Wednesday, April 24, 2013

LED Matrix Link, Wedding, Twitter, and WiFly

I just wanted to make a quick post about the LED Matrix Display project. This past week I received a WiFly Shield from This will allow more flexibility at the wedding as I am not sure how I am going to setup Internet access. The most difficult part of the WiFly shield was getting a working library to compile on the Arduino Due as it is a new microcontroller and the Arduino IDE 1.5.2 is still in beta.

LED Matrix Links, Arduino Due and SFE WiFly Shield

After trying the Sparkfun library and not being able to compile, I commented on someone with the same issue. After talking back and forth he had a forked library that ended up working. The great people at Sparkfun were able to fix the errors on that Monday. The only thing you have to edit is WiFly.h and add this line to the top of the file. This is only for the Arduino Due on either library."#define PSTR(x)  x"

Here is the awesome library:

The Sparkfun one should work now too.

Here is a link to the ported Ethernet to WiFly code on github.

Also since the Arduino Due only has SPI on the ICSP pins you need to jumper the pins over instead of putting the shield on top. Here is the pin mapping.

Now all that is left, is to make a display stand which we are doing when my Best Man comes into town.

Enjoy! Hope this can help others out with their projects.

Monday, April 22, 2013

BeagleBone Black packs 1GHz ARM CPU, 512MB RAM for just $45

Just got an email this morning from Newark that you can -order the BeagleBone Black. Great new price and improved hardware. By the time I checked it said 0 available, but it looks like you can still checkout. Hopefully I can get one this summer.

Here is the info posted by Engadget:

The BeagleBone might be just the piece of hardware for the DIY set itching to boot Linux in 10 seconds, but the freshly unveiled BeagleBone Black packs an even greater punch -- and the same speedy start times -- at just half the price of its predecessor. The $45 credit card-sized package totes a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor, 3D graphics accelerator, a pair of PRU 32-bit RISC CPUs, 2GB of built-in storage and 512MB of RAM. When it comes to connectivity, the canine-themed board carries support for USB, ethernet, micro HDMI and two 46 pin headers. BeagleBoard Black is already up for grabs in limited quantities, but it's expected to ship en masse by the end of May. Hit the second source link to start ordering, or head past the break for a video tour of the pint-sized computer.

On Newark

Sunday, April 14, 2013

LED Matrix Master Fundraiser on Tindie

LED Matrix Master

You can support the fundraiser here:

Over the next two weeks we will be running a fundraiser to “kick start” the LED Matrix Master. If successful, the PCBs will be ordered and it should be about 3-4 weeks to start shipping. Thanks for your support. Each fundraiser you support helps build FriedCircuits and fuels development of new products. We have a few more designs in the works including entry into the home automation field. If there are any ideas you would like to see, feel free to contact us. The LED Matrix Master is a microcontroller (Arduino compatible Atmega328p) in the same form factor as the LED Matrix Link. After programming you can easily mate it with the matching headers to a string of LED Matrix Links. Instead of tying up one of your development microcontrollers you can dedicate the LED Matrix Master to do the job. The small size allows it to be hidden away or connected directly without wires, just power.


 • Atmega328p @ 16MHz with Arduino bootloader

 • 5v operation (Could be run at 3.3, but slightly out of spec at 16MHz.)

 • FTDI Headers

 • All unused GPIO's available

 • ICSP footprint

 • Preloaded with demo sketch

 • Can be used as standalone microcontroller for other projects

 • Code examples on


 • 1x PCB with SMD components soldered

 • 1x Right angle male FTDI header

 • 1x 5p right angle female header

You can support the fundraiser here:

If you need the LED Matrix Links you can find them here:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

LED Matrix, Wedding and Twitter - Updated

The main driving force to develop the LED Matrix Link was to display messages at my wedding in May. The idea was to have guests be able to send messages to it during the reception. I decided to use Twitter since most people use it and there are plenty of code examples to get me started. Good thing I have a Ethernet shield I got on clearance at Radio Shack, perfect project to put it to use. I am not sure this will be the final design since I have to figure out the best way to get Internet at the reception.

Scrolling text from Twitter on Arduino Mega\Ethernet Shield