The Raspberry Pi is a popular go-to tool in the maker community for driving displays — especially matrix panels.
But this team of makers decided it was time to change things up a bit with a custom pharmacy sign experience, consisting of matrix panels in the shape of a plus sign. Together, they collaborated in the development of a demo video complete with accompanying sound and showed off the end results at TRSAC 2022 — a demoparty whose acronym stands for “The Real Scene After Christmas,” which was hosted this year in Denmark.
The coding team consists of makers known as Gasman, Nico, and Superogue. Gasman also handled the hardware-side, wiring the Pi to the sign and adding much-needed audio support. RacoonViolet designed the graphics seen on the pharmacy sign, with Stormcaller assisting in developing the visuals while TôBach handled the music.
In the demo, we’re shown a huge pharmacy sign matrix that, when powered up, begins to display a series of animations all powered by a Raspberry Pi. It takes full advantage of the shape of the sign and is programmed to synchronize with the music in real time.
The team was kind enough to share a breakdown of the hardware used in the project. It’s driven by a Raspberry Pi 3, which is connected to five 64 x 64px matrix panels. These panels are controlled with an Electrodragon panel drive board and receive power from a 300-watt power supply.
This project is completely open source with source code available on GitHub for anyone to peruse. While many Pi projects are programmed using Python, it’s not uncommon to find other languages used as well. In this case, the pharmacy sign demo was programmed using C.
If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project yourself, or just make something similar, you can check out the original thread on Twitter where you will find a video of it in action as well as resource links that detail how the system goes together. Be sure to follow the dev team for more cool demo projects as well as any future updates on this one.