Hookup guide for 16×32 RGB LED panel – Part 3

In this third part of the 16×32 RGB LED panel hookup guide, we will run some demo sketches with Arduino Uno to display basic text and animation on the 16×32 RGB LED matrix. These demo programs use Adafruit’s RGBMatrixPanel Library are found inside its Example folder. The wiring between the RGB panel and Arduino Uno is discussed in detail in the previous parts of this 3-part tutorial.

Click here to read Part 1 of this tutorial
Click here to read Part 2 of this tutorial
Click here to buy this kit

After wiring up the RGB panel to Arduino Uno through the connector shield, it’s time now to run some text and animation graphics on the RGB matrix panel. This would first require the following two libraries to be downloaded and installed.

Adafruit GFX Library

Adafruit RGB Matrix Panel library

There are multiple ways of installing these libraries to your computer’s Arduino IDE tool. Please read this installation guide from Arduino website if you haven’t experienced it before. The RGB Matrix Panel library has built-in routines to illuminate selected pixels, construct line, rectangle, and circle, and print alphanumeric characters in two different font sizes.

After the succesfull installation of the above libraries, we can now try out some of the examples included in the library package. On Arduino IDE, load the testshapes_16x32 example from File→Examples→RGBmatrixPanel→testshapes_16x32 and upload to the Arduino Uno board. This example illustrates how to draw pixels, rectangles, and circles with chosen pixel color at specific locations. The program ends with printing some 5×7 pixel size text characters along two rows of the RGB panel. Power up the RGB panel and Arduino Uno and observe the program out in action.

out

testshapes_16x32 demo output

There are three more 16×32 RGB examples included in the library package: testcolors_16x32, plasma_16x32, and scrolltext_16x32. Because the Arduino pin assignments implemented in our RGB connector shield to connect the RGB LED panel match with the default setting of these examples, they can be just run by simply uploading to the Arduino Uno board.

16x32 plasma demo

16×32 plasma demo

These RGB panels have unlimited applications. In my next article, I will write about constructing a colorful real-time clock display plus thermometer and hygrometer. Stay tuned!

Real time clock and thermometer demo

Real time clock and thermometer demo

Hookup guide for 16×32 RGB LED panel – Part 2

This is the second part of the 3-part article on how to hookup our 16×32 RGB LED panel kit to Arduino Uno.

Click here to read the first part

Step 3: Connecting the LED panel to the RGB connector shield

The pin arrangement of the 2×8 IDC port (IN) on the back side of the RGB panel are shown below (image taken from Adafruit’s tutorial page).

Pin arrangement of 16x32 RGB input IDC port (from Adafruit)

Pin arrangement of 16×32 RGB input IDC port (from Adafruit)

The 12 I/O pins of Arduino that are used to drive these signal lines are listed in the following table.

RGB panel and Arduino Uno pin mapping

RGB panel and Arduino Uno pin mapping

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Hookup guide for 16×32 RGB LED panel – Part 1

RGB LED panels are a great way of displaying colorful texts, images, and animation. In this 3-part tutorial, I am going to demonstrate how to hookup our 16×32 RGB LED panel kit to an Arduino Uno board and run some demo sketches. Our 16×32 RGB LED matrix panel kit includes everything you need to connect it to an Arduino Uno board. The kit includes:

  • One 16×32 RGB LED matrix panel
  • One RGB connector shield for Arduino Uno
  • One IDC cable to connect the RGB matrix panel to the RGB shield
  • One power supply connector for the RGB matrix

Note that the power supply required to power the LED panel is not included in the kit. You will need a regulated 5V DC power supply with enough current sourcing capability (~2A) to power the RGB panel. If you could get the power supply with a 2.1mm x 5.5mm DC barrel output, that would be a plus. In case you don’t have such a power supply, we will show you later how to use a standard cellphone/tablet wall charger with an USB port for powering the LED panel.

Get this RGB panel kit from our Tindie store!

16x32 RGB LED panel kit

16×32 RGB LED panel kit

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New product: 16×32 RGB LED panel + Arduino Uno connector shield

Today, we have added a new and colorful product to our Tindie store. It is a colorful RGB LED matrix panel kit that includes a 16×32 RGB panel, a RGB connector shield for Arduino Uno, a 2×8 IDC cable, and a power supply connecting cable for the RGB panel. The RGB panel operates at 5V and requires 12 digital I/O pins of Arduino Uno for full control of the display. We designed the RGB matrix connector shield to allow super easy connection setup between the LED display panel and the Arduino Uno board.

RGBkit1

16×32 RGB LED matrix panel kit

Features:

  • Operates at 5V (2A rated power supply is recommended)
  • Dimensions are 192mm x 96mm (7.6”X3.8”)
  • LED spacing or pitch : 6mm
  • Compatible with Adafruit’s RGBMatrixPanel Library
  • RGB connector shield and IDC cables are included (no additional wires are needed for connecting the matrix to Arduino Uno)

What will you get in the package?

  • One 16×32 RGB LED matrix panel
  • One RGB connector shield for Arduino Uno
  • One IDC cable to connect the RGB matrix panel to the RGB shield
  • One power supply connector for the RGB matrix

Note: The power supply is not included. It requires a 5V, 2A power supply with a 2.1mm x 5.5mm DC connector. The LED matrix also works fine with a 1A power supply (like from a cell phone charger) applied through the USB connector of Arduino Uno.

Important links:

Check out the hookup guide and demo run with Arduino Uno board
Get this colorful display kit from our Tindie Store
RGBkit4

RGB Matrix Connector Shield

RGBkit6

16-channel wifi remote using ESP8266

Hari Wiguna has shared on Hackaday.io this interesting scheme of making a 16-channel Wifi remote using ESP8266 and PCF8574 I/O expander chips. PCF8574 device provides an 8-bit I/O expansion for any microcontroller through an I2C interface. This Wifi remote consists of a transmitting remote unit and a receiving control unit, both of which use one ESP-01 module and two PCF8574 devices. The remote unit has 16 push switches connected to the PCF8574 I/O pins, whereas the receiving unit has 16 LEDs connected in a similar fashion to the two PCF8574 chips. The remote ESP-01 module operates as a web client that reads the states of the push switches and send that info to the control ESP-01 module, which operates as a web server, as part of the web request. When a button is pressed on the client side, the web server responds to this request by changing the logic state of the corresponding LED on its end.

16-channel Wifi remote

16-channel Wifi remote

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