RGB LED matrices are incredible pieces of technology, and when you get up to a 32x32 pixel size, things get truly impressive. If even that isn’t enough to satisfy your blinkenlights obsession, then the Starboard/Particle Generator by hacker “dearner” takes things up several notches. It links four matrices together for a 30” x 8” display appropriate for your office, game room, or anywhere that needs more lighting!
The setup is controlled by a Raspberry Pi 3, along with an Adafruit RGB Matrix HAT. A 5V, 4 amp supply provides power and a set of 3D-printed clips hold everything together. Electronic wiring is handled by IDC cables and power connectors, so if you’d like to create your own, you won’t even have to bother with breaking out the soldering iron.
The project costs around $200 depending on where you source your parts, and build time is estimated at under two hours using dearner’s excellent instructions and code found on GitHub.
The results in the video are spectacular, and are certainly even better in person. While in theory, this type of display could be used to show any media, what’s seen above is a field of particles that appear to overlap, forming a 3D effect similar to some side scrolling video games of old. Perhaps a space-shooter could even be ported for this type of matrix?