Programming the Arduino UNO R4 WiFi’s LED Matrix

As soon as I held it in my arms, I could not wait to get started out with the Arduino UNO R4 WiFi and its LED matrix! This very little board has a ton of cool features, but the constructed-in show promptly can make it additional charismatic, expressive, and “alive”. Here’s how to bring yours to life!

Online video edition – examine on for the penned instructions!

The UNO R4 WiFi merchandise page by now inbound links to a quite superior formal finding-began guidebook, but I got a bit perplexed by the different web site for the LED matrix – which talks about the UNO R4 Main and one-way links to a considerably inscrutable GitHub repo – so I’ll apparent that up initial as we acquire the first measures.

UNO R4 Core?

To be apparent: equally new UNO R4 boards run on a Renesas RA4M1 processor, which allows the CAN interface, DAC, and so forth. But inspite of what the LED matrix web site suggests, you will not want to go and down load a separate Main and put in it someway from that repo. Just search for “R4” in the Boards Supervisor to add the new board definitions in the Arduino IDE, as you usually would, and it ought to perform smoothly!

Browser compatibility: UNO R4 WiFi’s LED Matrix on the web software

I have just learned about Arduino Labs, which hosts a number of experimental tasks which include a MicroPython editor, a BLE facts dashboard, and a lovable little “Contain” robot. They also have a resource you can use to are living-edit the pixels on your LED matrix! Sad to say, the connection failed to perform for me in Firefox (on a MacBook Professional running OS X 11.7.6 with the newest Firefox update), so I switched to Chrome, and it worked like a aspiration.

…Let’s go!


For this project, you can need to have:

  • An UNO R4 (if possible the WiFi version)
  • A USB-C cable that can interface with your computer system
  • Optional: a piece of paper, or a little something else to diffuse the LED matrix

1. Put in the Arduino IDE and board definitions

If you don’t already have it, grab the Arduino IDE and put in it on your equipment. If you have not used the IDE in a though, it might acquire a minute to get utilised to variation 2. However, I’ve uncovered that it operates quite effortlessly.

In the new IDE, you’ll click on on the UNO-formed icon in the left sidebar to toggle the Boards Supervisor. (You can also discover the Sketchbook and Library Manager listed here, furthermore a couple of other tools. On the other hand, you can however use the menu bar for all of these capabilities, if you desire.) Enter R4 in the research box and set up the board definitions – no need to futz all-around with the “R4 Core” GitHub files.

Now, plug in your UNO and choose it from the leading dropdown in the IDE window – which really should mechanically find the port you might be plugged into.

2. Dig in! LED matrix examples

With your UNO linked, open up the File menu > Examples. You should really now see a segment around the top, labeled “Examples for Arduino UNO R4 WiFi”. The LED_Matrix submenu contains some entertaining experiments you can operate quickly – such as a short established of alternating frames and, of system, a very small Conway’s Recreation of Lifetime. As soon as you’ve tried out all those out (and probably modded them), I hugely recommend striving out the browser-centered LED matrix editor.

3. Dwell LED matrix editor

Let us start with the LivePreview illustration sketch. When uploaded onto the board, this a person sets up a continual link between your Arduino and your browser, via the USB-C cable. Comply with the instructions at the top rated of the sketch to get to this editor at, wherever you can draw photos and screen them on the LED matrix in authentic-time!

Soon after drawing a few frames, you can click among them and the UNO will reply. Use the controls at base-still left to duplicate or delete frames as sought after.

4. LED matrix animations

If you generate an animated series of frames, you can download it as a.h header file (like the one I have shared underneath) and load it onto your Arduino using the PlayAnimation case in point sketch. Use File > Conserve As to make a duplicate of the illustration sketch, then navigate to the sketch folder and fall your downloaded animation.h file there (changing the initial one). Upload the sketch, and voilà! Custom made LED animation.

More info

Curious about the UNO R4 WiFi’s sister board, the Minima? Want to know a lot more about each versions? Test out my unboxing online video:

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