While 7-segment displays are all well and good, they’re considered a bit old hat these days. This project from [Matt Deeds] brings them screaming into the future, though, sporting every color under the rainbow.
[Matt’s] build consists of a PCB filled with SK6812 side-mount LEDs, laid out in a typical 7-segment pattern. Each PCB features two 7-segment digits. The SK6812 LEDs can be driven in the same way as the famous WS2812B addressable LEDs, though they have the benefit of being more stable in color and brightness over a range of supply voltages.
With the LEDs installed, and a second PCB used solely as a diffuser by leaving out sections of solder mask, it’s a compact 7-segment solution at just 2.7 mm thick. The bonus is that each segment can be set to a different color thanks to the nature of the addressable RGB LEDs. Going too ham in this regard will make the displays difficult to read, but it can be used to easily display green, red, or yellow numbers, for example, to create a visual guide to a numerical range.
It’s a great build, and we love to see 7-segment displays re-imagined in different ways – even mechanically! It also takes fewer pins to drive compared to the old way of doing things in the non-addressable LED era. If you’ve got your own neat 7-segment projects under development, please do let us know!