I am in a fix since last one week regarding this:

As mentioned in a previous question (asked here only), I have been working to develop a APA102 LED based display. Now for this I have an Arduino Due. The display area is non rectangular however there is a central rectangular region measuring 63 cm X 36 cm. I have managed to do everything from the software side however stuck with the hardware (first time, its mostly vice-versa!!). The confusion is this, 2 options that I have at my disposal:

  1. Go for the APA102 144 LEDs/meter (high density required) strip and then use them to make the display. On doing a small approximate calculation, I found I would have close to 2500-2600 LEDs. My first question is that:

    a. Can Arduino Due handle this? I also need to display static images (bitmaps) (forget animations) and perform fading. Would the refreshing be fast enough? I have some values from APA102 datasheet and Arduino Due but cannot make head or tail of it...I do not know how to find out time taken, data rate etc.

    b. The other problem I have with this is that for the bitmap to be "perfect", the pixel pitch needs to be same. In vertical direction, this is not possible without cutting the strip along the length to reduce its width. This a damn tedious and useless job. This act along with the soldering and everything involved makes me go for option 2 (below).

  2. I go for eight 8*32 APA102 flexible displays and arrange them in two columns so that to display the bitmap, I split the bitmap data into two 32*32 matrices and then pass them separately. this is because I cannot find the relation between the bitmap pixel index and the actual display index. The arrangement is like that. Here Also, my question is: Can Arduino Due deal with this a good refresh rate without flickering etc. (POV display req.) The problem with this option is that I can cover only the rectangular region of the area and I am left with some area which makes me feel guilty to see it not lighted whereas with strip I can cover the whole area and only display bitmaps for the rectangular area. Both options have serpentine arrangement. This option also has cleaner and easy construction.

Both options seem plausible to me but I really cannot decide which one is better. Confused! Please, any help, idea, guidance, advice...anything would be great. I would be ordering this stuff from aliexpress etc. and thus a wrong decision would be taxing on my pocket.

I would be glad to provide any other info if required.



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