About this project
Meet LEDgoes. It's the simplest, most versatile, least expensive LED Matrix Display system that exists today, with useful features for all experience levels with electronics. And the software & hardware will be Open Sourced upon successful funding!
You can stack or arrange up to 64 Displayboards together in a single system in any way that you like. Each Displayboard is 1.5 x 2 inches, 5x7 LEDs, and Two Color (can be combined for 3 colors!). *Final Production Boards will have ceramic oscillators for the ATmegas.
Here's a demonstration of how to display animations on an LEDgoes:
We have been working on this project for over a year and are finally ready to push for the final design while preparing the funding to manufacture & sell it. Our Kickstarter seeks to prove that there are people turned off by the cost, complexity, lack of features, and lack of expandability of present-day products -- and that LEDgoes is the answer. We won't exist unless you want us to. (And we appreciate your resounding support & vote of confidence!)
All of the commercial systems we saw on the market are locked into proprietary interfaces and/or have only one color, aren't replaceable nor expandable, have limited means to communicate with or program, and are expensive! The DIY area was not much better as existing systems either cost $45 a character (over twice the retail price we are asking), had a learning curve, are limited to one color, aren't modular, and all of them required expensive external controllers you had to program to get going.
It all started when we went to a local electronics shop and saw these cheap LED Matrix boards. Stevo had always wanted to have a Stock Ticker in his office, but the commercial systems just would not do what he needed. We were inspired. T3am Aw3s0m3 was on the job.
We designed this system for everyone from the Grandma who has trouble hearing her phone and would benefit from having caller ID displayed above the TV or in the Bedroom to the tinkerer who wants to make it drive a giant array of motors!
LEDgoes are also commercial use friendly. No longer does a store owner need to throw away a $300-500 LED display because one of the LEDs burnt out or a chip died. Here you simply replace the board if the chip dies and the LED Matrix if an LED goes bad.
LEDgoes uses easy to find, inexpensive parts. You will be able to find LED Matrix' that are compatible for a very long time. You will also be able to make new boards yourself and the chip pinout covers a whole line of very popular microcontrollers : the ATMEGA.
You can design and connect LEDgoes any way you like. Wrap them around a corner, backpack, back windshield, DJ booth, bar, store, on top of a door, frame, or use your imagination! You can even string together Displayboards vertically to make an LED matrix of ANY SIZE!
The LEDgoes protocol allows you to do Images, Text, Scrolling, and even ANIMATIONS! You can design your own Fonts, Characters, Sprites, whatever! *Imagine Mario on this or LED Pacman!*
It's TOTALLY HACKABLE. LEDgoes Displayboards use the Arduino Bootloader which can be reprogrammed through the same connection interface used to connect the Displayboards together. That means that each Displayboard has 26 GPIO Hackable pins in a ~1.5x2inch board with two chips for less than $20. That is an unheard-of price and size in the DIY Market.
We already have apps and code for every level of user. Our code can shout out Twitter #hashtags, display RSS Feeds, runn the matrix from independent Arduino & Netduino code, and we've got some simple standalone apps for typing out messages in different colors and scroll speeds to the board over USB on Windows, MAC, and Linux. The Android application is already underway. iOS will be available too!
Why do you need the Money? Looks like you have a lot of it done. We need the money to fund the first official production run of the LEDgoes Displayboards and to finalize design and build all of the partner boards of the system. We also cannot go to market if the market doesn't exist. It is one thing to do it for yourself and another to do it for the world.
*These LED Matrices and all boards are designed for Indoor use. The displays are not bright enough to be read easily outdoors in full sunlight and they are not built for being outside.
Each T-shirt is a Soft Cotton (Nice shirts you will wear) and come with 3 Washable markers. It is a White silkscreen on a Black shirt and has a picture of a 30x7 inch matrix (equal to 6 LEDgoes) for you to customize, rinse, and customize again!
Future Work Outside of the initial push: We are also working with some outside friends to manufacture a Modular Case system for LEDgoes which will allow each board to attach to its own case and the cases lock together for a sturdy, one-piece design.
End Caps will also be made for all of the Accessory Boards. ALL CAD DESIGNS WILL BE OPENSOURCE and printable on a 3D printer. Molds for doing injection Molded cases will come much later as the turn around on molds can be as much as 3 months.
Risks and challenges
- Parts and Designing (like any project)
- Production/Part issues (like any hardware project)
- Getting everything done in time
- Building and shipping Locally in TEXAS
We have a Unique situation.
All production, design, shipping, etc is done in Texas by a group of friends.
One friend owns a Fulfillment Company in Dallas.
One friend owns a DIY Online Store.
One friend owns an Electronics Production Company.
We met at the Dallas Makerspace 2 years ago. We are makers.
The Designers are husband and wife. Stacy is a Full Time Android Engineer. Stevo is a full time Software Automation Engineer. They are BOTH have Computer Engineering Degrees which means they have an intimate understanding of software and hardware design.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Android and iOS are already listed on the Kickstarter Page as part of the initial Release. If we meet more stretch goals we can add more Services and more Mobile OS' .
Displayboards and Partnerboards will have holes for Mounting the PCB's Direct or you can use the Modular Casing system we have in development. Mounting hardware is up to you, (yay for screws! or even PCB board mounts). Its kinda up to you!
When I get the 2 display boards that come with the pledge, or the 10pack from MT, will it include the needed ribbon connectors for this type of setup?
The Connectors are Actually the side headers that you see on the sides, they lock together with no cables required. Pre-made ribbon cables of a few lengths will be available through Kickstarter and Makertronic to do flexible applications. All Partner boards use the same connectors and are designed to just plug in the same way as the displayboards.
Do the modules interlock both on the sides and top/bottom? Not obvious in the video how they stay together.
They do not. They are Designed to Connect Left to right. If you want to add top to bottom, that's fine! They all use the same Serial Data line to get their information.
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