I have for some time wanted to (re)write some of the computer games from my younger days as an exercise in programming and for a bit of fun. I recently decided to do this on a very low-res display made from individual LED matrix modules and in the process created a new library to manage the LED panel display.
I was exploring ways to make a future robot project more appealing and came across a number of articles about animated robotic eyes created to convey expression or mood. This looked like a bit of fun and quite achievable using the LED matrix modules that I have been playing with for a while. Here’s the result.
Vertical LED dot displays are not a common requirement, but they can be created using the standard library with a few tweaks to the software.
As I get questions about vertical displays from time to time, I will cover the basic process of how this is done in this short article. Continue reading “Parola A to Z – Vertical Displays”
A very powerful feature of the Parola library is the ability to separate a display into a number of zones. This allows the implementation of sophisticated animations schemes and is a key part of being able to create double height displays.
This post explains what they are, how they are set up, and how to manage them.
An ongoing question on many Arduino forums is the adaptation of software to the different types of matrix modules. Usually the poster has tried some LED matrix software and the display is reversed or upside down, or animations are disjointed across the module boundaries.
There are clear reasons this happens, and the Parola library has software configuration parameters that allow you to adapt how the software operates to suit your hardware module.
One of the downsides of home-made CNC printed circuit boards is that a lot of the copper cladding remains and can lead to short circuits when solder strays onto the common waste area outside the formed tracks. Also, after a while it tarnishes and does not look great.
One solution to both these problems is to apply a solder mask over everything that is not meant to have solder on it, similar to professionally made boards.
A recurring question is how much current Parola (and similar) modules use, and can how many can be directly powered from the Arduino 5V power supply. The answer is that it depends – but on what, exactly?
I thought I would try an experiment and actually measure the current usage and answer the question to my satisfaction. I used my Parola module (forum discussion) as the test device, but this is similar to the more generic modules and I believe the results are transferable.