Files used during my TinyMatrix microcontroller with LED matrix workshop
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#TinyMatrix workshop

A TinyMatrix is a small LED matrix soldered on a AVR microcontroller that has been programmed with figures and animations.

I learned about TinyMatrix on this site by TigerUp.

Just getting started in AVR programming, I bought the hardware and made TinyMatrices with my doughters (Dutch) (then 7 and 10 years old).

In August 2013, I held a workshop with 10 kids at OHM2013 (the largest camping festival for hackers and makers in Europe). Here are the files I used so you can use them and improve them. Also take a look at the TinyMatrix workshop webpage.


If you have never programmed a (AVR) microcontroller before, you need four things:

  • A compiler. I used AVRDUDE, a free compiler for AVR microcontrollers.
  • Hardware that can be used to burn the microcontroller. I used Bus Pirate you can buy it for US$30 at SparkFun.
  • Something to connect the Bus Pirate to the AVR microcontroller. I soldered something together with the help of the Bus Pirate AVR Programming documentation and this image. There are also programmers in which you can plug in an AVR microcontroller directly, but I have no experience with those.
  • Something to test the microcontroller. I used a breadboard.


After you have drawn some figures and calculated the numbers, you can enter them in TinyMatrix.c at around line 217. Remember to enter the numbers from right to left.

If AVRDUDE and your programming hardware is setup correctly, you just have to type

make fuse

make flash


This is the hardware I bought for the TinyMatrix:

Copyright 2013 Edwin Martin

License: MIT or GPL (code GNU GPL v2 or newer)