Good LED Matrix Supplies

Here in England, there don’t seem to be very many good suppliers of good LED Matrix displays.

Rapid Electronics, RS Electronics and Maplin seem to just do the boring old Kingbright (small) modules.

Does anyone know any good British (or any US or European shops with good shipping) that sell good RGB or single colour displays?

European, no, I don’t know of any.

LEDsee.com seems to have the price leadership on 8x8 RGB LED Matrix parts, at the moment. Seeedstudio sells a pinout compatible part from a different factory. Both are common-anode, anode-row arrangement.

LEDsee.com also has a red-only but no red-green “bi-color” version.

SparkFun.com sells a completely different 8x8 RGB LED Matrix part that is not pin-compatible with the types listed above. SparkFun also has red-only and red-green bi-color types.

EvilMadScientist.com sells an 8x8 RGB LED Matrix as a part of their Meggy Jr kit, but I haven’t checked the schematic to see what its pinouts are. I’d guess from the photos that it’s identical to SparkFun’s, but that’s conjecture.

As you say, Kingbright in the UK seems to focus on the 5x8 monocolor matrix parts. They did have an obscure 8x8 monocolor matrix part, but I don’t know if they actively sell it, since I seem to recall that you can’t get to its product page through their usual search engine interface.

Edit: Embarrassing typo corrected.

LCDsee.com does not seem to have anything to do with LEDs?

LEDsee.

(Typo corrected above.)

I’ve posted a tiny Eagle Library file at http://halley.cc/arduino/matrix.lbr - it contains only one variant of matrix so far, the LEDsee/Seedstudio RGB variety. Feedback appreciated.

This is a very good idea. Thanks for doing this; but I can’t check it as I don’t use Eagle! (too complicated)

If Eagle is too complicated, what do you use?

Express PCB at the moment. I just haven’t got the time to fiddle with the seemingly over-complicated user interface of Eagle. But I’m sure it’s just right and the best tool available! (Darn A-Level Work)

/me

ExpressPCB doesn’t have a reasonable line routing tool, the service is expensive just for some no-soldermask no-silkscreen boards, there is no ratsnest/airwire feature, it just highlights one net at a time by changing the color of the pins to be connected.

I tried to use ExpressPCB a few months ago to help someone with their layout. I struggled for about an hour to get three parts placed, then gave up and went back to Eagle. Redrew their entire schematic, created some new parts, and routed most of the PCB in the next hour.

A simple program can force you to do some very complicated things to make up for missing features. ExpressPCB would basically require you to draw your layout on paper before attempting actual routing.

I’ve checked these sites out. LEDsee has it for 9 euros, Seeedstudio for $23.50 and the Sparkfun version is different and £20+

Looks like I’m going to go for LEDsee.com

/me

Just be aware it can take a looong time to get the LEDsee.com parts, depending on your location. And their website user interface really sucks. When I tried, they needed you to sign up, then activate, then log in, and the website might not even show you’re logged in. Keep retrying.

You can avoid their website by using the ebay shop: LEDSEE-electronics

Unfortunately there’s a price penalty of 1?.

BetaDelta,

I just bought 8 8x8 LED matrices from http://www.lc-led.com/ecommerce2.html. Their prices seem reasonable, and they respond quickly to customer emails. The matrices worked great. My son and I made a scrolling display using seven of the matrices (ran out of Max7219s). :-/

They ship to the UK.

-lilbuzz

lilbuzz, the lc-led.com site doesn’t seem to show any RGB/tri-color matrix parts… all mono-color. I do like the look of their “fat dots” layouts, where the black border between dots is almost nothing.

Cheers, looks good. No RGB 8x8s though.

/me

@ Ed Halley

I would say though, that all of the pictures seem computer generated. Maybe the real thing ain’t so pretty.

/me

BetaDelta,

The pictures on the website are not real, as you thought. I have a photo of the large green 8x8 matrix, but can’t figure out how to attach it.

-lilbuzz

Here’s the ‘datasheet’: 2.3 Inch (58mm) 8x8 White LED Dot Matrix Spec, Data Sheet LC2088TW1C from lc-led.com

/me

BetaDelta,

I figured out how to get the url of my photo on Flickr. Here is a pic of one large green 8x8 matrix:

-lilbuzz

See, not as good as the pictures implied! Silly…cheers

/me