Arduino DOT Matrix

Some months ago I did buy a Arduino Kit. Arduino is an opensource plattform based on flexible and easy to use hard and software. It’s a good way for beginners like me to get in touch with the field of microcontroller programming. First I had no plan how to start and what to do. Therefore my motivation to experiment pulled down and because of lack in time I throw my Arduino away into an edge for a while. Over easter I was on a Event called Easterhegg organized by the Chaos Computer Club. Many people there played around with their Arduino Boards and therefore I got new inspirations and motivation to create something with my Board. I did buy a 8×32 Dot LED Matrix Shield there in the hope to get that thing together with my Arduino Board to work. Three Weeks later I had Success and I’d like to show you the Result and a little Tutorial how you can create the same.

What do we need?

  • Java Based Arduino Programming Environment
  • Arduino Uno or Arduino Duemilanove Board. Please have a look into the Boardindex
  • 1 8×32 Dot LED Shield from Sure Electronics (Available in different colors)
  • 1 Flat Cable (Mostly included when you buy a LED Shield)
  • 6 Jumper cables to connect the LED Matrix to the Arduino Board

The first Challange was to find out how to wire the Board to the LED Matrix Shield. I did find a lot of cool youtube videos, but there was no hint where to get the source code or how to wire the components. First frustration but then, seek and you’ll find 😉

I did find the wire concept and the source code! Let’s start!

It’s possible to connect 4 LED Shields in a maximum together. I do only use one LED Shield and because of that we need only CS1 to connect. The next picture shows the nummaration of the pins of the LED Shield.

We connect the Flat Cable to the LED Shield and on the other side we use the Jumper Cables to do a connection to the Arduino Board. The next step is logical but let’s have a look to the pin nummeration on the other side of the flat cable.

From the other side of the flat cable we use the jumper cables to do a connection to the arduino Board as described on the wire concept above. The arduino Board has numbers and because of that it should be easy to understand how to connect the jumper cables.

Finished and we have a picture like that:

I did install the Arduino Programming Environment on my Linux Netbook. Because of that reason I’ll only show you how you download the code from a Linux shell:

git clone git://
cp -a HT1632-AVR/libraries/* ~/arduino/libraries/
cp -a HT1632-AVR/simple8x32/ HT1632-AVR/marquee8x32/ ~/arduino/examples/7.Display/

Maybe the path to your arduino libraries and examples is different to mine. Check that before you use the commands. If you get a connection error it could be that TCP port 9418 of the git protocol is not allowed on your Firewall. Then a simple soloution would be to use http instead of git. After this step you should see a program code called marquee8x32 in your arduino programming environment under examples. File >Examples>marquee8x32

Scroll down in the code until you see the string char * string =“This is a sample text“

Now it’s possible to compile and upload the code to the arduino board. But the text will be too fast and we have to put in a delay before the loop starts.

Upload the code and enjoy. I put my finished project as a decoration in my book library.

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