The Project:


An LED display board representing the Engineering Society with Yellow and Red representing a fireball.

Design Constraints

  • Size – The board had to be able to be pinned onto a shirt or displayed easily.
  • Cost – The goal was a low cost surface mount led display board.
  • Timeline – There was no real constraint on time. I wanted the boards to be ready for welcome week.
  • Shape – The board had to represent the engineering society.

My Role

  • Circuit design – Specify parts and develop circuits.
  • Board design – Creating the shape of the board and the layout of components.
  • Procurement Specialist – Interface with the shape requirements of the board house located in china.
  • Lead Coder – Develop interesting patterns while writing the code for the microcontroller.
  • LED Matrix Design –  This was the first design I did with and LED matrix. Keeping the yellow and red LED’s separate allowed for separate amounts of current to be  pulled through the transistors. For the matrix pattern the main program was used to update all of the LED’s while a timer was used to update the output pattern.
  • Shape Creation – The prototype runs were hand finished, the final version will need to have less sharp curves.
  • Flux Cleaning is Essential – The residue of the flux did not allow the crystal oscillator to start. Rubbing Alcohol was used to clean it up.
  • Engineering Pride is like no other – The demand for the boards was outstanding, I was asked daily how the prototypes were going and when they would be available.


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