Pixelblaze with ph6-16s-e

For the life of me, I cant seem to find the type of LED’s contained in these panels (pixelmatix) i had laying around from another project are compatible with pixel blaze. I am pretty noob with programming LED, so was hoping to take the simple route with your beautiful panels and their chip. they seem to only be compatible with dotstar and neopixels… am i lucky enough to have either contained in these fabulous panels?

Any insight would be really appreciated.

The panel that you have are sometimes affectionally called “dumb” LED panels vs the “smart” LEDs like Dotstar and Neopixels. You need to have a controller that drives the dumb panels for them to display anything interesting. That’s what I make with the SmartLED Shield and SmartMatrix Library, but as you noticed, you do need to at least tweak some Arduino code and program a Teensy microcontroller to drive the panels.

I agree that the Pixelblaze controller seems like a good way to drive LED panels without investing too much in programming them. I just picked one up recently, and was hoping to make a simple device that sits between the Pixelblaze controller and a “dumb” panel to make the dumb panel compatible with Pixelblaze. However, I found that the Pixelblaze controller can’t really keep up with the large number of LEDs that are typically on the dumb panels. At 32x32 pixels, it might be able to keep up with an acceptable frame rate, but at 32x64 and beyond, I believe it was dropping below 30 FPS on the panels I tried, and in my opinion, that’s not good enough.

You can try this yourself without even having the panel, just load a pattern into Pixelblaze, configure it for the number of LEDs you want to drive in theory, and check the FPS counter.

I may still make this device to sit between a controller and a dumb panel (essentially making the dumb panel look like a Dotstar/APA102 matrix), but I think we’ll need to wait for a Pixelblaze V3 based on an ESP32 platform or something else new to come out before this idea will work with high refresh rates.

<3 Bro, Really appreciate the time you took to type this up. If you make the controller, i will buy it! I have these panels, but really love how simple and javascript based pixelblaze is. The on board IDE is exactly what i need. I would also pay for the code integration to get my teensy based boards (purchased from your team at makerfair) to allow themselves to take the code from pixel blaze.

Again, Really want to thank you for this thoughtful response. Meant a lot to me.

1 Like