Question about LED panels

Hi everyone. Total noob here who is trying to jump into some projects by playing around with a 32x64 panel or chaining two together to make a cool custom display.

Where do you guys buy your LED panels at? Im in the US and Adafruit seems cool but… Spendy. Seems like AliExpress is a good choice to save cost but, I haven’t ever shopped on there. I see many panels don’t have descriptive specifications about their products and I’m just worried about not being able to access a datasheet for it to know what’s going on.

I think I want to go in on some 5mm 1/16 refresh rate panels. Should I be trying to avoid certain chips if I want to use with the smartmatrix and fastled panels? I couldn’t find anything regarding chip support on the GitHub docs. I just wanted to make sure what I buy works “out of the box”. Here’s what I found that looks promising (I’m guessing that SMD2121 is supposed to be the chip used?)

Please correct me if I’m wrong… Thanks!

https://m.aliexpress.com/item/32760977253.html?src=google&_randl_currency=USD&_randl_shipto=US&src=google&albch=shopping&acnt=494-037-6276&isdl=y&slnk=&plac=&mtctp=&albbt=Google_7_shopping&aff_platform=google&aff_short_key=UneMJZVf&gclsrc=aw.ds&&albagn=888888&albcp=9317063908&albag=94962804715&trgt=299423776478&crea=en32760977253&netw=u&device=m&gclid=Cj0KCQjw0pfzBRCOARIsANi0g0tS13lYdsJfDvnI5cHU3EdPJBLvsLLqf8zVveNcQXgtOdGDUACY8TIaAivGEALw_wcB

So, the bad news is that very few (i.e. almost no) vendors will guarantee the chip you’ll get (FM2616 or not), or let’s say for 128x64 panels, whether they are ABC or ABCDE.
Most panels will work with SmartMatrix, but not all. Unfortunately the way you find out 95% of the time is by buying the panel or trying it.

And if you buy the same panel from the same vendor 2 weeks later, you just might get another panel anyway :frowning:
I buy from azerone and they’re the best chinese vendor I’ve worked with so far: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=AZERONE&ref=bl_dp_s_web_0
If you have questions, you can contact them directly on FB
https://www.facebook.com/su.hongren.9 and send a private message.

I trust him enough that I just send Email by paypal now and get stuff by mail.

Well that’s good to know. Thanks for your reply!