Scrolling LED marquees are easily built with a few 8x8 LED arrays. However, 8x8 is not good enough for displaying all international alphanumeric characters. This Arduino and ARM mbed compatible reference design combines four 8x8 LED arrays to create a 16x16 display with 256 LEDs, capable of displaying any international alphanumeric symbol and more.

Maxim’s MAXREFDES99# is an Arduino form-factor shield featuring four daisy chained MAX7219 ICs to drive a full 256-LED array. Software for the board is available on both Arduino and ARM mbed platforms for quick prototyping with multiple platform boards. System demonstrations include the display of ASCII characters ‘SPACE’ through ‘~’ and writing/scrolling string messages. Developers are encouraged to build upon and enhance the code base.

The kit includes four 8x8 LED displays.