Advice getting a mystery 48x36 pixel panel working


Hi all,
I am after some help to get some led panels running that were donated to the Norwich & London Hackspaces. About 50 were donated by someone who worked for a large screen installation company and these panels were out of colour spec so were to be binned.

Everything we currently know about them is here:

I & another member have got the Smart shield and the panel does light some LEDs. The pin outs match and I can set a background in the colours I choose. However because the dimensions and I guess arrangement of sub sections, the display is garbled.

I have taken the FeatureDemo example and stripped it down so that it sets the right pixel width & height and the background red:

const uint8_t kMatrixWidth = 48;
const uint8_t kMatrixHeight = 36;
const rgb24 defaultBackgroundColor = {0x40, 0, 0};
void loop() {

I feel the panel is trying to tell me something and someone who is more familiar with the code and these panels maybe able to help. If you can then please let me know.

toby (+ lots of others)


Hi Toby,

I took a look at the wiki, and while you might be able to heavily modify the SmartMatrix Library to drive these, it doesn’t seem like a natural fit. The panel’s mapping of inputs to rows and pixel groups doesn’t seem compatible with the panels used for SmartMatrix. I’m not sure what to suggest for your panels. Maybe the code in this Raspberry Pi-based LED Matrix driver could be modified easier to run on your panels:

If you dig into the SmartMatrix Library and have some specific questions I’m happy to help out where I can. Good luck!


We have made progress in the layout of the panels. It is 6 rows with each row containing 288 pixels.
One panel runs pretty well off a Arduino Mega but i’d still like to use the SmartMatrix if it doesn’t mean heavy code mods.


After a few minutes going over the updated wiki, I don’t easily understand the layout of the panels. I’m not sure if it’s a good fit for SmartMatrix.