Max7219 8×8 LED Matrix scrolling text control using Bluetooth and Android App.

Scrolling text on Max7219 8×8 LED matrix can be controlled using a mobile device like a smart phone over Bluetooth. In this tutorial I’ll demonstrate how this can be achieved using HC-05 Bluetooth module and an Android App.

Before proceeding you can make reference to my other posts about how to interface the Max7219 8×8 LED matrix and HC-05 Bluetooth module with Arduino.

Connecting Max7219 LED matrix and HC-05 Bluetooth module with Arduino.

The devices will be connected as shown in the schematic below. For the LED matrix, connect CLK, DIN and CS pins to Arduino digital pins 13, 11 and 10 respectively.

Schematic for connecting HC-05 Bluetooth module and Max7219 led matrix to Arduino

The TX and RX pins of HC-05 Bluetooth module are connected to RX and TX pins of Arduino respectively.

Since am using Arduino UNO, these are pins 0 and 1. However if you are using another Arduino board make sure you are using the correct pins for serial communication.

You can visit the links below to buy the major components for this setup:

  • MAX7219 LED Matrix display:……….Amazon
  • HC-05 Bluetooth Module:……….Amazon
  • Arduino UNO Board:……….Amazon

Disclosure:These are affiliate links. I earn a commission as an Amazon Associate for qualifying purchases. I would appreciate your support in this way.

Power supply considerations

From the schematic above I have used the Arduino power supply to run the LED matrix. However, it is advisable to use a different power source for the LED matrix especially if you are using more than four matrices to avoid damaging your Arduino board.

Code for controlling scrolling text on Max7219 LED matrix using Bluetooth and Android App.


