Last October the roommates decided to have a halloween party at the house. I figured this would be the right time to undertake a large project to spice up the dance floor, so I started on the giant peggy. Many of my projects start off with a small idea and end up spiraling into some huge mess, usually left unfinished; luckily I had plenty of help from the roommates and GF drilling holes, soldering, and building this beast. This was initially going to be a 5×5 Arduino controlled coffee table. I had a hell of a time trying to get that project working, spending hours learning the ins and outs of shift registers and led wiring. Eventually, I scrapped it and decided to go with something that’s been proven to work: enter Peggy 2.0.
The Peggy is an LED matrix kit sold by Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories that is pretty straightforward to put together, and can be programmed from within the Arduino IDE. I wanted this project to be large, so the circuit board that comes with the product wasn’t going to cut it, a new matrix would have to be made out of wood, with individual holes drilled for the 625 LEDs, all wired together by hand. The forums over at Evil Mad Scientist had some talk of off-board peggy configurations but I hadn’t really seen too many of these done, at least not this size with that hardware. I was originally going to mount this on the wall at my place and leave it running pretty much 24/7 but ended up putting a couple of L-brackets on it and mounting it on the ceiling in the dining room. After probably 20-30 hours of drilling, soldering, and hot glueing, I present the finished product.
It doesn’t look like much during the day, but the lights really shine at night. Below is a video showing this running a greyscale sketch at night.
I hope someone finds this interesting/inspiring and feel free to post any questions in the comments or @nicksiemsen.