LED Matrix Shield Pictorial Build Guide For Beginners


Tools required;

Soldering iron


Side cutters, or snips


To start with, check you have got all the components.  Each LED Matrix Shield should contain;

1 x PCB

1 x LED Matrix

2 x 6 way header pins

2 x 8 way header pins

8 x 330 ohm resistors (colour coded orange, orange, brown, gold)

Bend the legs of the resistors to form a rounded 90 degree angle


Insert a resistor in to the PCB where marked.  Resistors are not polarised, so can be mounted either way around.  It looks neater if they are all fitted they same way.

Turn the PCB over and lay it flat on the bench so the resistor stays snug against the board


Solder one leg of the resitor

Then the other


Then trim off the excess leads with the side cutters.  Try to get as close as you can to the PCB without cutting through the solder joint.

Move on to the nex resistor and repeat for the other 7 resistors


You should end up with a nice neat row something like this


The LED Matrix will only work if it is inserted the correct way around.  There is some writing on one side of the matrix, and this should be aligned with the word 'writing' on the PCB.  Fit the matrix flush to the PCB and turn the board over


Start by soldering one leg of the matrix.  Turn the board back over, and check that it is stil flush with the board.


Solder the rest of the legs.


Trim all the legs as you did with the resistors

To get the header pins perfectly strait and inline with your Arduino (Or Xino, or other 'ino board) it is easiest to put them in to the Arduino board first


Put the two 6-pin headers on one side, and the two 8-pin headers on the other, putting the long end in first (Some new Arduino boards are now using a 6 & 8 on one side, and an 8 & 10 on the other.  The extra pins are not used on the LED Matrix shield, so stick to 6 & 6 and 8 & 8 as shown)

Put the LED Matrix shield on top so that the pins all stick through


Solder one pin first, and check that everything is sitting flush and square before doing the rest

Carry on with the rest of the pins, checking occasionally that it is stil lined up ok

Remove the LED Matrix shield, complete with pins.

If you wish to add a reset switch, the pads are provided.  You may also wish to add other switches, variable resistors or other components, so this is the time to do it.  Please be aware that the LED Matrix uses digital pins 2 through 13 and analog pins 2 through 5.  D0 & D1 and A0 & A1 are free, although if you use D0 or D1 you may need to remove the shield to program the Arduino as these are shared with the serial port.