Asked — Edited

Ideas For Scrolling Text On A Led Array?

Hello all, I’d like to use a PC to send text (up to 250 chars) to a scrolling LED display, and the PC would need to send a different text string every minute or two. I would be happy to use ARC for this, but other options would be acceptable also. (I'm thinking maybe I could simply send ascii text over a serial port? but i haven't found any solutions like that yet.) Ideally the LED display would be 8w x 1h (but the size is flexible). This display would be fixed in place (i.e. not on a mobile robot). I’d prefer an out-of-the-box solution, or at least one that does not involve much soldering (I am an amateur at soldering). (and I would consider anything under $100) (I searched the forum on this topic but everything I found [e.g. I2C - HT16K33 Animator (8x8) ] seemed out of date)

Would anybody here have any ideas for me? Thank you in advance! -Richard 'Twitch' R


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Built this one last year. I just use it for the holiday/birthday greetings and such. This is not a turn key item but it can give you and idea of what you can build with a little time and less then $20.00. It uses a ESP8266 but a Mini Arduino would work for what you need. Also, it runs a webserver and you have to send each message, again, not exactly what you wanted but some code change and your there. This should give you and idea of how little it takes to get what your looking for. Google Ardunio/ESP8266 scrolling Led displays, tons out there.

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@rregister Hi Richard . Try a google search for LED Message Board, the were hundreds listed I am sure you will find one that will fit your needs.


Hello nallycat, and thank you but... >google searxh for LED Message Board Yes i spent quite a bit of time earlier investigating these and as far as i can tell these LED Message Boards (at least the dozens i have examined) are not suitable for the project because they will not allow my PC to programmatically change the message every minute or two with new text -- note that the text for my project cannot be predicted / predetermined. These message boards you are indicating generally provide either an IR remote control, or push buttons, or a dedicated windows-based program that must be manually executed (and the message manually typed-in) [and as far as i can tell they use proprietary serial commands that are somewhat obscure -- at least according to the hacker-accounts who have attempted to decode/sniff these serial commands] or some combination of these options. Please let me know if you see an example where i can use some development environment (ARC, or visual studio, or javascript or ...) to send the text to the board in some reasonably straightforward fashion? (And thank you again)



Hello Herr Ball I appreciate this example, thank you -- this approach looks promising. It sounds good to use wifi, as your project indicates. I see (as you noted) that there is an ESP8266 Web server interface that would allow me to type in my text -- but i guess there must be some straightforward way for a program (like ARC or javascript?) to send the text string programmatically -- with some code changes i guess. Thank you again,



take a look at Scott Edward electronics, @ they should have what you may be looking for.


Hi RoboHappy

The serial interface looks great on these. Thank you! I am shocked that they do not appear to be able to scroll a message. The text stays in place as far as I can tell. My messages will be up to 250 chars, so a scroll would be a big help. Also these displays are a bit smaller than I would like, ideally. Still overall this may be the best out of the box option that I have seen so far, and I may try ordering one in the absence of anything "more perfect" popping up in terms of suggestions.
Thank you again! -rich