LED Matrix


Just a bit of filler while I catch up on my other synth projects. The next kit from Gakken, the “Pocket Miku Keyboard” won’t hit the shelves in Kyushu for at least another 2 weeks. There’s been absolutely no word from Gakken on the status of the auto writer doll kit, still tentatively slated for May. I occasionally check Amazon.jp to see if they’re taking pre-orders yet (usually starts happening about 2 months in advance), but the auto writer still isn’t listed.

Over Christmas, one of the things I asked for was just a large bag of mixed LEDs. Didn’t matter if they were scrap or untested. I just wanted a large pile of LEDs to have something to make stuff with. I received a total of 400 red, green and yellow LEDs, both large and small sizes. The first project was just to build a simple 8×8 single-color matrix. Yes, I did have the single-unit bi-color matrix before, but I had to leave that in Tokyo when I changed apartments following the 2011 earthquake.

The fun thing about LED matrices is that the number of patterns you can program for it on the Japanino is pretty much limitless (on the other hand, the number you can have at one time has to be whatever fits into the 14K EEPROM and 1K RAM of the main chip). I don’t have a lot of free time right now for writing new pattern code (I do have about 15 simple patterns, including the above “Matrix” movie credits-style “rain”, plus the English ASCII font set), but this is something I can always come back to later and play with as I like.

It doesn’t look that bright in full daylight, but it really shines at night with the lights off.

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