Using a 5X7 LED dot matrix

I have recently bought a LED dot matrix (

I understand that you have to light each LED individually with a small delay between each 1. When I tried doing it I realised that all of the LED's looked dimmer, Someone told me to use a motor driver like ( to enhance the brightness, but i don't have a clue about how to wire it up?!

Any help would be much appreciated!


Have a look in the playground:-

They all seem to suggest that I need to buy a new kind of chip, is that the only way I will be able to get it to work properly?

You see I'm new to the arduino and want to make it as easy as possible! I don't know much code?!

You can drive it without any external chips if you like, it just makes the software slightly more complicated as you have to take care of the multiplexing (lighting up one column or row at a time, and doing that fast enough that they all look lit).

Have a look at where I did it for an 8x8 matrix, but note that (unlike in my diagram) you probably should have some current limiting resistors in there.


Thanks for the code, It looks quite complicated, I will go through it and try to work out what it does!

Yep, doing the multiplexing in software is more complicated than letting an external chip do it. Basically the code consists of : - FrequencyTimer2 library - makes using interrupts easy - display - called by an interrupt 500 times a second to light up the LEDs according to what's set in the "leds" array - slidePattern and setPattern - sets a particular pattern of lights in the "leds" array, including scrolling it in from the rightSee here , here and here (all in the same thread) for some discussions.


Thanks a lot, perhaps I should get some sort of chip to do it for me!