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Description: 4-digit 7-segment displays are really neat little devices, it’s a shame that they can be so cumbersome to control. Well we’ve solved that problem by making them a little bit “smarter.” The SparkFun 7-Segment Serial Display combines a classic 4-digit 7-segment display and an ATMega328 microcontroller allowing you to control every segment individually using only a few serial lines.

The Serial 7-Segment Display can be controlled in one of three ways: Serial TTL communication, SPI serial communication or I2C serial. You can even program it for stand-alone operation since the ATMega328 comes pre-loaded with the Arduino bootloader! There is also an FTDI header on board and we’ve provided a hardware profile for the Arduino IDE to make it even easier to program.

We’ve made some layout changes to this design as well which will make it easier to incorporate these into your project. We’ve moved the power and I2C pins to the sides of the board such that you can chain them together in order to display longer strings of digits. We’ve also added mounting holes to the boards so you can mount them on standoffs (no more hot glue!)

Dimensions: 41mm x 23mm (1.6in x 0.9in)

Features:

  • 4 digit white alpha-numeric display with TTL, SPI or I2C Serial Interface
  • Display numbers, most letters, and a few special characters
  • Individual control of decimal points, apostrophe, and colon
  • Selectable baud rate
  • Selectable brightness
  • Baud rate and brightness values retained in non-volatile memory
  • Individual segment control for each digit

Documents:

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Customer Comments

  • My idea to use the chip as the main mc in a timer project. The module works well when I use the hookup guide and I2C, but I am having a tough time programming it with FTDI. I double-checked the orientation and the soldering, but I get a sync error like when I used the reset pin for I/O once. Any ideas on how to bypass this error? I could try tying reset low when I program it, but I don’t want to potentially harm the chip.

  • This guy is a little tough to see in a brightly lit room or daylight. If you need a display for that environment, I would suggest getting a different color. I know the blue one is easy to see in daylight. Otherwise, this dude is pretty cool.

  • Mind you that if you want to use I2C with this on a breadboard you won’t be able to since the SCL and SDA pins are perpendicular to the VCC and GND pins. This makes them “share” the same rail on the breadboard. I understand that this makes daisy chaining is easier but I wish they hadn’t designed it like this.

  • Could the sketch be made to fit on an ATtiny?

  • I ordered this one as my second 7Segment. Before i ordered yellow one which is fine, but i wanted white. But i am very disapointed with brightness, it is so weak so You cant see it on sunlight as i can see it on yellow one. Brightness is set to 250, so this is not the case.

    Anyway, i am satisfied, easy to use display, works like charm, small size which i need as a clock. Dusan

  • How much is possible if using this module standalone? Would it be possible to use its i2c to read an RTC?

  • I did not make a thermometer but I did make a clock. You can see what I did about half way down this page: http://blog.planetbuckley.com/2011/02/cant-have-too-many-clocks.html

  • I’m thinking of making this into an indoor/outdoor thermometer. Seems like a rather trivial task, since there are two spare ADC-capable pins. Anyone else tried this?

  • Why are some of the pictures yellow but others white?

    • Yup, #144668 has it right. They look yellow when they’re off because you’re seeing the color filter. When they’re lit, they shine white.

      • I never thought of that. Just grabbed a sample of regular round white LEDs and can’t seem to notice the yellow color - is it coating that little dimple in the center?

    • That’s how white LEDs work. They’re a UV LED with a yellow phosphor coating. Look at any white LED carefully and you’ll see the yellow. When it turns on, the UV stimulates the phosphor and it makes white!

      • Same thing as the Phillips AmbientLED and L Prize bulbs. The difference between the orange and yellow casing in those two bulbs is the L Prize bulb has some red LED’s to help with color and energy.

    • Because taking pictures takes time

Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

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Works great

No complains. It works very well. I recommend it.