Sunday, March 15, 2015

Arduino Blocks - LED display and button board

You can buy this really neat board with 8 digits, 8 LEDs, and 8 switches for very cheap. It's a great interface for many projects.  Let's see how to hook it up.



Link to the ebay auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/400531985021

Here's the video of this lesson/project:


The software to drive it has already been written, you just need to install it.  Click here to download it (you want the ZIP file).  Extract the contents of the ZIP into your arduino/libraries directory.  If you have arduino installed below c:\program files (x86) then you'll have to extract somewhere else, then drag it to the libaries folder and give admin permission to do the copy.

The board needs +5v and ground leads, plus data/clock and "strobe" - strobe enables writes to the board. You can hook several of these boards up to the same data/clock as long as they each have separate "strobe" lines, so 3 lines hooks up 1 board, 4 hooks up 2, etc.

You can use any of the digital I/O pins. It's best to avoid 0 and 1 since those are used to communicate with the PC with serial I/O, programming, etc.  You just need to tell the library which pins it's attached to.  If you hook up multiple modules, just create a TM1638 object in your code for each module to control it.

I'll let the video and the code to the rest of the talking.  I've commented the code pretty heavily, so hopefully that will be helpful to you.

Here's a link to my code for the game.

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