The Idea

Over the past several months, I’ve been diving into Arduino, C++, Rasberry PI, and other electronic making “stuff” for one simple reason; I want to make a gigantic LED wall.

Now this sounds much easier than it really is going to be. I need to ramp up on my knowledge of coding in C++ (which I’ve never done), learn about the basics of electronics and micro-possessors, and learn about wattage, and so many other tid-bits that I’ve never thought about much less even known about before.

My supplies at this point:

1. Arduino Mega 2560
2 days ago I ordered an Arduino Mega 2560 from Adafruit. I ordered it already assembled because I don’t want to waste my time trying to figure that out. I realize that it will probably benefit me in the long run, however, I still chose to purchase the assembled board. One thing I should point out. It seems to be that this Arduino board doesn’t connect to the internet via WiFi. It has a USB connection which will work, but I really would prefer to connect it via WiFi. So, put this note on the back burner as I might end up needing to purchase a different WiFi specific Arduino board.

2. LED’s
It took me several weeks to find the right LED’s. In my next post I’ll show the details and measurements of the wall, but I basically need 3,000+ LED lights. I know, that’s a shit ton! In my wall, I want the ability to show curves, therefore, I need to put the LED’s closer together, and also make sure I order a specific type of LED’s. To get me started, I found these LED’s from China. Plenty of places here in the US have them, but I was only able to find strands of 25, and they were $36 for each. Where as LED’s at AliExpress where strands of 50 and only $18 (plus $30 shipping). To get me started and to make sure I actually receive my order, I placed an order for 300 12 MM Pixel LED’s.

I’ve found several websites to this point that have really helped me out. Especially with getting the basic knowledge of parts, processes, and training me to think the correct way when digging into electronics. It’s not easy! I wanted to call out a few places that might help you if you’re heading down the path I am.

  1. Arduino Forums
  2. Greg Friedland
  3. Udemy.com

Next Steps

Until I receive my packages from Arduino and China, I’ll be able to take the Udemy course. That works out pretty well, lots of learning until the hardware and supplies arrive. In my next post, I’ll show the diagrams of what I plan to build for testing. As we get further into it, I’ll end up posting the mega wall — over 3,000 LED’s!

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