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Member #545650

Member Since: April 15, 2014

Country: United States

  • The trick is that this is a "multiplexed display" - if you look at the connection diagram, the diodes are not completely parallel. The cathodes are on rows and the anodes are on columns. I find it is easiest to think of it as a set of six common-cathode displays, three colors times two digits. Only one of the six can be on at any given time.

    To display different things on different digits, you must alternate between them rapidly. Even though they are on at different times, if you cycle many times per second, the human eye sees a continuous image.

    As RSP suggested downthread, the MAX7219 (sparkfun COM-09622) can be used to drive this display with a small number of external components, and it automates the switching-back-and-forth procedure I described above. Unfortunately, it will still be rather complicated to implement, as you must understand what the MAX7219 does in order to use it effectively.

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