ATtiny 85/45 using MAX7219 Led Matrix.

This marks the first project based on the ATtiny chip. Let’s go! So basically the ATtiny can be termed as a ‘small programmable Arduino’ reasons are it executes commands just like an Arduino, more so it uses the same program structure to do so; you can script a program and it will run on both the ATtiny chip and the Arduino, the main difference will be the digital and analog pins, because the ATtiny has a total of pins*.

In this program we will recap on what the MAX7219 led matrix is, how it works and how possibly you could get it working with less than 1000 Bob.

The MAX7219 led matrix… is just an Led matrix (a grid of 8×8 individually controlled light emitting diodes) that said you can create amaizing animations and scrolling text. The cool thing with this module is that you only need three essential pins to control it… Power (5v+), Data In (control pin) and Ground(-). Each module has a data in pin as well as a data out, the data out pin becomes critical when you want to join similar modules together, such that u have a  a bigger grid (say 8×16/ 8×24/ 8×32 or 16x 16) the choice is yours, which essentially is usually the best idea.

Reader: Enough already, we get it!

BC: Okay! Okay! Get your materials.


  • MAX7219 LED Matrix Ksh 300/=
  • Arduino Uno/Mega Ksh 2000/=
  • ATtiny 45/85 Ksh 300/=
  • Some jumper wires 
  • Breadboard


Arduino ————->MAX7219

5v——————> 5v


Digital pin ———–>Data in

So first to test your code, you will need to connect the Matrix to your arduino and run the program. If it works as it should, proceed to uploading your code to your ATtiny. The easiest ways to do this is using your Arduino as a programmer. If you don’t know how this previous tutorial will give you all the details on how to do so.Remember when uploading code to ATtiny remember to assign a pin compatible to the chip( 0-4).

Code and link for materials will b posted soon

Arduino Code.

ATtiny Code.

Material for this build.


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