I just wanted to show you all my completed graduation cap using the SmartMatrix V.4 with a Teensy 3.6.
Video of a few of the gifs I made (and a couple I did not make)
I’m wearing the hat here.
This was a fun project. I’ve had about 3 different versions and 4 different microcontrollers. I started with an Arduino Mega, but the lack of memory on the Mega limited the number of gifs I could have. Then I bought a SmartMatrix V.3 with Teensy 3.2 which, uh, got thrown away on accident before I ever used it. Next was a Raspberry Pi with RGB matrix hat, which worked pretty well. However, the low profile of the new SmartMatrix V.4 was highly desired, so it was the final and best choice.
The matrix is attached to my hat using magnets and it’s covered in a stretchy black fabric. I used a cell phone battery pack for powering both the matrix and the teensy. The battery lasted all commencement and all of dinner afterwards. Originally, the battery was situated under the matrix on the cap, but it was very heavy, so I had to reroute the battery to a pouch thing I made on my back. Even moving the battery the hat was very heavy. I used 8 clips to keep it in place during the ceremony. It stayed on my head, but was fairly uncomfortable around hour 2.
I had about 40 gifs on the SD card. I made about half of them using Aesprite. The other half I found on the Animated Gif section here and various other places on the internet. I had a small issue with a couple of gifs I made blinking randomly, but running them through the optimizer at ezgif fixed that.
I was using the default animated gif sketch found the library due to time constraints. If I had more time I would have written my own program to have some sort of loop.
Overall, this was a fun project, and I’m definitely going to use this matrix/teensy for something else in the future. I haven’t decided what though.
Feel free to ask me about my build, I’ll be happy to answer any questions.