#include <MaxMatrix.h>
#include <SoftwareSerial.h>
#include <avr/pgmspace.h>
PROGMEM const unsigned char CH[] = {
  3, 8, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // space
  1, 8, B01011111, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // !
  3, 8, B00000011, B00000000, B00000011, B00000000, B00000000, // "
  5, 8, B00010100, B00111110, B00010100, B00111110, B00010100, // #
  4, 8, B00100100, B01101010, B00101011, B00010010, B00000000, // $
  5, 8, B01100011, B00010011, B00001000, B01100100, B01100011, // %
  5, 8, B00110110, B01001001, B01010110, B00100000, B01010000, // &
  1, 8, B00000011, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // '
  3, 8, B00011100, B00100010, B01000001, B00000000, B00000000, // (
  3, 8, B01000001, B00100010, B00011100, B00000000, B00000000, // )
  5, 8, B00101000, B00011000, B00001110, B00011000, B00101000, // *
  5, 8, B00001000, B00001000, B00111110, B00001000, B00001000, // +
  2, 8, B10110000, B01110000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // ,
  4, 8, B00001000, B00001000, B00001000, B00001000, B00000000, // -
  2, 8, B01100000, B01100000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // .
  4, 8, B01100000, B00011000, B00000110, B00000001, B00000000, // /
  4, 8, B00111110, B01000001, B01000001, B00111110, B00000000, // 0
  3, 8, B01000010, B01111111, B01000000, B00000000, B00000000, // 1
  4, 8, B01100010, B01010001, B01001001, B01000110, B00000000, // 2
  4, 8, B00100010, B01000001, B01001001, B00110110, B00000000, // 3
  4, 8, B00011000, B00010100, B00010010, B01111111, B00000000, // 4
  4, 8, B00100111, B01000101, B01000101, B00111001, B00000000, // 5
  4, 8, B00111110, B01001001, B01001001, B00110000, B00000000, // 6
  4, 8, B01100001, B00010001, B00001001, B00000111, B00000000, // 7
  4, 8, B00110110, B01001001, B01001001, B00110110, B00000000, // 8
  4, 8, B00000110, B01001001, B01001001, B00111110, B00000000, // 9
  2, 8, B01010000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // :
  2, 8, B10000000, B01010000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // ;
  3, 8, B00010000, B00101000, B01000100, B00000000, B00000000, // <
  3, 8, B00010100, B00010100, B00010100, B00000000, B00000000, // =
  3, 8, B01000100, B00101000, B00010000, B00000000, B00000000, // >
  4, 8, B00000010, B01011001, B00001001, B00000110, B00000000, // ?
  5, 8, B00111110, B01001001, B01010101, B01011101, B00001110, // @
  4, 8, B01111110, B00010001, B00010001, B01111110, B00000000, // A
  4, 8, B01111111, B01001001, B01001001, B00110110, B00000000, // B
  4, 8, B00111110, B01000001, B01000001, B00100010, B00000000, // C
  4, 8, B01111111, B01000001, B01000001, B00111110, B00000000, // D
  4, 8, B01111111, B01001001, B01001001, B01000001, B00000000, // E
  4, 8, B01111111, B00001001, B00001001, B00000001, B00000000, // F
  4, 8, B00111110, B01000001, B01001001, B01111010, B00000000, // G
  4, 8, B01111111, B00001000, B00001000, B01111111, B00000000, // H
  3, 8, B01000001, B01111111, B01000001, B00000000, B00000000, // I
  4, 8, B00110000, B01000000, B01000001, B00111111, B00000000, // J
  4, 8, B01111111, B00001000, B00010100, B01100011, B00000000, // K
  4, 8, B01111111, B01000000, B01000000, B01000000, B00000000, // L
  5, 8, B01111111, B00000010, B00001100, B00000010, B01111111, // M
  5, 8, B01111111, B00000100, B00001000, B00010000, B01111111, // N
  4, 8, B00111110, B01000001, B01000001, B00111110, B00000000, // O
  4, 8, B01111111, B00001001, B00001001, B00000110, B00000000, // P
  4, 8, B00111110, B01000001, B01000001, B10111110, B00000000, // Q
  4, 8, B01111111, B00001001, B00001001, B01110110, B00000000, // R
  4, 8, B01000110, B01001001, B01001001, B00110010, B00000000, // S
  5, 8, B00000001, B00000001, B01111111, B00000001, B00000001, // T
  4, 8, B00111111, B01000000, B01000000, B00111111, B00000000, // U
  5, 8, B00001111, B00110000, B01000000, B00110000, B00001111, // V
  5, 8, B00111111, B01000000, B00111000, B01000000, B00111111, // W
  5, 8, B01100011, B00010100, B00001000, B00010100, B01100011, // X
  5, 8, B00000111, B00001000, B01110000, B00001000, B00000111, // Y
  4, 8, B01100001, B01010001, B01001001, B01000111, B00000000, // Z
  2, 8, B01111111, B01000001, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // [
  4, 8, B00000001, B00000110, B00011000, B01100000, B00000000, // \ backslash
  2, 8, B01000001, B01111111, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // ]
  3, 8, B00000010, B00000001, B00000010, B00000000, B00000000, // hat
  4, 8, B01000000, B01000000, B01000000, B01000000, B00000000, // _
  2, 8, B00000001, B00000010, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // `
  4, 8, B00100000, B01010100, B01010100, B01111000, B00000000, // a
  4, 8, B01111111, B01000100, B01000100, B00111000, B00000000, // b
  4, 8, B00111000, B01000100, B01000100, B00101000, B00000000, // c
  4, 8, B00111000, B01000100, B01000100, B01111111, B00000000, // d
  4, 8, B00111000, B01010100, B01010100, B00011000, B00000000, // e
  3, 8, B00000100, B01111110, B00000101, B00000000, B00000000, // f
  4, 8, B10011000, B10100100, B10100100, B01111000, B00000000, // g
  4, 8, B01111111, B00000100, B00000100, B01111000, B00000000, // h
  3, 8, B01000100, B01111101, B01000000, B00000000, B00000000, // i
  4, 8, B01000000, B10000000, B10000100, B01111101, B00000000, // j
  4, 8, B01111111, B00010000, B00101000, B01000100, B00000000, // k
  3, 8, B01000001, B01111111, B01000000, B00000000, B00000000, // l
  5, 8, B01111100, B00000100, B01111100, B00000100, B01111000, // m
  4, 8, B01111100, B00000100, B00000100, B01111000, B00000000, // n
  4, 8, B00111000, B01000100, B01000100, B00111000, B00000000, // o
  4, 8, B11111100, B00100100, B00100100, B00011000, B00000000, // p
  4, 8, B00011000, B00100100, B00100100, B11111100, B00000000, // q
  4, 8, B01111100, B00001000, B00000100, B00000100, B00000000, // r
  4, 8, B01001000, B01010100, B01010100, B00100100, B00000000, // s
  3, 8, B00000100, B00111111, B01000100, B00000000, B00000000, // t
  4, 8, B00111100, B01000000, B01000000, B01111100, B00000000, // u
  5, 8, B00011100, B00100000, B01000000, B00100000, B00011100, // v
  5, 8, B00111100, B01000000, B00111100, B01000000, B00111100, // w
  5, 8, B01000100, B00101000, B00010000, B00101000, B01000100, // x
  4, 8, B10011100, B10100000, B10100000, B01111100, B00000000, // y
  3, 8, B01100100, B01010100, B01001100, B00000000, B00000000, // z
  3, 8, B00001000, B00110110, B01000001, B00000000, B00000000, // {
  1, 8, B01111111, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, B00000000, // |
  3, 8, B01000001, B00110110, B00001000, B00000000, B00000000, // }
  4, 8, B00001000, B00000100, B00001000, B00000100, B00000000, // ~
};
int dIn = 11;   // DIN pin of MAX7219 module
int clk = 13;   // CLK pin of MAX7219 module
int cs = 10;    // CS pin of MAX7219 module
int maxInUse = 4;    // Number of MAX7219's connected
MaxMatrix m(dIn, cs, clk, maxInUse);
SoftwareSerial Bluetooth(0, 1); // Bluetooth
byte buffer[10];
char incomebyte;
int scrollSpeed = 100;
char text[100] = "Mytectutor.com  "; // Initial text message
int brightness = 8;
int count = 0;
char indicator;
void setup() {
  m.init(); // MAX7219 initialization
  m.setIntensity(brightness); // initial led matrix intensity, 0-15
  
