Best serial enabled 7-segment displays to purchase?

Hello all. I'm VERY new to arduino and electronics in general. I have a pretty big first-project going on with a mix of multiple 7-segment displays, lot of LEDs and multiple LCD screens. I have been able to do tests with each and successfully make each part do what I want with an Arduino Mega. Now I want to start putting them all together and whew, that's a lot of wiring and soldering if I use individual 7-segments. Just hooking up a 4-digit was a ton of wires going every which way. Multiply that out by 10 or more sets and I need to find a more elegant solution.

I really liked the sparkfun 7-segment serial enabled display ( It saves on me soldering and one communication wire. It's perfect...except for the size and digits. I need some with 3 digits, some with 2, some with 4. I've been searching for a couple days online and there are lots of sites out there with varying prices.

So, the question is what places/products would you recommend for:

1.Ready-to-go serial enabled 7-segment displays in various sizes, digits and colors? OR 2.Already wired to a pcb (but would need a multiplexer) 7-segment displays in various sizes, digits and colors? (This would at least save me solder work)

Thanks guys!

I feel your pain, and I've always been frustrated by the rats nest of wiring required to add even a couple digits of 7-segment displays to a project, so I designed an Arduino shield to make it easy. I don't know if this meets your particular needs, but the Digit Shield only uses 4 output pins (2,3,4,5). It's not a serial interface, but the library hides all the details and handles the multiplexing automatically, so setting values on the display is as easy as:




It's just super simple to use, so I thought I'd mention it (and it's a shamless product plug). Available in red or green.

I actually came across those in my search today! Two problems with it for me: 1. Still uses a lot of pins (comparatively) and 2. Spacing might be a concern as I sometimes need sets of the segments on top of each other. Even just a PCB that's pre-wired for a matrix that I can just solder to would even save me time and headache.

Cool. Just FYI, axeman surplus store on university se near midway shopping center sells 7-segment displays cheap. I got two but was discouraged to hook them up. Maybe you can sell them with your shield.