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What are the best options to show a line of text on a LilyPad Arduino, probably using a matrix of LEDs? Are there any thin and inexpensive displays?

The main problem is that the only things I can find on the Internet are around 8x8, but I need much more than that (about 4x40). Also, the number of pins on the LilyPad seems insufficient, but I might be wrong (I hope so) :)

Can anyone help me out? Thanks in advance.

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There are a number of lcds with serial interfaces, text and graphical. try earth lcd, sparkfun, or crystalfontz.

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If you want to make a led matrix, a common way is to use 74hc595. They are shift register with latch to update all output simultaneously and can be daisy chained up to your need. It may only use the SPI pins (miso, clk, cs).

some example :

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Most LCDs operate on a standard 8 or 4 bit parallel interface that is easy to work with. There are also serial boards available from various suppliers which will convert from a TTL serial signal to the LCD's parallel interface to allow you to use serial if you're short on pins. They often abstract the LCD protocol for you making it simpler to program.

You can get the LCDs in many different styles and sizes, such as character based 2x16 (2 rows of 16 chars), 2x40, 4x16, 4x40, etc. You can also get graphical ones with resolutions like 128x64, 192x64, etc. These are harder to work with but give much greater flexibility.

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