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Color clock - is this possible?
Moderators: adafruit_support_bill, adafruit

Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.

Color clock - is this possible?

by stymied on Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:52 pm

I have an idea for a clock project involving a Metro M0, LED matrix (with RGB matrix shield) and real-time clock. I'm comfortable doing the programming and able to do light soldering, but I don't know much at all about electronics. I have a couple specific questions.

  • Can I hook up the RTC breakout and the shield at the same time? It looks like they use the same pins. If it's possible, what's the best way to do it?
  • I want to add either three buttons or two buttons and a dial (two buttons to set the clock, one button or dial to set brightness). Do I have enough connections left to do this?
  • Can I power the Arduino from the LED panel? I plan to use the 4A 5VDC adapter recommended on the LED panel product page. I'd like one wall wart, not two, if possible.

Thanks!

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by stymied on Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:37 pm

To be clear, all I am asking here is if I can hook up all these things at the same time (and if so, whether there is anything I should know or if it's just straightforward). If the answer is that it's easy to just connect all these things at once, I'm comfortable with the programming.

Is it possible to hook up an RTC, color matrix shield, a couple buttons and a potentiometer all at the same time?

stymied
 
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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:06 pm

Just to be clear, which RGB matrix were you planning to use? https://www.adafruit.com/?q=rgb%20matrix%20shield
The Neopixel matrix shield uses only 1 GPIO pin. The shield for driving the 16x32 and 32x32 panels uses a lot more.

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by stymied on Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:11 pm

Ah. So with this one, for example, it would not be possible to also connect the RTC and some buttons, I'm guessing?

https://www.adafruit.com/product/2601

I want to use the RTC to keep time and I want buttons to set the clock and control brightness. Is this turning into a Raspberry Pi project or is there a way to do it with Arduino?

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:17 pm

The i2c pins are not used by the matrix shield, so there is no conflict with the RTC. And it looks like you would have a spare analog pin for your pot and a couple of digital pins left over for the buttons.

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by stymied on Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:21 pm

What I want to create is something like this:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EcbO3-JUcAE ... =4096x4096

It needs to be a few inches on a side. The exact dimensions don't matter, but it would look nice at about the size of the 16x32 matrix, I think. That said, I'm only using two colors, so I don't necessarily need a whole matrix. I did a prototype using LED strips, but I am not an electronics guy so I was not able to get the brightness I wanted. And I would have had to cut up and rearrange and solder the strips to get them into a square. That's why the matrix is attractive: the wiring is already done for me and the brightness will be good, so long as I provide enough power.

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by stymied on Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:23 pm

adafruit_support_bill wrote:The i2c pins are not used by the matrix shield, so there is no conflict with the RTC. And it looks like you would have a spare analog pin for your pot and a couple of digital pins left over for the buttons.


Oh, nice. I'll order the parts then and start tinkering. Thanks! I suppose I can solder onto the pins where they stick through the shield after I install it. I'll look and see. Thanks!

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by adafruit_support_bill on Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:32 pm

The shield has breakout holes that run parallel to the main headers. So it is easy to make connections to any of the pins.

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by stymied on Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:38 pm

adafruit_support_bill wrote:The shield has breakout holes that run parallel to the main headers. So it is easy to make connections to any of the pins.


That is awesome. Thank you so much for your support! I ordered a bunch of stuff. Looks like I can start working on this in a week or so!

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by stymied on Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:45 pm

Thanks for your help! I have populated the shield and I'm well on my way. Once I get everything connected, it's all just programming from here on out.

I have a dumb question and I thought I'd ask here rather than risking damage to something...

From Connecting Using RGB Matrix Shield :

Power to the LED matrix can be connected to the shield’s screw terminals — red wire to +5Vout, black wire to GND — and the whole circuit is then powered from the Arduino’s DC jack or a USB cable at a safe and regulated 5 Volts.


Does that mean I can connect like this...

  • Molex on matrix to power terminal on shield via the power cable
  • Shield plugged into Metro of course
  • 5V DC from the power supply I bought here, plugged into the Metro

That seems to be what this instruction is saying. I just want to make sure that the power the matrix pulls up through the shield is okay to run through the Metro. I'm hoping I can just plug the power supply into the jack that's on the Metro and have this just work.

Am I on the right track?

...and I'm assuming it's okay to chop off the extra Molex connector...?

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by stymied on Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:14 pm

Edit: Tried plugging it in. Magic smoke stayed inside so far.

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by adafruit_support_bill on Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:38 am

Does that mean I can connect like this...

Molex on matrix to power terminal on shield via the power cable
Shield plugged into Metro of course
5V DC from the power supply I bought here, plugged into the Metro

Yes, that sounds right.

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Re: Color clock - is this possible?

by stymied on Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:25 pm

Awesome, thank you. I have to say: I'm not a hardware guy (you knew that) but this whole site, this whole line of products could not be easier and the support is great! It's enabled me to do things that I didn't think I'd be able to do. Thanks again for your help!

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Please be positive and constructive with your questions and comments.