PIC Tutorial - 7 Segment LED Board

7 Segment LED Board

This is the 7 Segment LED Board, a board containing a dual 7 segment LED display (a Kingbright  DA56-11EWA, Maplin code BY66W). The display is a common anode type, so to light a segment we need to take the relevant segment low. A dual 7 segment display like this requires 14 I/O lines (16 if we use the decimal points), so to reduce the I/O count we're multiplexing the display digits. In order to keep it down to one I/O port I've ignored the decimal point, and used just one line to switch between the two different display sections - this brings the I/O requirements down to just 8 pins, fitting nicely on one port. The two transistors are used to switch between the two sections, and to provide more current than the PIC alone can. Notice that there's no ground connection to this board, the +5V is switched to each display section in turn by Q1 and Q2, and the ground connection required to light the segments is provided by the PIC I/O pins - these are via 150 ohm resistors, lower than I usually use - but due to the multiplexing they are actually used to provide current to be shared between two LED segments, so you need twice the current available.

As usual the board can connect to any full 8 bit port, because the display is common anode the open-collector pin RA4 will work fine, there's no need for pull-up resistors or anything - however, RA5 on a 16F628 is an input only, so we can't use PortA on a 628.

This is a top view of the 7 Segment LED Board, it consists of two PNP transistors, nine resistors, and an 18 pin DIL socket (actually a 24 pin cut down). This picture has the LED display unplugged so you can see the wire links (fifteen of them) more clearly, notice that one is actually under the DIL socket.
This is a top view with the display fitted.
A bottom view of the 7 Segment LED Board, the twenty two track cuts are marked with blue circles, and it has fifteen wire links on the top.

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