fuse.Anyway, if I'm going to continue to help you, i would appreciate it if you answer all my questions, even if your answer is "i dont know". I asked a question a couple of posts back, for example.I realise i may not have answered all your questions yet, i will go back and check.