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Adafruit 1.2" 4-Digit 7-Segment Display w/I2C Backpack - Red

Adafruit 1.2'' 4-Digit 7-Segment Display w/I2C Backpack - Red
Adafruit 1.2'' 4-Digit 7-Segment Display w/I2C Backpack - RedAdafruit 1.2'' 4-Digit 7-Segment Display w/I2C Backpack - RedAdafruit 1.2'' 4-Digit 7-Segment Display w/I2C Backpack - Red
Our Price:  £21.00(Inc. 20% VAT)(£17.50 Exc. VAT)Earn 21 Loyalty Points

Part Number:  1270
Brand:  AdaFruit

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  (3 Reviews)

What's better than a single LED? Lots of LEDs! A fun way to make a numeric display is to use a 4-digit 7-segment display. LED matrices like these are 'multiplexed' - so to control all the seven-segment LEDs you need 14 pins. That's a lot of pins, and there are driver chips like the MAX7219 that can control a matrix for you but there's a lot of wiring to set up and they take up a ton of space. Here at Adafruit we feel your pain! After all, wouldn't it be awesome if you could control a matrix without tons of wiring? That's where these adorable LED matrix backpacks come in. We have them for a variety of 8x8 and 7-segment displays. They work perfectly with the displays we stock in the Adafruit shop and make adding a bright display trivial.

The backpacks use a driver chip that does all the heavy lifting for you: They have a built in clock so they multiplex the display. They use constant-current drivers for ultra-bright, consistent color (the images above are photographed at the dimmest setting to avoid overloading our camera!), 1/16 step display dimming, all via a simple I2C interface. The backpacks come with address-selection jumpers so you can connect up to eight 7-segments (or a combination, such as four mini 8x8's and four 7-segments, etc) on a single I2C bus.

The product kit comes with:

  • A fully tested and assembled LED backpack
  • Ultra-bright 4-digit 1.2" tall red seven-segment display
  • 5-pin header

A bit of soldering is required to attach the matrix onto the backpack but its very easy to do and only takes about 5 minutes.

Of course, in classic Adafruit fashion, we also have a detailed tutorial showing you how to solder, wire and control the display. We even wrote very nice libraries for the backpacks so you can get running in under half an hour, displaying numbers on the 7-segment for either Arduino or Raspberry Pi. If you've been eyeing matrix displays but hesitated because of the complexity, his is the solution you've been looking for!

Measurements after you mount the screen:

  • 50mm/2" wide
  • 120mm/4.7" long
  • 13mm/0.5" high
  • This board/chip uses I2C 7-bit addresses between 0x70-0x77, selectable with jumpers.

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Customer Reviews
Average Rating (3 Reviews):  
Write a Review and share your opinions!

Could barely be easier
Monday, 1 May 2017  |  Robert

This item requires soldering 16 headers, and adding the extra 5 is useful for connecting it to a breadboard or controller.
The soldering should be manageable for anyone with a usable soldering iron and at least a tiny amount of soldering experience. Instructions are available on the AdaFruit site.

That's where the tricky bit ends.
If you're using an Arduino (or compatible), just plug it in and use the provided library (also from the AdaFruit website) to control it quickly and simply. Functions are provided for displaying numbers and times, right through to complete control of each segment if you want to, and it's all demonstrated in the example sketch.

It's bright enough for most situations and the brightness is adjustable too.

My only two slight gripes are:
1) It looks great in lower light, but when it's under something brighter, the segments which are off (white) contrast almost as much with the dark grey background as the ones which are on (red), which can make it tricky to read at a glance. I fix this by putting a blank piece of paper over it - the red shines through bright and clear.
2) It's a definite time saver compared to writing code to control and illuminate all 32 controllable segments separately (and getting that code to run alongside whatever else your controller is doing), but if this is a challenge you'd enjoy, and depending on how you value your time, the convenience may not be worth almost 20 - the displays without backpacks are a lot, lot cheaper.

I'd recommend it to anyone who's willing to pay for it.

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Great Display
Thursday, 5 March 2015  |  MHD

Wanted a larger display that could be seen from a few feet away. It can actually be seen from much further away and seems much larger than it's 1.2" digit height indicates.Connected to my arduino.


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

Excellent display
Monday, 7 July 2014  |  Neil

Bought this for a timing project, no issues with construction.Programming was exceptionally easy and worked first time.Makes hard wiring a regular 7 segment display a thing of the 20th century Easily visble from at least 7 metres away and the brightn


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.

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