Interfacing a 8x32 LED Dot Matrix


Classic warning : I'm a newbie.

Question : Can I interface this particular 8x32 LED Dot Matrix (single color) with an Arduino :

The User Manual can be found here :

If so, would I need an Arduino Mega or the Duemilanove would be enough (in terms of I/O ports) ?

What I understand of the Arduino, is that I can interface almost anything using SPI mode. But this particular auction state : "... as well as send data and control signal in a SPI-like mode". What does that "-like" stands for ?

Optional question : If you are really in the mood of helping me, tell me how would I be able to cascade 3 of them and still get enough power to light them all...

[same question as been posted on the french board, in french naturally...]



Yes. I've connected four of these in series to a single Arduino 2009 board. There are DIP switches on each board to specify a board address (0,1,2,3). Basically, SPI-like in this context means you use a digital pin as a data line, another as a clock line, and strobe out the data. Google/Bing/search for "Sure 0832" and you're sure to find a code library for the Arduino that does this. You can connect the 5V and Gnd pins to the board for power, or there are additional power connectors (but don't forget to connect your grounds)

I got mine from Earthshine Electronics, and I'm sure there are links there.

Check out this instructable:

(photos, schematics, source code provided). Doesn't get much easier than this :slight_smile:

I chained three of those displays together last night. I've been using one on its own for a month or so now.

This is where I got the library from: link. It's a really small library though writing to the board isn't as simple as it should be.

Give it a go and see how you get along.

You can link up to four boards together, one arduino duemilanove is quite enough to run all four.
If you do run more than one, you'll need to change a coulple of bits in the code on the link I gave you, but I'll be doing a write-up for it soon since I've just got it working.

good luck :slight_smile:

edit: I haven't tested how much of three displays I can light up. If you do need more power then you need a 5V power supply.
You need to link the positive for that power supply to the first matrix (the other two feed off the first) and the ground for the 5v power supply and the ground on the arduino need to be linked.
I use a computer power supply unit for power - it has 12v and 5v supply on the molex connectors (the type that go in to your hard drive), it was an easy job to put a jack on the end of a 12v line to power the arduino and I can supply 12v or 5v or both to a breadboard easily.

If you're displaying text or something that isn't using all that many LEDs at once you can get away with three on an arduino without extra power.

I'm starting to like this "Arduino community", people give such good answers !

Thanks a lot !