As you may recall, my chum Steve Manley and I are currently involved in a project to create modern tricolor LED-based implementations of 21-segment Victorian Displays (see Resurrecting 21-Segment Victorian Displays and Resurrecting 21-Segment Victorian Displays: The Video).

Steve and Max’s Awesome Display (Click image to see a larger version — Image source: Steve Manley)

We are both creating 10-character versions of these bodacious beauties but — for various reasons — we have no plans to make the little rascals available to a wider audience, which is unfortunate because they seem to be attracting a lot of attention.

After some discussion, we decided to create a variation on this display that others could play with if they wish. We bounced some ideas back and forth, after which Steve created an awesome new incarnation that we’ve dubbed “Steve and Max’s Awesome Display” (or SMAD for short).

In the image shown here (above right), the back of the board is presented on the left, the front of the board with the LEDs is shown in the middle, and a 3D printed shell attached to the front of the board is shown on the right. Observe that the board has cutouts allowing the corners to be broken off to match the shells if the user so-desires.

Measuring about 80 x 80 mm, each of these little beauties boasts 29 segments and 45 tricolor LEDs. Steve just received the first batch of boards back from fabrication and assembly, whipped up a quick test pattern, and shot this short video.

Observe that the display on the left is a bare board showing the raw LEDs. By comparison, the board on the right is equipped with a 10 mm deep 3D printed shell along with a diffuser layer.

I don’t know about you, but I think these new displays are extraordinarily tasty. I already have ideas for something I can do using two of these boards. Can you guess what I’m thinking?

Steve just dropped my boards in the post, and they are winging their way to me as we speak. Watch this space for future developments.