Key project components include:
- An Atmel-based Arduino Uno (ATmega328 MCU)
- LED matrix display based on the HC1632C controller
- Lipo Rider
- Lipo Fuel Gauge
- HC-05 Bluetooth module
- 5mm plexiglas enclosure
The modules are connected as follows:
“The Arduino Uno is the heart of the project, [as] it manages the display, checks the battery status and talks (using a simple protocol) with the controlling device (Windows application or Android app),” Luca explained in a recent blog post.
“The BlueMatrix is powered by a Li-po battery (1 cell). The battery’s state of charge is monitored by Lipo Fuel Gauge, which sends the actual SoC (State of Charge) value to Arduino via I2C bus. The Lipo Rider module rises the battery voltage to 5V to power all the other modules and allows it to recharge the battery using a simple, mini-USB power supply.”
Meanwhile, the HC-05 module is tasked with managing Bluetooth connectivity.
“After having established the connection with the remote device, it transparently transport the data received/transmitted by Arduino via serial connection,” said Luca.
On the software side, Luca developed two applications to control BlueMatrix: a .Net application (developed in C#) and an Android app.
“BlueMatrix was designed to be portable, therefore I suppose that it will be mostly controlled using a smartphone; this is the reason why the Android app is better designed than the desktop one and it’s also available on Google’s Play Store,” he added.