Raspberry Pi and SPI 8x8 LED matrix example with Java and Pi4j

While looking for a cheap and nice component to demonstrate the use of SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) I found out this 8x8 matrix LED display on a board with a MAX7219 chip is the perfect piece of hardware!

What you see in the video is the end result with:


As we are using SPI, the number of connections to be made is very minimal:


The sources can be found as an example project within all the sources from the book on GitHub.

The characters and images are created by converting the bit series to byte values inside enums. The number of available definitions is limited as this example is only a demonstration of what you can do, not a fully finished project. So some fun work left for you!

By using the “Find” function in the IDE for value “1” it becomes pretty clear how the defined columns and rows will end up on the matrix display.


You can find these components for a few dollars on eBay and they are great fun to experiment!