After getting a couple of flashing lights working on a microprocessor, the next fun project is generally building some kind of Matrix.  At first I built a 5×5 LED matrix which was relatively simple to solder together.  When trying to make one much larger, the task because significantly more complex.  That’s when I decided to build a LED Matrix Shield for the Arduino which did not use Charliplexing, like the LoL shield.  I wanted something that was simpler to understand and (ultimately) code for.  Unfortunately, 5mm LEDs means 8 columns x 6 rows, instead of the traditional 8×8.

Short build-lapse video of building up the front panel “matrix” used in BinBoo.  This isn’t a true LED matrix.  Instead it combining all of the LEDs into a common Anode, since the Cathodes are all controlled by individual outputs of the TLC5940. I decided to wire up 16 LEDs, even though a binary clock only needs 11 or 12.  This gives some flexibility to other uses for the box, like a random sci-fi computer pattern.…

Several months ago I started a project to build a Binary Clock, using a Laser Cut enclosure.  The plan was to use Ponoko’s laser cutting service.  Looking through the materials available, I decided to use Bamboo.  Knowing I was going to build a Bamboo enclosure for a Binary clock, helped me come to the name BinBoo.  Even though I call it a Binary Clock, it is actually a BCD clock… There are still a few…

After learning how to flash a single LED on your Arduino, you are probably looking for a way to make cool patterns, but feel limited by the use of delay(). If you ask in the forums, you get told to look at the “Blink Without Delay” example. This example introduces the idea of replacing delay() with a state machine. If you’re confused how to use it, this tutorial is setup to take you from blinking two LEDs with delay, to using an alternate method, right down to how you can use millis().

This screen shot is an all-layer view of my TLC5940 painter board.  The 1st draft featured two TLC5940s, but I decided it made the board too large.  Instead, I wanted the ability to mount the painter boards around the LED’s shadow box.  This should make routing all the wires much easier.