IMPORTANT: LED matrix panels will have different mounting holes depending on the manufacturer or run, there is unfortunately no mounting hole standard. I have seen different mounting hole layouts on the same panel type orders from Adafruit & others. So be sure and measure the mounting holes layout of your P4 32x32 matrix against the design files and modify as needed before laser cutting.
Laser cut the file "Led Pixel Art Frame Laser Cut File" on 1/8" acrylic, a 12x20" sized sheet will be fine. I used the color Transparent Light Smoke from Tap Plastics.
The P4 LED Matrix will have two plastic notches sticking out on the back, snip both off.
Add the hex stand-offs
By default, your PIXEL Maker’s Kit is installed with an Android only firmware. For this project, you'll want the PIXEL firmware that supports both iOS and Android.
Follow these instructions to switch firmwares:
- Step 1: Plug your 5V/2A power adapter into the PIXEL board and also plug in the on/off switch included with the PIXEL Maker's Kit. Turn the switch on and look for a red light on the board.
- Step 2: Turn the PIXEL board off and remove the microSD card from your PIXEL board. Using an SD card adapter, plug the card into your computer. Note the PIXEL Maker's kit does not include an SD card adapter.
- Step 3: Delete any existing files on the microSD card. Unzip and copy these files to the root of the microSD card.
- Step 3: Insert microSD card back into your PIXEL board and turn on the PIXEL board. After a short delay, your firmware has now been changed.
Note: If you are using Android only and do not need iOS, then you may leave the firmware as is and skip this step.
Mount the PIXEL board to the acrylic mount using the plastic screws and nuts.
Now mount the P4 LED Matrix to the other side of the acrylic mount sheet using three M3, 8mm screws. Be sure and attach the screws as located in the picture.
From the PIXEL Maker's Kit, plug the 4 pin power cable from the PIXEL board into the LED matrix and the 16-pin IDC cable from the PIXEL board into the LED matrix per the above wiring diagram.
Optional - If you want the tripod mount, use a 1/4" - 20 tap tool and tap the hole. Tap this hole before using acrylic cement to glue together the back cover pieces.
Now use the acrylic cement and applicator and glue together the back cover.
Let the back case dry and harden for at least 30 minutes. Then take the on/off switch from the PIXEL Maker's kit and insert it into the back case cover and plug the switch into the PIXEL board.
Using the acrylic cement, glue in the small support pieces for extra structural support.
Now using the three M3, 25mm screws to attach the back cover.
For the front acrylic panel, I like to sand with 1000 grit sand paper for a frosted black effect, this produces a nice LED diffusion effect.
Now the fun part. Visit https://www.spriters-resource.com/arcade/ or other arcade sprites sources on the Web and make a GIF compilation of your favorite games. Photoshop works great for creating GIFs but use any image editor that can export a GIF. You'll create your GIF in 32x32 resolution. Be sure and add a frame delay in between your GIF frames. A black background will produce the best results as colored backgrounds don't have enough contrast and you'll get a washed out effect on the LEDs.
Once you've created your GIF, import it into the PIXEL iOS or Android app. Here's how to import your GIF into the iOS app. Importing into Android works in the same way, simply share your GIF to the PIXEL app.
Note that the PIXEL apps come includes with over 90+ designs commissioned from leading pixel artists around the world so be sure and check those out too.
If you want to skip straight to the fun, we sell a PIXEL LED Art frame with a larger P6 LED Matrix from http://creativeartsandtechnology.com/product/pixel-led-art-frame/
Difference between the P4 and P6 Sized LED Matrixes.