This Raspberry Pi project, created by maker Melissa LeBlanc-Williams, gets your message across loud and clear. It uses a Raspberry Pi to operate and control a scrolling LED sign.
The sign is constructed out of six RGB matrix panels taken from Project MC2 Pink Pixel Purses. The panels operate as one unit, controlled by the Raspberry Pi via an Adafruit RGB Matrix Bonnet. It can be updated with custom graphics, animations and special effects.
I added shadows! The technique was similar to opacity, but I had to offset it by a pixel or so. The results was even the graphic has a shadow and opacity affects the shadow as well. I also added a flash effect similar to blink. pic.twitter.com/6AcE5Z28HKJune 22, 2020
The final design uses a Raspberry Pi 3 B+ model. The LEDs are operated by means of a Python script. Melissa decided to use Pillow (PIL) when developing a library of graphics for the sign. The final library supports images, animations and a range of effects like opacity adjustment.
The RGB matrix panels are connected with a custom-designed 3D printed chassis—this keeps them perfectly aligned for a seamless experience. Melissa even went as far as removing the PoE connector from the Pi to reduce the overall thickness by 12 mm. This resulted in a thin final product that can be easily mounted to a wall.
There are plans in the works to release the custom library on Github so other people can recreate this project. In the meantime, you can follow Melissa on the official Maker Melissa’s Lab YouTube channel. If you want to check out the full thread breaking down the creation of the RGB LED sign, you can find it on Twitter.
Stay on the Cutting Edge
Join the experts who read Tom's Hardware for the inside track on enthusiast PC tech news — and have for over 25 years. We'll send breaking news and in-depth reviews of CPUs, GPUs, AI, maker hardware and more straight to your inbox.
Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.