Three fifths of my Ebay alpha LED displays arrived. My goal: Get them working so I can start talking to them. Two of the three arrivals were related but different models. Trying to keep track of the specifications, capabilities, and needs of each was getting confusing. So I named each one.
I didn’t realize that when the seller said I was buying a display they meant that very literally. No power supply, no remote, no cabling, and in the case of Max, no Eprom (which reveals the lie in the seller’s claim that they were all functional and working). The power supplies, bought from a legit source would be like $50-60 a pop. Fuck that.
I went to UCSC surplus and for a very reasonable price came away with an armload of power supplies in various near voltages.
I went through and tested and labeled each. Several were suitable as power supplies for the LED displays, though I had to cannibalize one to put the right connector on another. They immediately came on in a demo mode.
Though I won’t be using it, these displays can even do simple animations.
That’s a bomb whose fuse burns down and makes a little pixilated explosion, bringing to mind some of the 8-bit games of my youth.
Now I need to create a serial cable from the Raspberry Pi, and then learn the complicated protocol used to talk to the Betabrite displays.