Hi guys, today we will be focusing on displaying mini graphics and texts on an 8×8 LED matrix using the MAX7219 (or MAX7221) LED driver and the Arduino Uno.
The 8×8 LED matrix displays are usually used for the display of symbols, simple graphics and texts. Made of super bright LEDs, they produce low resolution display and can be daisy chained to produce larger displays.
To enable us to control the display easily, we will be using the MAX7219/MAX7221 LED display driver module. Although this driver comes attached to the LED Matrix display that we will be using for this tutorial, its important to treat them separately, so you can understand how the LED driver works and be able to use it in case you are unable to get an 8×8 LED Matrix display that comes with the LED Driver.
The MAX7219/MAX7221 are compact, serial input/output common-cathode display drivers that interface to microcontrollers and microprocessors to control 7-segment numeric LED displays of up to 8 digits, bar-graph displays, or 64 individual LEDs. Included on the MAX7219 chip is a BCD code-B decoder, a multiplex scan circuitry, a segment and digit drivers, and an 8×8 static RAM that stores each digit. Only one external resistor is required to set the segment current for all LEDs. The MAX7221 is compatible with SPI, QSPI, and MICROWIRE communication protocols, and has slew-rate-limited segment drivers to reduce EMI. Individual digits of the connected LED display may be addressed and updated without rewriting the entire display. The MAX7219/MAX7221 also allow the user to select code-B decoding or no-decode for each digit.
The components required for this project are;
Do note that the 8×8 LED matrix used in this tutorial already comes with the LED Driver attached as its common with most 8×8 LED modules these days. To get it, just follow the link attached to it.