I am working on a project to display some text and graphics as the interface to a race timer (for the solar cars in schools project here). To do this I had obtained some 8 x 32 LED dot matrix displays from Sure electronics.

I had decided to keep the development time to a minimum, so I am using the open source arduino microcontroller board. This one is actually an arduino clone called the diavolino from Mad Scientist laboratories.

It turns out that, as is often the case, someone had already created a library to run the LED dot matrix, which is controlled by Hoktek’s HT1632 LED driver IC. This was available here (from members of Hack, Make, Void a Canberra, Australia hackspace).

Download the code from the github repository, move the two library folders into the library folder in your arduino directory. Move the 6 examples into your aruino sketchbook. Wire up the 9 wires from the arduino to the LED display (these are 4 chip select wires, so you can control up to 4 displays, 3 interface wires and 2 power wires). I ran the simple8x32 sketch and voila – lights a go go.

Now to make it do exactly what I want…..

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