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I previously wrote about using the 8x8 LED matrix with the BeagleBone Black and visualizing Facebook notifications on the matrix.  Adafruit has an interesting tutorial about using multiple 8x8 LED matrix displays together:


Animating Multiple LED Backpacks


The above tutorial was written for the ArduinoArduino, but I wanted to control multiple Adafruit 8x8 LED matrix displaysAdafruit 8x8 LED matrix displays with the BeagleBone BlackBeagleBone Black.  I lucked out when I found Matt Hassel's LED Stock Ticker project for the Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi.  He built upon the Adafruit Python library for the 8x8 matrix and wrote new code to handle scrolling text across multiple displays.  I was able to get Matt Hassel's Python code to run on the BeagleBone Black, and I reworked bi-color matrix code to work with the single color 8x8 matrix displays like my red model.  Here is my GitHub repo for all of my Adafruit LED backpack (8x8 matrix & 7-segment) projects for the BBB:


GitHub: pdp7 / beaglebackpack

A Python program,, will scroll a message across the matrix displays.  Before running it, follow Adafruit's instructions to install their Adafruit-BeagleBone-IO-Python library:

Installation on Angstrom | Setting up IO Python Library on BeagleBone Black | Adafruit Learning System


Next follow these instructions on the BeagleBone:

cd $HOME

git clone git://

git clone git://

cd beaglebackpack

bash ./ -r "Happy Holidays 2013"


The message should then scroll across the two displays:


Happy Holidays: BeagleBone Black LED ticker





UPDATE: Kim the Maker Mom did an awesome job on WGN News this morning.  Kids will be lucky to get these awesome STEM/DIY/maker gifts like littleBits, Bigshot Camera, GoldieBlox, Roominate, etc.  At 4m 25s, check out the BeagleBone Black and Adafruit 16x32 RGB LED panel (displaying output from LEDscape designed at NYC Resistor)


BLOG: The Maker Mom: Hot Holiday STEM and Tech Gifts for Kids (Boys and Girls) 2013 as seen on WGN Morning News

Maker Mom on TV.JPG

Kim Moldofsky aka Maker Mom ( will be on Chicago's WGN TV morning news tomorrow around 8:45am US CST ( to present STEM gift ideas including a BeagleBone BlackBeagleBone Black bundle provided by Newark element14 (  She will demo LEDscape (created at NYC Resistor) running on an Adafruit 16x32 RGB LED panelAdafruit 16x32 RGB LED panel:


BeagleBone Black sees color with OpenCV - YouTube



LaserGoodies has a sale on for our Beaglebone Black Cases. To use the offer online, enter CyberLG1 at checkout.

Link to our Product Page

Sale is Good Till 11:59pm PST 12/02/13.