September 13, 2013 AT 4:01 pm

NYC Resistor’s Octoscroller in Action

NYC Resistor’s Octoscroller in Action

Hexascroller has been a central fixture at NYCR for the past few years, with a few ups and downs. It’s replacement, Octoscroller, improves on our classic message alert polygon by having two more sides and two more colors of LEDs.

The brains are a BeagleBone Black running the LEDscape custom PRU firmware. The AM355 CPU in the BBB has two separate realtime microcontrollers built into its die, both with full access to the GPIO lines and cache coherent access to main memory. This bit of hardware/software allows the user application to simply render into a frame buffer, which is then driven to the panels by the PRU.

The key component of Octoscroller are these 16×32 RGB panels from Adafruit. Unlike the popular WS281x LED strips that have their own PWM hardware builtin to each pixel, these panels are very inexpensive since they require continuous refresh by an external driver. The Arduino firmware can only drive a single panel and consumes a significant amount of CPU interrupt time to maintain the image. With LEDscape, the BBB can drive up to four chains of four panels each at 0% CPU load. Powering the panels and the BeagleBone is a 5V 10A DC supply


Check out all the Circuit Playground Episodes! Our new kid’s show and subscribe!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Learn resistor values with Mho’s Resistance or get the best electronics calculator for engineers “Circuit Playground”Adafruit’s Apps!

Maker Business — “Finally — some data on whether crowdfunding is a good investment or not”

Wearables — Sample code is your new best friend

Electronics — Meaningful gains

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at !

No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.