I saw flip dots (also called flip discs) last year for the first time and instantly knew I needed some in my life. If you’re not familiar with them, check out how they work!
The particular model I have is the ALFAZETA XY5, which may be the easiest way to get up and running, but certainly not the least expensive.
After getting the board, all you need is:
- 24V power supply
- Something that talks over RS485 (in my case I used an ESP8266 connected to a MAX3485 board)
- Their documentation that defines the controller data protocol
I plan to write in more detail how it all works, but for this demo the stack is:
- SwiftUI app that runs SwiftGFXWrapper (which is mainly Adafruit’s GFX Library under the hood)
- The app sends the entire pixel buffer over UDP to the ESP8266
- The ESP8266 sends data to the XY5 over RS485 using their controller’s protocol