Put on your glasses before turning on this LED matrix because you have 64 RGB LEDs but not just any ... they are NeoPixels, the only ones capable of offering this explosion of color. Arranged in an 8 x 8 matrix, each pixel is individually addressable. A single pin of the microcontroller is necessary to control all the LEDs and obtain a 24 bit color panel on each LED.
The connection is super simple: there is a 3-pin connector. Weld a wire on the input pin (DIN for data in) and provide 5 volts DC on the pins + 5V and ground (marked GND). Connect the DIN pin to your microcontroller. If you are using the NeoPixel library for Arduino connect DIN to digital pin # 6. You obviously need to connect a common ground between the power supply and the microcontroller/ Arduino.
Since each LED can consume a current up to 60mA (a total of 3.5 amperes per matrix if all the LEDs light up in white!). We suggest the use of a 5V 2A power supply which will be suitable for common use since a panel typically consumes between 1 and 2A.
If you need something even "brighter", you can chain the matrices together. The DIN connection (data in = data input) must be connected to the DOUT connection (data out = data output) of the first matrix. Connect the 5V and GND (ground) power supply together. Here, you're ready! You can chain as many matrices as you want. Be aware that from 4 matrices, your Arduino UNO will start to run out of RAM. Also pay attention to the choice of your power supply, you may need a 5V 10A power supply if you want to use more of these matrices!
The protocol used requires very very high precision in time management and can only be controlled by microcontrollers that can achieve an accuracy of 100ns (over time and reliably).
AdaFruit offers code examples using an Arduino Uno/Mega microcontroller at 8MHz and 16MHz but this doesn't work with a Raspberry Pi, Basic Stamp, NETduino or any other machine based on an interpreter or virtual machine. A processor with a minimum speed of 8Mhz is required.
AdaFruit offers a superb NeoPixel library for Arduino. You can adapt it for other microcontrollers but know that you will also have to face optimizations in assembler.
Want to see a neopixel matrix in action? so click here :-)
- Dimensions: 71.17mm x 71.17mm x 3.28mm
- Weight: 24.21g