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Old 28th June 2007, 01:53 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: USA
Question Digitally controlled LED panel help...

I am wanting to build a somewhat large panel of LEDs like the ones on old Thinking Machines supercomputers. For those who are not familiar with such computers, here are some links:

the red things...
another...
more...

Now, I clearly cannot make a panel as large as these since there were over 65,000 LEDs per panel, I believe. But, I was thinking something around 6"x12" or so.

The LED panel part isn't giving me trouble... I am not sure how to create a digital controller to manage all the LEDs. In some way, it needs to be able to communicate with my computer (it will be part of a computer case) and I am thinking about using the hard drive LED connection for this. But, the hard drive LED is only on or off, and the brightness achieved depends on how long the hard drive is hit. So, I need some kind of digital controller to read this voltage and interpret it in such a way that the LEDs will dance in random patterns like the real Thinking Machines computers. (In actuality, I believe the LEDs on TMs were connected to different addresses in memory and allowed viewers to see what was going into and out of RAM).

Does anyone see how this could be done? Could it be as simple as using a PIC or two?

Thank you all...
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