Getting Started with the SmartLED Shield for Teensy

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Contributors: bboyho
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Introduction

The PixelMatix SmartLED shield for Teensy makes it easy to connect to RGB LED matrix panels! The shield makes it easy to connect to the 16 pins required to drive the display, connects an external 5V supply to power the display and Teensy, and brings out the Teensy’s free signals to a convenient header.

SmartLED Shield V4 for Teensy 3

SmartLED Shield V4 for Teensy 3

DEV-15046
$19.95
1
Note: This tutorial was originally written for the SmartLED Shield V4 for Teensy 3. If you are using a Teensy 4, we recommend using the SmartLED Shield V5 or an adapter. Make sure to check out the compatibility notes for more information.

In this tutorial, we will explore a some of the examples provided with the SmartLED shield using different RGB LED matrix panel sizes.

SmartLED Demos with Different Panels

Required Materials

To follow along with this tutorial, you will need the following materials. You may not need everything though depending on what you have. Add it to your cart, read through the guide, and adjust the cart as necessary.

RGB LED Matrix Panel

You will need a panel. The following has been tested to work with the examples provided.

RGB LED Matrix Panel - 32x32

RGB LED Matrix Panel - 32x32

COM-14646
$44.95
RGB LED Matrix Panel - 64x64

RGB LED Matrix Panel - 64x64

COM-14824
$79.95
RGB LED Matrix Panel - 32x64

RGB LED Matrix Panel - 32x64

COM-14718
$49.95
1

Teensy

To control the panel using the SmartLED shield, you will need a Teensy. You can use a Teensy 4.0 but you would need to make sure that you are using the appropriate SmartLED Shield version or adapter.

Teensy 3.2

Teensy 3.2

DEV-13736
$19.80
66
Teensy 3.6 (Headers)

Teensy 3.6 (Headers)

DEV-14058
$33.25
6
Teensy 3.5

Teensy 3.5

DEV-14055
$24.95
7
Teensy 3.6

Teensy 3.6

DEV-14057
$29.25
15
Teensy 3.5 (Headers)

Teensy 3.5 (Headers)

DEV-14056
$28.95
1

Power

You will also need a 5V power supply. A 5V wall adapter and barrel jack adapter is the easiest way to connect power to the panel and Teensy. However, there are other methods depending on how you are powering the panel.

DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Female

DC Barrel Jack Adapter - Female

PRT-10288
$2.95
1
Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5VDC, 2A (Barrel Jack)

Wall Adapter Power Supply - 5VDC, 2A (Barrel Jack)

TOL-15312
$5.95
2

Additional Components

Depending on your setup and how you are controlling the panel, you may need these additional components.

Break Away Headers - Straight

Break Away Headers - Straight

PRT-00116
$1.50
20
USB micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

USB micro-B Cable - 6 Foot

CAB-10215
$4.95
13
SparkFun Real Time Clock Module

SparkFun Real Time Clock Module

BOB-12708
$15.95
15
microSD Card - 16GB (Class 10)

microSD Card - 16GB (Class 10)

COM-15051
$19.95
microSD USB Reader

microSD USB Reader

COM-13004
$4.95
10
Break Away Male Headers - Right Angle

Break Away Male Headers - Right Angle

PRT-00553
$1.95
5

Tools

Depending on your setup, you may need pliers, a soldering iron, solder, and general soldering accessories.

Needle Nose Pliers

Needle Nose Pliers

TOL-08793
$2.95
1
Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

Solder Lead Free - 100-gram Spool

TOL-09325
$7.95
7
SparkFun Mini Screwdriver

SparkFun Mini Screwdriver

TOL-09146
$0.95
3
Weller WLC100 Soldering Station

Weller WLC100 Soldering Station

TOL-14228
$44.95
1

Suggested Reading

If you aren’t familiar with the following concepts, we recommend checking out these tutorials before continuing.

How to Power a Project

A tutorial to help figure out the power requirements of your project.

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway? This tutorials dives into what an Arduino is and along with Arduino projects and widgets.

RGB Panel Hookup Guide

Make bright, colorful displays using the 32x16, 32x32, and 32x64 RGB LED matrix panels. This hookup guide shows how to hook up these panels and control them with an Arduino.

Getting Started with the Teensy

Basic intro to the Teensy line of products, with soldering and programming suggestions.