Controlling 7-segment displays with a 7 cent microcontroller
Tim’s Blog is back to using ultra-inexpensive microcontrollers to control LEDs.
Why would you use three WS2811 ICs to control a single 7-segment display when a single microcontroller could do it better at a lower cost?
I elected to use a PADAUK PFS154-S16 as microcontroller for each segment. This device has flash memory and sufficient I/O to control a 7 segment display without multiplexing. The cost is only $0.07, so it is cheaper than, for example, using multiple WS2811 instead.
Instead of a tricky protocol like typical LED controllers, these use a standard UART (serial) interface.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.