This is a downstream E-blocks peripheral module, designed to be controlled by one of the upstream E-blocks processing boards which are available in a variety of MCU/FPGA architectures.
The LED Array Board allows you to explore basic display control mechanisms. It offers an array of 8×5 high-brightness red LEDs which can be controlled easily to create visual animations, pointers and signs. Multiple boards can plug together in such a way that allows large message boards to be created by cascading data through from one board to the next. The spacing of the mounting holes is set up so that you could fit multiple boards to a 20mm-pitch backplane and have a long, smoothly spaced LED sign.
Each LED array board features five logic buffer ICs which means you can drive display data directly without the need for a complicated multiplexing routine. Each board also features an Enable line which can be used to dim the LEDs to reduce brightness and save power. This Enable line also can be used when updating large displays to eliminate any flicker as the data are being refreshed.
The current for all of the LEDs is passed through a MOSFET which allows LED brightness to be controlled or switched off when idle to save power. The display interface is capable of handling very high-speed data allowing large display boards with high-frame-rate animations or scrolling text to be created.
LED Array Board Features
The board's patch/jumper system allows you to route the signals to individual female pin headers instead of the downstream E-blocks connector.
- 40 bright red LEDs — 8 rows × 5 columns
- 40 digital logic buffers
- Master brightness control
- No complicated software multiplexing required
- Over-voltage protection circuit
- Inter-connectable to allow much larger displays to be created
- Compatible with both 3.3V and 5V upstream E-blocks
LED Array Board Resources
E-blocks Overview E-blocks are small circuit boards each of which contains a block of electronics that you would typically find in an electronic system. Each E-Block performs a separate function as either an input sub-system, an output sub-system, an input/output sub-system or a processing sub-system.
E-blocks can be put together to form a variety of systems that can be used for teaching and learning electronics, and for the rapid prototyping of complex electronic systems.
Each E-block has one or more 9-way D-type connectors that provide up to eight input/output lines and a ground line. These D-type connectors allow connection between E-blocks to be made in buses of multiples of 8 lines, just like a real electronic system. Power is routed separately to those E-blocks that need it.
Processing E-blocks based on PIC, dsPIC, ARM or AVR microcontrollers, Altera FPGAs, Arduino or Raspberry Pi control the whole E-blocks system. Processing E-blocks provide up to five input/output ports with up to eight lines per port.
Please see the E-Blocks Category for a list of available components. For more details on E-blocks, see the E-Blocks User Guide (in English, French, German and Spanish) or watch the Introduction to E-Blocks video.