Upgrade to Teensy 3.5/3.6

Hi All,
Firstly, many thanks to the team for both designing the Smartmatrix hardware and software - it really is much appreciated! I know nothing about electronics design and very little about programming and so am using this to slowly ease myself into it all!

I just noticed that upgraded versions of Teensy, the 3.5 and 3.6, are out. Could these be used to upgrade the Smartmatrix as a ‘drop in’ replacement? I just wondered if the extra power of the new hardware could be harnessed by Aurora etc and more easily enable 64x64 displays or beyond to be used?

Sorry for the basic Q.

Hi Mark,

I backed the Teensy 3.5/3.6 Kickstarter and just got mine, but no time to really look into the details. I’d like to port the SmartMatrix Library to run on the new Teensys, but I’m not sure when I’ll get to that. The SmartMatrix Shield was definitely not designed for the Teensy 3.5/3.6: there’s a collision between the longer board and the panel connector.

I skimmed through the new pinout, and at a glance it looks pin compatible with the Teensy 3.2. I haven’t compared the DMA engines.

Can’t promise anything for now, other than I’ll look into this in more detail before I work on another rev of the SmartMatrix Shield, maybe sometime in early 2017.

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Hi Louis,

Thanks for the reply - sounds like it’s beyond my capabilities at the moment then! Hopefully you’ll find some time early next year - looking forward to the results. In the meantime I’ll crack on with the current set up.

All the best,

Well I can verify that at least the 3.5 works. I hacked up a SmartMatrix Shield with female headers to space the Teensy off from the panel connector. This is a setup I’m using anyway (with 3.2) because I don’t want to lose an entire SmartMatrix should I somehow fry my Teensy.

I used Arduino 1.6.11 and Teensy Loader 1.30. Here’s some photos. Don’t judge me. :slight_smile:

Google Photos
Google Photos




Nice solution Vince! Glad to hear it’s working with a 3.5.

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Thanks for the update - good to know it is an easy swap. Just need to exploit the extra power of the 3.5 now!


Hi vincefarq,

Im loving the idea as have just put together a 64x64. i have it working with jasons version of it at the moment would love to expand it. so version 3.5 seems a good way to go. i do have few shields laying around with female headers. what did you do about the back pins ?, have you tried Aurora on it yet ? as i see your just running the smartmatrix demo.

Since reading this post i purchased the teensy 3.5, the extra memory i was hoping would help running aurora on a 64x64 fully including gifs. at this time i can run either the edited down version that Jason has released or just the gifs on a teensy 3.2, none will work on the 3.5 as far as i can see it due to the fastled library not supporting the teensy 3.5. yet.

Sorry for the late reply. My notifications were going somewhere unexpected.

I’d suggest soldering only the pins that connect to the SmartMatrix. I don’t suggest trying to connect with all Teensy pins in place. That’s a good way to short something and kill your Teensy.

I never tried it with Aurora. No experience so far in using that. I just fired it up to see how much more memory I could get w/ the standard library. As it stands, I went back to Teensy 3.2 because I have a ton of them laying around.

I’d love to back a 3.5/3.6 SmartMatrix Kickstarter, though. (hint, hint)