Has anybody set up a LED matrix in ESPHome?

I have this nice 8x32 led matrix that I wan’t to use to show messages.
As I already have a bunch of ESPHome running it would be ovbious to hopefully use that.
I’ve looked into awtrix, and that can do a lot, and that is of course a solution, but it requires a host.
It would be cool to have a way of sending text strings directly to the matrix with some colour settings.

It seems to me that the Awtrix ESp is already MQTT capable. So if you have a running MQTT broker, you can connect it easily.

here: https://awtrixdocs.blueforcer.de/#/en-en/api the Author describes the commands to the ESP via html/MQTT.
So with the right MQTT commands, which HA should be able to generate (maybe add node red for ease of use), you should be good to go without a host.

On the other hand, getting the host up and running on a machine of yours should also be doable. The author provides Linux/Windows and even a docker container. Since the host is giving you a web interface, that might be the more elegant way of doing it…


So both ways seem feasable.

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As I read the docs about awtrix, it’s the host that has the MQTT interface, not the controller itself?
I already have the host installed in a VM, so it’s not a problem it’s just silly to have an intermediate if it could be done cleanly in esphome :slight_smile:
I did find this project: https://github.com/rnauber/ESPHomeMatrixLED
That seams feasable as well, in the current code it just has static text with effects, so I could either put in more effects, more text strings, or get the text strings from a HA sensor (I hope).
Not sure how to put an include in there via the GUI, but I guess I could copy it to the folder via the Samba component.

Ooops, I was so exited to find a simple way to transfer the text to the display that I mistook the host for the controller, sorry! my mistake.

The second one seems to be a lot more promissing, since it is already very integrated into HA.
I recently had the issue of uploading some code files for ESPhome and I found a nice trick. I have the hass.io file editor plug in installed. https://github.com/home-assistant/hassio-addons/tree/master/configurator
With this one, you can not only edit, rename oder remove files as well as browsing your HA folders, you can also upload files :-).

You can definetly pull information from HA to ESPHome:https://esphome.io/components/sensor/homeassistant.html
But how to integrate this into the lambdas?

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Yes, I already have a display in esphome where I display things about the pool, weather etc. on an e-ink display, works perfectly.
So I guess I could use the ‘clock’ display, and instead of time, show the sensor text. It’s worth a try at least :slight_smile:
I think that it can just be included as a variable.
So today I’m going to build a couple of dig-uno’s one for this, and then hope I have a PSU that can pull this, so I can test it out.

One other possible thing came to my mind: There are dotmatrix displays you can get in china:

with a little bit of Arduino code imported into ESPHome you should be able to control these. You can also daisy chain them to get more textspace. Sadly there is no native support for the MAX7219 in matrix configuration in ESp home and its only one color.

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Oh darn, I just got a dig-uno put together, and attached a powersupply to it, and one of the LED’s is bad :sob:

Oh, well, I’ll have to order a new one :slight_smile: But of course it puts the project on hold.

Do’nt worry, there ist hope :wink: to quote Evan and Katelyn: make … fail … make … fail … make!