Spark Powered Jumbotron ?!?

I have always thought it would be cool to use the Wireless connectivity of the Spark Core to keep the data on a large color LED display constantly updated and refreshed with new content provided from the web.

So I imagine a Jumbotron like display hanging up on my shop wall that constantly scrolls the Time, Indoor Temp & Humidity, Outside Temp & Humidity pulled from the net, and other stuff I have not even though of yet.

So I came across this Adafruit Blog Post today and figured I would post it up here to see anybody would be interested in making the Spark Core do exactly what they are doing in the blog post.

Anybody also interested?

It does not have to be this large screen wise, I was thinking about 3 screens wide would be plenty for my self.

@peekay123 @BDub @bko @kennethlimcp


That might pair well with the Hockey Goal Light project. I guess it could work with other sports scores, too.


That would be sweet! I was toying with the idea of some kind of ambient display like this paired with a presence identifier (e.g. RFID scanner / key), so it could change content based on whoever checked into it last. Maybe some kind of big selector dial would do the same trick better… Since I was thinking I’d have less space, and want to control which feed was displayed.

Maybe do it based on bluetooth device presence? I was wanting to do something like that on a Raspberry Pi a while back, but my “server” closet in the basement wasn’t in range of any bluetooth in the rest of the house.

Hi @Dave

I hope clicked through to see the giant LED portal cube!



(I clicked, but I didn’t scroll, awesome!)

Repeat after me… “unlimited budget”. I come from a world of ROI (Return On Investment). These have infinitesimally small ROI’s for most hobby purposes but gosh darn they are beautiful! :crying_cat_face:



Add up what you think it will cost to get a 3 x 64x64 LED screen from Adafruit up and running on a Spark Core and let me know. If its not to bad I’ll buy and ship it to you, including a new Spark Core since I have quite a few laying around here.

I don’t think you’ll have enough I/O on the Spark Core to make this work. 13 digital outputs needed for the 32x32 which is the biggest they have. $40 each. So 64x64 x 3 would be $40 x 4 x 3 = $480. I’m going to take a wild guess at 18 pins needed. The Spark core could maybe control all of these pins (let’s say it only needs 16)… maybe, but it would be better to use a BeagleboneBlack or RasPi IMO. Let me save you some money and recommend a cheap 32" HD LED TV from Walmart ($200) and a RaspberryPi ($35)… start coding :smile:

Yeah you could multiplex it… but now it’s going to start slowing down your refresh rate.

1 Like

I meant just 3 of these 32x32 displays but I guess 1 or 2 of them would be plenty.

Is one or 2 doable?

@RWB, for me here in Canada, the Adafruit 607 32x32 panel is $120 each (the 1484-ADA 32x32 is $80). Each 32x32 panel requires 1536 bytes of RAM. So two panels would take 3,072 bytes which I suspect is too much for the Spark. A 16x32 Adafruit 420 is $45 and two of them would require 1536 bytes of RAM. Of course, you need a hefty power supply capable of 4 Amps at 5V for two 16x32 panels will all LEDs on at full brightness.

The larger arrangements require a fast processor with lots of RAM like the Teensy 3.x. :smile:

1 Like