The ESP32 HUB75 LED Matrix Driver

Drive HUB75 LED panels using an ESP32 board and SmartMatrix library.

Jeremy S. Cook
13 days agoLights

Programmable LED strips and panels based on the WS2812B and the like are extremely popular, and have been lighting up maker projects for years now. Another type of LED panel is based on a HUB75 interface, and doesn’t have any sort of built-in PWM, requiring the processor to control things directly via data lines

If that sounds way more complicated wiring-wise than the single data line, you would be correct. Rorosaurus, however, has come up with a board that adapts an ESP32-DEVKIT-V1 to plug in to one of these panels via its standard connector. This piece of hardware, available here on Tindie, can even be ordered with female pin headers, allowing you to swap the ESP32 board out on a whim if you so choose, along with screw terminals for power supply.

The ESP32 provides WiFi and Bluetooth control capabilities, and compatible with Arduino as well as the SmartMatrix and FastLED libraries. Three ground pins are broken out, along with a trio of 3.3V power supply pins and 9 GPIOs for even further “iteractability.” Notably, this board is only compatible with 3.3V tolreant LED panels, but roro’ has yet to find a panel that doesn’t work.

Although somewhat data line intensive, the setup looks spectacular in the demo video below, especially a little after the 0:30 second mark when blue “plasma” starts orbiting a glowing orange center.

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Jeremy S. Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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