Thursday, October 12, 2023

64 x 72 LED wall with ESP32 and WS2812B

I have been making LED signs for many years.  This blog testifies to that.  However I thought I would take my latest design to the next level and run four of the 16 x 72 LED pannels.  When I first started I was using an Arduino UNO in parallel mode using my own code.  Then I reconfigured to zigzag format and use used customized code.  Now I am using WLED on an ESP32.  What I want to do is set up four outputs so I can run four panels and update them from my cell phone.  

I have WLED working using a single output pin but its limited to 2048 LED's.  That is the picture on the right.  On the left is my four output adapter with a level shifter as well.  

When I first tried the level shifter I could not even communicate with the ESP32!  I thought I had fried it but when I went back to the one pin version it still worked!  I am adding a filter capacitor to see if the fixes the issue.  The filter capacitor did not help, so I am running the LED strips off the ESP32 pins via a 220 ohm resistor.  So far no problems! The issue was that IO12 must be tied low during boot so do not use it for LED strips!

This is a sample of scrolling text using WLED.  I want two lines of stationary text so I may have to do some custom code to get it to work.

I have a total of six of the 16 x 72 panels so I might eventually add two more panels to the processor.

Here is the first video:

Here is a picture of six panels all working off one ESP32 processor.

Here is the schematic of what I am making to drive the panels.

This is an 8 channel version I am working on:

I have been working on making the panels into a "cityscape" After getting WLED to work on my PC then getting WLED pixel art converter to work. Then getting the two to work together on a PC I have createed a "Cityscape" panel. It took a lot of work to get this far. The biggest trick was finding the IP of the panel on the phone under config, wifi, client IP:, then going to that IP on the desktop and putting it into pixel art converter. I think if I zoom in the buildings would become clearer.

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