My plan is to use a 8×8 led matrix, and make a small game. Maybe pong, or breakout, or something. The cheapest LED matrix I could find (Futurlec’s LEDM88RG sch), for $1.90 each), was actually red and green in each cell, so now I will have 2 bits per pixel of color! (It can be red, green, or orange(both)!). I’m going to use shift registers on the rows & columns (those three IC’s are 74HC164: 8-bit serial in/parallel out), so I don’t need to use a ton of output pins on the microcontroller.
I’m using an ATMega8 by Atmel, which is awesome: 8MHz (can go 16Mhz if I change the crystal), 8KB Flash for program storage, 32 general purpose 8-bit registers, 1KB SRAM, and 0.5KB EEPROM. It has 23 general purpose I/O lines. The best part? It’s only $3.66. The development board was about $16, and the programming cable was $12. (This was all from SparkFun, a pretty cool shop)
Here is a protoboard with some components on it:
It doesn’t have the microcontroller and supporting stuff, because this is the prototype, and all that is on the dev board. Those 6 things at the bottom are buttons…I’m thinking a control scheme like Up/Down/Left/Right, and then A & B. Maybe a ‘start’ button as well…