This Large-Format LED Matrix Display Chains 12 Panels to a Single Adafruit Matrix Portal S3

With a total of 24,576 RGB LEDs, this large-format display really pushes the Espressif ESP32-S3-based Matrix Portal to its limit.

Semi-pseudonymous developer Devon, also known as TreasureDev and DJDevon3, has pushed an Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 LED matrix controller board to its very limit — by chaining 12 panels off it for a large-format display, all held together with custom 3D-printed brackets.

"Up to 12 matrix panels driven by a single Adafruit Matrix Portal S3 running CircuitPython," Devon writes of the project, which is nothing if not eye-catching. "[It] requires 2× 5V 18A PSUs."

The heart of the project is Adafruit Matrix Portal S3, an LED matrix driver built around the Espressif ESP32-S3 microcontroller module and designed for creating Internet of Things (IoT) display boards from one or more LED matrices. Devon's build, though, pushes the device to its limit by connecting a total of 12 64×32 RGB LED matrices — giving it an overall resolution of 192×128 from a grand total of 24,576 LEDs.

While the display's power demands are enough to require not one but two 18A power supplies, only one Matrix Portal is used as the brains of the system — connected to all 12 panels plus a Bosch Sensortec BME688 sensor for temperature, humidity, pressure, and volatile organic content (VOC), which are fed to the display for live environmental readings.

To hold all 12 LED matrices together without visible seams, Devon has designed a quartet of 3D-printable brackets — one design for panels on the top and bottom, some for the end panels, some for mid panels, and some "quad brackets."

More information is available in Devon's Mastodon post; source code has been published to GitHub under the permissive MIT license, while files for 3D printing the brackets are available on Printables under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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