LED display unit

For a couple of recent projects we have been asked to provide interesting and informative display units. We decided to build a unit which can be used in a number of different applications. It was designed to look good, be able to show graphics and text, have a couple of switch inputs and be configurable for a variety of uses. The end result was so

useful, we decided to produce this design and a kit of the main parts. We are using a 32 by 8 LED dot matrix supplied by Sure electronics, based in Hong Kong. They also have an eBay shop. The price ranges from $8 to $16, check eBay first. To keep development time to a minimum, an arduino is used as the `brains` of the unit. This is a development board based upon the ATMEL 328 microprocessor chip. Our units use the less-expensive Xino, an arduino clone from Ciseco. Any Arduino compatible board should fit into this display unit (except the MEGA range). There are numerous open-source examples available for the arduino, hence development time is very short. We have developed a simple clock unit with temperature history display as a sketch to get you going with the use of this display, but the final use is left up to your imagination. A specially designed interface PCB has been produced for this unit. There was some extra space on the interface board, so we decided to add a number of components which might be useful for your project. These include: The hardware is mainly two pieces of frosted acrylic plastic which are cut out using a CNC machine. The Xino and LED display bolt onto the plastic and spacers are used to hold the two pieces of plastic together. The design for the plastic was produced using HeeksCNC, the design file is available here. The output g-code is used on our desktop CNC machine run on an Ubuntu machine using...

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