DIY LED Sign with MAX7219 Dot Matrix Module for AVR PIC MSP430 Arduino ARM STM32

By on August 18, 2014

Web site:

Project Summary:

To satisfy electronic DIY hobbyists, ICStation has developed MAX7219 Dot Matrix Module. It uses the Max7219 chip which do a great job on saving of MCU I/O. It can not only control each point individually, but also can be extended without limitation to meet your requirements on LED Sign, Team Logo and so on.

What's more, it's controlled by the STM8S003F3 MCU with 1K data storge space which is low cost, low power consumption, very powerful.

Full Project:

Step 1: The 12pcs of MAX7219 Dot Matrix Kits are ready

If you’d like to do the same sign, you need to prepare 12pcs of the kits.

As the item is with STM8S003F3 MUC which the data storge space is 1K.
If you need to show more characters which is up to 1K, you can change the MCU which is with larger space. And please be noted that the MCU and Display Module should be powered seperately

Step 2: Decomposition the pin header

When the kits are ready, let’s unpack the package and start  the decomposition the pin header.

Step 3: Welding the SMD and max7219 Chip

When you’re soldering the SMD components, it’s better to melt a little solder on the pad before placing components to the melting point of the solder.

1. Fixing one pin
Melting soldering tin on the pin in order to let the soldering tin are fully with the welding plate

2. Putting up the module and keeping it with an inclination of about 100°,  in order to prevent the soldering tin dripping to the unwelded plate with the resulting of blockage)

3. Moving the soldering Iron slowly from the top of the soldering iron to the down (be slowly or missing solder)

4. The solder will automatically fall down due to the gravity. One side of the pins has been successfully welded when the iron moves to the bottom side. Then weld the other side with the same method.

Step 4: Welding the electrolytic capacitor and the pin header

Step 5: Assembling the PCB

Step 6: Setup the Dot Matrix

Step 7: Wire Connection

PIN Define

CLK: Serial-Clock Input. 10MHz maximum rate.
CS: Chip-Select Input. Serial data is loaded into the shift register while CS is low.
DIN: Serial-Data Input.
DOUT: Serial-Data Output. The data into DIN is valid at DOUT 16.5 clock cycles later.
VCC: Positive Supply Voltage. Connect to +5V.
GN:D Ground

Down and Up Connection

Incoming Line Connection
Blue Wire – CLK
Purpule Wire – CS
Grey Wire – DIN
White Wire – GND
Black Wire – VCC

Bill of Materials:

Components & Tools

Main chip: MAX7219
MCU:  STM8S003F3
Soldering Iron


Power Module

STM8S003F3P6 Development Board


Dupont Line

Copper Wire

Electrician Glue

Soldering Wire

Pin Header


Download the material here.

MAX7219 Dot Matrix






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