Last year, one of my colleagues at work was showing off his awesome automatic driving RC car project. He introduced me to Arduino and showed me where to get it. I got the SparkFun Arduino Starter Kit with a multimeter. It comes with lots of little components and a bunch of tutorials. The tutorials were a great start, but honestly I quickly got bored. For me, the best way to learn is to just get my hands dirty and think about issues as they occur. YouTube is full of great Arduino projects, so I quickly found something I wanted to make: A 8x8 LED screen that I could potentially expand and make mini games for.
Here are some work in progress shots. It took about 2 months to complete, including wait delivery wait times and project planning.
After all the soldering, most of the work was C++ code, but for me that was the easy bit! You can browse it on GitHub.
And there you have it, a retina display for the Arduino! (viewing distance 100 meters)
Eventually, I wanted to expand the screen to a 24x16 matrix (adding 5 more of the same blocks), but noticed I was going to need a separate power supply. All the power was currently coming directly from the Arduino, which is just enough to drive 64 leds. Adding more, would mean I needed to change the circuit layout, or add a whole new breadboard.
So I decided to park this project and move on to more exciting things.