Wow, it’s been almost a year since I’ve been able to revisit “Creating an LED Wall Part 1“. I’ve since had a baby girl, and life’s been great since. All this to say, it’s time to revisit progress and where we’ve been since… December of 2013. (Still can’t believe that).

Let’s Recap

If you recall, in my first post, the idea was laid out. It went as follows:

“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.”

What’s Next

To follow up, I ended up never finishing the Arduino course, but I did get very far. I simply ran out of time. I decided to go against Rasberry PI and simply focus on Arduino parts. This helps in that I needed to learn a good foundation before I dove in and started mixing and matching processors. It took standard 5 – 7 business days to get the Arduino. I ended up getting this guy right here. In hind sight, I should have gotten one with WIFI, but at the time I didn’t know where the installation was going to be. More on that in a future post.

After many many sketches of how I thought the wall would look, I finally decided on what I wanted the wall to do. I really like the work that BreakfastNY does, and their Electromagnetic Dot Display project gave a bit of inspiration in terms of  size and functionality. I decided on the following as the core “things the wall does”:

  • 1. Color patterns.
  • 2. Display Tweets from based on a specific #hashtag. (yes, moderated — can you imagine).
  • 3. Play video (either from YouTube, or streaming web video — such as ESPN3).
  • 4. BONUS: Separate the wall into 2 or 3 quadrants, and gameify it for those passing by on the streets. (more on this in a future post).

I decided that we needed to prototype these ideas first, and before we did that, I needed supplies! It ended up taking about 30 or 35 days to receive the LED’s from China. The LED’s are great though. In my next post, I’ll go into setting up the prototype, and key decisions I made regarding the wall, technical decisions, as well as user experience decisions.

Until then.


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