Electronic – arduino – 20×20 RGB LED Matrix controller project


I've been wanting to start a project with the following requirements:

  • Be able to display a static image, composed of 19×19 RGB pixels (though I expect to have to use a 20×20 matrix).
  • Be small (in the region of 3-20cm along one side)
  • Ideally include wifi support to read data from a simple web service.

However I don't really know where to begin. For a start I don't know where to source a 20X20 matrix (discrete LED matrix is fine), or if it would be better to use 4x 10×10 matrices and controllers (then I'm not sure how these could be used together.

I've been tentatively looking at Arduino, but also rasberry PI.

Could someone point me in a sensible direction as far as Platform, Matrix controller, or Matrix are converned? Thanks!

Best Answer

There are really many shields that you could be looking at for the arduino (which I recommend you use) some are more expensive than others, but some are moderately priced (depending on your price range), such as:

This one from sparkfun.

Wifi connectivity in itself is a whole other deal. Wifi shields can be quite expensive, such as this one, or this one.

Effectively, putting it together once you have the parts is simple, but the whole operation relies on the flexibility of your budget.

It might not be necessary to use a wifi shield however, as there are many other options for networking between an arduino or 2 such as xBees, etc., but they might present other greater costs as well.

Cheers, and good luck.

*I know you have stated that the size of the led matrix is important to keep small but if you think you can manage it you can buy many small led's and multiplex them together to make a small array which you will be able to control via arduino I/O.