Experimenting with pinball machine matrix displays

Software engineer Adam Preble has summarised his experience with interfacing the dot-matrix display from a pinball machine and an Arduino board. After having to research how the display was driven, he used the SPI bus on the Arduino to rapidly send the required data to the display to keep it updated. Getting it to work was a challenge, however a success as you can see in the following video:


There has to be any easier way to find a dot-matrix display to use with an Arduino, however to find out more about Adam’s efforts, click here. And we’re on twitter and Google+, so follow us for news and product updates as well.

If you’re looking for a dot-matrix display and don’t have the time or resources to search for an old one – use a Freetronics Dot Matrix Display instead. Available in a variety of colours, they consist of a 32 by 16 matrix of LEDs. Included with the DMD is a cable to directly connect with an Arduino-compatible board, and at low brightness (which is still fine to read indoors) you can power one DMD from the Arduino. However by connecting 5V at 2.5A for each board they operate at a brightness which is visible anywhere. Furthermore you can daisy-chain (with the included cable) six or more displays for great effects. So for more information head over to the DMD pages today.


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