  Bluetooth.begin(9600); // Default communication rate of the Bluetooth module
}
void loop() {
  // Printing the text
  printStringWithShift(text, scrollSpeed);
  
  if (Bluetooth.available()) {   // Checks whether data is comming from the serial port
    indicator = Bluetooth.read();   // Starts reading the serial port, the first byte from the incoming data
    // If we have pressed the "Send" button from the Android App, clear the previous text
    if (indicator == '1') {
      for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++) {
        text[i] = 0;
        m.clear();
      }
      // Read the whole data/string comming from the phone and put it into text[] array.
      while (Bluetooth.available()) {
        incomebyte = Bluetooth.read();
        text[count] = incomebyte;
        count++;
      }
      count = 0;
    }
    // Adjusting the Scrolling Speed
    else if (indicator == '2') {
      String sS = Bluetooth.readString();
      scrollSpeed = 150 - sS.toInt(); // Milliseconds, subtraction because lower value means higher scrolling speed
    }
    // Adjusting the brightness
    else if (indicator == '3') {
      String sB = Bluetooth.readString();
      brightness = sB.toInt();
      m.setIntensity(brightness);
    }
  }
}
void printCharWithShift(char c, int shift_speed) {
  if (c < 32) return;
  c -= 32;
  memcpy_P(buffer, CH + 7 * c, 7);
  m.writeSprite(32, 0, buffer);
  m.setColumn(32 + buffer[0], 0);
  for (int i = 0; i < buffer[0] + 1; i++)
  {
    delay(shift_speed);
    m.shiftLeft(false, false);
  }
}
void printStringWithShift(char* s, int shift_speed) {
  while (*s != 0) {
    printCharWithShift(*s, shift_speed);
    s++;
  }
}
void printString(char* s)
{
  int col = 0;
  while (*s != 0)
  {
    if (*s < 32) continue;
    char c = *s - 32;
    memcpy_P(buffer, CH + 7 * c, 7);
    m.writeSprite(col, 0, buffer);
    m.setColumn(col + buffer[0], 0);
    col += buffer[0] + 1;
    s++;
  }
}

When uploading the code sketch, you have to unplug the TX and RX lines because Arduino uses serial communication when uploading code therefore the pins RX (digital pin 0) and TX (digital pin1) are busy.

Android Application.

The application am using to control the scrolling of text on the 8x8 led matrix is made using MIT App inventor and appears as shown below when installed.

Android App for controlling scrolling text on 8x8 led matrix

To connect the Android App and Bluetooth module, you need to press the button with the Bluetooth symbol. A list of available devices will be listed and then you can select the HC-05 Bluetooth module. If this is your first time to connect this application with the Bluetooth module, you will be prompted to enter a password to pair the two devices. The password is “1234”.

Download Android App: 8X8 LED Matrix control App

To display a scrolling message on the 8x8 LED matrix, you enter the message into the App and press send.

Using this App, you can adjust the speed of message scrolling and also the brightness of display.

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