RGB LED Matrix sign using Raspberry Pi Zero

In order to be a bit more technically festive this Christmas, I created this 10×10 RGB LED sign. These are 100 WS2811s running off the brand new Raspberry Pi Zero and powered from my converted PC power supply. They are unceremoniously punched through some old cardboard I had from Amazon deliveries. Watch the video to see it in action.

I have powered the Raspberry Pi Zero directly via the 5v GPIO pin. This meant that I only had to have one power cable to the sign and it would power both the Pi and the LEDs. They are quite power hungry so using the converted power supply was a good choice for this.

The Pi is running Python code originally from Andrew Oakley which was very handy as he had done exactly what I wanted to achieve only a few weeks before! This meant I had the whole sign up and running within a few days. My code and animations can be found on my GitHub repository.

To create the animations, I used the fantastic Piskel App.

Convert PC Power Supply into Bench Power Supply

A properly regulated power supply was something that had been missing from my home workbench for some time.  I needed something that would do the job but with minimal cost and was intrigued when I found it could be achieved by repurposing a PC power supply.

It turns out this is quite a common thing to do so naturally there were many instructables detailing how to do it.  The main requirement for me was to have 3V3, 5V, 12V and GND lines available and for them to be beefy enough to power anything I could throw at it.  Most of my projects so far have required ether 3V3 or 5V so to have this available and reliable at a flick of a switch means that I will spend a lot less time debugging issues that ultimately come down to the microprocessor/components being underpowered.

Having followed a few guides, I can happily report that it has been a success.  I added a USB port for it to use when not fully powered on – nicely secured with Sugru.  Looking forward to a power-glitch free future.