ARTIST: Doug Bell
TITLE: 7 Segment Array
MATERIALS: Acrylic box, 1188 7 segment displays and custom electronics
DIMENSIONS: 25"w x 25" h x 5.5" d
DATE: 2005

7 segment displays are typically soldered to a printed circuit board and used to display digits. Here the artist has mounted 27 rows of 44 displays, 22" x 20.25", to the inside front of a 25" x 25" x 5.5" clear acrylic box, then hand-wired the connections. He cut and stripped close to 1200 little red wires and soldered them in close to 10,000 places to connect the displays together and to 18 Cypress PSoC (Programmable System On Chip) microcontrollers programmed in C and assembly language. The microcontrollers individually control each segment of each display. They communicate between each other via serial links. The 18 copies of the same program cooperatively create a display.

Doug Bell has a BS degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington, was a research scientist at the Atmospheric Sciences department of the University of Washington, then a software engineer at Microsoft. He is currently retired and volunteers at the North Seattle Community College robotics club and for the Franklin High School FIRST team. He regularly attends meetings of the Seattle Robotics Society, Weird Sciences Salon and dorkbot. This is his first attempt at art for public viewing.

Doug Bell
Seattle, WA
warrenhb AT